The news organizations are slimming down, firing and outsourcing, leaving many seasoned professionals out of steady work. At the same time, young journalism graduates see their chances of getting a job in the industry getting smaller and smaller. So freelancing is the option to consider. But where to find assignments, or people to do them? IAmNews is where both ends meet.
The concept is simple: “For publishers it is a place to assign news tasks to an international network of reporters and photographers and view a pool of content created by those reporters. For freelance reporters it is a place to take assignments or to post their news wire.”
The description is by Nir Ofir, founder of IAmNews. “Basically we are trying to bridge the gap between what both sides want, to connect with each other, but cannot do it today due to language barriers and the lack of single central spot for both sides to get familiar with each other when needed.”
The website resembles a social network, where you can create a profile presenting your professional background, favourite coverage topics, and expertise (writer, photographer, cameraman). There is a “newsroom” area, which is where the job proposals and pitches will be presented. And if you want, you can post your story and wait for it to be bidded by a news outlet. But don’t take it as a freelance wire news service.
“We think that iamnews is different. It is different since it is focused on a solution that will connect publishers and reporters in real time”, says Ofir, “we are not taking a major editorial part in our daily work. We are focusing in connecting people to people and not just stories to the media.”
And where does IAmNews take it’s cut? “Our business model is very simple. We act as the mediators and take a cut of the transactions between publishers and contributors.” And the only ones who get to pay anything are the publishers. “Registration is free, short and easy. Publishers will pay for the services of the journalists in our system per project or as a part of our awarding system.”
The project is still in Alpha mode, but you can already register and try out the current features. “By the end of the month we will open our newsroom that will enable publishers to create assignments (private and public) in our system. The system will act as an agent for all registered reporters and invite them to pitch their stories based on their location and expertise.”
Is IAmNews the foreboding of a new relationship model between the industry and the pros, for the future world news order ? “In times where most media companies shut down bureaus and cut down on resources, depending mostly on big generic wire companies, we see ourselves as a future alternative, bringing voices and footage that is cost effective and different.” Being the last the magic words.