As 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.
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
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
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
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
A lawsuit against California’s new independent contractor legislation took a step forward on March 11. U.S. District Court Judge Philip Gutierrez heard comments from both sides, and the next hearing is scheduled for March 23. That date could move based on COVID-19 updates.
Ultimately, the judge didn’t rule on the motion for preliminary injunction to halt Assembly Bill 5, and he didn’t indicate when that might happen. The next hearing at the end of March will focus on the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Continue reading