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Home » 2015 » June » 20 » You want to become a journalist?Literary activities
You want to become a journalist?Literary activities

 Cherished dream of nearly every inhabitant of the CIS - to earn in America and spend the money in the community. The reason is simple: living in Moscow or St. Petersburg engineer, doctor, teacher or programmer gets per month about the same as its western counterparts - a day. As for the people of the province, their monthly income is often hourly wage American. For the majority of the American Dream and salary remains a dream, but some people manage it more or less successfully implement and periodically receive checks in the mail, which is a three- or even four-digit dollar amount. There are several ways to achieve this and one of those ways that I use is not the first year, I want to talk with you today. It's about "free journalism" - one of the few professions that allow fairly and lawfully earn € 100 per night.

"Free Journalism" - what is it?

Hearing the word "journalist", many imagine a person who graduated from journalism and philology faculty, staff working in some of the newspaper or the TV-station and prepares materials "on the topic of the day", takes interviewing politicians and singers, tells about events for the week and etc. Now imagine a man who actually never studied journalism, he runs a barber, aerobics trainer, programmer or a heart surgeon (if at all does not work anywhere), it also has a hobby - farming cacti, restoration of vintage cars, ice fishing or History of Ancient Greece - and in his spare time he writes articles on topics of interest, and sells these articles to various magazines. This will be "free the journalist."

For the ex-Soviet Union such a person may look unusual, but in the West, this form of journalism is very common, and from 50 to 90 percent of the contents of the majority of magazines (including such well-known as the "Playboy", "Cosmopolitan" or "National Geographic") is delivered "free journalists. " Given that in the US alone to date published over 13,000 newspapers and magazines, you can estimate the approximate number of "free journalists", moonlight (or, at least, earning a living) writing and selling articles.

How do I start ...

A few years ago I started to write the article - just for my own pleasure. I'm not planning to make in such a way as worked as a programmer and had plenty of money. A couple of articles I had published in the Russian media, and since that time I talked a lot with the Americans, I wanted to print some of his articles in an American magazine. After a couple of failed attempts I asked for independent advice from his friend, an American who, as I knew, often published in this journal. He explained to me in some detail what to do, helped me to prepare a letter to the editor ...

Some time later I received a reply from the editor. "We are interested in your article" - wrote one - "and we are ready to place it in the next issue of our magazine. We offer you € 120 for your article." WHAT?! Hundred and twenty dollars?! I do not think that I would be paid ... Should I mention that I agreed to the proposal of the editor? Moreover, I liked the idea: to get paid for the article, and so I write for my own pleasure. I tried to learn more about how to succeed as a "free journalist" - and began to write articles for sale, published in the western media, receiving dollar fees. And although I still do not consider myself a "pro" for good "Player of amateur league", in my opinion, I'm quite pull.


Do you want to - believe it or - no, but in my firm conviction, making "free journalism" might almost every intelligent person. What is hard to believe? Judge for yourself! Minimum requirements for "free journalist" are as follows:

A good command of the native language, the ability to write coherent and interesting texts.

Have a profession or hobby of interest to many people - in other words, many people either have to share your interests, or to have the same profession as you, or be interested in the services of the people of your profession.

If you plan to work with the English-language press - a good command of English (or German, French or Spanish) language or, at the very least, the ability to read texts in English (even with a dictionary) plus familiarity with good translator from Russian into English.

If you meet these three requirements, you have a good chance to succeed as a "free journalist." The first and third paragraph, I hope, clear and well, but the second is about some caveats. There are two important points.

Firstly, your area of ​​specialization is really almost not important: what would you do, whatever addicted (chemistry, stamps, history of the "Beatles", dance, radio, theatrical fencing, breeding exotic breeds of cats, etc .), almost certainly in the Western world there will still at least 30-40 thousand people interested in the same - and for them to come out magazines on the subject.

The second trick is that you do not have to be a professional high level in the area, which you are going to write. If you need articles for information you do not own, you can simply interview the expert, with the necessary degree of professionalism (it is only important that you are able to competently and without silly mistakes ask him a question, and the answer is to understand and explain its meaning readers simple and accessible language). In short, intelligent man with varied interests (what, I believe, are you, dear reader) could succeed in the field of "free journalism."

What are the prospects "Free Journalists"?

All the magazines facing the West in terms of "free journalists" are divided into 3 categories - low-paying (pay up to € 150 per article), middle-paying (from € 150 to € 500 for the article), and finally, high- paying markets (price from € 500 to € 12,000 per article). Of course, do not expect just to get into those magazines that pay thousands of dollars - where authors publish the level of Victoria Tokareva Sergei Dovlatov, or writing to the same in the brilliant English. Most likely, it may take at least five years before you can see your article in the pages of "Reader's Digest" or "New-Yorker". At first, you probably will have to focus on the journals of the categories low-paying and receiving royalties from 50 to 100 dollars. Then (and if you're lucky - from the very beginning), you start to work with the middle-paying magazines and earn from € 150 to € 300 for each sold article. And then ... bad soldier who does not dream of becoming a general.

"OK" - you will say - "One hundred, two hundred bucks for the article - it is good. But how many items you can sell in a year?" It depends primarily on how well and how quickly you write. I know people who make their living (which in the US is at least 40-50 thousand dollars a year) only publication. This, of course, talking about professionals, full-time, and not for the first year. But Notorious hand lover, writing in his spare time, could without much difficulty to secure a significant perk. Not too straining, selling just one article per month, you can easily earn € 1000-1500 per year. But with some effort - and € 3,000 and € 4,000, or even more. Agree extra 300-350 dollars a month will be worthy of an addition to your salary.

Once WE Maschke PFEIFER ...

Dollar fees - the main but not the only pleasant aspect of the profession "free journalist." An additional plus of this class - the opportunity to meet with people who normally see except on TV. The words: "Hello, I am preparing an article for the magazine ..." - can open many doors. Of course, the people who raised the attention of journalists who are pretty fed up with it - "the stars of the first magnitude" like Bill Gates or Michael Jackson - are likely to remain inaccessible to you. However, celebrity easier - "second magnitude stars" - often very sympathetic to the attention of the press.

What makes acquaintance with these people? Firstly, it's just nice to chat with them and usually quite interesting, secondly, magazines quite willingly buy article information "first hand" about famous people, and finally, in the third such people often do (intentionally or accidentally ) takes you on some interesting topic. In addition, the "stars of the second magnitude" sometimes flare up, turning into a "supernova" - and then the journalists who have got acquainted with them in the past, find themselves in a hell of a good position. And most importantly - acquaintance with famous people and writing articles about them is a sort of vicious circle: each next article reinforces how your relationship with the hero of the article, and your credibility a journalist, but as a respected journalist, you can more easily meet other well-known people and write articles about them, and each next article ...

This sweet word - "freebie"

Another plus profession "free journalist", which is often overlooked - the opportunity to receive the gift, or at great discount prices that other purchase at full price. Books, CDs, software, equipment, tickets to the cinema or theater - all in certain situations, it may accrue to a journalist "without-cart-mezdno, meaning - in vain."

A simple example: One day I was looking for some information on the web. I was searching, searching ... and then I thought: "Stop! And I'm not alone ... Many others need reliable mechanisms for effective search on the web. For sure there are programs that automate the retrieval of information. I'll write an article a minute - an overview of programs and opportunities! " No sooner said than done. I found on the web about this kind of programs selected by the most cute heels, sketched a plan article and then write in the advertising department of manufacturers: "Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, I have such a journalist, and now writing an article about programs for automatically search the Internet. Your program ... - one of those that I would like to describe. Could you give me this program to test and write me what it features and functions you consider the most interesting and important for the users and we would especially like to mention in the article? "

What do you think, how much I had to pay for these programs? That's right. Moreover, program makers even made me half of the work on the preparation of articles detailing the strengths and features of your product. In the end, all were satisfied - I received a fee for the article and some useful programs in addition, readers received useful information on effective means of searching the web, and advertising firms have their products in a serious magazine.

If you want to see a more ambitious example - go to the server and read materials VV Shahidzhanyana. There's quite common phrases like 'firm' HP '- very good, by the way, the company - gave me a wonderful computer. " Shakhidjanyan, of course, well-known figure - for a large computer company and do not mind - but also our brother, "free journalist," too often something will fall to. Excessive use of this opportunity should not be - so you can earn a reputation as "selling the skins," or, God forbid, "blackmailer" (and thereby put an end to their future career) - but nevertheless it exists and it would be foolish to ignore it.

Freestyle - WILL

Some ask: "But why is this so called - 'freestyle journalism'?" The reason is simple - this profession gives a person much more freedom than most other activities. If people try themselves in "free journalism," and seeing the first successes, he decided to make it their main work activity and live on income from the sale of the articles (and in the former Soviet Union, I repeat, this is much easier than in the US - one successfully sold item can bring more money than a month of work in the factory or in the office), they can forget about what it means to "get up, to get to work," "'ll go on vacation in February," "director you dissatisfied" or, God forbid, " You're fired. " "Free journalist" free to decide for itself whether it will work today or tomorrow, in the morning or in the evening, on that topic, or on this, at home, in the park or in a cafe on the beach, he was not afraid of the possibility of bankruptcy of the plant, its success It does not depend on the actions of its employees or the boss ... in a word, he - free.

It is true that this freedom has another side: yes, you no whip, no one breathing down your back, but you - and only you - are responsible for your income, so that if you allow yourself to relax, be lazy, throw the job - very soon it will affect your wallet. Therefore, some people (myself, by the way, of these) is contraindicated simply do "free journalism" his main profession - although for them it can be a hobby, part-time or second job.

HOW TO BECOME A "Free Journalists"?

There are several ways. Firstly, you can learn to "an educated bet" - charged with magazines, trying to sell your articles and learn from their mistakes. Such a method may eventually lead you to success, but it almost certainly will be later rather than sooner - I was able to sell his first article after a year of unsuccessful attempts, and if I did not help, then it is possible that I would have continued try and still.

Second, you can create a familiar environment "free journalists" and ask him to train you as a friend. This is probably the best way, but at the same time and the most unrealistic.

Third, there are courses for the "free journalists." They cost usually 100 to $ 1,000 (in the first place it depends on who conducts them, and then - on a course intramural or extramural, the program course of its duration, etc.) and are conducted in English. Advertising and program several of these courses can be found at the following addresses:

LSJ's Freelance Journalism Course

1 Day Journalism Course by LCP Training

IHA's Freelance Writing Program

In fact, much more such courses and these three are not the best, I give them as an example only. A recently opened a low-cost, it is available at the price the Russians correspondence course "free journalism", and takes place in Russian. With its detailed program can be found on the website KURSY.RU - look, do not regret.


Perhaps after reading this article you found that "arbitrary journalism" - a solid and continuous buzz when you're lying on the couch belly up and talking on the phone with his friend Bill Clinton, and you roll in packs of dollars and valuable gifts.

If so, I must disappoint you - it is work, with no easy job. Sometimes we have to run, sticking his tongue to find the right material, at times - to shovel a dozen other books for a single paragraph, which eventually did not include in the final version of the article, sometimes hours go out to find the right - "the thing" - the word ("Poetry - the same radium mining: mining in grams, in the works of the year"), sometimes you quite rude sent to hell or rewarded epithets, including "the Jackal", "hyena" or "vulture" are the most gentle, sometimes have conflicts with people who are dissatisfied with what you wrote ... and the worst thing is when after all this you send the finished article to the editor - and you get the answer: "Thank you, but that's not what we need."

However, "free-style journalism" - the work is interesting, exciting, and by Russian standards - and even money. Therefore, in imitation of Mark Twain, I say to you: Try yourself in the role of "free journalist" - you will not regret if you stay alive!

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