Tag Archives: freelance

Deciphering contracts: Webcast to cover journalists’ rights, negotiations, insurance and more

Jeanne Erdmann

About Jeanne Erdmann

Jeanne Erdmann is an award-winning health and science writer based in Wentzville, Mo. A member of AHCJ's board of directors, she is the chair of the organization's Freelance Committee. Her work has appeared in Discover, Women’s Health, Aeon, Slate, The Washington Post, Nature, Nature Medicine and other publications. You can follow her at @jeanne_erdmann.

Few moments are more gratifying to a freelancer than a new contract landing in our inbox.

Contracts solidify the hard work and the leap-of-faith that began with a pitch. They begin what could be a long, profitable relationship with a publication, perhaps a dream publication that’s finally taken a pitch. They’re a physical sign that – for another month at least – we can pay off bills, college loans, cover the rent. Continue reading

Freelance investigative reporting may not be easy, but it’s possible

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Investigative reporting is not easy as a freelance journalist, but it’s not impossible either.

The Health Journalism 2019 session on investigative reporting for freelancers on Saturday revealed tips, resources and success stories to inspire freelancers to dig deeper into those suspicions they have about a story — and the hundreds or thousands of documents that it likely involves. Continue reading

Freelancers, editors explore ethics, integrity and transparency

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJEditor Brendan Maher stressed that writers should always be transparent about potential conflicts of interest.

While their hearts and training may lie with traditional objective journalism, many freelancers take on additional writing assignments in order to make ends meet. But when do these non-journalistic jobs present real or potential conflicts of interest with journalism?  How should writers and their editors address the ethical questions that may arise? In an evolving media landscape, how do freelance journalists maintain objectivity – and integrity – while paying the bills? Continue reading

Editors at #AHCJ18 share tips on composing a winning pitch

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJ

PHOENIX – Successfully selling story ideas requires energy, skill and plenty of patience. At Health Journalism 2018 in Phoenix on Thursday, a panel of seasoned magazine editors offered tips to freelancers on “Crafting the Perfect Pitch.”

“Pitching is an art, not a science,” observed Jennifer Bleyer, who until recently was an editor at Psychology Today. Still, some general rules apply, including, “Be brief.” Continue reading

Freelancers share best practices, top tools

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

In April, several experienced independent journalists shared their advice for having a successful freelance career during a panel at Health Journalism 2017 in Orlando. People in the audience chimed in with contributions.

“Panelists offered dozens of helpful tips and plenty of sound advice — including several ideas that were new to even the most experienced freelancers in the room,” wrote Liz Seegert, AHCJ’s core topic leader on aging and an independent journalist.

Seegert and Tara Haelle, AHCJ’s medical studies core topic leader, compiled an extensive tip sheet from the information shared at that panel especially for AHCJ’s freelance members. See the tip sheet.

Writing about new subjects, pursuing fellowships help freelancers keep careers fresh

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/AHCJBara Vaida (speaking) moderated a panel full of advice for freelancers on how to keep their careers rewarding. Lynette Clemetson, director of the Wallace House for Knight-Wallace fellowships, talked about the value of a mid-career fellowship to reposition a journalist’s career.

Journalists desiring to keep their freelance career fresh might consider writing new types of stories for different publications, says Laura Beil.

Beil is a Dallas-based independent journalist who typically doesn’t write about sports but decided to change it up a bit recently by successfully pitching and writing an article about obesity among high school football players. Continue reading