Monthly Archive: October 2014


The Independent Journalist | October 29th, 2014 | #
Look outside the box to establish relationships with editors

Guest blogger: Ricardo Torres 

If there’s one thing most freelancers need to know, if they don’t already know it, is that editors get thousands of emails a week. Even editors with the smallest audiences normally get several hundred messages a week.

Getting noticed is always tough and sometimes writers need to get creative.

When I started freelancing in 2011, I established a relationship with the Wisconsin Reporter, a political website funded the by Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, by stealing a move from one of my idols, Hunter S. Continue reading


First Draft | October 27th, 2014 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
A Newscast Producer’s Playlist

There are so many emotions producers experience over the course of one work day. Being a fan of music spanning several decades, I’ve come across a couple dozen songs that accurately capture what it’s like to be a TV newscast producer. I hope you enjoy my selections!

“Welcome to the Jungle” – Guns n’ Roses

There’s no other way to describe what it is like working in a TV newsroom.

“God Only Knows” – Beach Boys // “Livin on a Prayer” – Bon Jovi

God only knows if our LIVEU backpack will work and give us a live picture. Continue reading


First Draft | October 22nd, 2014 | #, #, #, #
Why Twitter should be a non-negotiable for journalists

I haven’t been able to get this article by Ann Friedman for the Columbia Journalism Review out of my head. The article raises the question: Can you still be an effective journalist if you ignore Twitter?

While I know it’s “possible” to be “effective” as a journalist without being on Twitter, I also know how much reporters and editors miss out on when they don’t change their egg profile photo and take the platform seriously. I’ll admit, I was a Twitter skeptic. Continue reading


The Independent Journalist | October 21st, 2014 | #
Dealing with rejection

Guest blogger: Bret Schulte

I recently climbed one of the towers of Old Main at the University of Arkansas to attend a workshop to help faculty win grants. I teach journalism, and I have a story idea that would benefit from a few bucks. It’s not like newsrooms have any money to spend.

So, I went and learned a few things. I learned you can call project administrators for help, and by that I mean, you can actually call the National Endowment for Humanities and ask them if your any idea is any good. Continue reading


First Draft | October 20th, 2014 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
#ILoveMyJob, Even if ‘Journalist’ Isn’t In the Title

Imagine you’re meeting someone for the first time. If you’re like me, one of the first questions you ask is “what do you do,” which prompts them to ask you. What would you answer if I asked you that right now.

My first answer was always “a journalist in television production.” I haven’t been a hard news journalist in years, but I always identify as a journalist first. However, what it means to be a journalist and a media professional is changing. Continue reading


The Independent Journalist | October 13th, 2014 | #
Freelancers who lunch

By guest blogger Hazel Becker 

One freelancer needed months of moral support to get an ultimately prize-winning feature through multiple versions and edits demanded by the editor of a nationally renowned newspaper.

Another came seeking advice on how to get paid by a foreign publisher, either in U.S. dollars or through a system that would allow her to convert the payment into dollars without paying huge fees.

Then there was the one who needed help evaluating whether to fire an anchor client owned by a longtime friend who had fallen on hard times and stopped paying invoices. Continue reading