Getting paid as a freelance journalist

Most news outlets pay per word published, a concept I’ve always thought absurd, as of course some words cost more to produce than others. Consider, for example, the cost of a smart, detailed, on-the-ground report from the middle of gunfire in an unheard of corner of Syria to the cost of a vacuous opinion piece written from a Brooklyn bedroom. Broadly, for an eight-hundred-word piece in a major international news outlet, a reporter was looking at between $250 and $500. Some outlets will offer a day rate if writing isn’t to be published directly, for example, doing research or getting quotes.

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