WASHINGTON — Freelance journalists reporting from abroad need to find new angles on undercovered topics to get noticed, but first need to know the basics of how to report from other countries, the senior producer at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting said Wednesday.
Stephen Sapienza told a group of Medill graduate students that there is a growing demands from media organizations for video stories, but journalists needs to find ways to finance getting those stories, probably by having several media clients to send stories to while overseas.
To prepare for an assignment abroad, especially as a freelancer, he set out the following checklist:
1. Basics are airfare and lodging.
2. Find a “fixer,” someone who can help arrange interviews and, ideally, translate interviews. The cost is about $50 to $150 a day.
3. Get a driver, ideally one who has a car. Again, the cost is about $50 to $150 a day.
4. Make sure you have the proper immunizations.
5. Get travel and health insurance.
6. Determine whether you need body armor or other protective gear.
7. Bring two hard drives to story video, photos and other material.