Working as a freelance journalist and being on the cutting edge of news reporting can be an exciting career.
But not all journalism is high octane excitement.
Some of the news you report may not be particularly adrenaline pumping and some topics may just be plain boring.
However, should you decide to work as a freelance journalist the job is varied and you could find yourself reporting on any number of topics or events from the latest boat show to current affairs.
A journalist or reporter who is on the media frontline lives in the moment. Reporting the latest news and giving minute-by-minute accounts of the latest developments, he or she’s never far behind with the current trends.
If you are someone who loves to be in the middle of the action, then a career as a freelance journalist may be for you.
This career choice does afford you some flexibility in terms of the type of articles you would like to write.
If you have interests or knowledge of specific topics, you may lean more towards writing about those subjects. You will need to be objective and impartial, but inside knowledge never hurts.
Flexibility of working as a freelance journalist
Having freedom and independence means that you are not only free to choose your own topics but you also are not tied to working specific hours.
Being a freelance journalist means that, unlike your employed counterparts, you are not tied to a contract, you’re absolutely free to work at your own pace and on your own hours.
You don’t have to stay up late-hours in the office and make the long commute home. You simply have to sit down in your home office or retreat to your study.
Your time and workspace are so flexible that you’ll see and feel a significant difference in your lifestyle, and it’s all for the better!
GigLeads is a job search and productivity platform to help writers and freelancers find work quickly. Daily email alerts, member profiles, and more. Visit Gigleads
Freelance journalism and its challenges
When you’re working in-depth on an engrossing news item, it may take hours upon hours of your time just to finish the research.
Since you’re on a fact-finding mission, you’ll be hunting for answers and clues down to the last detail.
So, even before you start writing, you’ll have accumulated so many notes and drafted several summaries.
Revisions will naturally be necessary until you get your facts straight and your story right.
To pose another challenge, you can’t present a news story from just one angle.
You’ll have to discuss it from every possible viewpoint, that is, if you’re to build a reputation as a credible freelance journalist who’s fair and unbiased at all times.
And have you considered the perils of the job when you’re an investigative journalist who sifts through secrets?
As someone who discovers, recovers, and uncovers the most current issues, you may sometimes navigate unchartered territories which to other people would say ‘Danger’ or ‘Keep Off!’
Improving your freelance journalism skills
Working as a freelance journalist will mean that you need to decide on what type of journalism you’ll enter.
Seeing how investigative journalism can put you at risk of life and limb, you might decide to skip the action and go for something less stressful.
For example, you’re in for something a little tamer and less adrenaline-surging when you write an opinion piece.
When your column’s well-read, it can be a very powerful wheel for a change.
As the one who sounds the alarm, you’ll be good as a wake-up call for everyone.
Choose the media you will use
Before broadcasting your news to the entire world, explore which media best suits the audience you’d like to reach.
Of course, there are mass media channels such as TV, radio, and print, but there are also a large number of online media outlets that actively participate in the latest press releases or relay the latest bulletins
Another avenue to explore would be social media news channels.
It’s an excellent source of material, especially for stats and surveys on popular opinion about consumer products, political scandals, and for encouraging the public’s opinion on topics
Publish your work
Once you’ve copyrighted your work and retained ownership of it, you can proceed to sell your article.
With hundreds of thousands of newspapers in operation today, a well-written news piece that interests and inspires can sell for a substantial sum of money.
Young or old, new or experienced, can earn money from sales and commissions by submitting articles for publication.
If your name becomes well-known as a freelance journalist, magazines and news outlets may contact you directly requesting pieces.