Archive for February, 2010

Speed-dating for freelancers

Are you a freelance journalist trying to land a date with an editor?

The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists will hold a speed-dating event next month, pairing freelancers and editors for meetings that will rotate every five minutes. There will be food and drinks. This article is a little derogatory about the whole thing, which is annoying because I have done this before and had great success with it.

Check it out. Perhaps you’ll consider holding such an event for your chapter. It is an excellent idea.

Don’t work for free

An update here on the issue from Alan Mutter’s blog, Reflections of a Newsosaur.

Helpful resource

Begin 2010 by investing in YOU.

No matter where you are in your career, you can benefit from professional development and training programs that will further your education and broaden your knowledge and skills for the job you love. The ever changing landscape of the media industry keeps us all on our toes in this profession – that’s part of the excitement!

Whether you’re an editor, reporter, broadcaster, designer, photographer or full-time freelancer, every journalist will benefit from a visit to The site is full of professional development opportunities for everyone in the media industry. From one-day photo illustration sessions to full week-long workshops on better writing, the training you need and want is listed at this one-stop resource.

Created by the Council of National Journalism Organizations and maintained by the Society of Professional Journalists, the site is extremely easy to use. Search by location, topic or time of year for training that will help you advance your career and give you the tools you need to stay at the leading edge of technology.  Here are just a few of the training programs you will find at

Editing 2010: How to Wear Five Hats & Succeed, sponsored by Poynter Institute

Strategic Revenue Summit, sponsored by Southern Newspaper Publishers Association

Spring Conference, sponsored by Society of Professional Journalists

I Need to Jumpstart My Business, sponsored by American Society of Media Photographers, Inc.

Print Reporters Institute, sponsored by Society of Professional Journalists

Aside from great training opportunities, the site has listings of journalism blogs from organizations such as News University and Society for News Design for training tips and story ideas. Visit the Reading Room to find topics such as “Protecting Your Work” and “The Business of the News Business.”  Or bring customized training to your newsroom provided by names you trust.

For more information or to suggest a resource for, write to or call SPJ today at (317) 927-8000.

Don’t work for free

I felt so heartened today reading Alan Mutter’s blog Reflections of a Newsosaur, in which Mutter urges journalists in his latest post to end the work-for-free movement sweeping our industry by refusing to do it, one journalist at a time.

I say let’s start our own movement. Do your part by refusing to work for free or almost free. Urge other journalists to do the same via Facebook and Twitter. Write about the cause on your blog. Share links to posts on the subject on Reflections of a Newsosaur and here on the Independent Journalist, SPJ’s blog for freelancers.

Don’t work for free. Pass it on.

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