What we do

April 1, 2016
At the Future of Europe debate at the Frontline Club

At the Future of Europe debate. © Tolly Robinson 2016

We live in a time when innovation and experimentation in news coexist with a decline in revenue. Some publishers and broadcasters are struggling to find revenue streams; other media startups are emerging; and technology companies like Google and Facebook are assuming the role publishers once exclusively held. Amidst all this disruption, a career in journalism increasingly means a career as a freelancer. 

The Frontline Club is proud to be editorially independent. It exists to champion independent journalism; to promote the craft of ethical, courageous reporting; and to encourage debate.  

The Frontline Club’s mandate is multi-faceted. We encourage debate, so we hold events that anyone can attend and welcome panelists who hold a range of views. We distribute most of our content online for free through our podcast. We provide discounted training to journalists and media workers through our workshop programme. And our independence means we are uniquely positioned to support freelancers

Before the Frontline Club was a media club, it was a freelance video agency. Frontline News Television (FNTV) staff were young journalists who repurposed consumer grade handheld video equipment and electronics to report from war zones too-often ignored in the press. Many were killed. FNTV’s story foretold how today’s tech-savvy freelancers and reporters have been at the forefront of using new technology to deliver news – whether that be from war zones and states in crisis, or through using encryption technology to evade censorship and persecution. 

If FNTV foreshadowed the continuing relationship between technology and news, it also underscored how many freelancers who take risks to gather news are not given the support that is so crucial for them to do their work: fair pay, insurance, safety training, psychological support, a code of practice, and a community of support. The Frontline Freelance Register, a ring-fenced entity which is funded by the Frontline Club Charitable Trust and run by an independent board of conflict journalists, was founded to help freelancers who work abroad. The Frontline Club is now developing another sister organisation to support local freelancers on the ground, because journalists reporting from their own regions face unique threats and challenges.

Amidst journalism’s “uberisation” – with freelancers increasingly asked to take more risks with less support – the Frontline Club amplifies the rights of freelancers and foregrounds their groundbreaking journalism. As many news organisations struggle to maintain revenue, the Frontline Club provides a forum for open and informed debate on current affairs, documentary filmmaking, news media and the craft of journalism.

Anyone who wishes to join the conversation is welcome. 

 

 



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