Freelancers who have grown weary of the traditional methods of doing business – crafting pitches, lengthy negotiations with editors and payment delays – have a new way to sell their stories: Newsmodo.
With Newsmodo's mobile app for iOS and Android systems, newsrooms can post assignments live, and freelancers can accept them on the spot. Newsrooms can publicly post assignments with the pay level or send that information directly to a freelancer through the app. Newsmodo has also been posting on Twittter when new assignments go up, though this practice isn't a standard part of the platform's social media strategy just yet.
Separate from the assignment process, freelancers can upload their own content and set their own prices for it. If a newsroom decides to pick it up, the payment goes through, with Newsmodo taking a 30 percent commission.
Newsmodo started out as citizen journalism mobile app NEWSme in 2011. Through this experiment, Newsmodo founder Rakhal Ebeli noticed that newsrooms consistently sought out more reliable, higher quality content.
"They needed to know the stories were legitimate and the understanding between the contributor and the newsrooms were there," Ebeli said in an interview with Sarah Marshall of Journalism.co.uk. "They didn't want to have to sift through mountains of images and video clips to try to find the odd diamond in the rough."
Journalists have full control over how much of their content appears publicly on the site, so they don't have to worry about other freelancers or stingy editors stealing their ideas. As freelancers add new pieces to the site, they start to build a portfolio that editors can reference to ensure the journalist produces quality work.
Each of the new breed of online freelance platforms seems to specialize in a different aspect of the commissioning process, such as pitching, creating a portfolio or easily collecting payments. What sets Newsmodo apart may be its focus on multimedia content.
IJNet Editorial Assistant Margaret Looney writes stories and blog posts on the latest media trends, reporting tools and journalism resources.
Image CC-licensed on Flickr via Horia Varlan.