Freelance Files

Using Late Fees To Get Media Clients To Pay on Time

Numerous freelance journalists are suffering financially alongside other businesses damaged by the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis. But in an especially timely tale, one freelancer explains how she took matters into her own hands when media clients were overdue on payments. Freelance Files has the story. 

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How To Freelance and Not Go Broke

What better New Year’s resolution for freelance environmental journalists than putting their work on a sounder financial basis. In the latest Freelance Files column, journalism veteran Julie Halpert (pictured, left) offers 10 tips for financial stability. Among them: Side gigs, grants and relationship building, plus crafting the perfect pitch, spinning several stories from one and thinking big picture.

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SEJ Initiatives Help Freelancers Survive, Thrive

With the continued decline in staff jobs at U.S. newspapers and other media across the country, freelancers are hitting the streets in growing numbers. The latest Freelance Files takes a closer look at how membership in the Society of Environmental Journalists can benefit journalists who freelance.

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‘Cli-Fi’ a New Horizon for Climate Change Writers

It's not often that a new genre of science writing opens up for freelancers.  But writer Dan Bloom suggests there's a growing market for freelancers who want to write about climate in the form known as “cli-fi,” a new dystopian fiction that focuses on future impacts of climate change.  Freelance Files editor Karen Schaefer invited him to share his perspective on the emerging genre.

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When Travel Expenses Get Too Expensive

A big reporting jaunt can be a professional thrill. That is, until you consider the upfront costs you might be expected to shoulder as an independent journalist. The latest Freelance Files, from multimedia journalist Gloria Dickie, looks at the realities of travel expenses and offers half-a-dozen workarounds to lighten the load.

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The ‘Dock Deck Doc’ – Multimedia Storytelling in the Web-Wide World

​An independent journalist finds a key to survival by building a mini-empire of multiplatform content based on his deep research and extensive interviewing. In our latest Freelance Files column, Silver Donald Cameron shares his so-called “Dock Deck Doc” approach and the collaborative, multimedia techniques that support it.

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For Freelancers in Conflict Zones, Help Is out There

You're reporting from the field in a high-risk locale, with a shoestring budget and no back-office support — how do you stay safe? The latest Freelance Files offers some cautionary tales from a long-time SEJ member recently returned from overseas, with a detailed resource guide to help keep you and your data secure.

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The Art of the Essay for Science and Environment Writers

What makes for an effective science or environment essay? Freelance Files contributor Michelle Nijhuis explores universal qualities of the best work: It begins with a persistent question that sets the essayist off on a journey of discovery. Also, practical tips on how to get published beyond the essay departments of major magazines.

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