The Born Freelancer Tackles an Age-old Prejudice

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.



It’s probably the last great prejudice allowed to promulgate without challenge.

Indeed, if attempts are ever made to reproach its proponents, the response is usually full of derision and scorn. “Can’t you take a joke”?

Worse than that, it is frequently hidden or downplayed. How can you fight a prejudice that isn’t even openly acknowledged?

I was always taught to believe that traditional media typically reflects attitudes already prevalent amongst the general population. Therefore it is perhaps not surprising that too much contemporary media is an unashamed participant in, and promoter of, ageist values.

After all, it’s what we learn from the beginning.

It starts when you’re a newbie trying to break into media. You’re too young, the gatekeepers say, meaning too inexperienced. This is perhaps the most benign form of ageism you will ever encounter in your career.

You quickly grow out of it.

It’s not so benign at the other end of the age spectrum

Read the rest of this post »

Posted on November 10, 2021 at 4:38 pm by editor · One Comment · Tagged with: , , ,

Webinar: Tax Time in November

***UPDATED NOV. 22/2021***

Today’s webinar has been postponed due to presenter illness and has been rescheduled for next Tuesday at 12:30pm ET. We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you are unable to make the new date/time please email Don Genova at to cancel your registration and/or request a refund. Current registrants will automatically be re-registered for next Tuesday.

A reminder that if you stay registered but can’t make the webinar live, a recording will be distributed to registrants as soon as post-production is complete.

Not too many freelancers are thinking about taxes in November, but it’s actually the perfect time to start putting your financial matters in order for 2022 and your 2021 tax return.

Join our favourite Tax Tips Tutor, Shannon Lee Simmons,  founder of the New School of Finance, for a lively Q+A session moderated by CFG Organizer Don Genova.

Online – Tuesday, November 30

12:30pm to 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time

$5 for members

$15 for non-members

Shannon will discuss what kind of year-end expenditures you should plan on making, how to check estimates on taxes owing to ensure you’re on track, and how RRSP season can fit into your plans.

This session is structured with lots of room for questions, and your chances of getting them answered are increased if you send them to CFG Organizer Don Genova  in advance.

Please feel free to share this invitation with non-member friends and colleagues.

The link to the Zoom webinar will be sent to you via email about half an hour before the start time. Please check your spam or junk folders if you can’t find the email, and contact if you haven’t received the link 10 minutes before the scheduled start time. 

Posted on November 7, 2021 at 5:20 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

‘Taking Care’ survey urgently seeks input from media workers on trauma, mental health

Dave Seglins

Dave Seglins, a long-time CBC journalist, is now leading training and research into well-being in the news industry.


By Dave Seglins
For CWA Canada

Racing to the frontlines to report the news of the world’s great triumphs, tragedies and scandals is what makes journalism so thrilling — from conflict zones, to the house fire down the street.

But the job can also come at a personal cost to the well-being and mental health of media workers: our videographers, reporters, editors and staff who day in and day out endure a steady diet of other people’s trauma, amidst endless deadlines, filing pressures, shift work … not to mention job instability.

I know. After 25 years I carry vivid memories and scars from the stresses and stories I’ve covered detailing murder, sexual violence, crimes against children, and endless tales of victims’ suffering.

I am very proud to announce the launch today of an industry-wide initiative called “Taking Care: A Survey on Mental Health, Well-being and Trauma in Canadian Journalism.”

Please, take this rare opportunity to be counted. Add your voice. Share your experience. The survey will collect responses through the month of November.
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on November 2, 2021 at 4:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

CWA Canada, human rights group help journalist escape Afghanistan

By Roberta Staley
For CWA Canada


Raihan Tamanna (Supplied photo)

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 23, while heading for the Nangarhar Highway in a hired car, Raihan Tamanna glanced back for the last time at the fading lights of Kabul.

The road was empty and the weather good, but numerous Taliban checkpoints lay ahead. Every stop along the 230-kilometre stretch to Torkham International Border Crossing meant potential arrest, as Tamanna’s driver wasn’t a relative, or “Muhrram” — a serious breach of sharia law.

The vehicle was flagged down several times, but Tamanna’s driver spoke Pashto, the language of the Taliban, and they were waved on toward Pakistan.

“Me and my children acted like we were asleep so that the Taliban maybe wouldn’t ask any questions of us,” Tamanna said. “Fortunately, they did not ask about Muhrram.”

Tamanna’s survival depended upon anonymity. A former journalist for Ariana Television Network and Rasad News Agency, Tamanna had recently written analysis and reports about Taliban atrocities for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

“I have always discussed the behaviour of the Taliban in a terrorist context, because they planned to kill tens of thousands of civilians during suicide attacks and bombings,” said Tamanna, 32, a widow.
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on November 1, 2021 at 4:54 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: 

CBC Doc Mentorship Program fall deadline

CBC Radio’s Doc Mentorship Program is open for another round of applications.

Experienced audio freelancers are invited to submit a pitch to the program by November 20th, 2021. All work must be completed by March 2022.

The program, which is also open to all CBC employees, is accepting applications for three different mentorships: the Doc Mentorship program,  The Current’s Advanced Doc Maker program and the Emerging Indigenous Doc Maker program.

The program pairs up documentary makers with experienced CBC producers who provide guidance and mentorship through the process of making a radio documentary. Mentors are happy to provide feedback on pitches before the formal application process, so applicants are advised to contact the mentor they wish to work with before they apply.

This year, applications must include details about how your project will comply with CBC’s Covid field recording guidelines (details on that are in a document included in the application form).

You can find more details about the Doc Mentorship Program and how to apply, on the Doc Makers website. If you have any questions about the program, you can email

And for information about CBC rates and contracts, check out this page on the CMG Freelance website.

Posted on October 26, 2021 at 7:23 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

LinkedIn Learning provides cost-effective PD on a range of relevant career skills

by Michael Strickland

A frosty haze covers bottle and glass, suggesting both were just pulled from an Arctic ice box.

Flecks sparkle around two crystal rivulets, drops of water that froze seconds earlier as they slid down the two containers.

Tiny bubbles rise through the golden liquid that fills the glass.

A foamy head sits white as drifting snow.

And, instantly, the mouth waters.

But, then, that’s the whole point of Learning Food and Drink Photography, one of over 16,400 courses offered by LinkedIn Learning. The online learning platform offers video courses, taught by industry experts, on a wide array of workforce skills. LinkedIn personalizes the experience, suggesting courses based on a user’s profile and, later, specific searches and courses completed.

Since accessing this benefit of my CFG membership in June, I’ve finished 15 different courses and am part way through another four. It’s been time well spent.
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on October 21, 2021 at 9:35 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Webinar: Government Relations for Creative Entrepreneurs

As a creative entrepreneur and organization co-founder, Tracey Arial has thirty years of experience learning about grants, obligations and services established by Canada’s Federal Government.

In this webinar, Tracey will take you through five ways to think about government relations, particularly when it comes to the heritage, industry and taxation ministries. Knowing about copyright, income averaging, ISBNs and public right payments helps increase your confidence in reaching out to federal politicians and bureaucrats.

This one-hour session will be conducted using the Zoom platform. It’s scheduled for Tuesday, October 19th from 7 to 8pm Eastern Time

The cost is $5 for Canadian Freelance Guild members and $15 for non-members. Your link to the session will be sent to you one-half hour before the start time. Please make sure you have the most up-to-date version of Zoom in order to enter the meeting.

You can register for the webinar right here.

And you can find more information about the cost and benefits of membership in the CFG on this webpage.

Posted on October 9, 2021 at 7:30 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Rory Peck Trust launches free trauma and resilience workshops for freelance journalists

The Rory Peck Trust, a U.K.-based organization that provides support to freelance journalists, has launched a new program that offers free workshops on dealing with trauma and building resilience.

The workshops are aimed at freelancers who work in hostile environments or regularly cover difficult and potentially traumatic events. The organization is offering the workshops in a variety of languages over the next year. Registration is now open for workshops on October 12th and 14th that will be held in English. They will be two hours long, and will be led by specialized journalist trainers.

Freelance journalists from all over the world whose sole source of income is in media, and who have been working as freelancers for at least the last 12 months, are eligible to apply. The deadline for applications is this Friday, October 1.

The Rory Peck Trust is also planning to launch a trauma therapy fund for freelance journalists early in 2022.

You can find out more about both programs on the Rory Peck Trust website

Posted on September 27, 2021 at 6:51 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

CFG podcasting webinar now available for streaming

If you’re looking for some professional development now that summer is over, check out the CFG’s library of webinars. The latest one, on podcasting, was recently uploaded for streaming.

CFG member and avid podcaster Shauna Rae hosted the webinar back in July. It included a lively Q&A session with Fawnda Mithrush, the program manager of the Alberta Podcast Network and a longtime podcaster.

If you’re a CFG member and missed this event, you can click here and log in to the CFG website to launch it in your browser.

This webinar and the others in the CFG’s professional development series — including ones on pitching, freelance taxes, interviewing and more — are also available for purchase by non-CFG members. Click here for the podcasting webinar and view the full library right here.

The non-member fee for webinars is $20, but you can contact the CFG’s Don Genova at to find out whether discount codes are available.

For more information about the cost and benefits of membership in the CFG, click here.

Shauna Rae and Fawnda Mithrush chat podcasting in the CFG’s latest webinar.

Posted on September 22, 2021 at 7:49 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The Born Freelancer Takes a Good Look at Taking a Good Look

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.

The single greatest asset we freelancers possess is our own good health.

Without it we can’t work. If we can’t work, we’re in big trouble. No paid sick days for us.

Therefore, it makes good sense to maintain as healthy a lifestyle as possible and to monitor and safeguard our most precious asset to the very best of our abilities.

Spending so much of our work day in front of a screen should make our vision health a priority, and yet it’s probably one aspect of our health too many of us take for granted. I know I did.

Until recently.

It was during the editing of my last column, about anger and creativity, when I first noticed it. Bright flashing lines at the edges of my vision.

I looked left, the flashes were on the right. Looked right, they were on the left. Up, they were down. Down, they were up. Uh oh, Houston, we have a problem.

At first, I tried to ignore them. I was probably over-doing it, I thought. I’ll get a cold wet cloth and put it over my tired closed eyes as soon as I get through editing.

The next morning, a Saturday, they were more frequent and brighter. I typed the symptoms into Google.
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on September 16, 2021 at 8:35 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , , ,