Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Freelance Writers and Stringers
Freelancing for media outlets—working on a short-term, temporary, or contract basis rather than as a salaried staff employee—used to be seen as a tenuous but promising route to full-time employment in journalism. By the early twenty-first century, that was no longer the case. As demand for diverse media content has grown while conventional media job opportunities have shrunk, the corps of freelance writers, photographers, broadcast journalists, web scribes, and others working assignment-to-assignment has expanded. Likewise, “stringing” for particular outlets, once seen as a foot in the door, has become a decidedly transitory arrangement rather than a portal to permanent work. The Oxford English Dictionary online traces the word freelance to the Middle Ages, when it designated “a type of military adventurer … who offered his services to states or individuals for payment, or with a view to plunder; a mercenary soldier.” In modern times, to freelance means to works A ...