It’s become the antidote to the shrinking newsroom—throngs of freelance journalists covering stories ranging from business to industry-specific articles. This growing trend has disrupted the journalism landscape, where editors still need to cover the 24/7 news cycle with relevant, in-depth content without the expense of a full bench of staff reporters.
While a bit haphazard when freelancers aren’t 100% familiar with their coverage topics, the new dynamic has improved publications’ content and offered fresh perspectives. Why? Editors are still serving as outlets’ editorial leaders and determining the direction of stories, but there are now more flexible reporter options. Also, freelance journalists can hone their expertise in multiple areas and apply it across relevant publications, giving them more consistent and predictable work as well as requiring high-quality reporting to generate follow-on assignments.
From a public relations perspective, we’ve certainly broadened our media relationships to include more freelance journalists, while also maintaining existing relationships with publications’ editors and on-staff reporters. It has become the new normal of media relations. And while this hybrid approach to journalism may have risen as a means for media outlets to survive, it has also given journalism new branches to evolve forward as a profession.
*This post originally appeared in Y&A’s Spark newsletter.