Montreal Media Mixer and Post-Strike Celebration

The CWA Canada Associate Members program is inviting working journalists, freelancers, students and professors who lent their support to the recent Concordia journalism strike against unpaid internships to celebrate with a media mixer.

The mixer is scheduled for Thursday, April 4 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Montréal (Phoenix Hall) located at 5035 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest.

The strike against unpaid internships ran between March 18 and 22, while the university’s communications department held a similar strike between March 6 and 8. It was about taking a stand against the provincial government and served as an opportunity to set the record straight on working conditions for young journalists and media workers.

Come and enjoy free snacks, drinks, networking, and important conversations about how to make the journalism industry more just and accessible for all.

The event is free to attend, but please RSVP for your free ticket on this Eventbrite page.

Posted on April 1, 2019 at 6:15 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Mar 26-April 1

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 Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

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 April 1, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

CMG members vote 80% in favour of ratifying new deal with CBC

Photo by Laurence Butet-Roch

CBC workers who are represented by CWA Canada through its largest Local, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), have voted 80 per cent in favour of ratifying a new collective agreement with the public broadcaster.

The five-year deal contains wage increases of 1.5 per cent this year and next for the 4,300 employees across the country (outside Quebec and Moncton, N.B.) who are covered by the contract. Increases in the final three years of the agreement will be pegged to the Treasury Board rate that applies to unionized federal government employees.

More than 1,200 CMG members took part this week in online voting on the tentative agreement, which comes into effect on April 1. Official results released today show 977 in favour and 241 against.

Jonathan Spence, president of the Guild’s CBC branch, said there are several improvements with this deal. These include allowances for members in Canada’s North and those who do out-of-country work; relocation subsidies; and better terms for temporary workers to convert to permanent status.

“We’ve spent the better part of six months bargaining this agreement,” said Spence. “There was a lot to update in an agreement that had not changed substantially in the last 10 years, in an industry that has significantly shifted.”

CMG President Kamala Rao said, “Our bargaining team brought a great deal of goodwill and focus to the table. Members at CBC/Radio-Canada believe in the value of our work at the public broadcaster and we’ve succeeded in raising the floor for everyone who works there.”
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Posted on March 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

Vancouver freelancers invited to NPAC “Mix and Mingle”

BC media freelancers are invited to a “Mix and Mingle” with members of the News Photographers Association of Canada as they begin their conference in Vancouver next month.

Please come and join in the fun and network with photographers and other freelancers at the opening night of the Capture Photography Festival on Thursday, April 11th at 6 p.m. at the Pendulum Gallery (885 West Georgia Street).

Check out the amazing work of the nominees of the National Pictures of the Year Awards. There will be a cash bar, but if you say hello to CMG Freelance president Don Genova he just might buy you your first drink. And there will be snacks, too!

This event is free to attend, but if you’re planning on coming, please feel free to drop us a line at freelance@cmg.ca so we know to expect you.

Posted on March 27, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Freelance at the CBC? You may be eligible to vote on the new collective agreement.

CMG-CBC agreement – Freelance workers eligible to vote

From Tuesday, March 26 to Thursday, March 28, Canadian Media Guild (CMG) members working at CBC/Radio-Canada will have the opportunity to vote on the tentative agreement reached between our union and the Corporation. The vote will take place online using our electronic voting system.

In order to vote, freelance members must have been paid for at least 13 occasions in the past 12 months or made at least $10,000 in freelance income in the past 12 months. An ‘occasion’ would be any time a payment was made on a freelance specific services or freelance contributor or technical freelancer contract.

Independent members of the CMG Freelance Branch are not eligible to vote on the tentative agreement

Voting process

The vote will take place online using our electronic voting system.

You will need your 9-digit CMG member number in order to vote. CMG member numbers are different than CBC employee numbers.

If you don’t have your CMG number or have misplaced it, please contact vote@cmg.ca and it will be provided to you.

Members will vote on the following question:
Do you ratify the tentative agreement between the Canadian Media Guild and CBC/Radio-Canada?

The online ballot box will open on Tuesday, March 26 and close on Thursday, March 28.

Here are the voting hours, by time zone:
Newfoundland – Tuesday 10:30 a.m. to Friday until 1:30 a.m. NDT
Atlantic – Tuesday 10 a.m. to Friday until 1 a.m. ADT
Eastern – Tuesday 9 a.m. to Friday until 12 a.m. EDT
Central – Tuesday 8 a.m. to Thursday until 11 p.m. CDT
Mountain – Tuesday 7 a.m. to Thursday until 10 p.m. MDT
Pacific – Tuesday 6 a.m. to Thursday until 9 p.m. PDT

We expect to announce the result on Friday, March 29. For more information, please read the explainer document provided by CMG which mentions the highlights affecting freelancers on page 14.

Posted on March 25, 2019 at 4:43 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Mar 19-25

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 Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

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 March 25, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

CWA Canada seeks writer for union history project

CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, is looking for a journalist/writer to research and write a 50-page booklet on the history of the union.

Please apply if you write with flair, have proven research and organizational skills, are able to work independently – and always meet deadlines.

The project is to be completed by December 2019 with the booklet to be published in 2020.

We offer excellent compensation.

CWA Canada is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from members of equity-seeking groups.

CWA Canada represents over 6,000 workers at media companies such as the CBC, The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters, VICE Canada and newspapers coast to coast.

Please email a cover letter, resume, and three samples of your work to: info@cwa-scacanada.ca

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, April 3 at 3 p.m. ET.

Posted on March 22, 2019 at 8:54 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Applications open for the 2019 Forum Freelance Fund hostile environment training bursaries

Applications opened this week for the 2019 Forum Freelance Fund competition. The fund provides bursaries to help Canadian freelancers pay for hostile environment training.

The deadline for this annual competition is April 13 2019. Winners of the bursaries (worth up to $2500) will be notified by May 31 and will have up to two months to choose a hostile environment training course from an approved provider. Bursaries must first be applied to course fees with the remainder to be used for travel costs.

The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma runs the competition in association with the Rory Peck Trust, a U.K.-based organization devoted to promoting the safety of freelancers.

Information about the application requirements are available on the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma website.

Posted on March 19, 2019 at 10:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Mar 12-18

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 Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • The Born Freelancer’s Q&A with “Light Writer” Maggie MacPherson: As a word person (primarily) I’ve always been fascinated by those skilled in the visual arts. Maggie MacPherson is a Vancouver-based freelance photographer whose work I admire greatly. A lifelong hobbyist, she turned professional about five years ago…
  • PWAC Toronto editing seminar March 25: “Polishing Your Work: From Expert Tips to Editorial Workflows” is presented by PWAC Toronto Chapter and Magazines Canada on Monday, March 25  from 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre…

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 March 18, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The Born Freelancer’s Q&A with “Light Writer” Maggie MacPherson

This series of posts by the Born Freelancer shares personal experiences and thoughts on issues relevant to freelancers. Have something to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

As a word person (primarily) I’ve always been fascinated by those skilled in the visual arts. Maggie MacPherson is a Vancouver-based freelance photographer whose work I admire greatly. A lifelong hobbyist, she turned professional about five years ago.

The Born Freelancer:  So, Maggie, what motivated you to “go pro”?

Maggie MacPherson:  I remember the day I nervously took a big breath, and proudly proclaimed “I’ve decided to become a photographer”. My partner looked back at me with confusion and said “… but you already are a photographer.”

I had already been doing headshots and creative photoshoots for years but it was properly charging for my work that made me consider myself a professional photographer.

It’s tempting to keep doing free work so you can just treat your work like art all the time and can therefore never fail. To me, being a professional artist means being good enough at your craft that you can collaborate with clients to get them what they need (regardless of what you might feel inspired to create in that moment).

TBF:  Did you need specialized training to become a pro?
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Posted on March 14, 2019 at 9:26 pm by editor · One Comment · Tagged with: , , ,