Freelance Reporting Resources

Pitch advice, source databases, and online tools. I also added my own organizational tips and pitches that have worked. I hope this helps!

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Freelance Reporting Resources

Pitch advice, source databases, and online tools. I also added my own organizational tips and pitches that have worked. I hope this helps!

freelance, journalism, remotework

✨Freelance Reporting Resources✨

Taylor Moore / @taylormundo / / [email protected]

Resources ????️

* Study Hall: Community of 3,500+ freelance journalists; membership comes with access to listserv, Slack, weekly newsletters with media news and pitch calls

* Publications That Have Cut Freelance Budgets During COVID

* Freelance Solidarity Project: A division of the National Writers Union aimed at pushing for better working conditions for freelancers

* IWW Freelance Journalist Union: Associated with Industrial Workers of the World, this union advocates for better labor standards for freelance journalists, bloggers, and writers

* Opportunities of the Week Newsletter: Weekly email from writer Sonia Weiser with curated pitch calls, $3 per month on Patreon

* Writers of Color Twitter: Jobs and pitch calls geared toward writers of color (if someone is asking for POC voices and you’re white…think twice about emailing)

* Journalists of Color: Slack channel for journalists of color

* GLAAD Media Reference Guide: How you should and shouldn’t be covering LGBTQ+ people and issues, including HIV/AIDS and conversion therapy

* Diversity Style Guide: How to cover 700+ topics with both accuracy and sensitivity

* Why Should I Tell You? A Guide to Less Extractive Reporting: Advice on how to cover vulnerable communities, and why they don’t owe you their stories

* Global Investigative Journalism Network: Resources on the reporting process and reporting on different beats

* Investigative Reporters and Editors resource center: Includes 5,000 guides and presentations — seems you have to be an IRE member to access

* Bellingcat’s Online Investigation Toolkit: Huge list of online tools for reporting

* Media news: Mediagazer, Nieman Journalism Lab, Poynter, Columbia Journalism Review

* Blogs & Newsletters: Tatiana Walk-Morris’s The Freelance Beat blog, Jenny G. Zhang’s Annotations newsletter, Ines Bellina’s Cranky Guide to Writing newsletter, ???? Delia Cai’s Deez Links newsletter

* Podcasts: The Writers Co-op, Longform, The View from Somewhere, On the Media

* Books: The View from Somewhere by Lewis Raven Wallace, Before and After the Book Deal by Courtney Maum, Street Journalist by Lisa Loving

* Writing and journalism courses: Catapult, Sackett Street Writers, CRIT, StoryStudio Chicago, Poynter

Contracts & Money ????

* Who Pays Writers?: Anonymous crowdfunded database with info on paying outlets

* Contently rates database: Database, plus a freelance rate calculator generated from that data

* Three clauses freelancers should know (and negotiate), according to lawyers (CJR)

* Adding to this, you can also negotiate for a kill fee (what you’ll be paid if the story doesn’t publish, for whatever reason) or for a higher kill fee. 50% is considered industry standard, but if you want to shoot for 100%, go for it.

* The Author’s Guild and National Writers Union offer contract advice and handle contract disputes for their members

* The Freelance Isn’t Free law mandates payment within 30 days of work completion, among other freelancer protections, for people living in New York state, even if the publication is not based in New York

* Should Freelancers Form a Company to Save at Tax Time? (VICE)

* Estimated taxes: How and when to pay them to the IRS (Bankrate)

* Brass Taxes: Freelance-friendly tax preparers based in NYC. Have never used them, but I’ve seen them recommended. The earlier you see an accountant during tax season, the better!

Pitching ????

* Pitching advice from writers:

* Ann Friedman on how and where to pitch (Medium post)

* Britni de la Cretaz on how to break into freelance writing and how to write from a gender-inclusive lens (blog posts)

* Deena Shanker on how to be a freelance reporter (Google doc)

* Ella Cerón on how to make your pitches more amenable to editors (Tumblr post)

* Jamie Lauren Keiles on how to write pitches that editors accept and reporting skills for anxious people (hour-long webinars on Vimeo, $5 to watch, worth it)

* Sam Dylan Finch on common pitch mistakes that writers make (Twitter thread)

* Nieman Lab’s Annotation Tuesday series, which interviews writers about their stories

* The Open Notebook Pitch Database: Crowdsourced database of science pitches that have worked

* ???? Pitches That Worked: Database of successful pitches created in May 2020

* ???? Trade Publications by Industry: Compilation by WebWire

* Freedom with Writing: Newsletter that goes out a few times a week with open calls for pitches and lit journal submissions (also tells you if an opportunity is $$ or not)

* Dream of Travel Writing: Dream of travel writing?

* 72 Places to Find Solutions Story Ideas

* Pitch guides from publications: Artsy, Atlas Obscura (and Gastro Obscura), Belt magazine, Bitch magazine, The Baffler, BuzzFeed Reader, Chicago Reader, Civil Eats, The Correspondent, DAME magazine, Eater, The Forge (Medium), Grist, Hyperallergic, JSTOR Daily, Literary Hub, ???? Longreads (essays), Mother Jones, Narratively (Lily Dancyger’s advice), The Nation, Next City, NPR, NPR Goats and Soda, NYT Styles, Politico magazine, Polygon, Scientific American, Slate, Southwest Magazine, Thrillist, Truthout, The Verge, VICE Life

* RIP to Deadspin and The Outline, both of whom had examples of pitches that worked. Pacific Standard also offered a clear sense of what stories they wanted and didn’t want.

Sources ????️

* Help a Reporter Out: Request expert sources via newsletter sent multiple times a day; must have an outlet lined up to post

* Some universities offer portals of all faculty and experts by specialty (e.g., University of Illinois at Chicago)

* Science: Diverse Sources (science, health and environment), Request a Woman in STEM, SciLine (request scientist sources)

* Women: Women’s Media Center SheSource, Women in Tech Policy

* POC: People of Color Also Know Stuff, AAPI experts (AAJA)

* People with Disabilities: National Center on Disability and Journalism (list of disability organizations), Disabled Writers

* Expertise Finder (academia and think tanks)

* Expertfile (database of more than 25,000 experts)

* Global Experts (database of academics, analysts, former officials, faith leaders, civil society activists, private sector/business and media experts around the world)

* NPR Source of the Week

Jobs ????

* Inside The Newsroom Job Board

* Society of Professional Journalists Career Center

* Poynter Institute Career Center

* Mediabistro


* LinkedIn

Tools ????

* Muckrack, Contently, Journo Portfolio: Portfolio sites that can archive your work automatically or by uploading links; no design skills required

* ???? Squarespace, Wordpress, Wix, Google Sites, Weebly, Neutral Spaces, Authory: Customize your own portfolio site

* Wordpress, Tumblr, Medium: Make your own blog

* Evernote, OneNote, Scrivener: Organize your drafts, manuscripts, and notes

* Asana, Trello: Project management tools that some people like to use for keeping record of story ideas, pitches, etc.

* Wave: Free software for invoicing, expense tracking, and accounting. I don’t use this, but others really like it

* Freshbooks invoice templates: Free downloadable documents in Word, Excel, PDF, Google Doc, and Google Sheets formats

* PrintFriendly chrome extension: Save your stories as PDFs or images so that your clips don’t disappear if a site shuts down

* Study Hall transcriptionist database: Journalists who will transcribe your audio accurately for fair pay (looking at you, Rev)

* Otter: AI transcription service that lets you transcribe up to 600 minutes of audio per month for free

* Temi: AI transcription service, more accurate than Otter in my experience, costs $0.25 per minute

* oTranscribe: Secure, offline platform that lets you play back audio and type your own transcript in one window

* Feedly: Aggregates news by topic so you don’t have to get your news from Twitter, spiritual successor to Google Reader

* Pocket: Save articles for future reading (also allows you to bypass some paywalls…)

* Twlets: Chrome plugin that lets you export a Twitter account’s tweets, followers, people followed, likes, etc.

* DocHub: Fill out and sign forms (e.g., contracts, W-9s) without dealing with a scanner or Adobe Acrobat

* Pomodoro: Timer that makes you work in 25-minute increments

* Ommwrites: Minimalist word processing software that blocks distractions (minimum price is ~$6)

* Signal: Encrypted messaging app

* Protonmail: Encrypted email service

* Best VPN for journalists (VPN Guru)

* LastPass: Password manager, can generate long complicated passwords

* Recorders I have: Sony digital recorder (built-in USB drive, 57 hours of battery life, audio playback options), telephone pick-up microphone (plug headphone jack into recorder mic input, put earpiece in your ear, records both sides of the phone conversation)

How I Work ????????‍????

* I track every pitch I send, every story that’s published, and every invoice that’s sent. Here’s a Google Sheets template of what this looks like. Feel free to copy and make your own.

* I also save every published story as a bookmark in Chrome, save as a PDF with the PrintFriendly chrome extension, and save the link to the document mentioned above

* Taxes (I’m not an accountant!!!!)

* I pay quarterly estimated taxes to the IRS every quarter. What I do is save 25% of every freelance check and put it into a separate savings account. By each quarter deadline, I empty the account by transferring the funds to the IRS. I track what amount I send to the IRS each quarter and report the year’s income each time I file federal and state taxes.

* I write off news subscriptions, professional memberships, books and materials I have to buy as part of reporting, web hosting and domain costs, office supplies, and internet expenses

* Note on internet: I only count working hours. Since I work from home full time, that’s 40 hours a week. To ca

Freelance Reporting Resources
Tags Freelance, Journalism, Remotework
Type Google Doc
Published 21/06/2020, 13:52:35


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