Up to 70 per cent of journalism is expected to be created by freelancers in the near future. Therefore, everyone who cares about our industry should care about the sustainability of the freelance ecosystem.
We think that professional and economic autonomy for freelancers is very important. Freelancers lack the institutional support that their hired counterparts enjoy: workspaces, colleagues, training, insurance, secure income, trainees, information resources and much more. The Cooperation recreated this support system for them, and offers a wide variety of these “services” to its 700 members.
We have created several means to generate revenue for freelancers. We host online magazines and portfolio websites that freelancers can obtain for free. They include the Blendle button (readers pay a small price per article), a donation button and advertising options. We have over 30 sites up and running, content is shared between the sites and articles are promoted through Facebook for traffic generation. 85 per cent of revenue is returned to the authors.
Reporters Online is our (partly owned) media platform with over 600 journalists contributing. It’s featured in the Blendle newsstand, allowing for lucrative self-publishing. We have also created our own Matchingfund to support the production of high-end productions and we have created a syndication service that offers publications of our members to legacy media.
Furthermore, we have our own speakers bureau and audio and video studio in our office building in Amsterdam, with over 60 people working together. We have also created a collective insurance against income loss due to illness or disability and a program of weekly courses for and by members.
Interested in joining?
The concept is open source and we would be happy to make it available for anyone to adopt in other countries. Increasingly we are welcoming freelance journalists from other countries who become a member and can enjoy most of our (not geographically bound) features. They publish their articles on Reporters Online, create their own sites and can even join in the insurance program, wherever they are. For a complete list, click here.
Please let us know if there is anything you need, or if we can help get you more information. Inquiries may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.