When most people think about journalism, I imagine that they picture an overzealous field reporter, or a pretentious anchor person, but what is journalism really? Journalism, as defined by Google, is the activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines, or news websites, or preparing news to be broadcast. According to this definition, you don’t need to work for a media outlet to be a journalist.
So then, what is news? Again as defined by Google, news is simply newly received or noteworthy information, or information not previously known to someone. By this definition, just about any information can be considered news, and if that is the case, then there are newsworthy events happening all around us all the time, we just need to be aware of them.
You do not need to be a good reporter to be a great journalist, you just need to be aware of the things going on around you in your daily routine. If you can become more aware of the goings on around you, you can begin to recognize these newsworthy moments as they’re happening and capture them in a picture, in a video, or in a story. If you but knew it, some of the best and most successful journalists were and are freelance journalists. What makes them successful is the fact that they are aware of the things going on around them, and they are able to recognize and capture those newsworthy moments.
You do not need a news van full of fancy equipment to capture newsworthy events. You actually have an excellent camera, a fairly decent video recorder, and a perfectly good sound recorder all in one device, and that device is your smartphone. Any person with one of these devices can be a journalist, and a good one!
So once you become aware and are able to recognize the newsworthy moments, armed with your smartphone, you can capture these moments. If you do this consistently, often you’ll find that you are the only person who has the inside scoop on a newsworthy happening complete with photos or a video. As the only person who thought to pull out their smartphone and record this happening, you then become the only source on that event for media outlets, and that makes you very, very valuable.
It is not easy for news outlets to find great stories to report on every single day for their readers or viewers, so if you can make their jobs easier by giving them a great moment or event to report on when otherwise they may not have had any fresh news to report that day, they will thank you by compensating you handsomely.
Now, trying to get your stories, photos and videos out to the numerous media outlets out there in hopes that they will buy your content can be a lot of work. Luckily, there exists intermediaries that can get your newsworthy content to the right outlets for you, outlets that will pay for that content, and pay well, I like to call these intermediaries “news brokers.” Most of these companies only charge a small fee for their services, and some of them will even distribute your content for free. Throughout the remainder of this post, I’m going to talk about some of these “news brokers” and where you can find them. So all of you would be journalists out there, keep on reading!
News Brokering Websites
Alamy is a stock photography website that works directly with news outlets all over the world. You can post your newsworthy photos on Alamy and Alamy will promote your photos to their media connections. If a news outlet purchases your photos, Alamy charges them a much higher price than they do for their regular stock photos. After 48 hours, your photos then go on sale as regular stock photos that can be re-purchased by non media buyers. If the photos that you submit are exclusive to Alamy, you will be paid 50% of all revenue from the sales of your photos, and if your photos are not exclusive to Alamy, you will be paid 40%.
This is a job board for aspiring journalists and PR professionals. Here you’ll find journalism jobs, editorial jobs, PR jobs, and communication jobs.
With Communal News you can register as a contributor and get paid to report the news. News writers on this platform are paid per view, therefore, the larger your following becomes, the more you will be paid per article.
Help A Reporter Out is a networking website that connects journalists with sources. You can register as a source on this website under specific categories pertaining to your expertise, and whenever a journalist needs a source with your expertise you will be contacted. There is also a section of the website where journalist jobs are posted regularly.
Inside.com is always looking for regular newsletter writers for specific topics. If you’re interested, pick a topic that you would be interested in writing newsletters about. Then go browse Inside’s selection of newsletters that are already being published. If the topic that you want to write about is not already being covered by another newsletter writer, and you can demonstrate that you have decent research and writing skills, then you’ll probably be hired on as one of Inside’s permanent newsletter writers for your chosen topic.
Here is another job board for aspiring journalists. On a regular basis this site has over 1,000 journalism job openings that you can browse.
This is a platform that connects freelance journalists with editors and publications. If you have a good story that you would like to sell, you can pitch it here.
Ruptley Stringer calls itself a citizen journalism platform. This is a media outlet that will pay you for all your newsworthy videos which you can submit to them directly through their mobile App.
This is a platform where you can put your newsworthy videos up for auction to international, regional, and local news organizations. Set up an account for free, upload your videos, and Sell It Media will let the appropriate news outlets know that your video are ready for auction.
Sell News connects photographers and media outlets from around the world in seconds. This automated real-time audio and video platform simplifies the licensing process.
Stringr is a place where videographers can connect with those in need of specific video content. Sign up as a videographer and then you can begin fulfilling video content requests from media outlets, advertisers, individuals, and other entities in need of content.
Talk To The Press is an international news content provider with headquarters in the US and the UK. You can sell your news stories here, as well as newsworthy photos and videos.
Viral Hog distributes content to major news and media outlets around the world including ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC Fox, BBC, and several other major networks. If you have a newsworthy video to sell, you may want to try posting it here. If Viral Hog sells your video, you will get 50% revenue share for each outlet that your video is sold to.
The lesson that I want everyone to take from this post is this: Thanks to the availability of smartphones nowadays, anybody can be a part time freelance journalist, even you. You just need to be aware of what is going on around you as you go about your days. Whenever you see something interesting happening, go ahead and capture a quick video of it, or take a couple of photos with your smartphone. You can then submit your photos or video footage to a few of the platforms listed above. If you remember to do this, you may be surprised at how often you can make some easy extra money from some of the circumstances that you experience throughout your day simply because you were there and you were smart enough to capture it on your smartphone while everyone else just watched it happen. Even if journalism is not something that you want to pursue a career in, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t capitalize on the newsworthy moments happening around you all the time.
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Thank you for reading!
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