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The Freelance Journalism Assembly is a programme designed to connect and empower freelance journalists in Europe.

The Assembly will include online training sessions, one-on-one mentorship activities, networking opportunities and a major event to be held in 2021. At the Assembly, freelance journalists will acquire skills and build connections to help them face their professional and personal challenges.

At the EJC we recognise the essential role of freelancers in covering stories that otherwise would not have made it to the media and reporting from areas of the world where it is a challenge to get to and report from. The work of freelancers is an invaluable contribution to making the media stronger and the stories we read more diverse.

That is why the EJC has been supporting freelancers as part of its mission for the past years mainly through grants. We felt it was time to create a full programme dedicated to addressing the needs and challenges of the brave journalists making a living through freelancing.

The number of freelance journalists across Europe has been growing over the past years. More and more professionals are going freelance - partly of their own choice, partly due to the newsrooms’ reorganisation processes. This transition creates increasing professional and personal challenges for freelancers, mostly related to economic sustainability, the need to work in an international environment, and the possibility of making new connections.

The COVID-19 outbreak has heightened the ongoing challenges the media was already facing, and a sudden loss of income significantly impacted the freelance journalism community, new obstacles to travel and report in their communities and overall, a new professional and personal environment. In this time of uncertainty, freelance journalists need a support network more than ever.

The Assembly includes an online component and an in-person gathering.

The online activities will take place over the following months, between June and October of 2020. You can find the plan and the schedule on the pages of each track. The activities will take place over Zoom.

The in-person event is planned for 2021. Date and place will be confirmed later this year.

The online activities will cover topics the freelance journalism community has identified as essential to help improve their work and environment: well-being, personal finances and entrepreneurial skills, personal branding, and pitching and negotiation.

The agenda of the in-person event will include these and other topics that are also relevant to the community.

The Assembly is designed for all the freelance journalists based in one of the member states of the Council of Europe.

No. Once you sign up and become a member of the Assembly, you can enrol for free into the different tracks, activities and have access to the resources.

Before signing up for the activities, you will have to become a member of the Assembly. Once you have signed up and created your account, you could register for the different tracks and activities.

The information is exclusively available for the members of the Assembly. So if you haven’t created an account, you will not be able to see it.

If you already have an account, remember that you have to sign in to have access to the tracks and resources.

No. Each activity has a separate sign up process. If you want to participate in all the activities of a single track, you will have to sign up individually for each activity.

No. Similarly to the activities, the in-person event will have a separate registration process. The open call will be launched later this year.

No. You can attend one or all the activities of the track according to your interests and needs. It is not mandatory to participate in all the activities, but we highly recommend you to in order to get the most out of the programme.

No. After you become a member, you will have to sign up individually for each activity.

The Assembly is organised by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Yes, you will be on camera. The training sessions are going to be recorded so that we can post them on the website. But the one-on-one mentorship sessions will be private and will not be recorded.

The training sessions are online activities that have an average duration of one hour. During the first part of the session, the facilitator will offer content, skills and tools related to each track. The last 15- 20 minutes will be open for questions and doubts. You may find the description of each session and the topics it will cover on the “Online training” page of each track.

Once you sign up for the training session, you will receive an email with the link to join the session on Zoom and further instructions.

The one-on-one mentorship is a private 30 minutes conversation during which you can receive personal advice from experts on specific topics. You can book time with our experts via the Assembly’s website according to the spots available.

Go to the “one-on-one” page of each track. You will find a calendar with possible dates and times. After you select the day and time, you will receive an email with all the information you need for your meeting with the expert.

Please take into account that the one-on-one mentorship is designed for the members of the community that attended the online training or watched the video of the session. To promote inclusion and equal access to the activities each member of the Assembly will be able to book a maximum of 2 mentorship sessions during the whole programme.

No. This is a privilege of the Assembly but we will be very strict with the time scheduled and booked for these sessions. Remember that if you have booked an appointment with an expert for a one-on-one mentorship you will have to be on time or the session will be cancelled. It is not possible to reschedule.

This a networking session of one hour where you can build connections, expand your professional network, and make new friends. We believe that the best ideas come from informal conversations between friends, colleagues and peers. That is why we included the Freelancers coffee-breaks on the programme as informal and flexible online spaces where freelance journalists can share ideas, exchange knowledge and learn from each other.

  1. Together with the community, we will prepare a list with relevant topics to the freelance community.
  2. We will create small conversation groups (breakout rooms) to start the discussion around the topics listed.
  3. Each group should select a scribe, someone responsible for taking notes.
  4. At the end of the conversation, all the participants will go back to the main room to share the main ideas and output of the conversation.

The number of spots varies depending on the activity. On average, 50 - 100 people will be able to join the online training sessions. Between 15- 20 spots will be available for each one-on-one mentorship activities. The unconferences are for groups of up to 50. Finally, up to 200 people will be able to register for the in-person event.

Society of Freelance Journalists is a collective that was created by members of the freelance community in Europe earlier this year, amid the COVID-19 outbreak. We thought this was a brilliant idea and decided to team up with the SFJ to offer a meeting place where the members of the Assembly can exchange knowledge and experiences, create new connections and find opportunities.

You can go directly to the website or the Slack Platform. There, you can create an account and join the group.

Hostwriter is an open network that helps journalists to collaborate across borders easily. They support members at all career levels to raise the quality of media coverage by providing local contacts around the globe. All journalists provide work samples by way of professional verification. Membership is free of charge.

Hostwriter’s COVID-19 Collaboration Wire connects editors with journalists all over the world, ready to fact-check, research and report from their regions on the pandemic. The tool enables editors to commission journalists worldwide. Journalists simply sign up to the Hostwriter network to join the pool of global media professionals.

You can go here. Follow the instructions to create an account and voila, you are part of the network.