Toronto-based freelance reporter Naheed Mustafa always paid her own way when she reported from abroad. But that meant that about 70 percent to 80 percent of what she earned went straight toward paying for the costs of traveling.
Most news organizations don’t reimburse freelancers for travel costs, and the ones that do don’t offer a lot. Mustafa was looking for a more cost-effective solution, so she turned to crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to raise $15,000 to travel to Pakistan and Afghanistan for in-depth reporting on how its citizens are affected by conflict and war. After two months, she successfully reached her goal and will head abroad this month.
In a shrinking economic climate, many newspapers are cutting back on freelance budgets and expense reimbursements. Frustrated with this new reality, some journalists have taken financing into their own hands.