Freelance Files

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Freelance Files is a bi-monthly column for and by environmental journalism freelancers in which a rotating cast of writers share hard-earned wisdom here about myriad aspects of weaving a life and business out of their independent status. For questions and comments, to suggest future Freelance Files columns or to offer to write one, email SEJournal Online Freelance Files editor Karen Schaefer at karenscha@gmail.com.

 

August 22, 2018

  • 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.

May 30, 2018

April 4, 2018

  • A veteran freelancer struggles with tax season in the wake of an unexpected personal tragedy. But as she makes her way through a forest of forms, she offers a series of tips and observations for fellow independents, in the return of our regular Freelance Files column.

April 4, 2017

  • 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.

January 17, 2017

  • 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.

November 8, 2016

  • Sometimes, the tried-and-true ways of reporting are still the best. In the latest Freelance Files column, our contributor shares three old-fashioned techniques for research and writing that, while they may seem less efficient, will actually get you doing your best work. 

September 1, 2016

June 1, 2016

March 1, 2016

  • Longtime science journalist Janet Raloff, editor of Science News for Students, provides tips on how writing effectively for adolescents, while satisfying in and of itself, can also pay dividends in helping us learn to make complex topics accessible to adults.

December 15, 2015

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