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Become A Freelance Writer And Photographer

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Working As A Freelance Writer And Photographer

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $52,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Freelance Writer And Photographer Do

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts inform the public about news and events happening internationally, nationally, and locally. They report the news for newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio.

Duties

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts typically do the following:

  • Research topics and stories that an editor or news director has assigned to them
  • Interview people who have information, analysis, or opinions about a story or article
  • Write articles for newspapers, blogs, and magazines and write scripts to be read on television or radio
  • Review articles for accuracy and proper style and grammar
  • Develop relationships with experts and contacts who provide tips and leads on stories
  • Analyze and interpret information to increase their audiences’ understanding of the news
  • Update stories as new information becomes available

Reporters and correspondents, also called journalists, often work for a particular type of media organization, such as a television or radio station, newspaper, or website.

Those who work in television and radio set up and conduct interviews, which can be broadcast live or recorded for future broadcasts. These workers are often responsible for editing interviews and other recordings to create a cohesive story and for writing and recording voiceovers that provide the audience with the facts of the story. They may create multiple versions of the same story for different broadcasts or different media platforms.

Most television and radio shows have hosts, also called anchors, who report the news and introduce stories from reporters.

Journalists for print media conduct interviews and write articles to be used in newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Because most newspapers and magazines have print and online versions, reporters typically produce content for both versions. Doing so often requires staying up to date with new developments of a story so that the online editions can be updated with the most current information.

Some journalists may convey stories through both broadcast and print media, as well as help manage the organization’s web content. For example, television stations often have a website, and a reporter may post a blog or an article for the website. Similarly, a reporter working for newspapers or magazines may create videos or podcasts that people access online.

Stations are increasingly relying on multimedia journalists to publish content on a variety of platforms, including radio and television stations, websites, and mobile devices. Multimedia journalists typically record, report, write, and edit their own stories. They also gather the audio, video, or graphics that accompany their stories.

Reporters and correspondents may need to maintain a presence on social media networking sites. Many use social media to cover live events, provide additional information for readers and viewers, promote their stations and newscasts, and engage better with their audiences.

Some journalists, particularly those in large cities or large news organizations, cover a particular topic, such as sports, medicine, or politics. Journalists who work in small cities, towns, or organizations may need to cover a wider range of subjects.

Some reporters live in other countries and cover international news.

Some reporters—particularly those who work for print news—are self-employed and take freelance assignments from news organizations. Freelance assignments are given to writers on an as-needed basis. Because freelance reporters are paid for the individual story, they work with many organizations and often spend some of their time marketing their stories and looking for their next assignment.

Some people with a background as a reporter or correspondent work as postsecondary teachers and teach journalism or communications at colleges and universities.

Broadcast news analysts are another type of media occupation. Broadcast news analysts are often called upon to provide their opinion, rather than reporting, on a particular news story. They may appear on television, radio, or in print and offer their opinion to viewers, listeners, or readers. However, most broadcast news analysts come from fields outside of journalism and have expertise in a particularly subject—for example, politics, business, or medicine—and are hired on a contract basis to provide their opinion of the subjects being discussed. Becoming a broadcast news analyst is typically not a career path for new journalists.

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How To Become A Freelance Writer And Photographer

Employers generally prefer to hire reporters and correspondents who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications along with an internship or work experience from a college radio or television station or a newspaper.

Education

Most employers prefer workers who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications. However, some employers may hire applicants who have a degree in a related subject, such as English or political science, and relevant work experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs in journalism and communications include classes in journalistic ethics and techniques for researching stories and conducting interviews. Some programs may require students to take liberal arts classes, such as English, history, economics, and political science, so that students are prepared to cover stories on a wide range of subjects.

Some journalism students may benefit from classes in multimedia design, coding, and programming. Because content is increasingly being delivered on television, websites, and mobile devices, reporters need to know how to develop stories with video, audio, data, and graphics.

Some schools offer graduate programs in journalism and communications. These programs prepare students who have a bachelor’s degree in another field to become journalists.

Other Experience

Employers generally require workers to have experience gained through internships or by working on school newspapers. While attending college, many students seek multiple internships with different news organizations. These internships allow students the opportunities to work on stories and put together a portfolio of their best writing samples or on-air appearances.

Advancement

After gaining more work experience, reporters and correspondents can advance by moving from news organizations in small cities or towns to news organizations in large cities. Larger markets offer job opportunities with higher pay and more responsibility and challenges. Reporters and correspondents also may become editors or news directors.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Journalists must be able to report the news both verbally and in writing. Strong writing skills are important for journalists in all kinds of media.

Computer skills. Journalists should be able to use editing equipment and other broadcast-related devices.

Interpersonal skills. To develop contacts and conduct interviews, reporters need to build good relationships with many people. They also need to work well with other journalists, editors, and news directors.

Objectivity. Journalists need to report the facts of the news without inserting their opinion or bias into the story.

Persistence. Sometimes, getting the facts of a story is difficult, particularly when those involved refuse to be interviewed or provide comment. Journalists need to be persistent in their pursuit of the story.

Stamina. The work of journalists is often fast paced and exhausting. Reporters must be able to keep up with the additional hours of work.

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Freelance Writer And Photographer Career Paths

Freelance Writer And Photographer
Editor Technical Writer Project Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Consultant Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Consultant Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Consultant Owner
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Public Relations Specialist Public Relations Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Photographer Writer Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Writer And Photographer Writer Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Writer And Photographer Writer Senior Editor
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Team Leader Property Manager
Assistant Director, Communications
5 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Producer Communications Manager
Community Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Producer Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Owner Communications Director
Director Of Public Affairs
7 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Communications Manager Social Media Manager
Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Contributing Writer Content Writer Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Contributing Writer Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Contributing Writer Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Writer And Editor 3.1 years
Editorial Writer 2.7 years
Journalist 2.7 years
Writer/Reporter 2.4 years
Staff Writer 2.0 years
Writer 2.0 years
Freelance Reporter 2.0 years
Photographer 2.0 years
Freelance Blogger 1.2 years
Top Careers Before Freelance Writer And Photographer
Internship 11.5%
Editor 9.0%
Reporter 8.1%
Cashier 4.6%
Teacher 3.8%
Volunteer 3.4%
Writer 3.4%
Assistant 2.9%
Server 2.8%
Top Careers After Freelance Writer And Photographer
Editor 9.1%
Reporter 6.6%
Volunteer 6.2%
Internship 4.7%
Writer 4.0%
Server 3.6%
Owner 3.3%
Author 2.9%

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Top Skills for A Freelance Writer And Photographer

  1. Photography
  2. News Stories
  3. Online
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Freelance Writer and Photographer-Worked independently-Sought out news worthy content and events-Interviewing-Photography
  • Conducted interviews/covered newsworthy events, took photographs and wrote numerous features and news stories.
  • Reported on local government, business, schools and community events for online publications including SmithtownMatters.com and Patch.com.
  • Write photo-accompanied feature stories on various topics for Boston University's online magazine
  • Used Adobe Photoshop to complete all aspects of final image production for clients, including sizing, color correction and retouching.

Freelance Writer And Photographer Demographics

Gender

Female

53.5%

Male

34.9%

Unknown

11.6%
Ethnicity

White

65.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.1%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.2%

French

17.0%

Italian

9.4%

German

7.5%

Arabic

5.7%

Portuguese

1.9%

Hebrew

1.9%

Persian

1.9%

Hindi

1.9%

Russian

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Thai

1.9%
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Freelance Writer And Photographer Education

Schools

Boston University

7.4%

University of Florida

6.4%

Southern Connecticut State University

5.3%

New York University

5.3%

California State University - Fullerton

5.3%

George Washington University

5.3%

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

5.3%

Arizona State University

5.3%

University of Oregon

5.3%

Central Michigan University

5.3%

New Mexico State University

5.3%

Michigan State University

4.3%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

4.3%

University of Toledo

4.3%

Temple University

4.3%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.3%

San Francisco State University

4.3%

Texas State University

4.3%

University of Vermont

4.3%

Texas A&M University

4.3%
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Majors

Journalism

17.6%

Communication

15.9%

English

13.9%

Writing

6.0%

Photography

5.8%

Business

5.1%

Fine Arts

3.8%

Education

3.8%

Public Relations

3.4%

Graphic Design

3.2%

Agricultural Public Services

3.0%

Political Science

3.0%

Liberal Arts

2.8%

Marketing

2.6%

Journalism And Mass Communications

2.1%

Psychology

1.9%

Management

1.7%

General Studies

1.5%

Criminal Justice

1.5%

History

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

57.8%

Masters

18.4%

Other

14.2%

Associate

4.7%

Certificate

2.4%

Doctorate

1.2%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.1%
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