Newspaper staffs continue to be cut and some Nebraska Press Women members are choosing to be freelancers as they retire from full-time work or simply want to be self-employed.

The keynote workshop at NPW’s fall conference Oct. 8 at Kearney Public Library, 2020 First Avenue, will provide valuable information for current, transitioning and future freelancers.

We would love to see everyone in Kearney. However, for those who can’t attend in person, the keynote workshop will be available via Zoom. Both the in-person conference and the Zoom presentation are open to the public. While there is no charge to take part in the Zoom presentation, registration is required.

“Rights and Responsibilities of Freelancers” will be presented from 10:30-11:45 a.m., following the NPW membership meeting at which new 2022-24 officers will be elected.

Speaker Jennifer Nelson is a senior staff attorney with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, where she leads its pre-publication and pre-broadcast review practice, oversees the publication of and updates to the Reporters Committee’s legal guides, and supervises its hotline for journalists.

With more work being done by freelancers, knowing one’s rights and responsibilities becomes increasingly important. What, for example, should you always want to see in a freelance contract or work agreement you’re expected to sign? What stipulations should ring alarm bells?

Do you need to carry your own libel insurance? What are the tax implications of freelancing? Do you need to establish a formal business and, if so, what type?

What if any control can you maintain over the work produced? How are freelancers typically paid; should you have a set rate; how can you best negotiate fees?

Anyone who’s done freelance work will have considered these questions and a whole lot more. You will get an expert’s view from our morning speaker.

Afternoon speaker is NPW member Eileen Wirth, a professor emeritus of journalism at Creighton University and author specializing in Omaha history. She will talk about her recently published book, “The Women Who Built Omaha,” and have books to sign and sell.

Wirth also will discuss the challenges now and certainly into the future of finding historical research resources as editorial staffs and local news coverage by newspapers shrink.


There is no fall conference registration fee, but registrations and a $16 payment for lunch are required by Sept. 23. Send your name, contact information and meal payment to Treasurer Barb Batie, 43590 Road 761, Lexington, NE 68850 or register online at

If you plan to bring your own lunch you still need to send your contact information to Barb at the address above or to This will help determine attendance and room setup.

To particpate ONLY in the “Rights and Responsibilities of Freelancers” workshop, send an email with your contact information to by Oct. 6. The Zoom link will be provided to those who register and should not be shared with anyone else.