First, it’d be helpful to define what journalism is and what journalists do, before moving on to freelance journalism. The dictionary.com definition of journalism is ‘the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business.’ So, journalists investigate and report on issues, event and trends that they think the public will be interested in and, importantly, they do it in a timely manner.
Some journalists focus on specific areas such as:
Others concentrate on topical day-to-day news, finding relevant stories from home and abroad to report on. Journalists can work for magazines, newspapers, TV and radio. They are employed either full or part-time and receive a regular wage, much like any other job. They usually work a set number of hours from the publications offices and they’ll probably discuss what they are going to cover with the editor before they start reporting.
Journalism also has a set of principles which it operates by, these are:
Freelance journalism is exactly the same as described above in all but one respect – freelance journalists do not work for only one publication, they are self-employed. The dictionary.com definition of freelance is as follows 'a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.'
This certainly has its benefits, allowing freelancers to:
It’s easy to see how this allows novice journalists to start out on the path towards a new career. They’ll be able to work part-time, around their current job, building up their portfolio. It also means that they can concentrate on working in areas that they particularly enjoy.
As well as allowing the freedoms listed above, freelance working also has some other things to consider. Freelancers have to:
If you like the challenge of being responsible for your success, being a freelance journalist could be an ideal occupation for you.
If you want to find out more about being a freelance journalist request a Writers Bureau Freelance Journalism prospectus.
Found these tips useful? Then sign up to receive more writing tips and course offers.