Category Archives: Resources

Invite to Cooper

Hi FC,

Here’s a resource for you. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!



You’re invited to join the early beta of a new professional network named Cooper.

On Cooper, your inner circle vouches for you with video stories. First, you talk about your biggest professional achievements. Then, they add a 15-second video reference that show they have your back. Next time you’re asked to present yourself, show your Cooper profile to let your work family do the talking. 

As a member of the Freelance Cafe community, you can get early access if you sign up through this link:


Here’s a small preview of what a profile on Cooper looks like.


Expand your editing toolkit, the latest from @AIRmedia

I've been an AIR member for a long time and I found this most recent newsletter to be especially useful. See below for some editing tips and gigs, and become a member if audio production is your thing! And just a reminder, applications for their Better Edit Fellowship are due this Friday.


Reading List: Sharpen your editing skills,
then sharpen them some more

Editor’s Note: AIR is looking for candidates interested in becoming better editors through our Better Edit Fellowship—brought to you in partnership with PRNDI, the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. Read on for contributing writer Emily Boghossian’s best picks for learning how to work the editing game, then apply to Better Edit! The deadline to submit is this Friday, July 14, at 5 p.m. PT.

Listen to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first cut of “My Shot,” and you’ll hear it in the first few bars. Editing matters.

Any audio producer who has gone back and forth with a good editor knows that “most things that are great get great through editing,” (Ira Glass, Longform). But not every producer has access to a strong editor. Lately, the “good editor” is becoming more and more of a unicorn—high in demand and, according to NPR Training’s Alison MacAdam, low in supply.

And while we need to correct the industry-wide shortage by building clearer, more inclusive pipelines for editors, maybe this dearth is an opportunity for producers to sharpen their knives. If great storytelling = great editing, we should all strive to be better editors.

So, this week we are listening to the editors in our lives. Here's a list of resources guaranteed to grow your toolkit. Now, go forth and slash.

Editing from the get-go:
Front-end editing: The "secret ingredient" of great audio storytelling | Andrea De Leon for NPR Training
Before you pack your TASCAM and hit the road, ask yourself: What introduction do you hear in your head? How could this story unfold? Who is the main character?

Structuring your story:
How to Construct a Compelling Story | Brian Reed for The Conference
Action. Reflection. Stakes. S-Town's Brian Reed breaks down good storytelling by relaying the most boring story he can think of. Additional reading from the audio canon: Ira Glass explains storytelling in four parts.

Lessons from Making a Historical Documentary | Alex Lewis (Localore '15) and Yowei Shaw (New Voice '11) for
Structuring a longer-form documentary? Find macro and mini story structures. Alex Lewis and Yowei Shaw’s first-ever historical doc yields all kinds of useful tips. Bonus: Insights on mixing via Jeff Towne.


Read on!
1. Looking for an excuse to move to Italy? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. is searching for a radio coordinator to make audio stories in Rome. (Public Media Women in Leadership Facebook group)

2. “100 Days in Appalachia” is looking for an experienced and courageous part-time contributing editor to take the lead on stories about race relations and religious divides. (Public Media Innovators Facebook group)

3. ATTN: Break ground as a multimedia health care reporter and find stories at the intersection of policy and people. (Nashville Public Radio)

4. Start your thumb exercises! Public Radio International is on the hunt for a social media editor to post quality work at lightning speeds. (Twitter #pubjobs hashtag)

5. You’re a multitasking communications specialist and Detroit Public Television is in need of your superpowers. Write, report, edit, repeat. (CPB Jobline)

AIR + PRX Podcast Garage this Wednesday

AIR and the fine folks at Podcast Garage are kicking off July with our second Maker Mingle of the season. We're gathering in Allston, Massachusetts this Wednesday, July 12, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to trade stories, share ideas, and make new friends. Swing by if you're in the neighborhood!

This time we want you to come with an answer to the question: What was the first podcast you listened to or loved?

AIR … a network of independent producers 
who create collaboration, diversity, and excellence 
in audio and media craft.

{ Learn More About AIR }

CUNY J+ Fall workshops, early bird discounts until Aug 31

Happy summer, Freelance Cafe folks! In case you're an advanced planner, you can sign up now for CUNY J+ workshops for the fall. There's a 20% off early bird deal until Aug. 31, and after that Freelance Cafe members can still get 10% off with the code JPLUS10. The current list of courses is below.



Data Journalism Bootcamp: Excel, Open Refine, Tableau And More with Sarah Ryley, 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner. Sarah will provide a “basic toolkit” of best practices and programs to get started in data journalism. “These are the tools I’ve used for the past 4+ years to produce high-impact data stories, including my Pulitzer Prize-winning series on nuisance abatement, proving there’s a lot you can do with this basic toolkit,” Sarah says. All day Sept. 23 and 24. $599$479 Early Bird Summer Deal until Aug. 31. Learn more


Intro to Adobe Premiere Pro CC with Jennifer Hamblett. This five-week, hands-on module teaches the ins and outs of a software that is the industry standard for video editing. You will learn the principles of non-linear editing, how to use the interface and features of Adobe Premiere and how to plot and edit a sequence 6:30 to 9 pm on Tuesdays, Sept. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, and 24. $599$479 Early Bird Summer Deal until Aug. 31. Learn more


Investigating Your Elected Officials with Andrew Lehren, Pulitzer Prize team-winning reporter for The New York Times. In this two-part, hands-on workshop, you will learn techniques and tools for backgrounding and fact checking those in power. 6:30 to 9 pm on Wednesdays, Oct. 11 and 18. $299; $239 Early Bird Summer Deal until Aug. 31. Learn more


Augmented Reality (AR) for Journalism with Matt MacVey. In this hands-on, evening workshop we’ll try out AR projects from different news organizations, see how to get started with tools like Blippar, Vuforia and Tango and look at what might be coming next. 6:30 to 9 pm on Thursday, Oct. 19. $25. Learn more


 Build a Bot: Artificial Intelligence and Bots for News with John Keefe, bot developer and app product manager at Quartz. In this two-part workshop, John Keefe will focus on natural language processing and conversational interfaces and help you build a Facebook Messenger bot. John has taught this popular class to journalism students and to journalists at conferences such as ONA. 6:30 to 9 pm on Wednesdays, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. $249. $199 Early Bird Summer Deal until Aug. 31. Learn more


Charts for Data Analysis and Presentation with Datawrapper with Sandeep Junnarkar. Enhance your journalism with data analysis and presentation with this popular software. This 2.5 hour, hands-on class will go over the bases, as well as tips and tricks for more polished charts. 6:30 to 9 pm on Tuesday, November 7 from 6:30 to 9 pm. $25. Learn more


Intro to 360° Video Journalism with Bob Sacha and Matt MacVeyGet up to speed with 360 video journalism and try the Ricoh Theta camera and 360 apps on your smart phone in this hands-on, evening workshop. 6:30 to 9 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 8. $125; $99 Early Bird Summer Deal until Aug. 31. Learn more


Social Media Videos: Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook Live with Luis Miguel Echegaray. In this three-part, hands-on workshop, we will focus on making videos using smart phones and the top three video-heavy social media platforms: Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook Live. 6:30 to 9 pm on Tuesdays, Nov. 14, 21, and 28. $375$299 Early Bird Summer Deal until Aug. 31. Learn more


Adobe After Effects and Motion Graphics with Graham Roberts, Senior Editor at The New York Times. In this daylong workshop, you will learn the basics of Adobe After Effects, the leading software for digital visual effects, motion graphics and animation. 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on Saturday, Nov. 18. $549; $439 Early Bird Summer Deal until Aug. 31. Learn more


10 Ways to Improve Your Writing with Diane Nottle. This hands-on two-hour session focuses on high-impact tricks and techniques to make your writing for any purpose stronger, clearer and more memorable. 6:30 to 8:30 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 29. $25. Learn more


The Business of Freelancing with Tim Harper. This breezy, conversational two-hour workshop is both an introduction for beginning freelancers and a top-up review for longtime veterans. Bring your questions and issues on every aspect of freelancing, from ideas to reporting to contracts and rights to pitching, publishing and getting paid. 6:30 to 8:30 pm on Wednesday, Dec. 6. $25. Learn more


To come: Online Research Series: SuperResearcher with Barbara Gray. Find even the most elusive sources. Dig up hard-to-find information. Avoid embarrassing mistakes in your news stories, in this series of workshops by the former director of news research at The New York Times. Join our email list to receive alerts about new classes


To come:  Edit, Sequence, Present and Promote Your Photographs with James Estrin, the co-editor of the New York Times Lens blog. Many people can take decent photographs. Few photographers understand how to edit, sequence and present their work. These skills will enable you to be better visual storytellers and will help you distinguish yourself from other photographers. Join our email list to receive alerts about new classes


ONLINE CLASS: VideoStorytelling for the Weban online class to help you make short digital videos people want to watch. Video coach Kayle hope covers everything from shooting to editing in 10 short and engaging videos. $35


Are you eligible for a discount? Check here.


All workshops will be held at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, 219 W. 40th Street in New York. Map.

new audio courses with @WritingPadUS start next week, discount for FC friends

Writing Pad’s LA, SF, and Online podcasting and radio fiction courses start next week w/ 99% Invisible Alum Sam Greenspan and Snap Judgment’s Eliza Smith. Friends of Freelance Cafe get a discount.


15% off the class by using the code FREELANCE.



Sam has been a producer and reporter at 99% Invisible since the early days and a long-time NPR Vet. He is now starting his own super-secret podcast. Sam will help you conceive, develop & produce an outline for your podcast & record a teaser. He will teach you interviewing techniques, sound editing, using music, archival material +more. Class includes a recording session at a professional studio.


PODCASTING w/ Sam Greenspan (99% Invisible)

June 28July 12, 19, 26, Aug. 9 (5 Wed. nights), 7:00pm-10pm, SF



Podcasts like Homecoming, Limetown and A Night Called Tomorrow have expanded the horizons of radio storytelling to fiction. Eliza is the producer of Snap Judgment’s fiction program and has adapted the short stories of Manuel Gonzalez, Amelia Gray, and Kelly Link into radio plays. Learn what works/doesn’t work for a radio play, the importance of scenes, the use of sound and music to enrich pieces, narrative structure, and the Snap Judgment Method for telling stories.


By the end of the class you will have, a draft of a stand out story that you can get published in a literary journal and submit to radio shows. You will record it at Snap Judgment Studios. Join the ranks of the 32 students who have published short stories from and 11 students who have gotten stories on the radio from our classes. For a preview, check out Eliza’s interview here:


RADIO FICTION w/ Eliza Smith (Producer Snap Judgment, NPR)

July 16, 23, 30, Aug. 13, 20, (4 Sun., 1 recording session), 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., SF

Online Privacy for Journalists, a pdf guide

Hello FC community! This resource for journalists was recently brought to my attention with the following note. Please share if this is appropriate for your community!!

This is not an easy time for journalists all over the world, with the discoveries of surveillance on citizens, which includes journalists and their sources.

I’d like to ask you to share a guide, written by one journalist to his colleagues all over the world. The guide can help them protect their work and fulfil their mission.

If you can add it to your page, as well as share it over social networks, it would be a tremendous help to the free press.

learn better pitching and production from NPR Training guides, PLUS webinar on 3/22

Check out the amazing resources below from NPR Training. Plus, attend their March 22 webinar to improve your audio skillsSign up here. (Also, I got 6/6 on this audio quiz. How about you??)



There’s been a flurry of activity at NPR Training the past couple of weeks. We’ve been posting, hosting and sharing like crazy as we try to help you improve your craft.

How can you pitch effectively?
Learn from the pros. Our Training team colleague Alison MacAdam gathered advice from editors at NPR for this guide to story pitching. If you are involved in pitching — or fielding pitches — be sure to check it out.

Improve your ears!
We recently released The Ear Training Guide for Audio Producers, which covers two dozen of the most common audio problems.

There are many ways to use the guide:

  • New to audio production? Take your time moving through the guide and learn how to hear — and prevent — each problem.
  • Newsroom manager or experienced producer? Use the guide as a starting point for a larger conversation about audio quality. Listen to the examples together, discuss the problems you’ve encountered, the tools you have available and share tips. How might you help each other prevent these problems in the future?
  • Elbows-deep in production and running into a problem? Look it up in the guide and learn more about a potential solution.
  • Too busy to do anything right now? Come back to it when you have time. Try to listen to a new example each week to keep your ears sharp!

We will host a webinar about recognizing and preventing common audio problems on Wednesday, March 22Sign up here.

We also put out this fun audio quiz, meant to challenge your ability to hear audio problems. Did you pass? Let us know!

Rob Byers (@robbyers1)
Production Specialist, NPR Training

PS We always like to hear from you. You can always reach us via email (, our websiteTwitter, and Facebook.

Announcing the Third Coast Radio Residency, June 13-17, Chicago outskirts

Third Coast is offering a residency! June 13-17. Details below. -Mia

PS: Can you please do this so I can live vicariously through you?
PPS: Nishat Kurwa is fantastic.


We are very happy to say that Third Coast and Ragdale are teaming up to present our first-ever Radio Residency, June 13-17, 2016! Enjoy a week away from the demands and deadlines of everyday life to make radio, commiserate and share expertise. Nishat Kurwa (Youth Radio, Marketplace) – an outstanding producer/editor – will be on staff offering one-one-one and small group critique and guidance.

WHO: Third Coast seeks a vibrant group of 8 producers from diverse backgrounds and life experiences who represent the future of public broadcasting and independent storytelling. At the time of the residency, participants should be mid-project, allowing them to focus on writing, editing and production of their final works.

WHERE: Ragdale, one of the largest interdisciplinary artists’ communities in the country, is located on 5-acre campus 30 miles north of Chicago. Artists are given a private room and workspace, and all meals are provided including a family-style dinner each evening.

COSTS: Third Coast will cover residents’ flights and ground transportation. Ragdale is generously subsidizing the costs of room and board so that participants pay only $175 for the entire Residency.

HOW TO APPLY: Applicants should submit project proposals by midnight (CT) on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. Producers will be notified by April 8th.

Interested? Read all about the Third Coast Radio Residency, and send any questions to

discount on equipment-sharing service KitSplit for FC members

Hey folks. Update on the equipment-sharing post I put out a couple days ago. KitSplit will offer a 15% discount on equipment rentals through the end of February. Discount code: Freelancecafe15. And if people have any questions they can reach out to
More about KitSplit follows:
ForbesFast Company, and No Film School have called KitSplit "the AirBNB of creative equipment" because we make it easy to rent top quality gear on-demand or to earn money renting out gear you own.
Sign up to join KitSplit here.
Once you join, you’ll be able to:
Save 20-30% renting gear from vetted professional and rental houses nearby
-Get your rentals delivered 
-Enjoy damage and theft coverage at no extra charge
-Make extra money on equipment you own while you're not using it
Thousands of creative professionals use KitSplit. I'd love for you to join them.
Many thanks,

Lisbeth Kaufman | CEO & Co-founder, KitSplit 
30 John Street, Brooklyn New York 11201
Read about us in Forbes and Fast Company

equipment-sharing service – KitSplit – wants your business

KitSplit is a NY-based equipment-equipment sharing service – an interesting idea. This isn't an endorsement – I'm just passing it along. -Mia
PS: Should I let folks advertise on Freelance Cafe? Something I've been thinking about for a while…
Forbes, Fast Company, and No Film School have called KitSplit "the AirBNB of creative equipment" because we make it easy to rent top quality gear on-demand or to earn money renting out gear you own.
Sign up to join KitSplit here.
Once you join, you’ll be able to:
Save 20-30% renting gear from vetted professional and rental houses nearby
-Get your rentals delivered 
-Enjoy damage and theft coverage at no extra charge
-Make extra money on equipment you own while you're not using it
Thousands of creative professionals use KitSplit. I'd love for you to join them.
Many thanks,

Lisbeth Kaufman | CEO & Co-founder, KitSplit 
30 John Street, Brooklyn New York 11201
Read about us in Forbes and Fast Company

new online tax guide for freelancers

Hey folks. It's tax time and someone brought my attention to this online resource. Check it out for what it's worth! -Mia
The Freelancer's Essential Guide to Business and Taxes

Who Should Use
This Guide?

Because the Gig Economy now occupies up to 40% of the workforce, anyone can utilize it if they either want to know more about the changing economic dynamics of freelancing or how to become a more successful freelancer. Whether you are an Uber driver, a newly minted PhD, a career consultant, a salaried professional, or simply between full-time jobs, this guide will serve as a helping hand while you navigate or start your career in the freelance world.

Why Use
This Guide?

The inexorable headwind that all freelancers face is instability. Working as an independent contractor on part-time projects or as a full-time freelancer for a Gig Economy startup will always carry a consistent level of risk of your next paycheck being smaller than the previous one. Therefore, this guide is here to provide a concise, yet comprehensive reality check, so that you are fully prepared to protect, build upon and succeed in this new freelance-centric economy.

This guide is educational, inspirational and practical. It will teach you why the freelance economy is growing and how, as a freelancer, you can take advantage of that growth. Additionally, it provides multiple examples of freelance success stories, ranging from the world of journalism to startups. Most importantly, the guide concludes with a step-by-step tutorial to tax season for freelancers, helping you protect what you have earned over the course of a year.

How To Use
This Guide?

We formulated this guide to work for all categories of workers and freelancers.

For new freelancers, we propose you read the guide from beginning to end, in order to completely understand the framework of the Gig Economy and how you can carve out a workable space for yourself as a freelancer.

For seasoned freelancers, while we think it is certainly beneficial to be familiar with the macroeconomic, business and organizational architecture of the freelance economy, feel free to scroll down to the sections on which you need more information, maybe sections specific to your type of freelance work (e.g. academia). Maybe you just want to check out our tax tips and tax templates. We encourage you to jump around as you wish!