This blog began life as a comment in a LinkedIn discussion, so if you’re not a freelance journalist, I apologize for wasting your time.
I’m the membership secretary at Dublin Freelance, and well aware that the branch name is a bit of a misnomer. We’re really the Irish Freelance branch.
For many freelances who want to attend the branch meetings, distance is an issue. There are members of Dublin in Donegal, Sligo, Limerick, Waterford…
There’s an ongoing discussion at the moment on branch reorganization in Dublin, partly because of low attendance. There’s provision in the NUJ rulebook for virtual branches who meet online, but I’m not sure how well it might work in practice. Apart from anything else, what are the costs of video conferencing?
Short of suggesting freelances join local branches instead, what else could the branch do to help you get involved? Would it make a difference if we moved branch meetings to the weekend, or organized other events to coincide with the meetings to make the trip worthwhile?
After the recent Freelance Forum, one of the ideas being tossed around is that we might arrange guest speakers or tutorials on subjects of interest before each meeting.