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Posts Tagged ‘freelancers’

Matter 3: Big Ideas for Media Focused on ‘Real People’

Last week, Matter’s third round of start-ups demoed their products in New York City. Two were particularly interesting for journos and publishing outlets. First, there’s Stringr, a platform for licensing freelance video content. News organizations can put out a call for content, what kind of shots they need, of what, how long, all of that good stuff. If it’s breaking news, videographers with the app can run out and shoot it. The goal, according to CEO and co-founder Lindsay Stewart, is not only to get the news org the content within an hour, but also pay the freelancer right away.

Organizations pay Stringr, they take a cut, and process payment for the videographer. Another good feature is that it’s not just for breaking news, but also evergreen content for media organizations to browse and use. It’s a much better system than the current one. Right now, they’re live in San Diego, which is kind of a bummer if you’re anywhere else. Stewart says they originally planned to stay out West and push out but that because of the Matter program and contacts, they’ve been talking to newsrooms elsewhere and “are having as many conversations as we can” and might be open to reevaluating their original plan. Here’s hoping.

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HuffPo Will Never Hire You

fergusonfellowshipI would begin by ranting about new lows in paying journalists, but the events in Ferguson are already so gut wrenching on their own that it would be a bit dramatic.

That doesn’t mean that crowdfunding a journo is ok. Today, The Huffington Post announced that it is going to allow local resident Mariah Stewart to train with their staffer Ryan Reilly to:

…cover the ongoing story of Ferguson, tracking the federal investigation into the killing of Michael Brown and reporting on the empaneled grand jury. She’ll monitor the activity of the local and county police forces once the national spotlight dims, and will learn the intricacies of public records requests in an effort to divine the funding sources and uses of military gear in the county.

They’re calling it the Ferguson Fellowship and it will all be done through Beacon. Is this a good idea? It’s certainly true that the best images and live reporting from what I’ve come to think of as the seventh level of hell, has come from residents on the ground.

fergusonfellowship2

But, but. Why can’t they just hire another reporter? Because while I’m all about empowering and training and teaching young journalists (and it’s nice that she’s a woman), I also know a lot of people who paid large universities (like Ms. Stewart) to learn the craft and could sure as heck use a job this fall. Mariah could probably use a salary with benefits and some paid sick and vacation days, too. The Beacon campaign only goes through if it reaches $40,000. I am curious about how that is paid out to her? Or just to HuffPo? Do they throw Reilly a little tip for his troubles?

For some reason, if it were the local Ferguson paper saying “hey, we’re broke and need to hire someone to help continue good coverage” I would be more interested. That The Huffington Post can’t spare $40,000 a year for a reporter makes this freelancer want to curl up into a ball and listen to the new Taylor Swift album, a sure a sign as any that the world is coming to an end.

And then, some rewards for donating. For $2,000 you can get a shout out from the HuffPo Twitter account. Seriously.

What do you think about the Fellowship? Let us know @10,000Words.

Freelance Journos: Would You Do A Little Content Marketing?

CONTENTRUNNER LOGOThe one thing every journalist knows (apart from how to get a source to return a call just before a deadline) is that we also have to be experts in something besides getting a good story. Business news. Sports. Tech. National security.

That’s why Content Runner’s new “Offerings” feature caught my eye. Content Runner specializes in matching writers up with people who need content. Yes, when I hear “content marketing,” I cringe a little bit, too. It can feel like making a deal with the devil. Unless that devil is paying you some extra cash. There’s no reason why working journos — especially freelancers — shouldn’t be able to make a little on the side.

It’s not just pennies per word either. Co-founder Chad Fisher explained to me that when they launched seven months ago, they attracted a lot of “users” looking for writers, but paying just pennies. “It was a race to the bottom, price wise. Read more

Ebyline Launches Pitch Board to Better Connect Seasoned Freelancers and Publishers

photoIt can be hard out there for a freelancer. The avalanche of emails, stiff competition, low pay and ignored invoices all make it a real challenge.

That’s why Ebyline, a conduit between digital publishers and writers, works to connect those are looking for work and those who need work done and is now going one step further with its new Pitch Board.

Ebyline’s Pitch Board allows hiring news organizations to post ads for $50 (this buys your project 30 days on the board), promising guaranteed responses from interested freelancers within 48 hours. Because of the exclusivity of Ebyline (just about 25 percent of those who apply for the stamp of Ebyline approval make the cut), only those who have been declared “qualified” freelancers are able to respond to job postings. According to the company, there are more than 2,000 people currently in the freelancer bank, and they’ve all been screened and approved by Ebyline’s in-house editorial staff. To give you an idea of their clientele, the Los Angeles Times and the AP are among those seeking freelance talent.

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Ebyline Launches WordPress Plugin To Pay Freelancers

ebylineEbyline, a platform that connects publishers and freelancers, has recently added a WordPress plug-in to their built in payment system.

Allen Narcisse, co-founder and COO, explains how simple it is:

The idea is that you use WordPress because you want to manage your CMS and all of your authors are organized within WordPress. It brings some of the best part of our services into it. Either the author or an admin can authorize the payment and the payment just goes to the freelancer. And then by going into our platform later, you can get a bigger picture of what you’ve spent over time.  Read more

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