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.

What you need to know about freelancer legislation in 2020

By now, you’ve likely heard about the independent contractor bills in several states that could derail how freelance writers do business in 2020. In California, for instance, where AB 5 took effect on Jan. 1, freelancers are already being blacklisted from certain publications, losing weekly columns and seeing reduced contract terms. Journalists in New Jersey (S4204/A5936) and New York (S6699A/A8721A) are pushing against similar legislation in their own states.

The details shift quickly, so here’s the latest (and where to connect with others) in 2020: Continue reading

Freelance journalists sue California over new AB 5 law

california-flag-on-the-round-button-isolated-on-white_fyCzJLi_Two of the leading national journalism organizations that serve freelance writers, editors, photographers and visual journalists filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to challenge California’s new rules for independent contractors. Assembly Bill 5, or AB 5, takes effect on Jan. 1, so the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association filed now to ask for an injunction.

The bill, which was drafted to curb unfair practices in the gig economy and signed into law in September, requires companies to take on contractors as employees if they meet certain requirements. Continue reading

Pitching stories during the holidays: Should you do it?

December 20198The holiday season is close, which could mean a well-earned time to take a break. For some freelance writers, though, it could also mean a time to send out more pitches.

Like many of us, editors, marketers and content clients are still working during the last two weeks of the year — and even if they’re not, they’re likely checking their emails. Newsroom editors, in particular, are still “feeding the beast” and meeting deadlines for the 24/7 news cycle. Continue reading

New bills could hinder freelancers’ work in 2020

California State Capitol

The California State Capitol is the state’s working seat of government.

Lawmakers in several states have introduced — and in some cases, already approved — legislation that could restrict the way freelance writers operate next year.

In California, Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) restricts employers from classifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees under certain conditions. Approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September, it goes into effect on Jan. 1. Similar bills in New York and New Jersey (S4204) will make waves during the 2020 legislative session. Continue reading