02. specialise in a single journalistic skill

The news production machine is a complicated beast with dozens of cogs needed to turn a story around; as well as reporters, subs, producers and editors, there’s increasing demand for data experts, infographic designers, fact checkers, and investigators.

For the Next Generation Journalist, this isn’t about becoming a cog in a bigger machine, but exploiting one of those cogs by becoming really good at it, and then using that as a basis for a business.

It’s not even a new idea if you consider how companies like Reuters and the Press Association have specialised in the gathering of information for more than a century; court reporters can be viewed in the same way.

But the digital age has led to the creation of new skills, all of which can be turned into businesses for the forward thinking journalist.

Specialising in a particular journalism process…

allows you to focus in on your real passion in news & eliminate the things you’re less interested in

means you can build yourself a reputation as an expert in a profitable part of the news machine

lets you work as a self-employed freelancer for a range of clients, letting you be your own boss

There are plenty of business models you can build around this idea – from being a data miner (think Michelle Minkoff), or a data artist (think Drawnalism and NewsInfographics) to an expert in Freedom of Information requests (think HelpMeInvestigate) and investigations (think the Investigative Journalism Bureau).

Don Foley went freelance as a news graphic designer in the 1990s and is now sought by editorial and corporate clients for his work.

“Most of my work involves taking complex subjects and explaining them visually” he says, “My subjects have a wide range from mechanical, historical, medical, scientific and everything in-between.”

Don’s business, NewsInfographics.com gets commissions from magazines as well as commercial clients, who come to him because he can do infographics extremely well – and prove it with a strong portfolio.

And, if you take Don as an example, the benefits are pretty awesome too. “The biggest benefit is freedom” he says, “I walk on the beach every day I ride my bike to my boat and fit my work into my life. I once too my family cruising on our boat for a year, working the whole time and many clients didn’t know unless I told them.”

In the ebook…

…you’ll get more examples of how journalists could become an outsourced specialist in the news process. You’ll hear more from Don Foley and find out about his business model, and how he started NewsInfographics.com. On top of that, there’s advice on how to start your own company from scratch – on the cheap by bootlegging.

The early bird discount is only available if you register early – just click here!

10 new ways to make money in journalism #2

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