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Freelance Journalism not for the faint of heart, freelancer

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Akshita S.

CAMPUS: “Freelance journalism is meant only for the creative and the disciplined journalists,” said Marianne De Nazareth, renowned freelance journalist, speaking to I Mass Communication students on what it takes to be a freelance journalist, on Tuesday.

According to the freelance journalist, who also doubles up as a visiting media teacher in city media schools, hunting down stories, travelling to various conferences, writing under short deadlines and applying for international media workshops is the work-life of a freelance journalist.

Ms Marianne de Nazareth assessed the Mass Communication students at St Josephs C ollege, Bangalore

Ms Marianne de Nazareth assessed the Mass Communication students at St Josephs C ollege, Bangalore

“You can’t be a freelance journalist unless your byline is known. Unless your name is known in the editorial circle, your piece may have a lesser chance of being accepted,” said Ms Nazereth on the importance of working for a minimum of two years before becoming a freelance journalist.

Speaking on how to build a career in freelance journalism, the St Josephs academician said one needed to have a natural writing talent, hard work, dedication, discipline and a capacity to make a niche for yourself. “If you cannot think outside the box and not self-driven, this field may not be the one for you,” she added.

Ms Nazereth spoke about the four types of freelance journalism she works with: newspaper, magazine, web and blogs. She explained how each was different from the other and that freelancers needed to set deadlines for themselves and consider themselves to be their own employers.

The environmental journalist also provided tips and guidelines on what are ‘sure fire sellers’ such as health, beauty and love. “No pornography will be tolerated in our Indian society except for those who indulge in yellow journalism,” she said. She also spoke on copyright issues, how to build one’s portfolio and keeping the editor happy. She said that self motivation was the key to succeed in freelance journalism.

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