Marci Alboher, who writes the Shifting Careers blog on the New York Times web site, writes about the freelancing business journalism conference call she participated in last week that was organized by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
Alboher writes, “In the current economy, where increasing numbers of journalists are turning to freelancing both by choice and necessity, this panel was especially relevant. While graduate schools might be focusing on training the next generation of journalists for working in multiple platforms and in a digital environment, what was clear from our panel is that working freelancers also need to develop their entrepreneurial skills.
“The panel covered many of the questions I routinely get from those interested in becoming freelance journalists â€“ how to know when youâ€™re stalking an editor versus appropriately following up, how to use newsletters, Web sites and blogs to make editors aware of your work, and whether to worry about publications stealing your ideas after you pitch them (the short answer is ‘no, unless you are sitting on a blockbuster story’).
“We also touched on issues that would be relevant for veteran journalists, like where to find opportunities in a tight market and in a changing journalistic landscape. (Hint: the publication that just laid you off.)”