As a small business owner in any sector, there are a lot of things to worry about. Invoicing and billing is one of the most important factors because without income from services rendered, any business will quickly default on its own financial obligations. The same holds true for doctors’ offices. However, their accounting can be even more complicated because insurance companies can be unpredictable about paying out their claims. Medical billing outsourcing can help eliminate some of this confusion, which consequently eliminates the need to hire additional staff dedicated to collecting payments and claims. Basic health care services, including an annual check-up or treatment for a minor cold, can be fairly inexpensive. However, this cost can add up for families with young children or older patients with multiple health concerns. Luckily, carrying health insurance helps to cover some of these costs, so all the patient has to do is provide their health insurance information to pay for their doctor’s visit.Unfortunately, collecting payment from the insurance company is easier said than done, especially since medical billing is regulated by a complicated coding system. This system helps the insurance company to process thousands of claims per day, and the doctor’s staff must be specially-trained in order to efficiently use this system.Hiring new staff isn’t always practical, since the cost of employee training, salary, and benefits might not always be affordable for smaller practices. Likewise, some professionals may attempt to handle the billing themselves, only to find that it is too time-consuming and takes too much focus away from their patients. Furthermore, industry studies have found that claim rejections due to coding errors are very common.Medical billing outsourcing is indeed a quick and easy fix for getting payment from the insurance company without the need to hire additional staff. Increasing claim revenue is one of the biggest advantages to outsourcing these services. Many practices, both large and small, can ill-afford long billing cycles simply because they are slow to output their claims or experience a high frequency of rejections due to coding errors. Medical billing outsourcing streamlines the billing cycle with highly-trained professionals and extensive claim follow-up services.Providing savings to the healthcare practice is one of the most attractive advantages to medical billing outsourcing. Many outsourcing companies only charge for what they receive. In addition, without the cost of additional staff, software licensing, or training, there are additional resources for the doctor to spend caring for their patients and rewarding their staff.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
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On Thursday, with 110 days until the start of the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, Wikinews interviewed Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership, Sport Studies and Educational/Counseling Psychology at Washington State University Simon Li?en about attitudes in United States towards the Paralympics.
Licen has recently joined the Sport Management Program at Washington State University to develop its sport media and communication research and teaching contents. Originally from Slovenia, he served as the Director of Media and Communications of a WTA Tour event and was a member of the UNESCO Slovenian National Commission. He was also the Team Manager of the Slovenian wheelchair basketball national team.
((Wikinews)) : Why do you think the Paralympic movement has so little visibility in the US compared to other countries like Australia, the United Kingdom and even Canada?
- Simon Li?en: Sports in the United States largely reaffirm existing relations of power in society. It emphasizes consumerism, the belief that success always goes to people who merit it due to their abilities, dedication and qualifications, and reinforces, rather than changes, existing ideas related to gender, ethnicity and nationality. Paralympic sport brings attention to athletes who are typically overlooked in American society because the majority of the population does not want to identify with people who are disabled. Although disability is not contagious, interest in disabled sports might put into question the masculinity of the males following it. Disabled athletes also challenge existing relations of power by displaying dedication, hard work and perseverance in different contexts than those most sports fans are accustomed to.
- Other countries, including the ones you mention, have stronger social orientations in all aspects of society. Even though legislative support may be less strong than the one provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, many social institutions including the media are more receptive to this form of diversity.
((WN)) : What do you think the impact will be for the Paralympic movement will be with the Games being televised live in the United States for first time?
- Simon Li?en: The impact depends on a number of aspects. One of them is the channels that NBC as the broadcasting rights owner for the United States will use to air the Paralympic Games on. Will they be shown nationally or regionally, on NBC or on any of the company’s multiple cable networks? A second aspect is the parts or hours of the day the Paralympics will be shown. Remember that there is a nine-hour difference between Sochi and New York, and a 12-hour difference between Sochi and the US West Coast. So daytime events will be shown live in the United States in the middle of the night, and evening prime-time events will be shown — indeed live — in the morning U.S. time. So showing the Paralympics live on United States television might turn out to be less glamorous than it appears. A third important factor is the way the event will be mediated: will NBC have its best sports broadcasters following the event after having worked the Winter Olympics? Will they treat and announce the competitions as they do all others — for better and worse? Will they take it as an opportunity to educate viewers about disability and diversity while showing superb athletic performances without engaging in a discourse of pity? All in all, I think this is a terrific opportunity to improve sports coverage in a multitude of aspects; but we will have to wait until after the event to assess to what extent the broadcasters will meet these expectations.
((WN)) : What role should the media be playing in promoting the Paralympic Games? Why does the US media provide so little coverage of the Paralympics compared to other sports?
- Simon Li?en: I don’t think the media should be promoting any sports event. I think the role of the media is to inform about the event and to cover it fairly. It is not just the Paralympic Games, or disable sports in general that yield very little media coverage; a recent study has shown that women’s sports only account for 1.3%–1.6% of televised news media. The situation improves considerably during the Olympic Games and prime-time Olympic coverage comes close to equal coverage of both men’s and women’s sport. Outside of that, however, U.S. media coverage is largely limited to the men’s four major leagues, college football and college basketball. Again, the media decide which sports to cover based on their perceived entertainment value and its potential of generating sponsor revenues. The Paralympic Games are complex to understand and its participants hard to identify with because there are less instances of dominating performances and long-standing rivalries, which are concepts that are understandable even to the casual fan.
((WN)) : What role does the fact that the Paralympics are about people with disability competing at sport play in the American public’s reception of the Paralympics?
- Simon Li?en: I would speculate that the American public is largely indifferent to the event as it is currently represented in the media. The majority of people are oblivious of the Paralympic Games. They might greet an American medal winner as this would reaffirm the success, supremacy and tenacity of an American representative in a global field. In more general terms, however, the American public chooses to largely overlook disabled sports as the average able-bodied person likely does not want to be represented by, and thus identify with, a disabled person.
((WN)) : Is the fact the US Olympic Committee is the national Paralympic Committee a hinderance or help in the development of the Paralympic movement in the US?
- Simon Li?en: In general terms, this is both an opportunity and a risk: it can activate its sizable financial, promotional and media influence to bring attention to the Paralympic movement, but at the same time might choose to push disabled sports to the side in order to accommodate influential sponsors. I am not familiar with the specific work done by the US Olympic Committee in terms of supporting, popularizing and expanding the Paralympic movement so I cannot speculate which way the actual work done by the USOC sways.
((WN)) : What conditions need to exist in the US for Paralympic athletes to get sponsorship similar to their Olympic counterparts?
- Simon Li?en: Sport sponsorships are indeed strongly influenced by the media prominence of competing individuals. Individual disabled athletes have already been able to secure profitable sponsorship and endorsement contracts; perhaps the most notable example is Oscar Pistorius who was in this sense a true groundbreaker before falling off the pedestal due to his pending trial. This is even more true when one considers that not all Olympic athletes are able to secure profitable or even exaggerated contacts: an Olympic archery champion is less appealing than an Olympic champion javelin thrower, a female javelin thrower is less appealing than a male sprinter, and a Jamaican champion sprinter is less appealing than an American elite basketball player. Sporadic media appearances, such as those during the Paralympic fortnight, will hardly suffice to land disabled athletes major contracts; an athlete has to be in the constant media and popular spotlights to secure lucrative contracts. Until Paralympic athletes […] [are] able to achieve that kind of media presence, high sponsorships are likely to elude them.
((WN)) : Many countries provide federal money to support their Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Should the US consider this as a way of increasing visibility for the Paralympics, supporting increased opportunities for people with disabilities and increasing the US Paralympic medal count?
- Simon Li?en: Focusing on the US medal count will successfully keep the Paralympic Games away from mainstream attention! A focus on the medal count as a means to establish supremacy is typical for American professional sports, and the Paralympics will never be able to beat the Olympic Games or the major leagues at their game. This is why the Paralympic Games should involve a different narrative.
- Countries typically allocate governmental support to the more vulnerable groups in society because those who are strong can protect their interests through their vast financial and social means. In this sense, the United States should support participation in the Paralympic Games to promote adaptive sports in general and thus increase sports participation among people with disabilities. People with disabilities are among those who most benefit from participating in sports and physical activity due to their health and social advantage; however, they also have much fewer opportunities for sport participation and often require expensive adapted sports equipment. Public funds should contribute to their sport activity in general, and federal funding of Paralympic athletes could certainly provide an excellent example for local communities. Unfortunately, I fear that even the most progressive congresswomen and congressmen will be [reluctant] to increase that funding given the current federal budgetary situation.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The largest class action in Victorian history was commenced at the Supreme Court of Victoria on Friday the 13th by Slidders Lawyers against electricity distribution company SP AusNet and the Brumby Government in relation to the Kilmore East fire that became part of the Kinglake complex.
Because of the lawsuit, SP AusNet SPN.AX’s shares on Monday have dropped more than 13.36 per cent or 14.5 cents, to an intra-day low of 94 cents, was at 98.5 cents at 10:38 a.m. local time, before recovering slightly to be 7.5 cents lower at A$1.01 by 1144 AEDT (0003 GMT) or 6.9 percent in Sydney trading. Shares in SP AusNet closed 3.7 percent lower at A$1.045 on Monday.
Power supplier SP AusNet said it has asked the Victoria Court regarding the status of the class action proceedings saying the firm had insurance policies in place consistent with industry standards. “SP AusNet will continue to update the market as further information becomes available,” the company said.
The claim has focused on alleged negligence by SP AusNet in its management of electricity infrastructure. It maintains most of the power lines in eastern Victoria. Its fallen power line is believed to have sparked the blaze that tore through Kinglake, Steels Creek, Strathewen, Humevale, and St Andrews. The plaintiffs include thousands of angry Kinglake farmers, small business owners, tourist operators and residents who lost homes.
Leo Keane, the lead plaintiff in the class action has alleged “SP AusNet owed a duty of care to landowners to operate and manage power lines in a way that limited the risk of damage from bushfires.”
On Thursday Phoenix Taskforce had taken away a section of power line as well as a power pole from near Kilmore East, part of a two-kilometre section of line in Kilmore East that fell during strong winds and record heat about 11am last Saturday. It was believed to have started the fire there, since within minutes a nearby pine forest was ablaze, and within six hours the bushfire had almost obliterated nearly every building in the towns in its path.
“It is believed that the claim will be made on the basis of negligent management of power lines and infrastructure,” Slidders Lawyers partner Daniel Oldham said. The law firm has announced it was helping landowners and leaseholders get compensation for the 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009 bushfires. “If you have been burnt by the recent bushfires, please register your interest using the form below as soon as possible,” the law firm’s website stated.
The Insurance Council of Australia has placed the cost of the bushfires at about $500 million. “That means keeping electricity lines clear of trees and in a condition that won’t cause fires. They must also have systems in place to identify and prevent risks occurring,” Melbourne barrister Tim Tobin, QC, said. According to the 2006 census, Kinglake had a population of almost 1,500 people.
But SP AusNet’s legal liability has been limited at $100 million under an agreement inked by the former Kennett government with private utility operators, when the former State Electricity Commission was privatized in 1995. Accordingly, the Brumby Government could be legally obliged to pay damages of the differences amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.
SP AusNet Ltd said some of its electricity assets have been damaged by the Victoria bushfire. “As a preliminary estimate, it is thought that damage has been sustained to approximately one per cent of SP AusNet’s electricity distribution network, mainly distribution poles, associated conductors and pole top transformers,” SP AusNet said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). It explained that up to 6,000 homes and businesses on its network were without power due to bushfires, including the Kinglake complex fire, Beechworth fire, and fires across Gippsland including Churchill and Bunyip.
SP AusNet said the firm will cooperate fully and will assist in any fire probe. “We stand ready to assist the relevant authorities with their inquiries if it is necessary for us to do so now and in the coming months,” SP Ausnet spokeswoman Louisa Graham said in a statement.
“Our priority is to restore power to fire-affected areas as quickly as possible. We believe the claim is premature and inappropriate … SP AusNet will vigorously defend the claim. If the claim is pursued, SP AusNet advises that it has liability insurance which provides cover for bushfire liability. The company’s bushfire mitigation and vegetation management programmes comply with state regulations and were audited annually by state agencies,” Grahams explained.
Victorian Auditor-General Rob Hulls said “there was an ‘unseemly rush’ by some lawyers to sue before the cause of the fires had been fully investigated.”
“The government body had audited the network’s bushfire risk to make sure required distances between power lines and vegetation were maintained. Power companies had been given a clean bill of health, and electricity firms were judged to be ‘well prepared for the 2008-09 bushfire season.’ There were no regulations applying to the distances between poles supporting electricity lines and spans of one kilometre were not unusual,” a spokesman for Energy Safe Victoria explained.
Christine Nixon, the 19th and current Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police said investigations into the cause of the bushfires were ongoing. “I know people are angry, and so are all of us in this community. But we need to kind of have a sense that the proper processes are in place and we need to go through the investigation and through the court case,” Nixon said. “At this stage we are not able to confirm how it started. I understand there is some legal action that people are taking, but at this stage we’re still investigating its cause. But the whole circumstances of that fire are part of our Taskforce Phoenix, and as we move through that we’ll be able to tell the community more once we’re able to confirm or deny what we think is the cause of these fires,” Nixon added.
On Thursday, two people were arrested in connection with the fires, having been observed by members of the public acting suspiciously in areas between Yea and Seymour; although they were both released without charges laid.
Brendan Sokaluk, age 39, from Churchill in the Gippsland region, was arrested by police at 4pm on Thursday, in relation to the Churchill fires, and was questioned at the Morwell police station. He was charged on Friday with one count each of arson, intentionally lighting a bushfire and possession of child pornography. The arson case relates to 11 of the 21 deaths in the dire Gippsland fire, which devastated 39,000 hectares in the Latrobe Valley, Calignee, Hazelwood Koornalla and Jeeralang. Two teams of Churchill firefighters were almost lost in the inferno that remains out of control.
Mr Sokaluk joined the CFA Churchill brigade in the late 1980s as a volunteer fire fighter, left in the 1990s and attempted to rejoin twice, but was rejected. He failed to appear in Melbourne Magistrate’s Court Monday for a scheduled hearing, since the court reset the committal hearing on May 25. He is represented by lawyer Julian McMahon.
Magistrate John Klestadt has lifted the suppression order which kept the suspect’s identity a secret but identifying photographs were barred from being released. Mr Sokaluk was remanded in protective custody from Morwell to a cell in Melbourne for his own safety amid fears angry prisoners will target him and real risk of vigilante attacks. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment if convicted on the arson charge.
“This is an extraordinary case. The level of emotion and anger and disgust that the alleged offenses have aroused in the community is unprecedented.” Mr Sokaluk’s defense lawyer Helen Spowart argued. The prosecution has moved the Court for more time to prepare its case, saying there would be up to 200 witnesses to interview.
Armed with a $40 million budget, the Royal Commission’s Chair Justice Bernard Teague will be assisted by former Commonwealth ombudsman Ron McLeod, who led the inquiry into the 2003 Canberra bushfires, and State Services Authority Commissioner Susan Pascoe. The Commission has said its interim report is due on August 17 while the final report will be submitted by July 31, 2010.
Judge Bernard Teague has announced Tuesday he will meet with fire victims and fire authorities within the next two weeks. “We want to do that as soon as possible – probably not next week but starting to have these discussions the week after,” he said.
Julia Eileen Gillard, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and deputy leader of the federal Australian Labor Party (ALP) said the federal and Victorian governments would respond quickly to the royal commission’s report. “Everybody who has lived through this experience in Victoria and around the nation has asked the question: ‘Why? What can we do better?’. No one wanted to see the report “as a book on a shelf gathering dust,” she said.
Victoria bushfire experts, led by Forest Fire Victoria – a group of scientists and forestry experts – have condemned the government’s “Living with Fire” policy and the state’s failure to initiate serious fuel-reduction programs. The Victoria government had failed to seriously act on bushfire safety recommendations submitted last June by the Victorian Parliamentary Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
As death toll rises, evidence mounts of lack of planning prior to Australia’s worst bushfire. “Living with Fire” policy means Kinglake fire trucks were dispatched to an earlier fire in Kilmore, leaving Kinglake undefended. “Kinglake was left with no fire brigade and no police. The trucks had been sent to Kilmore. I’ve been in the fire brigade for 10 years. There was always a law—the trucks had to be on the hill. Because of the government we got gutted at Kinglake. They should have been getting generators ahead of the fire—so people would have had a chance of fighting it. As soon as the power went, I couldn’t keep fighting the fire at my place,” Rick and Lauren Watts, and their friend Neil Rao, spoke to the WSWS.
Rick has also criticized the lack of early warning communications systems, since emergency siren warnings in the town had been stopped some years earlier. Humevale resident Sina Imbriano who has six children was angry about the failure of state and federal governments to set up a recommended telephone warning system amid its “stay and defend or go” policy. Bald Spur Road residents Greg Jackson and his wife Fotini said the government’s “stay and defend or go” policy was “fruitless” since the critical issue was early warnings, but “they [the government] just won’t spend the money.”
Also on Friday, five law firms from Victoria’s Western Districts, including Warrnambool-based Maddens Lawyers and Brown & Proudfoot, held a meeting to discuss a potential class action in relation to the Horsham fire, which was also thought to have been started by fallen power pole that burnt vast swathes of land in Mudgegonga and Dederang, Victoria. The lawsuit will also focus on the fire that blackened about 1750 hectares at Coleraine.
Maddens senior attorney Brendan Pendergast said: “We don’t know who the defendant is at this stage. We are unsure who the electrical supplier is for that area but we should know in a few days. There were people who had their homes burnt to the ground and they will need to reconstruct, replace their contents,” he said. Maddens has initiated a register of affected landowners for the recent bushfires, saying the firm has included victims of the Pomborneit fire that burnt almost 1300 hectares in the proposed class action amid the CFA’s statement the blaze could have been deliberately lit.
Frances Esther “Fran” Bailey, Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives (1990-93 and 1996-present), representing the electorate of McEwen in Victoria said the Country Fire Authority (CFA) had told her one of the power lines had broken before the fire.
“The local CFA [Country Fire Authority] told me on that Saturday, with those very high winds, one of the lines had broken and was whipping against the ground and sparked,” she said. “Whether or not that is the cause of that terrible fire that actually took out Kinglake and maybe Marysville, the investigations will prove that, but we’ve got to do better,” she added.
Victorian Premier John Brumby said the power line claim would be examined as part of the Royal Commission into the bushfire. “No stone will be left unturned. So, I think it’s important the Royal Commission does its work. And, the Royal Commission will, of course, look at all of the factors with the fires,” Mr Brumby said. At least 550 houses were incinerated and 100 people have been killed, leaving more than 1,000 homeless in the Kinglake bushfire and surrounding areas.
SP AusNet – Singapore Power International Pte Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Power Limited (51% interest in SP AusNet). SP AusNet’s electricity transmission and distribution networks, along with the gas distribution assets, enable it to deliver a full range of energy-related products and services to industrial and domestic customers in Victoria, Australia.
Singapore Power ( ?????????) is a company which provides electricity and gas transmission, distribution services, and market support services to more than a million customers in Singapore. As the only electricity company in Singapore, and also one of its largest corporation, SP was incorporated as a commercial entity in October 1995 to take over the electricity and gas businesses of the state provider, the Public Utilities Board. Since 1995, Temasek Holdings controls the entire company with a 100% stake. SP is involved in a major investment in Australia‘s Alinta in partnership with Babcock & Brown, after putting up a bid of A$13.9 billion (S$17 billion), beating out a rival bid by Macquarie Bank.
The devastating 2009 Victorian Black Saturday bushfires, a series of more than 400 bushfires across Victoria on February 7 2009, is Australia’s worst-ever bushfire disaster, claiming at least 200 deaths, including many young children, and is expected to pass 300. 100 victims have been admitted to hospitals across Victoria with burns, at least 20 in a critical condition, and 9 on life support or in intensive care. The fires have destroyed at least 1,834 homes and damaged many thousands more. Many towns north-east of Melbourne have been badly damaged or almost completely destroyed, including Kinglake, Marysville, Narbethong, Strathewen and Flowerdale. Over 500 people suffered fire-related injuries and more than 7,000 are homeless. It has scorched more than 1,500 square miles (3,900 square kilometers) of farms, forests and towns.
The Supreme Court of Victoria is the superior court for the State of Victoria, Australia. Founded in 1852, it is a superior court of common law and equity, with unlimited jurisdiction within the state. Those courts lying below it include the County Court of Victoria, the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (which is technically not a court, but serves a judicial function). Above it lies the High Court of Australia. This places it around the middle of the Australian court hierarchy.
The rising prevalence of chronic diseases, increasing geriatric population, applications of intraoperative neuromonitoring in different surgeries, and use of intraoperative neuromonitoring for risk management during complex surgeries are the key factors leading to the growth of the market.
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When source type is taken into consideration, the market is bifurcated into outsourced monitoring and insourced monitoring, between which, the insourced monitoring bifurcation accounted for the larger share of the market in the past. The share of this bifurcation, however, is predicted to decrease in the coming years, owing to the cost-effectiveness of the outsourced monitoring source type. The hospital needs to provide training, among other facilities, to the insourcsed monitoring staff regularly, which is tough task for hospitals and results in additional expenses.
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The intraoperative neuromonitoring market was dominated by North America in 2019, where the region held 43.9% share of the market in 2016. The region is further predicted to hold the largest share of the market during the forecast period due to the increasing prevalence of neurological diseases, presence of highly advanced healthcare infrastructure, favorable reimbursement policies, high adoption of intraoperative neuromonitoring, and growing patient awareness regarding intraoperative neuromonitoring. Moreover, the large number of hospitals and increasing volume of surgeries are also driving the regional market.
The increasing number of surgical procedures is a major factor leading to the expansion of the intraoperative neuromonitoring market. Spinal intraoperative neuromonitoring is an essential procedure that aids in risk management when complex surgeries are being carried out. By using intraoperative neuromonitoring, risk of possible impairment of nerve function due to improper positioning of the patient, or impairment to neurophysiological relevant nerve structures is reduced. Thereby, intraoperative neuromonitoring is an essential technology for surgeons, as it allows them to optimize intervention without causing harm to the neural structure.
Friday, February 6, 2009
United States swimmer Michael Phelps has been banned from competition and his training stipend revoked for three months by USA Swimming after Phelps was photographed smoking from a glass pipe, often used for smoking cannabis. The picture was published last Sunday by British tabloid News of the World.
USA Swimming, which is the governing body of swimming in the United States, however said that no “anti-doping” rules had been violated.
“This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero,” it stated. “Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust.”
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Should Phelps have been punished at all? If so, was the punishment strict enough?
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The suspension will end in time for Phelps to train for the US Championships, which are to be held on the 7th of July.
Phelps has also lost sponsor Kellogg, who said that it would not renew its deal with the swimmer next month.
Phelps won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing last year, and has since become one of the world’s most famous athletes.
Monday, December 31, 2007
The strategy was proposed to the Government by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration; the Ministry has argued that Moldova’s citizens must be educated about the impact of the forthcoming European integration.
The draft strategy document states that Moldova does not currently have any organised system for distributing information about the European Union to its populace, and that the Government has failed to perform any targeting of information to specific demographic groups. Taking into consideration the priority placed on EU integration by the current government of Moldova, the strategy document suggests methods to improve the situation and proposes a mechanism to enable the Moldovan public to participate actively in the European integration process. It is intended that an integrated system for providing information on EU integration will provided by the Government as a result of this draft.
The new information provisions will include such projects relating to EU – Moldovan cooperation such as information centers, a free-of-charge phone line, a website, information bulletins, improvement of information held in public libraries, etc. The strategy also proposes the instruction of journalists, press officers, and functionaries working in the local public administration on the topic of EU integration.
Public tender will be invited to select the businesses that will supply key components of these projects, as the government lacks the resources needed to fully finance the implementation of the strategy from the current budget. The strategy was planned with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Eurasia Foundation.
By Brian Scott
Breaking into journalism isn’t easy. Besides polished creative writing skills, you need self-motivation and willing to accept your share of low-paying gigs. Don’t expect more than $35 an article for smaller daily newspapers. Bigger-city newspapers will pay around $200 an article for good stories.
Most full-time reporters received training at journalism schools, after they’d already earned a 4-year undergraduate degree. If you lack the education, you can still get your foot in the door by becoming a stringer (the industry term for “freelance reporter”). Many publications use stringers because they lack reporters to cover all the news at once; besides, newspapers want writers to hone their skills before they’re hired full-time, or because they like the fresh perspectives of a good freelancer.
What’s involved in freelance journalism?
This is the exciting part: as a freelance journalist, you get to chase the news as it’s happening. For many, this thrill is enough to keep them going through the drudgery and low pay.
You’ll need to keep your wits about you. If news is happening right in front of you, you must have the presence of mind to take accurate notes and come up with questions for on-the-spot interviews. Freelance journalism is all about recreating the story on paper so readers can relive the experience you had.
Where do I find freelance journalism jobs?
Before you approach any newspapers, you should have a portfolio of articles under your belt. Five to ten sample articles is the minimum. If you don’t have published samples of your work, you’ll need to do some freelance stringing for free to get started.
Hunt around for some newsworthy events – an upcoming concert, a celebrity coming to town, an impending election, etc. Then, write about it and submit your article to as many free publications as you can think of. You’ll want to make sure your article is relevant to what a given magazine or newspaper publishes, of course, but be as prolific as possible.
When you have samples under your belt, make the pitch. Email the publication, or send them a query letter. Tell the editor you have some good ideas and you’re available for freelance writing.
Alternatively, you might call the publication and let them know you’re a freelance writer and you’re wondering if they use stringers. Be brief, confident, and professional. If they do use stringers, they may ask you to come in for an interview.
How do I ace the interview?
Bring along your portfolio, a list of well thought-out ideas specifically for that publication, and a sample article that you’ve written for them. All of these will help the editor decide whether you’re a good fit for their newspaper.
Some editors want their stringers to use their own ideas and some editors have ideas of their own. Be flexible. A good portfolio will show editors that you can handle a various subject matters.
As in all interviews, be relaxed and confident. Acting nervous and stammering over your words doesn’t make a good impression. Before the interview, imagine the interview going perfectly. This technique helps calm your nerves and sets the stage for a positive interview experience.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you want to write for your city newspaper. How would you craft your query letter?
It might go like this:
The content of your newspaper is unsurpassable. As a loyal reader and enthusiastic writer, I would be honored to contribute to The Daily News.
Our city is full of excitement this season. Here are some of the story ideas I have that would appeal to your readership:
– How do the new pet bylaws affect downtown pet owners?
– Support our agriculture: homegrown food for your family
– The upcoming art show is attracting art lovers from all over North America
– How neighborhoods are improving road safety for pedestrians
– New schools and playgrounds encourage families to move inner city
These are just a few suggestions, and of course I am open to any ideas you have. As an experienced freelance writer, I have covered a wide variety of topics. I hope you will find the enclosed clips to be compelling and well written.
Show the editor that your writing style and journalistic abilities are in line with what they’re looking for, and include your relevant experience. If you have a good query letter and they need stringers, expect a phone call!
About the Author: Brian Scott is a full-time freelance writer with over a decade of experience. He finds many of his paid freelance journalism jobs at Online Writing Jobs ( http://www.online-writing-jobs.com ), a free jobboard that lets you search thousands of freelance writing jobs.
Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=321745&ca=Jobs
Friday, March 7, 2008
McKinney is a former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 and held her seat for ten years until being defeated by Denise Majette in 2002. She was the first ever African American woman from her state to be elected to Congress.
We asked her why she made the recent switch to the Green Party. She replied, “Due to the importance of environmental issues, Green issues are the issues of today. The Ten Key Values ofthe Green Party stress us getting along with each other in harmony with the planet that gives us life.”
When asked about how she would handle Iraq she replied, “I would instruct the Joint Chiefs to draw up a plan for the orderly withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the country. I would dismantle our military bases in the area, and I would also demand that U.S. andother international corporations relinquish any claims to Iraqi oil orother resources and withdraw as well.”
McKinney is running for president because, basically, she thinks that “it’s time that the people win”.
Friday, December 17, 2010
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has stated that the whistle-blowing website known as WikiLeaks has committed no crimes in Australia by publishing over 250,000 United States diplomatic cables. An investigation by the AFP into the release of the cables revealed that Wikileaks had not broken any laws under Australian jurisdiction.
“[The AFP has] not identified any criminal offences where Australia has jurisdiction and as a result have not commenced an investigation,” said Robert McClelland, attorney-general of Australia in a statement to the press. “As has previously been stated, given the documents published to date are classified by the United States, the primary jurisdiction for any investigation into the matter remains the United States.”
The investigation into Wikileaks actions came after the Australian Government referred the release of U.S. diplomatic cables to the AFP. McClelland stated that the Government’s reaction to the WikiLeaks issue was “prudent.” Further cables that the Government queries the legality of would also be forwarded to the AFP as well. He also added that the government remains “concerned” about the situation and “unauthorised and irresponsible distribution of classified material.”
Controversy had also been raised today after Julia Gillard changed her stance on the release of the cables from calling the action “illegal,” to calling it “grossly irresponsible,” after the AFP had released their findings. Ms Gillard said at a press-conference in Sydney today that she did not intend to say that the release of the cables was illegal, but that their theft was. Deputy leader of the opposition (Liberal Party) Julie Bishop said there was no room for Ms Gillard to “weasel out of it.”
“She is a lawyer. She well knows about the presumption of innocence,” said Bishop. She added that the prime minister’s legal background did not warrant her comments. Calls have also been voiced by the Green’s Senator, Scott Ludlam, for Ms Gillard to retract her comments.
Wikileaks has been the subject of past investigations in Australia. In March of 2009, the proposed Australian Communications and Media Authority internet blacklist was leaked to the website. That matter was also referred to the AFP, who later abandoned pursuing criminal charges.
“It’s my understanding from the AFP that they considered the prospects of success under their guidelines, but it wasn’t sufficient to get a prosecution,” said Chairman Chris Chapman during a Senate Estimates Committee meeting in February.
In Florida, dog owners have immediate access to a variety of beneficial services through a local vet. Among the services are grooming opportunities to address a multitude of conditions that could prove unhealthy for the dogs. The following are the benefits of dog grooming in Crofton.
Addressing Skin Irritants and Conditions
The groomers can address skin irritants and adverse conditions. Their products provide them with medications to address flaking and itchy skin. The vet will need to diagnose the condition to determine the best treatment option. However, the grooming can provide products that ease discomfort and pain. The products can address skin conditions that can lead to cracking and bleeding as well.
Pest Infestations Elimination
The grooming services can also eliminate pests. Dogs are at a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease from ticks. For this reason, pet owners who have discovered ticks on their dogs should acquire grooming services on a regular basis. The services can lower the dog’s chances of contracting the disease. Shampoos provided by groomers can also lower the chances of further tick infestations as well. The shampoos also fight off fleas and other unwanted pests.
Eliminating Dirt and Odors
The services eliminate dirt and odors from the dog’s coat. The shampoo and conditioner can also eliminate pet dandruff and make the dog feel cleaner. The products also control odors and make dogs smell fresh. This is beneficial for all dog owners as it prevents harsh odors from becoming trapped in their carpeting and furnishings.
Improving the Coat
The grooming services can improve the dog’s coat as well. The groomer selects from a variety of products that control matting and keep their fur tangle-free. This can prevent conditions that lead to discomfort and unhealthy circumstances for the dogs and pet owners.
In Florida, dog owners can acquire grooming services for their dogs at any time. The services address a variety of conditions that could become uncomfortable for dogs. They include but are not limited to skin irritation, pests, and unwanted odors. Pet owners who want to acquire dog grooming in Crofton can visit GambrillsVeterinaryCenter.com for information about scheduling the services.