Freelancers are always looking for resources to help find sources for stories, identify editors, improve pitches, connect with colleagues and run our small businesses. AHCJ is a rich source of material.
Moderated email discussion list: Join this community for support, encouragement and practical information from your fellow AHCJ members. It’s a great place to ask about possible sources to interview or for suggestions about outlets to pitch a particular story idea. (Click on “Networking” at the top of the AHCJ home page or https://healthjournalism.org/resources-listserv.php.)
Market Guides: This is where freelancers can find out what assigning editors at specific outlets want from writers. We ask editors to share information about fees, length of stories, where and how to pitch and common mistakes freelancers make when pitching story ideas. Currently, there are eighteen guides, including Scientific American and the BMJ. The guides are being updated and their number expanded. (Click on the “Freelancers” tab on the AHCJ homepage or https://healthjournalism.org/freelancers#marketguide.)
Freelance Center: Dozens of articles of particular interest to freelancers can be found online at the AHCJ Freelance Center. They are organized under headings, such as “Networking & Branding” and “Pitching & Pitchfest.” You’ll find articles about how to use your smartphone as a multimedia storytelling tool, tips for purchasing liability insurance and much more. These articles will be updated and new ones added regularly. (Click on the “Freelancers” tab on the AHCJ homepage or https://healthjournalism.org/freelancers.)
Core Topics: For tip sheets, How I Did Its and other articles about specific topic areas from infectious disease to dental care, check out the core topic areas. And make sure to read the entries from the “Covering Health” blog written by the core topic leaders. You’ll find information about trends, news and events and suggestions for story ideas and sources. (The tabs for both can be found on the AHCJ homepage or click on https://healthjournalism.org/core-topics and https://healthjournalism.org/blog/subscribe/.)
Webcasts: Watch archived or live webcasts organized by AHCJ’s core topic leaders. Usually, two or three expert panelists participate, and you’ll have a chance to ask them questions. Many of the past year’s webcasts have focused primarily on the pandemic but the upcoming webcast scheduled for May 25 will focus on using online tools for journalists, such as Google Trends and Google Maps. (Click on “Training” at the top of the AHCJ homepage or https://healthjournalism.org/calendar.php?EventType=1&EventSubType=3.)
Training: To hone your reporting skills and learn new ones, check out the workshops, seminars and fellowships that AHCJ offers. For example, AHCJ is holding an online workshop on rural health journalism June 21–23 where members can hear from health care and policy experts and come away with a list of story ideas. (Click on “Training” on the homepage or https://healthjournalism.org/training-jump.php.)
There are many other resources that freelancers will find handy on the AHCJ website. Take a few minutes to explore.