Thank you for getting back to me and laying out what you can offer. It sounds fine to me.
I have listed my question below:
What would you recommend as the best way to switch to web development? I'm thinking either to do freelance work or get a job at a place where I can work with web devs closely (I don't have that where I currently work).
For a question like this it might be worth a chat on skype one evening next week.
It would depend what you have to show, in the way of work. If you have some work to show and willing then get a job somewhere. You can find your level and have support to do the work not have to find and then do the work. Often you will also be working in a team so you do not have to do everything.
If you have work and are confident pitching and talking to clients - as a reporter I guess you will have some skills here. If you freelance though you are on your own sort of, as you might say yes I can build that site, and then the client starts wanting things you don't know how to do. If you have the money and time it can be a route in but better for people coming out of uni or a safety net, unless you are an established developer.
So there is not a right answer but you will learn better practices, maybe at a lower rate, but lower stress at a company.
The right answer for me would be go out and network. Talk to people go regularly to meetups (better and cheaper than conferences to meet people). This is so you know people and that you want work and how they do it.
Most freelancing is knowing people and getting referred. Maybe half or more of my work comes through connections or to then say, do you know this X person too, or i also worked on Y project. The rest comes random out of the blue, through seeing adverts and people finding my site.
The only slight difference is contracting, but you tend to have to be a mid to top dev first, where you work at a company just for that project or a few months. You would not suit this though mostly I think.
So tell me where are you coming from, do you know businesses who want sites, or happy to cold call and advertise. Or do you want to learn to be a developer. You learn faster as a freelancer but you will not know if you are learning rubbish as you do not have a sounding board, but if client pays it is likely you are going in the right direction.
How does that sit with you, can you see some points?
Do you have a project you need to start on?
Send me your suggestion, I always like to hear from people.