SPJ Freelance Community

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Welcome to the Freelance Community!

We are SPJ's largest and most active community, with events and programs throughout the year and nearly 150 members.


What are “communities,” in SPJ terms? SPJ authorized members to form communities in 2014, as a means of engaging groups of journalists with similar interests or circumstances in SPJ-sponsored activities. The Freelance Community was one of the first to form and was the largest of the seven groups as of March 2017.

Does the Freelance Community have officers? The Community has a leadership structure akin to that of chapters. We have a chair (or president), vice chair, secretary, membership coordinator, events coordinator, resources coordinator, and two at-large board members. Meet our board members here.

How are the officers chosen? We hold online elections in the fall each year.

Does the Freelance Community charge dues, like some chapters do? At this time we have decided not to charge dues.

I’m already in the Freelancer Directory — does that mean I’m automatically a member? Not necessarily. The Freelancer Directory started listing SPJ members who freelance long before communities were authorized, so many independent journalists profiled in it did not have the option to join at that time.

Do I have to be listed in the Freelancer Directory to be a member of the Freelance Community — or vice versa? No, these decisions are independent of each other. Any SPJ member can have a profile in the Directory.

What other resources does the Freelance Community provide? We publish On Your Own: A Guide to Freelance Journalism, which is updated several times a year. Our Community hub on SPJ.org lists freelance job openings, and we are compiling and updating a list of fellowships, grants, contests, awards, and courses of interest to independent journalists. We also sponsor the SPJ Freelance Community Facebook group, and we tweet at @SPJFreelance.

If I join the Freelance Community, can I still belong to my local chapter? Yes, you may. Communities don’t replace chapters — but they can serve as “virtual chapters” for SPJ members with common interests, regardless of whether they belong to a local chapter. Although many Freelance Community members live in places where no local chapter exists, many of us are active in both the Freelance Community and our local chapters.

How do I join the Freelance Community? Click here! You’ll be prompted to log on and then redirected to a page where you can elect to join the Community.

We offer tools and resources to help freelance journalists be better at what they do: producing online, broadcast and print news and features as independent reporters, editors and photographers.

– The SPJ Freelancer Directory helps editors find freelance journalists with specialized skills and experience.

– Our website includes job postings and a calendar of events for freelance journalists nationwide.

– We update and add to On Your Own: A Guide to Freelance Journalism several times a year.

The Independent Journalist blog and our Toolbox articles in Quill offer tips, help us improve our skills and discuss issues of importance to freelance journalists.

– We host online chats and programs as well as in-person meetings and training at the annual Excellence in Journalism conference.

– Our Facebook Group sponsors lively discussions with hundreds of independent journalists throughout the U.S. and around the world.

– Our Twitter feed, @SPJFreelance, with more than 2,000 followers, offers curated content related to freelancing and journalism, including information about events and fellowships.

The most powerful thing about SPJ is its breadth. No other organization takes on the biggest issues facing journalism. Now we can more easily put SPJ’s power to bear on the things we care about as individuals who make a living creating great journalism outside the newsroom environment.

We want this to be the most useful place for freelance journalists on the web. To get there, we need your help. We invite you to form communities within the community — freelance editors and copy editors, freelance photographers and broadcast journalists, freelance social media journalists, freelance data journalists. Whatever your specialty, it’s easy now for you to connect through SPJ with people who do the work you do.

Weigh in. Pitch in. Our community is only as good as what we each put into it.

If you’re already a SPJ member, joining the Freelance Community assures that we have the resources to continue and expand our work. If not, join SPJ today — and join the Freelance Community at the same time!

Together, we can make SPJ an even better organization for freelance journalists.

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