The Freelance Branch of the Canadian Media Guild will now offer a media card, available to its journalist members. “We’ve heard from our members that having a media card may make it easier for them to gain access to events or interviews, and provide a ‘calling card’ that asserts they are qualified freelance journalists,” says Don Genova, CMG Freelance President.
The front of the wallet-sized card will feature the member’s name and photo, while the back of the card will contain a QR code that will link to the member’s profile on the CMG Freelance website. Genova says, “The QR code is a quick way for the cardholder to showcase their credentials, as their profiles can contain samples of their work; it also gives any authority scanning the card an instant way to verify the identity and experience of the cardholder.”
Media cards will not cost extra for members. They do have to hold a valid membership, which is $150/yr for independent freelancers. Regular freelancers at the CBC are also eligible to apply, as are people who freelance to other employers with CMG-based collective agreements. They must hold a current CMG membership number. The applications will be reviewed by Genova along with Scott Edmonds, a retired Canadian Press reporter/editor who is also a member of the Freelance Branch.
“We are asking people to do a little bit of work to get the card,” notes Genova. “They need to have their online profile with us updated and demonstrate, with references, that they are indeed making at least part of their living from freelance media work. And the updated profiles will make it easier for us to refer potential employers to one or more of our members.”