By Hazel Becker, SPJ Freelance Community Chair
Greetings, freelancers – I hope February is treating you well. Here’s what the Society of Professional Journalists’ Freelance Community is up to in the next few weeks.
We hope you’ll check in with us in our Chat Room at 5 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, February 27, and let us know what’s on your mind. We’ll try to answer questions and help puzzle through whatever challenges you’re facing in your freelance business. To join, go to SPJ.org/freelance.asp, right under the Freelancer Directory, to log into the Chat Room. You don’t need an account – just put in a nickname to use for the chat so others can direct comments and answers to you.
We’ve had a few calls lately from SPJ members asking what they can do to support the Freelance Community. Here’s a list of volunteer opportunities and who to contact about them:
- Write a post for our blog, The Independent Journalist – or offer to be the subject of an interview on an issue affecting freelancers to be written by someone else. Or, just suggest a topic and we’ll find someone else to work on it! Contact Hilary Niles, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Host an event (lunch? happy hour?) for freelance journalists in your area. We’ll help you plan it! Contact me for suggestions or to add it to our calendar.
- Post a freelance opportunity on our website’s Jobs Board. Anyone can post – you don’t have to be the editor looking for a freelancer. No full-time jobs, please!
- Write or update a chapter for On Your Own: A Guide to Freelance Journalism. Let me know what you want to write about.
Freelancers are going to be included in a new list on the SPJ website, on a page called the Leak Seeker linking to news outlets’ calls for “leaks” through their secure communication channels. Most of the media organizations now listed are using an application called SecureDrop, an open source, free application supported by the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Others rely on What’s App or Signal. If you want to research secure communications, the Electronic Frontier Foundation offers surveillance self-defense resources. If you would like to be listed, please email me your name and the Leak Seeker URL to which you would like users to be referred.
Meanwhile, if you have topics to discuss, feel free to join us in our Facebook group, where we have more than 500 members. And, watch for our updates on Twitter @SPJFreelance. Finally, let me know if you have something on your mind that you don’t want to share in those places.