Stringer (journalism)

In journalism, a stringer is a freelance journalist, photographer, or videographer who contributes reports, photos, or videos to a news organization on an ongoing basis but is paid individually for each piece of published or broadcast work.[2]

As freelancers, stringers do not receive a regular salary and the amount and type of work is typically voluntary. However, stringers often have an ongoing relationship with one or more news organizations, to which they provide content on particular topics or locations when the opportunities arise.[3]

The term is typically confined to news industry jargon. In print or in broadcast terms, stringers are sometimes referred to as correspondents or contributors; at other times, they may not receive any public recognition for the work they have contributed.

A reporter or photographer can "string" for a news organization in a number of different capacities and with varying degrees of regularity, so that the relationship between the organization and the stringer is typically very loose. When it is difficult for a staff reporter or photographer to reach a location quickly for breaking news stories, larger news organizations often rely on local stringers to provide rapid scene descriptions, quotations or photos.[2] In this capacity, stringers are used heavily by most television news organizations and some print publications for video footage, photos, and interviews.

Bonnieclyde f
The Hulton Archives/Getty Images claim copyright[1] on this image of Bonnie and Clyde, but don't identify who took this photo (listing "stringer" as the photographer). The Library of Congress version comes from the New York World-Telegram & Sun collection, which in turn credits the photo to the Associated Press.


The etymology of the word is uncertain. Newspapers once paid stringers per inch of printed text they generated. The theory given in the Oxford English Dictionary is that a stringer is a person who strings words together, while others use the term because the reporter is "strung along" by a news organization, or kept in a constant state of uncertainty. Another possibility is that using a sports analogy, the freelance journalist is seen as a "second string" whereas the staff journalist positions are more of the "first string". (This in turn comes from music, where the first string is the premiere violin in the orchestra, the second string is the next most talented player and so on.)

Another possible derivation of the term "stringer": journalists at newspapers and television news stations sometimes use the expression "I'm still gathering string" to refer to the initial stage of reporting or fact-finding. Put another way, "Still gathering string" is newsroom jargon for the process of "looking for something that you can't yet name." The "string" being "the stuff that accumulates in a journalist's pocket." "String" may be used by journalists or researchers to describe a piece of information discovered in the process of looking for something else or "the anomaly that jumps out at you" while conducting research. The significance, however, of this serendipitous discovery has yet to be determined.

Another derivation dates back to the time when part-time reporters were paid for each column inch of copy the newspaper printed. An explanation once common in newsrooms was that editors kept strings (knotted with one knot per inch) at their desks as a flexible alternative to rulers. According to a variant version "At the end of the week/month, they [writers] would measure the space their writing occupied in the newspaper by a length of string. They'd turn in the piece of string, and would be paid according to how long the string was."[4]

Examples in Consumer Media

  • Lou Bloom, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, in the movie Nightcrawler_(film), is a stringer, albeit became one using unethical and immoral means.
  • Spider-man (or Peter Parker) in comics, movies and various other media is a stringer, who captures and sells the pictures to local news, notably Daily Bugle.

See also


  1. ^ "Portrait Of American Bank Robbers And Lovers Clyde Barrow… News Photo | Getty Images | 3248806". Getty Images. 1933-01-01. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
  2. ^ a b "Handbook of Journalism: Dealing with stringers". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  3. ^ Bank, David; Peter Leyden (October 1991). "Be A Stringer See The World". American Journalism Review. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  4. ^

A correspondent or on-the-scene reporter is usually a journalist or commentator for magazines, or more speaking, an agent who contributes reports to a newspaper, or radio or television news, or another type of company, from a remote, often distant, location. A foreign correspondent is stationed in a foreign country. The term "Correspondent" refers to the original practice of filing news reports via postal letter. The largest networks of correspondents belong to ARD (Germany) and BBC (UK).


A freelancer or freelance worker, is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. Freelance workers are sometimes represented by a company or a temporary agency that resells freelance labor to clients; others work independently or use professional associations or websites to get work.

While the term independent contractor would be used in a higher register of English to designate the tax and employment classes of this type of worker, the term "freelancing" is most common in culture and creative industries, and use of this term may indicate participation therein.Fields, professions, and industries where freelancing is predominant include: music, writing, acting, computer programming, web design, graphic design, translating and illustrating, film and video production and other forms of piece work which some cultural theorists consider as central to the cognitive-cultural economy.

List of journalists murdered in Ukraine

This is a List of journalists murdered in Ukraine

A list of journalists (listed chronologically since 1991) containing the names of the mass media workers who became victims of murders or died as a result of the terrorist attacks and military activities on the territory of Ukraine.

On 15 August 2017 the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko assigned the scholarships for the children of journalists who died on duty, in order to support these children and provide them with the social protection they need. In accordance with the presidential decree No. 217/2017, the scholarship will be assigned to a daughter of a captain-lieutenant and an editor of the TV services “Breeze” of the broadcasting agency of the Ministry of Defence (Ukraine) Dmytro Labutkin, - Kira; a daughter of a photojournalist of the Segodnya (Russian: Сегодня, IPA: [sʲɪˈvodʲnʲə] (listen), lit. Today) newspaper Sergiy Nikolayev – Valeria; and a son of a journalist from the Vesti (Russian: Вести, "News") newspaper Vyacheslav Veremiy – Maksim.

Mark Gayn

Mark Gayn (né Mark Julius Ginsbourg; 21 April 1909–17 December 1981) was an American and Canadian journalist, who worked for The Toronto Star for 30 years.

Journalism roles

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