Author Archives: Carolyn Crist

Carolyn Crist

About Carolyn Crist

Carolyn Crist (@cristcarolyn) helps AHCJ’s freelance members find the resources, tips and contacts they need to create and run a successful business. A freelance journalist and author, Crist covers health, medicine and science stories for national news outlets such as Reuters, Runner’s World and Parade. She also writes for trade and custom publications. Contact her at carolyn@healthjournalism.org.

AHCJ beat-reporting award winner and freelancer targets military health care

Photo: The National Guard via Flickr

Health care issues in the military are becoming increasingly important to uncover, especially as the nation watches the response to the pandemic. At the same time, reporters may find it challenging to dig into this niche and understand what to cover.

Freelance journalists, in particular, may face difficulties in approaching sources and obtaining documents. Experienced health care reporter Patricia Kime has focused on these issues during her career, and continues to tackle them as a self-employed writer. Continue reading

Sources, studies and self-care: AHCJ freelancers give advice on COVID-19 coverage

reporter-taking-notesAs many health care journalists have reported that they’re covering “all COVID, all the time” during the past two months, AHCJ freelancers offered their advice about the best ways to approach reporting and writing, as well as their own mental health while working on assignments.

Overall, the advice highlights many of the principles that reporters already hold dear — choose your sources carefully, review the science behind published studies, and find ways to carve out personal time from a 24/7 news cycle.

Related to news coverage at this moment, the freelancers also suggested doing background research with new webcasts and press briefings online, finding story ideas in new communications and newsletters created by trusted sources, and creating a routine to stay on top of the most recent research.

Continue reading

Emergency grants available to freelance journalists during COVID-19

Photo: BigOakFlickr via Flickrv

During the current coronavirus outbreak, freelancers have reported a mixed bag — some work is on pause, but other work is booming. Whatever your situation, several journalism organizations have stepped up to offer emergency relief and reporting grants.

While reviewing the list below, the most important factors to keep in mind are the eligibility requirements for each application. In some cases, the grant is meant only to support those who have contracted COVID-19 and lost work because they were sick. In other cases, the grant is designated for particular types of reporting work. Continue reading

What the CARES Act means for freelance writers now

Photo: perzon seo via Flickr

Freelance writers and other independent contractors have faced obstacles in securing federal funds to help with lost income during the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, a second round of funding just approved may be worth a try.

Throughout April, the $350 billion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allowed banks to dole out funds to small businesses, with the application for independent contractors and sole proprietors opening on April 10. Within a week, however, the funds ran out. Continue reading

Freelance reporter reveals challenges in Georgia’s inmate health care

Max Blau

Max Blau

For more than a year, Atlanta-based freelance journalist and AHCJ member Max Blau investigated the troublesome health care delivery in jails across his state.

He filed records requests, conducted tough interviews and weaved together a series about his findings — all while reporting and writing other stories at the same time to pay his bills. Continue reading

Should freelancers pitch right now? Yes, and here’s what to do

Photo: Dan Simpson via Flickr

In numerous groups, forums and discussion lists, freelance journalists are asking three big questions: Do I pitch right now? Can I pitch COVID-19 stories? Can I pitch non-coronavirus-related stories?

The answer to all three: Yes! A resounding “yes, absolutely.”

Some freelancers have reported a decline in work, and others seem booked around-the-clock. Those who have lined up work are reporting similar trends: Continue reading