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In his NASW workshop, "Tools for tackling nightmare documents and data," freelancer reporter Tyler Dukes presented an Internet toolkit that can make investigative stories a more feasible prospect. To this end, he presented three online resources that make handling data and documents cheaper and easier: a PDF-file converter, a document sorting program, and a website that allows you to recruit people online to transcribe your interviews and complete other methodical jobs.

Jobs in science journalism at traditional media organizations are starting to return after their recession-driven decline, but these positions have emerged changed and much busier, said speakers at the ScienceWriters2012 session “Not dead yet: How science journalism is evolving at traditional news organizations” on October 27.

On her deathbed, David Dobbs’ mother asked her children to cremate her body, releasing the ashes in the Pacific so she could be with a man named Angus. Dobbs embarked on a search for Angus, leading him to a story of wartime love, heartbreak, forensics and family. But no one seemed anxious to publish it. The New Yorker and Wired both rejected the idea. The story languished for years, until he pitched it to Evan Ratliff, editor at The Atavist, a newly launched publisher of ebooks.

In order to help freelancers navigate the labyrinth of contracts and legalese — and increase their chance of negotiating reasonable and fair terms — the Freelance Committee is undertaking the task of building a reference contracts database. To help out, please submit your relevant writing contracts or clauses from the last three years.

Is this your first ScienceWriters meeting? Do you have experiences to share from previous meetings? NASW Member Michael Newman is once again organizing a chance for first-time meeting attendees to get together and have their questions answered by veterans. Read on to learn more about how you can get your questions answered and meet new colleagues in an informal setting.