How to reform a field? Identify who's doing good.
For 15 years, FIRE has tenaciously fought for a radically different future in everything we do.
From story grants and reporting services, to the Contract Template, Legal Consultancy, and most lately the comprehensive Tip Sheets, FIRE accelerates basic reform of public-interest journalism by providing direct assistance, surveying the results—and analyzing what works and doesn’t.
Our new Tip Sheets, in particular, make a persuasive case that publishers and broadcasters would be better off relinquishing an outmoded contracting model.
The Tip Sheets point to a counter-intuitive conclusion: Outlets that treat freelancers well actually act in everybody’s interest—and ultimately at an advantage over those that don’t.
FIRE’s own work shows that the good work is entirely doable.
Of the 17 outlets that had exposed freelancers to liability before FIRE intervened on request since 2021, 15 of the outlets stepped up and indemnified the reporter with FIRE’s help.
FIRE has now developed records of more than two-dozen outlets that have done it right—and those that haven’t.
We now intend to take the next step.
In a project seeded by FIRE's grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, FIRE is launching a careful evaluation of how outlets conduct themselves in engaging freelance reporters—and you can help.
If you’re an unaffiliated reporter, we invite you to broaden and deepen the fieldwide evaluation of outlets by contributing relevant intelligence to FIRE’s metrics;
If you are a friend of journalism who wants to transform an antiquated journalistic status quo into a more viable future, we invite you to support FIRE’s work.
Please be in touch.
And thank you!
Laird Townsend, FIRE Director