May 2020 summary: Learning new journalistic skills, reviewing assistive technology and playing online Scrabble

Being a fly on the wall watching me work on my laptop almost all day, every day this month may appear very boring, but for me, May 2020 has been a very productive month; creating blog content, writing up interviews, learning new journalistic skills and having fun playing games online.

Freelance Journalism

A majority of May 2020 has consisted of me continuing my mission to research and plan how to become a freelance journalist.

I completed a four-week online course on Journalism.co.uk called “Getting started as a freelance journalist”, which was run by freelance journalist Abigail Edge. In each module, we looked at how to pitch, how to find interviewees & sources, finding publications & editors and building your brand. Each week we were given several online worksheets to read through, then get given a few short exercises and two assignments to upload to the class forum. The first assignment would be something like create a pitch log or find potential contacts. For the second assignment, we write a pitch that Abigail will gives feedback on. This is not an official qualification but just a tool to gain the practical skills and knowledge to become a freelance journalist.

I’ve also attended several more virtual workshops and webinars in May 2020. These have included:

  • How to find media jobs workshop
  • Diversity in journalism
  • Pitching to editors workshop
  • An evening with… five rising stars in journalism
  • Social media journalism

I’ve found these webinars so interesting. Inspiring and entertaining. Many of them only became available because of lockdown measures. But this has been a huge lifeline for me, especially when I find travelling and accessing events at venues more difficult. I hope virtual workshops and webinars become more available even after the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Most of these events I discovered on Twitter. If you’re a journalist wanting to join similar workshops, I recommend you follow these Twitter accounts:

I’ve also discovered a new podcast called “Freelancing for Journalists” hosted by freelance journalists Lily Canter and Emma Wilkinson. They hare tips and advice on how to be freelance journalist from finding work, pitching, networking & finance. There are also a few additional special episodes about how to manage during COVID-19.

In addition, I was commissioned my first freelance job at social enterprise Access Rating, where I created content for their new campaign. You can find out more in my blog roundup below.

Blogging & Disability Horizons

Despite all the work above, I’ve also managed to spend May 2020 publish several blog posts, which includes three technology reviews, four music interviews and a guest blog – all of which can be found in my blog roundup below.

Moreover, my interview with AccessAble colleague Lucy Wood has been published on Disability Horizons, along with a couple of news stories, which you can read below.

Online Scrabble

When I’m not working, eating, sleeping or binge watching TV shows or films on Disney+, I’ve found a new fun and competitive activity – online Scrabble.

My friend Steph – who is shielding in Northampton – and I really wanted to play Scrabble together. We then discovered an online version on Facebook called Words With Friends.

I never expected Steph to enjoy or be good at Scrabble, but she has surprised me with how many times she has won. We’ve played almost every day for the past three weeks. So far Steph is beating me 7-6 on the number of won games. My highest scored word so far has been “ZEE” for 96 points.

Also, with this version of Scrabble, it allows you to put down abbreviations such as “GEO”, “EE” & “QI”.

Audio Description petition

Following my blog post about accessibility features on TV streaming services (see below), my audio description petition has received 295 signatures in three weeks, making the total 490 signatures, which is amazing!

But I’m eager to reach thousands. The more signatures we get, the more likely changes could be made within the TV & films industries. Please, please, PLEASE continue to sign & share!

Guest Bloggers Wanted

This month I published a guest blog post about physio equipment on the website My Mobility Guide, which you can check out in my blog roundup below.

I’m still eager to collaborate with even more bloggers in 2020. So, if you’re a lifestyle, disability and/or music blogger, send me your blog stories. Plus let me know if you’d like me to feature on your blog as a guest blogger.

I’m flexible with any type of blog posts; life story, disability awareness, music event, musician promotion – basically anything to do with life, disability or music!

Blog post roundup

In case you missed any of my blog posts this month, here is a roundup of them:

  1. Music Interview: The Blacklava
  2. 6 mobility aids and equipment for physiotherapy | Guest Blog on My Mobility Guide
  3. Lucy Wood: How blogging can change perceptions about disability
  4. Accessibility features on TV streaming services for blind and visually impaired people
  5. Music Interview: Little King
  6. NHS App: Modern access to healthcare in England
  7. Music Interview: Stolen Apple
  8. DH News: BBC commissions new factual drama to mark 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act
  9. 10 accessibility features on MacBook Air
  10. What access means to me – Access Rating
  11. Music Interview: Undefeated
  12. Liz Johnson on her Paralympic swimming career and being a disabled entrepreneur
  13. DH News: Disabled charities host virtual gigs to raise money in lockdown

5 Favourite Blog Posts

Here are my 5 favourite blog posts I’ve read this month:

1.    My View on ‘Inspiration Porn’ at Brains on Wheels

2.    A Call to Change How Disability is Seen at From the Window

3.    Overcoming my disability is something I’ve never done by Chloe Tear

4.    Hiding my chronic illness behind my vision impairment at My Blurred World

5.    Will our world really be changed forever? at Ask the Warrior

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Published by Rock For Disability

This blog follows my life as a disabled person, reports disability news, share music reviews, give advice pieces, shows multimedia content plus much more!

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