Freelancers added to InfoNET site

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Freelancers wishing to offer their availability or work product to Indiana editors are now welcome to join HSPA InfoNet, the association’s content-sharing website.

From the beginning, the site – HSPAinfo.net — was planned to include a number of content areas in phases as the site developed, said Executive Director David Stamps.

“We started with newspapers interested in sharing content, then went to public-relations outlets such as colleges and universities looking for a single site to post their releases, and now on to freelancers,” he said.

Annual cost to join InfoNet for freelancers will be $50. Interested journalists are encouraged to contact Shawn Goldsby at sgoldsby@hspa.com for registration materials.

HSPA asks that newspaper editors alert freelancers in their area of this opportunity.

“We hope to build InfoNet into a multi-faceted, must-visit website for Indiana newspaper editors by offering news-sharing, public-relations notifications and now freelancer availability,” Stamps said.

In the near future, plans call for setting up a job board for papers and journalists to contact each other regarding employment possibilities.

InfoNet has operated for the past six months as a pilot project under a grant from the HSPA board of directors. Funds from that grant were exhausted this month; however, operating funds to extend InfoNet’s life through the end of the year have been provided by the HSPA board of directors in action taken at the board’s annual retreat this month.

HSPA executive director designate Stephen Key will analyze operation of the site and bring a plan for its continuation to the board at its Dec. 10 meeting.

The main issue is money to fund the project on an ongoing basis.

It is hoped that through a combination of user fees, including those from newspapers, public-relations outlets, and now, freelancers, the site can become all or partially self-sustaining.

To help spread the word about HSPA InfoNet, all HSPA member newspaper editors are now receiving the daily budget of stories on the site.

Both participating and non-participating member newspapers receive the headline news summary to allow editors to see the type content on the site.

Until a paper is an InfoNet member, however, its editors will be able to view only headlines of InfoNet-offered stories and not the articles themselves.

“HSPA InfoNet is an innovative service to help our members in this difficult economic time,” Stamps said. “But we need the support of the membership if this experiment is going to become a reality.”

To date, more than 40 Indiana daily and weekly newspapers have signed on to augment their news report by agreeing to share content.

For more information, contact Key at skey@hspa.com.