Modern Journalist Toolkit 11: Freelancing in the era of Trump with Ray Joseph

Modern Journalist Toolkit 11: Freelancing in the era of Trump with Ray Joseph

“Alternative facts.” Real-time verification. Journalists arrested or alienated when covering the president. If the 45th U.S. president is in power for four years, we have 47 months to go. What does Donald Trump mean for us as freelance writers?

Some important insights about working in the new now come from those who have worked in countries without press freedom. I recently speak with journalism trainer Ray Joseph, an assessor for the Poynter-hosted International Fact-Checking Network, and former ICFJ/Knight International Journalism Fellow with a keen interest in online and social media content verification. Our discussion included:

  • What it was like to work as a journalist in apartheid South Africa, with its oppressive laws and censorship policies
  • Best practices to verify facts in an era where few editorial teams have the budget for dedicated fact checkers, and the responsibility for errors rests on your shoulders
  • New opportunities for freelancers

Click below to watch the video, and scroll down further for links to a variety of relevant resources.

Fact checking and verification

Inside Ray Joseph’s toolkit: Social Media and Verification Tools

Free course from Poytner: Fact-Checking: How to Improve Your Skills in Accountability Journalism

The University of Hong Kong, The State University of New York has a new MOOC starting in March: Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens

Freelancer inspiration

Vox interviewed freelance journalist Jarrett Hill about how he Broke the Melania Trump plagiarism story in 3 tweets.

Trump and press freedom

Editorial dos and don’ts to keep perspective: Covering Trump the Reuters Way

At least five journalists, including two freelancers, were arrested during the inauguration.

The Society for the Protection of Journalists originally published this video, “Transition to Trump: Press Freedom in the U.S.,” on January 6, 2017, and updated it on February 4:


Acrylic DC Capitol – Red White & Blue by Nicolas Raymond modified with text under license by Creative Commons 3.0.

More from the Modern Journalist Toolkit series.


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