Tag Archives: freelancing

Journalists explain how freelancers can add audio, video to boost pitches – and income #AHCJ16

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJ

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJ

Seeing Spike Lee’s 2006 documentary about how Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans was transformative for independent journalist Andrea King Collier.

“When I saw Spike Lee’s Katrina story, I said to myself, ‘That’s the way I want to tell stories,’” said Collier (@andreacollier) during a panel at Health Journalism 2016 on multimedia skills for freelancers.

An award-winning independent journalist and author, Collier’s work has appeared in O the Oprah Magazine, Essence, Town and Country, The Washington Post, and other publications. Continue reading

Freelancers get 8 tips on selling related stories to multiple markets #ahcj15

Tammy Worth

About Tammy Worth

Tammy Worth (@TammyWorth1) is an independent journalist based in Blue Springs, Mo. She attended Health Journalism 2015 as a 2015 AHCJ-Missouri Health Journalism Fellow, a program supported by the Missouri Foundation for Health.

At the Health Journalism 2015 session, “Freelance: Re-slant and resell ideas to multiple markets,” panelists offered eight tips for turning a story idea into multiple articles for various publications. To do this, they said, freelancers have to learn to look at stories, notes and interviews in a different way than they may be doing.

The first tip, offered by Kate Gammon, is to shift the audience. For instance, if a writer produces an article on an emerging science being studied on lab rats for one publication, he or she may be able to follow the research through its process and use the information for a consumer publication at a more advanced stage. If you are writing for a women’s magazine, think about ways the topic might be slanted for different ages to fit into a parenting publication or one like AARP.

Second, mine your notes. You never know when you might want to go back to get more information on a topic or an idea that didn’t work in one article but might in another. The panelists recommended using Evernote and Pear Note to organize notes and search for topics or subjects. Continue reading

6 tips to find success writing for trade publications #ahcj15

Barbara Feder Ostrov

About Barbara Feder Ostrov

Barbara Feder Ostrov is a former San Jose Mercury News medical writer freelancing for Kaiser Health News. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Ms. Magazine, Weight Watchers Magazine and EverydayHealth.com.

Pia Christensen/AHCJPeggy Peck, of MedPage Today, offers her advice on writing for trade publications during a panel moderated by Bob Finn, right, and featuring Rabiya Tuma, left, and Dan Keller.

Pia Christensen/AHCJPeggy Peck, of MedPage Today, offers her advice on writing for trade publications during a panel moderated by Bob Finn, right, and featuring Rabiya Tuma, left, and Dan Keller.

Top editors offered great advice for journalists interested in freelancing for health trade publications during a panel at Health Journalism 2015.

Trade publications for professionals working in health and medicine provide numerous freelance opportunities for journalists, but the work – while rewarding – is different than writing for a consumer audience, panelists said.

Writing for a professional audience requires a familiarity with the lingo and an understanding of the larger context of developments in a particular field, such as oncology or health information technology. Continue reading

What AHCJ’s conferences, social media and a dog’s blog have to do with building a freelance business

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Joseph BurnsRoscoe

Photo: Joseph BurnsRoscoe, the key to a recent freelance assignment.

My dog helped me land a freelance assignment recently. Actually, my dog’s blogs (he has two) helped me get the gig. To be honest, my 5-year-old Labrador retriever, Roscoe, wouldn’t even have a blog if it weren’t for what I’ve learned at AHCJ’s Health Journalism conferences the past three years.

So, if you’re wondering if attending Health Journalism 2015 in California later this month will be worth your time and effort, read on.

After attending AHCJ’s Health Journalism 2012 conference in Atlanta, I landed enough assignments to cover my costs for that conference and every one since. I did the math for this blog post.

Recently, I discovered that what I learned in Atlanta (and in Boston in 2013 and in Denver in 2014) continues to pay dividends. Continue reading