Welcome! I'm Simon Owens and this is my tech and media newsletter. If you've received it then you either subscribed or someone forwarded it to you. If you fit into the latter camp, then you can subscribe over here. Or just click on this handy little button:
In this week’s issue I give you a look at the life of a freelancer and explain why the economics of freelance journalism make it difficult to build a viable career. Let’s jump right into it...
How this Canadian media company organically grew to 11 local news sites
Village Media started out as a single news site in an Ontario city and has since grown to 11 sites spread out across Canada. I recently interviewed Jeff Elgie, Village Media’s CEO, about the company’s history and how it’s succeeded where so many legacy newspapers have struggled or failed. [link]
I was interviewed on a podcast!
This is really cool! I got to appear on the Techmeme Ride Home podcast over the weekend. I've been reading Techmeme for years and it's hugely influential within the tech industry, so it was an honor to be invited on. [link]
Why making a living as a freelance journalist is so difficult
Is it possible to make a living as a freelance journalist? Sure. Some writers have the connections and backgrounds to secure those $1-a-word print gigs. Others convince publications to put them under contracts that guarantee them a minimum amount of work. Some possess enough hustle to cobble together enough low-paying web gigs to pay the rent.
But the romantic notion of a freelance journalist who floats between various cushy magazine gigs is mostly a myth. I don’t know if there ever was a golden age for freelance journalists, but we’re certainly not in it. [link]
Want to interact with me directly?
I have a secret Facebook group that’s only promoted to subscribers of this newsletter. I try to post exclusive commentary to it every day and have regular discussions with its members about the tech/media space. Go here to join. [link]
Complex Networks is really good at building online video series and is also smart about diversifying its revenue. This is definitely a media company to watch. [link]
"Vevo saw 3.9 billion music video views on living room devices — in May 2019." We once thought the music video was dying. Now it's more popular than ever. [link]
Podcasts. T-shirts. Video games. Netflix is finally expanding its IP into new mediums and merchandise. [link]
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