2009 marks the 10th anniversary of SAFREA - the media professionals' forum for freelance media specialists in southern Africa. The world of media is going freelance and the association is currently testing a sophisticated new website, it announced on Friday, 19 June 2009.
What started out as a small group of journalists and photographers has become an Africa-wide organisation with around 350 members made up of writers, photographers, editors, proofreaders, graphic designers, illustrators, researchers, translators, website developers/designers and related new media and communication experts offering wide-ranging media skills and vast collective experience.
Although a well-used virtual home and networking interface for long-standing freelancers who would never want - or probably need - to go back to the corporate office, in these trying economic times, SAFREA has become a home to the many considerably talented media people who have suddenly found themselves without jobs.Media going freelance
As Clive Lotter, SAFREA chair, pointed out: “Like it or not, the world of media is going freelance. The impact of broadband connectivity and social networking is changing how news is gathered and disseminated, while global recession batters away at the print media.”
Safreans (SAFREA members) inter-communicate constantly through its website and private forums regarding assignment postings and job offers. Freelancing can be a lonely business, but members thrive on the lively networking and ongoing passing on of business tips and industry intelligence.
Member groups around the country - the biggest currently in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban - hold regular get-togethers, generally with guest speakers, which inevitably relax into networking evenings with good food and drink.New website
SAFREA national spokesperson and media trainer Marion Scher added: "We're currently testing a sophisticated new website and developing training modules and 'toolkits' to improve freelancers' skills or better manage their businesses."
For those who've experienced the value of a competent freelancer, or others who need a “once off” job well done, the SAFREA website has a searchable and comprehensive directory of Safreans and their skills www.safrea.co.za
- and if the freelancer you contact can't assist within your deadline, a Safrean will recommend someone who can.