Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Feb 4-10

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From around the web:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on February 9, 2020 at 4:30 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

6th annual SABEW Canada Best in Business awards open for submissions

Freelance business writers, the 6th annual SABEW Canada Best in Business awards are now open for submissions.

There are 15 categories for the awards again this year, including investigative, long-form and short-form feature, and best young journalist.

Freelancers who wish to submit their work must be SABEW members in good standing. There’s a reduced awards entry fee for freelancers of $30.

The deadline for entries is February 21 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Winners will be announced on March 20 and the awards banquet is on April 7 in Toronto.

For detailed guidelines or to enter your work for an award, see SABEW Canada’s website. And for more information, you can email bib@sabew.org.

 

Posted on February 7, 2020 at 9:30 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Jan 28-Feb 3

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From around the web:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on February 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Researcher seeks Millennial freelancers in Toronto

If you were born between 1980 and 1995 and freelance in media in Toronto, you’re invited to share your experiences with a researcher at the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Nancy Worth is in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management. She’s conducting a SSHRC-funded project called Home/work looking at the experiences of millennial freelancers.

“Millennials are the largest generation of workers in Canada right now and they’re the generation most likely to be freelancers,” she says. “It’s become sort of a new norm. But if we look at how we measure work and think about work, we still have a social expectation of a regular 9 to 5.”

The study will look at how freelancers organize their time.
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Posted on January 29, 2020 at 8:58 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

National Observer staff officially unionized with CWA Canada

Staff at the National Observer became CWA Canada’s newest members Wednesday with the announcement that an application for union certification had been approved.

The Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213) filed for certification with the Canada Industrial Relations Board in December after a strong majority of workers signed union cards.

The daily news website, owned by Observer Media Group, is headquartered in Vancouver and has offices in Toronto and Ottawa. It was founded in 2015 by Linda Solomon Wood, who grew it from a community blog called Vancouver Observer into an award-winning national online publication that conducts investigative reporting and covers energy, climate change, politics and social issues.

feature article on Wood and the National Observer published in January 2018 by NiemanLab.org said there were 10 full-time employees, “as well as five part-time contractors and a host of freelance journalists.”

In explaining their motivation for organizing, staff said in a statement that they “recognize the hard work, the struggle, and the resolve that it has taken to build the Observer into a recognized national news brand. We recognize the effort its founder and its leaders, past and present, have put in to marshal it to the place where it is today. We are grateful for these efforts and for where they have gotten us.

“We care deeply about our newsroom, the stability of our company, and we want the work we do to move forward in a way that is healthy and sustainable, as we can expand our staff and broaden our journalistic capacity …

“It is in this spirit that we believe a union will be beneficial to our company, to help the National Observer to continue to evolve into a better, stronger, more cohesive, more united workplace.”

CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon welcomed the workers into the media union, saying the move will be good for them, for the company, and for journalism.

“As a journalist, I deeply respect what the National Observer has accomplished, and I want to see that fine work continue. We think the best way to make that happen is by giving workers a stronger voice and the power to negotiate wages and working conditions.”

CWA Canada organizer Katherine Lapointe said Observer staff “love the work that they do and want to work with management to strengthen the company.”

There has been a wave of unionization in the North American news industry in recent years. Staff at digital media outlets VICE Canada and BuzzFeed Canada have also joined CWA Canada.

Posted on January 27, 2020 at 7:43 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Jan 21-27

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From around the web:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Tom Hanson photojournalism award open for entries: Canadian photojournalists with less than five years of experience can now apply for the annual award. This six-week paid internship at The Canadian Press head office in Toronto will take place between April and September 2020.

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on January 26, 2020 at 3:45 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award open for entries

Canadian photojournalists with less than five years of experience can now apply for the annual Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award. This six-week paid internship at The Canadian Press head office in Toronto will take place between April and September 2020.

Students, freelance photographers and photographers employed at regional or non-daily publications are all eligible to apply. The successful applicant will be paid a weekly salary of approximately $875.

The deadline for applications is February 21, 2020. The winner will be selected in March. For more information about the application process, check out this page on the Canadian Journalism Foundation website.

Posted on January 21, 2020 at 8:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Jan 14-20

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From around the web:

Recently on Story Board:

  • New Association Formed to Represent Canadian Media and Communications Professionals: The membership of the Professional Writers Association of Canada has resoundingly voted to amalgamate with the independent membership of the Canadian Media Guild Freelance Branch to form the Canadian Freelance Guild…
  • Questions to help you reflect and plan for 2020: There are all sorts of positive reasons to spend time reflecting on your business, asking questions and planning. Things like reducing anxiety, improving clarity and encouraging creativity. But making the time to work on your business instead of in your business? Sometimes more difficult than it seems…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on January 19, 2020 at 4:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

New Association Formed to Represent Canadian Media and Communications Professionals

January 16th, 2020

The membership of the Professional Writers Association of Canada has resoundingly voted to amalgamate with the independent membership of the Canadian Media Guild Freelance Branch to form the Canadian Freelance Guild.

This new association, totalling close to 400 members, will be founded within CWA Canada, the oldest and only all-media union in Canada.

“I’m very grateful to see that we had an excellent turnout for this special vote. Voting was represented equally by and new and seasoned members alike, who realized that we have made the right decision to move PWAC forward into its next realm of existence,” said Doreen Pendgracs, president of PWAC.

Don Genova, president of the independent membership of CMG Freelance, said, “We’ve worked to bring these like-minded associations together for the past three years and I’m sure this amalgamation will bring a greater voice to freelancers in Canada as we battle falling rates and unfair contracts for members who provide their clients high-quality contributions in all forms of today’s varied media.”

When officially constituted in April of this year, members of the Canadian Freelance Guild will include professional writers, photographers, podcasters, videographers, graphic designers, and more. Media workers who freelance at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will continue to be represented by the Canadian Media Guild, a local of CWA Canada.

Pendgracs and Genova said their main goals are to provide a higher level of professional development, networking, advocacy, and representation for members when negotiating and enforcing contracts with employers.

Representatives of CMG Freelance and PWAC will meet next month in Toronto to begin the work of creating a governance structure, merging the memberships, and amalgamating their various databases and digital assets.

In the meantime, current members of both associations will continue to be represented by their respective executives and administration. For questions about the new association please contact Don or Doreen directly.

Don Genova
President, CMG Freelance
freelance@cmg.ca
778-991-4439 (Pacific Time)

Doreen Pendgracs
President, PWAC
president@pwac.ca
204-481-2399 (Central Time)

The Canadian Freelance Guild: Representing Independent Media and Communications Professionals in Canada.

 

Posted on January 15, 2020 at 9:48 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Questions to help you reflect and plan for 2020

by Robyn Roste

There are all sorts of positive reasons to spend time reflecting on your business, asking questions and planning.

Things like reducing anxiety, improving clarity and encouraging creativity. But making the time to work on your business instead of in your business? Sometimes more difficult than it seems.

A while back I purchased a self-paced digital course and one of the first tasks was to film a three-minute video outlining things like why I was taking the course, where I was at in my freelance business and tasks I was struggling with.

My first instinct was to skip the video and jump into the actual coursework but I did end up quickly recording something and moving on.

The other day I was cleaning up some digital files and ran across the video so I stopped and watched it. Even though I felt like I hadn’t made as much progress as I had wanted to from the course, once I saw the video I realized I have come a long way. I felt encouraged and motivated to keep going—things I wouldn’t have felt if I hadn’t taken those three minutes to talk about where I was at and where I wanted to go.

If this seems like the kind of thing your freelance business could benefit from, here are some prompts to help you reflect and plan.
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Posted on January 14, 2020 at 8:31 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,