A business idea, revealed

So far, my freelance career went astonishingly well. I got published in a number of places, all of which I read regularly myself and hold in high regard. And Ieven got paid for it! My original fear, that making enough money to sustain myself here in Ouagadougou with writing would be hard, did not really materialize. But some things are still not the wayI would like them to be. Firstly, I spend more time pitching stories to editors than actually writing them. That sucks. And secondly, even if the money is enough for my current lifestyle, I can see how ...

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A freelance career

A freelance career
I asked you about ethics and freelancing earlier, wanting to know if you think that consulting and freelance journalism are compatible. The answer was resounding “no” – not only of those of you who reacted on my blog post, but also of those familiar with the NGO and media business I spoke to offline. Some people agreed with me that the barriers between publishing and consulting actually do not make a lot of sense, because you can’t be objective, even if you never receive money from the NGO you are reporting on. But everybody agreed that the harsh reality of ...

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Ethics and freelancing

I had an interesting conversation with a press relations guy and former journalist today. He currently works for the German branch of a large INGO, with which I did an internship a while back. I told him of my plans to become a freelance journalist and communications consultant and his immediate reaction was: “You can do either one, but you can’t do both.” The essence of his argument was that working for two masters (writing articles about NGOs for newspapers and teaching workshops in social media for some of the same NGOs for example) would jeopardize my independence. I would end ...

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Why Burkina?

In my previous post I explained what I exactly plan to do in Burkina, once I’m there. That leaves the little question of why I chose Burkina Faso in the first place. I will be honest: the main reason for choosing Burkina over, say, Ghana, was that my girlfriend got a job in Ouagadougou (the capital of Burkina). That alone made my decision quite easy, but it is certainly not the only argument for choosing Burkina as your base for starting out as a freelancer. First the more rational arguments: Burkina is not a highly contested market for freelance journalists. ...

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On the what and how of my freelancing plans

In March, I will move to Burkina Faso, to work as a freelance journalist and communications consultant. I will go into more detail on why Burkina in another post and will focus here on what am I going to do exactly and how do I plan to make it work. The point of documenting this here is of course to get my plans ripped apart by you, so that I can make better ones! What? I want to do two things: bring interesting stories about development, politics and conflict in Africa to a global audience to make them care and to ...

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