Freelance journalists have traditionally been on their own when it comes to pitching story ideas, invoicing for payments and staying safe. But a growing number of new communities and platforms want to help freelancers thrive in the media marketplace.
Here are five that launched in 2013 that are worth checking out in the new year:
1. Storyhunter has an ambitious mission: to help freelance video journalists tell the world’s most important, untold stories. In addition to providing editorial support, Storyhunter handles sales and distribution, to allow journalists to spend their time making videos. The site is open to talented producers, editors, videographers and documentary filmmakers, who must apply to be part of the network. Storyhunter.tv.
2. Assignmint offers a free online workflow system, which aims to streamline freelancers' work process from pitch to payment. On the site, freelance journalists can arrange assignments and contracts, set up editorial calendars and deal with invoices, pitches, contract information, expenses and payments. Assignmint.com
3. NewsModo is a platform where freelancers worldwide can sell their stories and pick up assignments, and editors can buy written content and multimedia. Separate from the assignment process, freelancers can upload their own content and set their own prices for it. Newsmodo.com.
4. PitchMe is an online one-stop shop where freelancers can pitch stories, negotiate with editors and get paid on time. The whole process—including pitching, sending messages, signing contracts, filing articles and receiving payment— takes place on the platform. PitchMe.org
5. Frontline Freelance Register is an independent entity supported by London's Frontline Club Charitable Trust. The register provides community and financial support to reporters who cover conflicts without the backing of news outlets. It is open to all freelance print, photo, digital, radio and video journalists reporting in conflict zones or outside their own countries. Frontlinefreelance.org.
Jessica Weiss, a former IJNet managing editor, is a Buenos Aires-based freelancer.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Ben McLeod under a Creative Commons license.