Freelance life is a hustle — here’s how journalist Jeanette Beebe learned to handle it
In this interview, healthcare and tech journalist Jeanette Beebe shares how she keeps track of her articles, connects with readers, and puts public interest reporting at the center of her work.
Hi Jeanette, thanks for agreeing to share your experience with Authory so far. Please tell us a little bit about your background as a journalist.
My reporting on medicine, tech, and the politics and policies that propel health care has appeared in The Daily Beast, Fast Company, Forbes, MarketWatch, Mental Floss, Next Avenue, Scientific American, and NPR member station WHYY. I often focus on issues that impact women and girls, older people and their caregivers, and the LGBTQ community. I write a daily newsletter for the Center for Cooperative Media’s NJ News Commons, a network of over 280 local news partners across New Jersey.
I often focus on issues that impact women and girls, older people and their caregivers, and the LGBTQ community.
I got my start in journalism writing for the Daily Princetonian’s culture pages, where I somehow managed to interview voting machine researchers a decade before they sounded the alarm that made international headlines. I began working as a freelancer after graduation, reporting for local news outlets and the Princeton Alumni Weekly, an editorially independent magazine that prints monthly. My work as a freelance recordist has been broadcast by the BBC, Gimlet, KALW, WBUR, and NPR/ProPublica’s “Lost Mothers” series, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.
Name: Jeanette BeebeAuthory page: authory.com/JeanetteBeebeNumber of articles: 69Number of publications: 14
You have been using Authory for more than a year now. What did you look for initially when you signed up?
I signed up because I was looking for a way to back up all of my articles, and manually saving the web pages as PDFs seemed tedious. When I learned that Authory does that automatically, I got interested — and it also seemed like the service was fairly chill and straightforward and tailored for journalists.
You are an experienced freelancer who has worked for a number of different outlets. Could you describe the challenges that come with this and how you’ve been utilizing Authory?
Authory helps me manage the hustle of the freelance life, I think. The automated newsletter keeps my subscribers updated with essentially no effort on my part, so when one of my articles is posted online, I share on social and then talk with readers and other tech or health journalists on Twitter. It’s mighty convenient.
“Authory helps me manage the hustle of the freelance life”
And the Weekly Social Shares email report is something I actually use pretty often — I check it every week. I look forward to that email in my inbox, because it’s useful to know how my articles are doing on social media. It helps me nail down how people are responding to my work.
You’ve probably heard of publications like Gothamist and DNAinfo who deleted large parts of their archive, leaving journalists with years of work lost. Has anything like that happened to your work in the past?
I’ve been very fortunate — thankfully, as far as I know, none of my digital reporting has been lost. I’ve only had a tiny, brief glimpse of this: when WHYY transitioned its news website from Newsworks.org to WHYY.org, some of my articles didn’t re-direct right away. I cut my teeth at WHYY as a newsroom intern, and I suppose I didn’t know how much those web stories meant to me until I saw those 404 error pages.
What would you say to your journalist colleagues about Authory?
When I search ‘Authory’ on Google, the results page asks if I meant ‘authority’ instead. It turns out ‘author’ and ‘authority’ come from the same place: the Latin noun auctor and the verb augere, ‘to increase, originate, promote.’ The ‘th’ came centuries later, maybe influenced by the word ‘authentic.’ To me, it just seems that Authory does all of this: it promotes your work and increases your reach; it strengthens your following; it keeps you in contact with your readers in a simple way that feels authentic. And as journalists, authority is not something we have — it’s something we earn (if we’re lucky), over and over again. It’s crucial to building and keeping trust. I spoke with Poynter about this two years ago: we are in a time of transition, clearly, and we need to take every chance we get to unlearn bad habits and pick up better ones. I honestly think Authory is a good habit — so yes, give it a try.
“Authory promotes your work and increases your reach; it strengthens your following; it keeps you in contact with your readers in a simple way that feels authentic.”
— Jeanette Beebe, authory.com/JeanetteBeebe
Thank you, Jeanette.
Jeanette and thousands of other journalists are using Authory to take control of their content and their audience. Join Jeanette with a free 14 day trial at authory.com