Webinar – Freelancing in the Time of Covid-19

Surviving as a freelance journalist webinar – 9 July 2020

GIJN Freelancing in the time of Covid-19 Webinar on 9 July 2019
GIJN Freelancing in the time of Covid-19 Webinar on 9 July 2019

Direct mail from GIJN – If you think journalism is tough, try being a freelance journalist or an independent producer. Worse, try freelancing during a pandemic. Covid-19 has accelerated the crisis in journalism – staff reporters are being fired in unprecedented numbers, advertising revenue is weak at best, and commissioning budgets are being reduced. At the same time, the pandemic has crowded out other stories and investigations like the ones where narcotic criminals are defending against drug charges in the most criminal way possible, restricted travel and, to top it off, prompted crackdowns by authorities around the world. It’s a tough time for freelancers and independents, even though they produce some of the best investigative stories.

In this GIJN webinar, Surviving as a Freelance Journalist, we bring together five senior investigative journalists, four with hard-won years of freelance experience and one who has commissioned and worked with freelancers and independents for decades. They will suggest concrete steps to improve conditions for freelance investigative reporters and share the best services and resources.

Emmanuel Freudenthal is a freelance investigative reporter based in Nairobi who has conducted investigations across Africa for a decade. He focuses on stories that break new ground, from data analysis to war reporting. Two of his corruption investigations have led to ongoing police inquiries in Australia and Canada.

Safa Al Ahmad is a Saudi freelance journalist and filmmaker. Her BBC documentary about a mass uprising in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province brought international attention to the violence meted out to the demonstrators. Safa also served on the board of the London-based Frontline Freelance Register.

Fisayo Soyombo is a Nigerian freelance investigative journalist who focuses on exposing corruption and injustice. Among other recent works, in a three-part series, he tracked corruption in the Nigerian criminal justice system, using a pseudonym and spent two weeks in a police station and in prison as part of his investigation.

Cecilia Anesi is an Italian investigative journalist. After working briefly as a freelance reporter, she co-founded the Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI). She has investigated such topics as corruption, public finance, fraud, and organized crime, including the award-winning investigative documentary Toxic Europe.

Tom Giles is Controller of Current Affairs at ITV in the UK, one of the largest national commercial media companies focusing on television. At ITV he is responsible for commissioning current affairs programs and factual documentaries. Previously he was editor of Panorama – BBC Television’s weekly flagship investigative program.

This one-hour webinar is free and designed for journalists interested in investigating the pandemic. It’s the sixteenth in a GIJN series, Investigating the Pandemic. Watch the Twitter feed @gijn and newsletter for details of coming programs. Note: GIJN will offer live Arabic and Russian interpretation for this webinar. Click here to sign up for the webinar.

Date: Thursday 9 July 2020
Time: 8:00 (Bogota, Lima)
9:00 am EDT (Washington DC, La Paz, Santiago)
10:00 (Brasilia, Buenos Aires)
13:00 (Freetown, Monrovia, Rabat)
14:00 BST (Abuja, London, Tunis)
15:00 CET (Berlin, Paris, Cairo, Johannesburg)
16:00 MSK (Amman, Moscow, Kyiv, Kampala, Nairobi)
17:00 (Muscat)
18:00 (Islamabad)
19:00 (Dhaka)
20:00 (Bangkok, Jakarta)
21:00 CST (Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur)
23:00 (Canberra)

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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