Monday, May 24, 2021

Freelance Profession

  Freelance journalists in the regions: between freedom and precariousness


Pascale Braun has been a journalist since  the age of 18. She has been in this profession for thirty years and more than 20 years as a freelance journalist. For her, a freelance writer in the region supposes several things. Journalist in the region, this means knowing your region, knowing it from different angles, depending on the medium for which you work.”, She explains. The freelance writer should have the ability to adapt each time he writes for a different writing. It must blend in with the editorial line of the newspaper. He must therefore quickly soak up the spirit of the journal to write properly, in a minimum of time.

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 It's a choice of freedom and independence” - Pascale Braun


A freelance writer , according to the Larousse dictionary, is a “ typographer, journalist, editor, proofreader, etc., paid on a freelance basis” . The Youth Information and Documentation Center  adds that “this means that he is paid per article, report or photo. He is most often a novice journalist ”, so he is not attached to a particular press organ . 

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The freelancer has his own working equipment (computer, camera, tape recorder, etc.), so that he can transmit his information as quickly as possible to the editorial staff. Another necessity: to master all the IT and communication tools. He must also be rigorous, have a good command of writing and oral expression. The freelancer is in constant search of information and ideas for articles. Today more than ever, he must be competent both on paper and on the web.


Between freedom in the choice of subjects and editorial independence, the freelance journalist conducts and organizes his interviews, and produces his reports more or less as he sees fit.

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A double-edged profession


The profession of freelance journalist is not necessarily easy. Even though she loves what she does, Pascale Braun knows the disadvantages of her profession. Here, I work from home, but I never really finished. There is also a form of fragility, of precariousness. We must never stop: no right to be sick, to have a bit of slack ”.

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One of the main difficulties of the freelance writer is organization. He must be careful not to be overwhelmed with work and not to run out of it. He must know how to balance his productions in order to ensure his income; sort of a permanent challenge for the freelance writer. Its greatest quality is curiosity. The freelance writer is either versatile, that is to say he deals with all subjects; is specialized in a particular field. He can be required to travel a lot, and does not have specific work schedules.

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Freelancers must above all know how to sell their subjects, but also how to showcase their skills. Added to this is the constant competition with other freelance journalists for contracts. For Pascale Braun, nothing is decided in advance! “ As a freelance writer, you have no room for mistakes. You get fired very quickly if your papers are not good, if you are not responsive and operational all year round. We must not be under any illusions, get a CDI in the press, it is far from being a guarantee ”. Same story with Fred Marvaux, freelance photojournalist: “If I don't produce images, I'm sure I won't sell them. Already when I do I am not sure to sell them… ”.

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 A bad for a good 

 

 If journalism is experienced as a great adventure, the reality is such that precariousness is part of the journey. Between fixed-term contracts and unemployment, the stability of the freelance journalist is severely tested. I like this job for that. It allows me to eat and have a freer feather; but we have few means ” confides a former professor of history - geography who gave up everything to become head of an agency specializing in the regional weekly press, which has three journalists and around thirty correspondents 1 .

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You can earn 500 euros a month, then 3000 the following month. In the end, is there really job security in the 21st century in a newspaper business? I'm not sure of it. I make a pretty good living off freelance, I got used to the fluctuation in income. I tell myself that I've been working for almost 10 years, and that it's going well ”notes Philippe Bohlinger, freelance writer and President of the C'est l'Est collective. He evolves on a daily basis in a co-working space that allows him to meet people from all backgrounds and give him possible ideas for topics.

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Freelance Profession

   Freelance journalists in the regions: between freedom and precariousness Pascale Braun has been a journalist since  the age of 18. She ha...