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Freelancing in Mass Communications

This is a rather common question to come up in a large number of undergraduate and post-graduate lectures on the topic of feature journalism and professional writing in general.

In the changing climate of the mass communications industry, does freelancing provide added financial and career benefits? If so, how does a prospective freelancer insure that they take most advantage of these benefits and whether or not these benefits come with certain considerable drawbacks.

This is where we examine the question as a whole while specifically focusing on the serious implications of the benefits and supposed flexibility or freedom that comes with freelancing.

Solution Preview

In the mass communications industry, specifically the field of journalism, many students and prospective graduates are confronted with the question of freelancing or seeking the security of a full-time position with a publication. Many arguments can be made about the pros and cons of freelancing and how it compares to a standard full-time role. Freelancers typically enjoy more flexibility and access to a wider array of clients and opportunities, but this does come with a hefty trade-off as the flexibility can also translate to considerable uncertainty with work frequency, thus creating a higher financial risk and benefits insecurity for the individual concerned (Poh, 2012).

It can be argued that freelancers do have the potential to make as much if not more money than their full-time employed counterparts, technically speaking. This is generally considered a very limited scope for a specific sub-set of freelancers, typically the ones who can bring something of distinct demand to their clients along with only selling them the rights to publish the work rather than selling the work itself, which enables a greater potential for royalties and added revenue (Oliver, 2013). Generally ...

Solution Summary

When it comes to journalism, one will hear a lot about the rising tide of freelance writers and contributors. As most of the mass communication industry has adopted the model of outsourcing work onto the freelance professional network, a wide range of implications have also come under analytic scrutiny. For all the benefits of flexibility and opportunity that are offered to freelancers, these come with implicit trade-offs by way of income and work instability, lack of employment benefit packages, and even the sense of flexibility translating into precariousness and low work frequency with low income that are rarely a problem for full-time staff writers at most publications. These are very important trade-offs and factors that individuals studying the industry need to understand in order to develop an appreciation of the challenges of freelancing.

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