The Plight Of Freelance Journalists

October 11, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

The most important journalism is increasingly being done by freelancers writes Sarah A. Topol. Highlights of her article include:

  • Media organizations can no longer afford to keep staff in countries all over the world in preparation for the next big news story.
  • Into the breach have stepped freelance journalists. These people are often young, inexperienced, and unprepared. Even basics such as flak jackets, satellite phones, and health insurance are rare.
  • The freelancers fund their own way to conflict areas such as Libya and Syria and report stories from there. These articles take weeks to write, at great personal danger, and sell for a few hundred dollars.
  • Freelancers do it because in an increasingly competitive world, this is the only way that they can hope to break into the journalism business. Although success – in the form of a permanent job – is not guaranteed.
  • The one perk of being a freelancer is that individuals get to choose which topics they want to cover.

Read more about times when freelance journalism has gone horribly wrong (and once when it went wonderfully right), how newspaper editors implicitly encourage the practice, and efforts to make things better for freelancers, over here.

Source: The Daily Beast