Multimedia journalists today have the opportunity to publish without being dependant on a traditional media platform. But does it really work? What are the chances for a free lance career?
Success stories out there show that journalists can take freelancing a step further. Mashable expanded to the point where it was named one of the top 10 most successful and profitable blogs in the world. BuzzFeed attracted $50 million investment in 2014 and boasts 200 million monthly unique visitors, among other figures.
But can one freelance journalist achieve the same?
I have asked Xaquin Gonzalez, head of Guardian Visuals, and Steve Buttry, Director of Student Media at Louisiana State University, about freelancing. They both pointed to the difficulty of managing a freelance career in digital journalism today.
Strong digital skills come first
Xaquin Gonzalez has always worked as part of a team. His experience includes being the Director for Interactive Graphics at El Mundo, in Spain, then being a Graphics Editor for New York Times and a Senior Editor with National Geographic.
Xaquin highlights what the pros and cons of a freelance career are:
It may be a beautiful thing not to have the pressures of an editorial line, more flexibility for experimentation, but different deadlines, some good, some bad, and often less resources. I know that getting enough resources and financing projects is tough for freelancers, but there’re plenty of successful examples out there.
Steve Brutty seems to be more optimistic about it. First, the digital journalist has to know the industry very well in order to succeed. Steve explains:
Freelancing has never been easy. Staff cuts in TV operations and the proliferation of digital sites using video may present new opportunities for multimedia journalists. Certainly a freelancer today can add value for potential clients by developing strong video and multimedia skills.
Would you choose freelancing?
What is your opinion on this?
Would you rather strive to turn your own blog or YouTube channel into a success story? Or would you rather follow a career path with a big, already established media outlet?
What would you base your chance on?