VIDEO: Freelancers on the Frontlines (update)

Melissa Noel


Missed the May 12th event or want a rewind? Watch the video featuring a discussion of technology and freelance journalism among freelance journalist Melissa Noel (@NoelKnowsWell) and Microsoft News Labs Managing Director Ben Rudolph (@BenThePCGuy), led by Manager David Mass (@ds_maas).



Original post

Before the pandemic upended employment numbers for the foreseeable future, a 2019 study from the Freelancers Union revealed that more than a third of the U.S. labor force worked as freelancers. In sheer numbers, that translated to 57 million people.

The journalism industry has had a long history of freelancers — also called stringers and/or correspondents, depending on the medium — and disrupted newsrooms added to this workforce staple.

Yet these seasoned independent journalists too have had to adapt in the tumult of COVID-19, even as they operate on the frontlines covering every angle from health and science treatments to government and economic policy. To understand more on how these essential employees are handling work in the epicenter of the crisis, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) will host a conversation with award-winning multimedia journalist Melissa Noel, a former ICFJ Bringing Home the World fellow, and Microsoft News Labs director Ben Rudolph to discuss what remote work means in these times.

IOFJ has partnered with Microsoft before, most recently on a 2019 grant program to fund and train five journalists on data journalism visualization and immersive storytelling.

David Maas of, a project of ICFJ that provides tips and resources for journalists working around the world in eight languages, will be hosting the Freelancers on the Frontlines Q&A. The stream begins at 10am PT/1pm ET on Tuesday May 12 on ICFJ’s LinkedIn Page. Add a calendar reminder by clicking