Berkeley police rough up credentialed freelancer

Berkeley police rough up credentialed freelancer

“Shame. Shame. Shame,” protesters chanted after the Berkeley City Council on June 21 voted to continue police department participation in the federal Urban Shield program, the East Bay Times reported.

As photojournalist Brooke Anderson raised her camera to photograph the protest, “they (police) pushed my camera in my face and struck my camera and my arm with batons,” said Anderson, a member of Guild Freelancers, a unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild CWA Local 39521.

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Guild Freelancers protests reporter’s expulsion from SFPD press conference

Guild Freelancers protests reporter’s expulsion from SFPD press conference

The expulsion of 48 Hills reporter Sana Saleem from a San Francisco Police Department press conference on Jan. 18 has prompted Guild Freelancers co-chair David Bacon to send a protest letter reminding Police Chief William Scott and Mayor Ed Lee that field officers and office staff must respect the constitutional rights of all journalists including freelancers such as Saleem.

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Don’t Offer Photographers ‘Exposure’ Instead of Pay

Don’t Offer Photographers ‘Exposure’ Instead of Pay

I am a photographer. Or, at least on the good days I feel confident saying that. I delight in documenting the raw energy and hope of the social movements of our times. When I don’t have a camera in hand, I still dream in light, shadow, color, lines, angles, and faces. And, just to complicate things, photography is also one of the several ways I pay the bills.

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Hoisted on his own petard: New book by Carol Pogash lets Trump skewer Trump

Hoisted on his own petard: New book by Carol Pogash lets Trump skewer Trump

By Rebecca Rosen Lum

He's been savaged by the best of them: Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert.

But after perusing his quotes, veteran journalist and Guild Freelancers member Carol Pogash discovered there may be no richer source of belly laughs about Donald Trump than Donald Trump himself. And so springs Quotations from Chairman Trump, an illustrated compendium of the real estate magnate's words of wisdom – an e-book in its first incarnation, soon to emerge in a hardcover edition.

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Unionizing the digital media revolution

Unionizing the digital media revolution

By Patrick Cochran

A revolution is taking place in digital media. Workers at the companies that produce the material you read during work, share on Facebook, and comment about on Twitter are unionizing, and changing the Internet landscape.
               
It all started in the spring. For years there had been some chatter about unionizing at popular websites like Vice, Gawker, and Buzzfeed. Online writers like Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan championed the cause in their writing, but it wasn’t until April that the issue came to the forefront. 
 
“There were a lot of reasons to join a union,” Nolan said. “Even though we have a high level of job satisfaction here, there were still issues with things like salary structure, and having a formal system for raises instead of it being ad hoc. Some of us have been through layoffs before, and after the recession we went through them here, so it is important to have a union to protect the workers.”
 
On April 14, Gawker’s front page ran a Nolan-written declaration, “Why We’ve Decided to Organize,” telling readers that the Gawker staff was in the beginning stages of going union. Because of Gawker’s self-described “radical transparency ethos” they decided to post all the company’s internal discussions about the process.

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Free online training for Guild Freelancers – sign up now at Lynda.com

Free online training for Guild Freelancers – sign up now at Lynda.com

By Rebecca Rosen Lum

Perhaps more than other journalists, freelancers require and benefit from a wide and ever-expanding range of skills. A freelancer’s schedule might encompass producing materials for a nonprofit organization, launching a blog and reporting a deep-dive story with graphic and video components. One of the many benefits of membership in the Guild Freelancers, a unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, is access to training.

Whether you’d like to learn Final Cut Pro or Podcasting, InDesign or conversational Japanese, you are eligible to take these and many more courses through Lynda.com, an online company offering thousands of video courses in software, Web design, photography, business skills and many more subjects. Our parent union, the Communications Workers of America, pays for its members to upgrade their skills on Lynda.com. 

Lynda.com is a bit complicated to navigate. But the wide variety of courses presented by experts more than makes up for the difficulty. 

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Guild interns focus on labor reporting, union values

Guild interns focus on labor reporting, union values

By Erasmo Matinez

A rare thing happened in June. Eight journalism students started an internship that required a significant amount of writing – but they were not expected to work for free. Instead, they had a chance to earn wages and bargain for their pay with an employer. In just three hours on a late spring evening, they hammered out a deal that covered working conditions, attendance requirements, and most importantly, how much they would be paid for producing articles and photos.

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Barbara Falconer Newhall’s advice for aspiring authors

Barbara Falconer Newhall’s advice for aspiring authors

 •    Some teachers/writers recommend writing every day, 7 days a week to keep the material at the top of your mind. It's important to have some designated time that is set aside for your creative writing -- as opposed to your freelance journalism. The most important thing is to get seated at the computer.   
 
•    Either submit your manuscript to a bunch of agents or a bunch of publishers. It's usually best not to mix it up. Also, self-publishing is nifty, but your first choice is definitely having a publisher.
 
•    It is very common for writers to want to be done with a manuscript (or proposal) when it isn't really ready, so they send it off, thinking the agent or editor will help them give it a final shape. But editors and agents don't do that anymore. They will move on to the next manuscript that is ready. Publishers, like newspapers, have neither the time nor the budgets they once had.

•    However, you can go to writers conferences and pitch your partly finished book to agents and editors to get some feedback and tips – and maybe even an invitation to submit the proposal when it's ready.
 
•    Classes, conferences, writing groups, and such are invaluable. Classes in creative non-fiction are helpful for newspaper journalists wishing to write a book. Check out the classes at Book Passage, UC extension, city recreation departments, the Writing Salon, the Writers Grotto, Community of Writers at Squaw (and other residential conferences).
 
Bottom line? “If you want to write a book, do it!” Barbara says. “It's very rewarding. It makes you grow as a writer and a person. It lets you leave your mark. And if you have something big to say, it's a great way to say it. And it's  just lovely to hold your book in your hand.”

– Barbara Falconer Newhall

 

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