There are plenty of skills I picked up as a reporter that have served me well in my freelancing career — aggressive researching, interview timing, writing on tight deadlines, and the ability to quickly know what you previously didn’t know. This last one, probably the most vital.
I’ve learned about Community Development Block Grants, the many challenges of running city government, the ins-and-outs of New England’s energy grid and other esoteric subjects well enough to tell others about them in a 20-inch story written at an eighth-grade level. While I’m not at a daily anymore, I am occasionally called upon to learn and write in a short time frame. Like when I was asked to provide some content for a cloud server service website. Crash course in IT anyone?