Journalists who do not work for a publication are freelancers. Instead, they are self employed.
This idea can be very attractive to some. Freelancers can form their own work schedule. Many write on a variety of different topics. This is good for journalists who don’t want to cover a specific beat.
A post on hrworld.com lists 101 reasons freelance journalists “have it made.” For example, most freelancers control their wages. They have the ability to charge employers by the hour. They can raise their wages instead of waiting for a raise. Freelancers get to take credit for all of their own work. When a journalist works for a publication, some of the credit of a story goes to that publication.
These benefits can be misleading. Charging their own rates doesn’t help if they can’t find work. Freelance journalists also lose out on company provided insurance. These issues are especially present in hard economic times. To help, many organizations have resources to help freelance journalists.
The Freelancer’s Union is one helpful resource. The union is free to join. It offers different insurance plans including health, dental, life, and disability. They also offer flexible 401 (k) retirement plans for freelancers.
The Society of Professional Journalists website has a freelance directory. SPJ members can add their information to the directory so publications are able to find them. This is a great way to find work. SPJ offers a lot of resources that are also helpful when looking for work.
The Poynter University website offers a webinar entitled Jumpstarting Your Freelance Career: Marketing and Business Basics . The webinar shows how to deal with income needs understanding business basics.
These are great sources for current freelance journalists. As CNN discusses in a video about freelancing, times are hard. More companies hire freelancers to cut down on employee costs. These sources will help journalists make it through.