Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 29-Sept 5

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, 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:

  • Journalism interns — Share your experiences: Did you work as a journalism intern in Canada or the United States between 2013 and 2017? Researcher Errol Salamon would like to hear about your experiences for a textbook on labour issues facing media workers in North America…

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 September 5, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Journalism Interns: Share Your Experiences

Errol Salamon

Researcher Errol Salamon

Did you work as a journalism intern in Canada or the United States between 2013 and 2017? Researcher Errol Salamon would like to hear about your experiences for a textbook on labour issues facing media workers in North America.

Salamon is the work and labour editor of J-Source, and a visiting research scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s creating the textbook and accompanying curriculum materials for use in college and university journalism, communications, media studies, cultural studies, sociology, and labour studies classes in Canada and the United States.

If you’re interested in participating in his research, your identity will be kept confidential. Your responses will become part of a book-length account of the working conditions and labour issues facing North American media workers, including interns, freelancers, and digital media workers.

Salamon is interested in hearing about what was beneficial and what could’ve been improved about your journalism internships. Willing subjects are asked to complete this short introductory questionnaire. Once you’ve completed the survey you’ll be contacted to set up a time for a short phone interview.

This project is supported by CWA Canada, the Canadian Media Guild’s parent union. It aims to  raise awareness about media workers’ rights and determine best practices for quality journalism in a digital age.

Posted on August 29, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 22-28

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

From Canada: MediaFreeLogo.2 SB

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Freelancing as a parent: I talked with a few freelancing parents who assumed the primary caregiver role for their young children about how they managed, what they learned, and the advice they’d give for new parents or parents-to-be…

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 August 28, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Freelancing as a parent

by Brittany Duggan

child-1073638_1920As a dancer-turned-journalist, many of the new parents in my life have been freelancers. Paid maternity leaves are mostly foreign concepts and continuing to work has usually involved an impressive juggle of scheduling, creative childcare, and evolving expectations.

Many lines of work in Canada are made up of freelance or contract labour. In fact, a quarter of our country’s workplace is made up of non-traditional workers, according to a report from the human resources consulting firm Randstad released last year. And that number is only predicted to grow.

This means more and more parents have freelance work as their full-time work. And while freelancing lacks the security many people likely seek before thinking about having kids, many parents are figuring out how to make it work. In fact, for all the reasons people prefer freelancing — flexibility, variety — they’re finding it works in combination with parenting, too.

I talked with a few freelancing parents who assumed the primary caregiver role for their young children about how they managed, what they learned, and the advice they’d give for new parents or parents-to-be.

PLANNING FOR LEAVE

Self-employed individuals now have the option of paying into employment insurance benefits and receiving a certain amount for a maternity or paternity leave. Signing up is required at least 12 months before a baby is born and once you start, you’ll owe for the remainder of your freelance career.
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Posted on August 25, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 15-21

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, 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:

  • Pitching around staff writers: There are a few ways to observe and pitch the kinds of stories that staff writers have a harder time completing. After talking with a few Canadian editors, here’s what they advise…

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 August 21, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Pitching around staff writers

By Brittany Duggan

write-593333_1920As a freelancer, it’s hard to keep of track of which Canadian media outlets still have budgets for outsourcing.

“The Globe has a freeze on freelancers for another month,” a colleague told me recently while we brainstormed where to pitch a story. A Toronto editor told her this after a pitch she really liked.

“Try the guy who runs the real estate pages in Vancouver. It’s all freelancers in that section,” another colleague told me months ago. After spending hours putting together that pitch, I learned that this section has two dedicated writers and a limited budget, so it was a no-go for my story.

As a staff writer previously, I’ve been in positions where I’ve told my editor that I’d like to do a story on X and I got a quick “Great, go for it.” But without being in editorial meetings where you can learn what an editor is missing or looking for, it can be plain frustrating to try and sell a story — especially when you’re new to a publication.

It’s more or less a crapshoot, I’ve heard time and time again. But there are a few ways to observe and pitch the kinds of stories that staff writers have a harder time completing. After talking with a few Canadian editors, here’s what they advise.

Be familiar with the publication and its audience

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Posted on August 15, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 9-14

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, 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 August 14, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Chronicle Herald agreement ratified, ending 18-month strike

Striking workers at the Halifax Chronicle Herald ratified an agreement with their employer today, ending a strike that has stretched on for over 18 months.

The Halifax Typographical Union, which represents the striking workers, announced that members voted 94 percent in favour of accepting the agreement. It was reached after two days of mediation led by a government-appointed arbitrator.

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Approximately 60 unionized reporters, photographers, editors and support staff walked off the job on January 23, 2016 over contract issues ranging from pay and pension cuts, to layoffs and longer working hours.

Shortly after the strike began, the striking journalists launched an online news site called Local Xpress. CMG Freelance supported freelancers who withdrew their services from the Chronicle Herald during the strike by paying them to write for the Local Xpress instead.

press release issued by CWA Canada, parent union to both the CMG and the Halifax Typographical Union, says that the 8-year deal includes a 5 percent wage cut as well as a number of staff layoffs.

It also says that Local Xpress will be shut down as part of the agreement.

 

Posted on August 10, 2017 at 2:38 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 1-8

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, 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:

  • Webinar — The Art of Lifestyle Writing: One of the best things about lifestyle journalism is how much this beat is about real life. From what we should be eating, to how to interact with our partners, to which health issue matters the most in the community, lifestyle journalism has the power to change how people live…
  • How to Stand Out as a Freelance Podcast Producer: When I moved to Vancouver to start audio school back in 2011, I knew what I was getting into. I was aware of the already long declining state of the music industry. I knew how few studios had staff audio engineer positions, and I knew how hard I would have to work to get one of them…

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 August 8, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

How To Stand Out As A Freelance Podcast Producer

by Jeremy Enns 


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When I moved to Vancouver to start audio school back in 2011, I knew what I was getting into.

I was aware of the already long declining state of the music industry. I knew how few studios had staff audio engineer positions, and I knew how hard I would have to work to get one of them.

The thing is, I also knew that I didn’t care about any of that. I loved music and audio and would do what it took to establish myself.

Yeah, ok, so it turns out I really didn’t know what I was getting into.

After finishing school I interned at a couple of local studios, produced a couple of records but soon realized that I may have overestimated my love of audio and underestimated just how hard it was to make a living doing this work.

If I was honest with myself, I didn’t love it enough to show up at the studio at 8am every morning and leave at 3am that night, only to repeat the process the next morning six (or, let’s just be honest, more likely seven) days a week.

So I put the record producer dream behind me and spent the next five years working manual labour jobs landscaping, tree planting, landscaping again, while also taking a year to travel the world. It was in this period where I discovered the world of podcasting, and realized that maybe there was still some room in my life for that dream of working with audio.

The Key Elements Of A Successful Podcast Production Business

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Posted on August 2, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,