Tag Archives: independent journalist

Freelancers get tips on securing a fulfilling career #ahcj13

Lottie Joiner

About Lottie Joiner

Lottie Joiner is a senior editor at The Crisis. She is attending Health Journalism 2013 on an AHCJ-Ethnic Media Health Journalism Fellowship, which is supported by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

In this ever-changing economy, job security is the thing of the past. By the year 2020, more than half the workforce will be independent workers either by choice or by necessity. Those who have experience in the business of freelancing provided expert advice for those interested in taking the leap.

The first step, said moderator Lola Butcher, is that freelance writers need to see themselves as business owners.

“We don’t see that naturally,” said Butcher, an independent journalist who covers Medicare policy and oncology business issues.

Ilise Benun, founder of Marketing Mentor, talked about the importance of having a business mindset when freelancing.

“From a business owner mindset you have to ask big picture questions: What kind of life do you want? What kind of business do you want? What kind of clients do you want?” said Benun, who has been self-employed for 25 years. Continue reading

An inside view of writing for New York Times’ Magazine

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

On the blog The OPEN Notebook, New York Times Magazine contributor Robin Marantz Henig spoke frankly with Jeanne Erdmann about everything that went into her piece, “Understanding the Anxious Mind.” A few years have passed since the piece’s publication, which might help explain why the reporter was willing to give such a thorough postmortem.

Highlights include:

  • The difference between a magazine article and a master’s thesis.
  • How to trick your agent into letting you write a book about Valium.
  • Dealing with a jumpy editor spooked by your previous false starts.
  • This sentence: “It was difficult to get the right kind of anxious people to interview.”
  • The difficulties that even a veteran writer has in pitching New York Times Magazine and the letters to prove it.
  • 15-20 drafts, and that’s before the NYT demanded another three or four rewrites.

(Hat tip to Paul Raeburn)