By Martand Jha:
Being a freelance writer is not an easy job in India. The whole process of writing an article and getting it published in a reputed newspaper/website is in itself an arduous journey that every new writer has to go through. Today, everyone seems to have an opinion on a lot of things, and they want themselves to be heard by a wider audience.
Even though platforms like Twitter and Facebook are available for everyone, but a status update or a tweet on an issue can’t be compared to a published article. That’s because writing a good article is like art where the piece engages the readers the same way a painting does to an admirer of art. Secondly, posting an opinion on social media is not taken seriously by others, unless you are a celebrity.
But here comes the problem. Firstly, most freelance writers don’t know where to send their articles because most of the reputed organisations including prominent newspapers and magazines don’t have a ‘Write For Us’ column or contact details. Secondly, when some organisations provide email IDs, people send in their articles, but they don’t get any reply from the other side.
This is the biggest complaint any freelance writer will have. The argument is that the editorial team of all organisations have a moral responsibility to respond to all queries. Most freelancers have no issues if their article isn’t accepted, but they at least need to be notified about the same.
Responding to articles might be a dull activity for media houses, but to a freelance writer, each response is crucial. Writing a good article takes a lot of time and energy. For someone who’s putting in that much effort would naturally want for it to be published. So, when a freelance writer doesn’t get a response even days after submitting the article, it is frustrating for that person, as all efforts seem to have gone to waste.
Most media houses also have certain criteria that an article will need to fulfil to get published, like if you’ve submitted your piece to a media house you can’t send it to others. The problem that comes with that condition is the fact that a lot of what most freelancers write on time-sensitive issues.
When a time-sensitive article isn’t published within a particular time frame, and it is not even communicated to the writer, the article goes to waste. Sometimes pieces are sent back with feedback with no guarantee if the revised piece will be published. Some media organisations don’t even notify the writers if their articles have been published.
These problems kill the aspirations of those who want to be a freelance writer and someday a print journalist because it is known that many prominent names in print media started their career as freelancers. Had they went through the same painful journey, many of them would have gotten frustrated and couldn’t have become what they are today.