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What type of freelancer are you?

What type of freelancer are you?

Freelance journalism is a profession with the potential to be a sustainable career. But if you want to build your career and flourish as a freelance journalist, you need to look at it - and yourself - as a business, and grow your professional skills alongside your creative and technical abilities.

This resource can help you to build business skills, but first take some time to reflect on your own situation, your experience levels and journalistic interests.

What sort of freelance journalist are you, and how would you like your career to develop?  

Think about your strengths and expertise - your unique knowledge and/or first hand experience.  How can you use these to find opportunities and work the market?

Take time to do your research and get to know all of the markets available to you, especially the  western media market - it is huge, with many specialist outlets and publications, that may well be looking for your unique expertise and access to a story.

By knowing yourself and the journalist you want to be, you will be better able to market yourself and access opportunities that will help your business flourish.

The following questions can help you assess where you are with your career and how you see it developing, followed by suggestions on how this resource can help you:

If you’re new to freelancing, you might want to start by mapping out your client landscape. As a more experienced journalist, there are always improvements you can make to your pitching techniques. If you’re getting enough commissions, are you making sure that you’re getting paid fairly for them and negotiating properly from the field


If you’re looking for sources of funding to develop your skills as a journalist, our professional development resources can help. Websites such as IJNet can also be helpful in identifying sources of funding for individuals and projects, and make sure you keep an eye out for workshops with Deutsche Welle, IWPR and BBC el Kul. If you want to know how to build stronger networks between other photographers, or share information between fixers, you’ll also find this chapter useful.


This resource is suitable for all types of journalist, whatever your skillset. Of course, every journalists’ safety concerns are different, but the process of creating your risk assessment is the same - check it out here.

Learning skills to improve your client relationships, no matter where they’re based, is the foundation of any solid freelance career. Get started here.

Whoever you are working for, proving that you can deliver stories safely will mean that editors are more likely to commission your future work. Making sure that you’re making considered ethical decisions isn’t just good for your future; it’s good for the entire freelance community, and Libya too. Take a look at our Safety and Ethics on Assignment chapter here.

Remember: this resource contains the tools to help you become a safe and professional freelance journalist who can provide independent reporting on Libya. Go to the next section if you want to find out why that independence is so important - and some steps you can take to protect it.  

Go to the next page:  Why is independent journalism so important?


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