newspapermap.com a great tool for the travelling freelancer

One of the most common dreams of young journalism students is to travel and write. They envision a glamorous life on the move overseas, financed by travel stories they would be writing for clientele back home. A few of our grads have managed to do that over the years, but many find out the dreams rarely line up with reality, especially for those graduating with substantial debt.

Still, it is possible, and through tools freely available on the Internet, could well become a realistic and attractive option for the unemployed writer.

The more successful travelling journalists I know have found jobs at a given location on the planet, and parked their pens and notepads there for a year or more before moving on, or moving home. They work as local reporters in that country, and sell a bit of work back home to interested clients as a sideline. To do that, a traveller would have to find out what publications there are, what language the paper publishes in, and how to get in touch with them. That used to be quite a chore.

Enter newspapermap.com, a fantastic global newspaper locator tool that provides all the information on a country’s newspaper population. It’s as easy as using Google Maps, and the user can zoom in and a key identifies which language the paper employs, all within seconds.

In one day, an interested person could contact dozens of overseas newspapers and inquire about internships or paid work. In developing countries in particular, like east Africa or India, a Canadian-trained journalist would be a highly prized addition to any newsroom.

It’s not 100 per cent accurate, and looks to be a work in progress. All of Canada’s dailies are there, but few of the community papers, and it’s likely the case for the rest of the world.

And of course, going hand-in-hand with that research would be the need for investigating how much these publications pay, so the journalist could afford to live there. I give the same advice to a grad looking to relocate to a rural paper: make sure you can afford to live, because the editor won’t worry about whether you can afford to pay rent, food, run a car and make payments on your student loan.

Planning and research is key to any foray overseas and this app just made both a lot easier for the travelling journalist.

 

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