Finding Freelance Journalism Work

Writers today have so many choices– should I work full time, should I be in print or broadcast media, how about freelance work? The path you choose to tread is “your own.” Never select a career based on the needs of family/friends/or popular opinion. The choice must stem from within–what is it you seek from your work–money, a sense of fulfilment, and above all the freedom to choose?
If you thirst for freedom, to follow a path that is yours then, freelance journalism can offer a platter of choices—a chance to create a niche.
As a freelancer, you can choose to work in specific genres and write on specialized that inspire you. You can strive to become “the voice of the people.”
Wondering how to find assignments? There are so many avenues just waiting to be explored.–
o Begin by freelancing for your school/college/university newspaper.
o Gain work experience by working with the staff reporters at your local newspaper, television channel, or radio station. This would depend on whether you choose the print journalism or broadcasting.
o Create a network of other professionals in your field – join online sites, be a part of discussion forums, e-mail news groups, and freelance groups. Networking will put you in touch with opportunities that would otherwise pass you by.
o Register your profile with samples of your work on freelance writers/journalist listings on the Internet. Ensure that your profile is informative as well as provocative. Be sure to list clearly, the field/fields you are interested in–specify the media as well as themes such as science, technology, art, or politics and so on.
o Check job boards regularly.
o Join associations for journalists — not just in your area but internationally. Many of these have: a web site on which assignments are posted or a system by which relevant assignments are e-mailed to you for a small fee.
o Subscribe to magazines that feature assignments/ job opportunities.
o Consider becoming a freelance writer for online news agencies.
o Hire an agency to locate work on your behalf.
o Use the Internet to search for broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, and e-zines that offer assignments. Be sure to check if the assignments offered are remunerative or non-paying assignments.
o Look at media organizations. Attend workshops and seminars. These often present good opportunities to meet with people who can suggest companies/contacts.
Create a profile that makes your abilities and experience “stand out” or shine—state clearly what your ambitions are, why you have chosen to concentrate on a specific field, and why you think you’re suitable. Detail what you can offer that others can’t.
Be sure to detail skills, education, interests, and experience. Provide samples that showcase your prowess as a journalist. Display your knowledge of the company’s needs, your research abilities, and your willingness to go the extra mile. Back yourself up with reviews of your work as well as recommendations from other employers.
Perseverance and patience are the two cornerstones of building a great career in journalism -so be determined, plan ahead, and send out your profile to all concerned. If you send out a hundred, just a few may respond. But don’t feel dejected. Opportunities are bound to come along.

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