“When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as
the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.”
― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
Dear Storyhunter Community,
This has been a challenging year for freelance journalists. We lost more than 80 colleagues in 2014, and hundreds of others are in captivity at this very moment. Through the horrific, public executions of James Foley and Steven Sotloff by ISIS, the world finally understood an important fact: The news does not get reported by itself. It is brought to us by a dedicated, brave group of human beings who risk their lives so we can all be better informed.
Despite the challenges, and thanks to your support and hard work, we’ve been able to accomplish a lot this year at Storyhunter. Back in August, we launched the first-ever platform for professional, freelance journalists and filmmakers to negotiate directly with the biggest media companies in the world. News outlets like AJ+, Fusion, Discovery Digital, The Economist and MSNBC.com have since commissioned hundreds of stories from our community.
As you may already know, we offer free insurance to anyone commissioned on Storyhunter to report from a conflict zone. Our community is now open to photojournalists, print journalists and fixers as well as video journalists and documentary filmmakers. We’ve also made strides in bucking one of worst trends in our line of work: freelancers not getting paid in a reasonable amount of time. In 2014, we paid Storyhunters, on average, less than 2 weeks after completing a project.
Early next year, we’ll be announcing some exciting new partnerships with more media companies that will begin using Storyhunter to find and hire freelancers. We’ll be launching new features to match publishers with qualified freelancers to cover breaking news anywhere in the world. We’ll be improving our communication tools to facilitate deeper relationships between editors and freelancers. We’ll continue to do all we can to ensure the safety and well-being of any journalist who puts his/her life at risk to tell the stories of our world.
We recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done. Please let us know if you have any ideas for how we can improve your experience on Storyhunter. Your feedback has and always will be critical to our evolution. That will never change.
Above all, we just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you. Thanks for doing what you do, despite the risks. Thank you for your support. Thank you for breathing life into our platform every day; for your pitches, your feedback, and your stories.
We are grateful to be on this journey with you.
Happy New Year,
Jaron Gilinsky, CEO