In a nod to today’s shaky business environment at many media outlets, a new graduate program aims to teach its students how to survive as a journalist in a gig economy.
The University of Colorado Boulder is creating a master of arts in journalism practice that’s designed to give journalists practical advice for succeeding as a one-person business.
Trust me on this: It’s needed.
I’ve been freelancing since 2002, and I’ve been a full-time freelance writer for almost 13 years. Often, I’ve felt like the stepchild kept under the stairs of the journalism world: tolerated but not exactly welcome, which was especially true during the Great Recession when hundreds of jobs were sheared from newspapers. At one party during the crux of it, a staffer at a local paper refused to shake my hand and spat at me that I was taking jobs from “real” reporters.
I can’t imagine that happening now. Today, freelancers make up 35 percent of the U.S. workforce, and 63 percent of freelancers say perceptions of freelancing have become more positive according to a 2016 report on freelancing from Upwork and the Freelancers Union. Attitudes about freelancers within journalism has shifted, too, as journalists who previously worked within the old legacy system embraced what was, at least to them, the brave new world of being a hired gun. This, coupled with the rise of social media (and more shearing of jobs) has turned journalists from just being a byline into brands, whether they stick with fulltime
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/news/course-freelancing-yes-and-not-only-its-masters-degree