Freelance Journalist

Sell your well-researched stories to news outlets around the world.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$20,000 – $75,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Freelance Journalists do?

A Journalist uses his or her senses to gather information, evoke feelings, and deliver information in the form of news. This can be done through the lens of a camera, through the written word, or through words spoken in a video clip. As a Freelance Journalist, you choose how you want to present information, who you work for, which jobs to take, and how much pay you want. The “free” in the title “Freelance Journalist” means the freedom to set your own hours, to choose your vacation time, and, if you wish, to work only when inspiration strikes.

Many Freelance Journalists have previously held a job in journalism. You may have traveled the world, taking photographs for National Geographic, or you may have spent time in a newspaper newsroom, perfecting your craft. Experienced or not, you decide where your passion lies. Do you enjoy writing news articles on local politics? Have you retired as a Newscaster, but want to continue working on a part-time basis? Do you wake up each day anticipating the photo opportunities at the local bird refuge?

Wherever your passions lie, you’ll need an audience. You can find this audience on the internet, which is becoming a lottery of journalistic opportunities. Another common choice is your local paper. You can either prepare the story and submit it with a query letter (introduction of topic and request for publication), or build a network of employers who will get your services as the need arises. On the business side, you are responsible for maintaining records of your work, tracking your income, and submitting your own tax information.

Should I be a Freelance Journalist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • How to become a Freelance Journalist

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