After 30 years, this freelancer’s column still delights East Bay readers
By Laura Thomas
Veteran East Bay columnist Martin Snapp learned his craft writing for radio in the 1970s after his friend Diane Keaton (the broadcaster, not the actress) got him a job at KCBS Radio.
“Ted Feurey, the news director, was obsessed with winning the trivia game at the Kings X bar on Piedmont Avenue so Diane told him she knew a guy who knew a lot of crap,” Snapp recalled. “He had to give me a job to get me on the team and that’s how I got into the news business.”
Snapp took readily to writing and producing news, becoming adept at the pithy lede and quick take. “I firmly believe that radio is the best way to learn to write for journalism…. A leads to B and you don’t want the reader to miss anything.”
Whether you are a cartoonist, photographer, or an investigative reporter; whether you work in a single medium or across multiple platforms, your freelance efforts deserve recognition. That is why the Pacific Media Workers Guild, part of The Newspaper Guild/CWA, is sponsoring the first annual Freelance Journalism Awards competition.
This contest is open to anyone – independents and staffers alike – whose work was published on a freelance basis during calendar year 2013 and who lives and works in California or Hawaii. You do not have to be a member of the Pacific Media Workers Guild to compete (although if you wish to become a member, click on “Join,” above). PMWG freelance unit members who reside in other states are eligible as well.
Entries will be judged by colleagues in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore and St. Louis locals, which encompass some of the most distinguished journalists in the nation. The deadline is March 31; winners will be announced at a May 10 reception in San Francisco, CA. The grand prize, named for the late, much-loved Bay Area journalist Raul Ramirez, comes with an honorarium of $300.
The time to enter is now.Follow this link and you’ll find the rules, the categories in which you may compete, and an application form. Entry is free for all Guild members; $10 per single entry or $25 for three or more entries for non-members. You can pay by check or by PayPal (below).
Choose Number of Entries Below:
Tell your colleagues about this contest and feel free to contact us at email@example.com if you have questions. And of course, we wish you the best of luck.
2013 Knight Fellows brainstorm during an Institute for the Future workshop. Photo: Samaruddin Stewart
Are you a journalist who has an innovative idea to help build a new future for our field? You could spend 10 months experimenting, testing and creating your idea, leveraging the many resources of Stanford University and Silicon Valley — and get paid to do so.
This is not a traditional sabbatical-style fellowship program. Knight is striving to re-engineer journalism by focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Great candidates for the program are people who want to create something that will help other journalists as well as themselves, or who are seeking new leadership roles in existing news organizations.
Salary is $65,000 plus supplements for housing, childcare and health insurance as well as moving and research/equipment expenses. Expect this to be a transformative year, one that changes thinking, career paths and lives. It often is also a transformative year for spouses and partners of fellows, who are welcomed as Knight Affiliates to attend Knight Fellowship seminars and Stanford classes. Children of Knight Fellows can attend excellent Palo Alto-area schools.
Guild Freelancers unit meeting. 11 a.m. Friday, April 4 in the Guild conference room, 433 Natoma St. third floor. Questions? Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Investigating Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers a free online Reynolds Center webinar April 9 with former WSJ/Dow Jones Newswires deputy bureau chief Rob Wells. Register at the main webinar page.
Desks for freelancers The San Francisco Public Press offers dedicated workspace for $275 per month at 44 Page St. near Market, Muni and BART. Current subletters are a freelance science writer and an arts/media nonprofit. Fee includes wireless DSL, phone line, printers, copiers, fax, kitchen, snacks and meeting space. Contact Lila LaHood by email at lila (at) sfpublicpress (dot) org, or by phone at (415) 495-7377.
Apply now for dental coverage. Obamacare may not include dental work, but members of all independent worker units may apply for Guild Freelancers dental benefits and vision coverage too. Click on "benefits" to learn how.
Free tips, tutorials. Guild members can access a wide range of tutorials for free at the CWA/NETT Academy. Visit the Facebook page to get started.
GUILD FREELANCERS is a growing part of the Pacific Media Workers Guild and The Newspaper Guild-CWA. We represent journalists and independent writers working in all types of media, and advocate vigorously on their behalf in the marketplace, the Legislature, and the public mind. We work to provide benefits, services, and educational programs for our members as the publishing industry evolves.