NOTE: Make sure you read both the comments and my replies to them. We’ve got a healthy discussion going here. -AC
As part of my duties at 102.1 the Edge/Toronto, I executive edit the Citizen Edge team, a group of listeners who want to write about cool things–music, food, movies, pop culture, whatever–for Edge.ca. We launched the program last year and have had great success, but as with any project such as this, there is a certain amount of churn as people move on. No biggie. That’s life, right?
What it does mean, though, is that we now have more openings for writers. Although these are volunteer writing positions, good work will get exposed to the hundreds of thousands of people who visit Edge.ca every week. This is real-world work, meaning that it becomes a legitimate part of your writing portfolio, something that we hope will help you get to the next level. Maybe that dream job of being a writer for a living. Hey, it’s happened.
Here’s the pitch:
Citizen Edge is a team of volunteer bloggers who can help us cover all the things that are going on in Toronto from a music/entertainment/stuff to do point of view.
• Album reviews
• Concert reviews
• Movie reviews
• TV reviews
• Book reviews
• Recommendations of things to see and places to go in the GTA.
• Food/restaurant recommendations
• Helpful life hacks
Participants are Edge listeners who love to write and share their interests, recommendations, passions and opinions, and are VERY GOOD at it.
It’s a chance for Edge listeners to contribute to our website for the benefit of everyone in Toronto.
And no, this isn’t a paid gig, unfortunately. However, it gives participants a chance to have their work seen and heard by hundreds of thousands of people, and, if that writing leads to possible career opportunities down the road, we’ll vouch for you.
The official application can be found here. Hey, what have you got to lose?
UPDATE (Again): In response to some criticisms of this Edge program, I probably should have pointed out the following:
1. Anyone who wants to get involved will get coaching and mentoring on writing and presentation from a whole team of Edge people, including myself. As much as you want, as often as you need. And it’s always free with no up selling into anything. And no obligations, either.
2. Where possible, we’ll get you into shows and events for free.
3. We’ll do everything we can to help you make connections within the local music/culture industries. These connections and networking opportunities will hopefully lead to bigger and better things.
4. We’ll work to get you access to things like free music–if that’s your passion.
5. Above all, we want this to be a flow-through sort of position where we do our best to give you an entre into the world of music and radio. We want you to succeed by giving you the best leg-up we can.
6. This is all totally voluntary. You can contribute as much or as little as you feel like. There are no assignments, deadlines or editors calling you up at 11pm demanding to know where your copy is. If something moves and/or inspires you to write something and you decide you want to send it to us, great!
If not, that’s cool.
7. We’re also looking to facilitate the creation of a community. We discovered a long time ago that Edge listeners like talking to other Edge listeners about things that matter to them or things that they think are cool. That’s very different than a straight news site. It’s a subtle distinction but an important one. (Read down through the comments for my elaboration on this.)
We’ve had some nice successes, too, with CE people graduating to greater things. Others just love the chance to have a national and international platform for their view, opinions and creativity. At the very least, they acquired some new skills or sharpened ones they already had.
I understand why some may interpret this program as a way of getting free labour, but this honestly is not our intention. We’re not looking to rip people off. We really just want to help new people to break into the business with the resources available to us. It’s tough out there and this is one way we think we can help make at least at tiny difference.
And like I’ve already said, it’s also a chance for people who just want to contribute for the sheer hell of it. Have fun!
I want to thank all the CE people, past, present and future. If you have any comments or critiques about the program, please let me know, okay? We want to make this the best it can be for you.