GalleyCat FishbowlNY FishbowlDC UnBeige MediaJobsDaily SocialTimes AllFacebook AllTwitter LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser

How Tos

How to Make Your Editor’s Job Easier

editors-want_articleFreelancers are always looking for ways to score recurring gigs. Creating a lasting relationship with your editor is a great way to keep the assignments rolling in.

There are a few basic things you can do right off the bat: be timely, courteous and professional. Be honest and open if you can’t make a deadline. And most importantly: make sure that your article is thoroughly fact checked:

Chandra Turner, executive editor of Parents magazine, says that nothing drives an editor crazier than reading a wonderful piece and having it fall apart in fact checking. “[Writers] should source all their content. Have your backup for everything that you’ve written.” [Elena Mauer, deputy editor of The Bump, print and online] emphasizes the importance of fact checking too. “Make sure you talk to an expert, or you’ve looked up a study or you have some sort of a credible resource that says this is true.”

For more freelancer advice, including how to create a killer pitch, read: What Editors Really Want From Writers. 

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Woman’s Day Pays up to $2 a Word for Straightforward, Feel-good Writing

womans-day-january-2014Woman’s Day knows that its readers (women ages 30 to 90) are incredibly busy, and they crave easily digestible advice on everything from cooking and home decor to health and money matters.

The editors are looking for writers with a straightforward tone and the ability to do their research before sending a pitch — reading back issues of the mag (at least the past 12 months) is invaluable. Knowing which section to pitch and what type of reader to cater to is also key:

A writer’s best entryway onto the pages of the mag is a front-of-book section called “Embrace the Day,” focused on community and giving to others. It’s a special place in the hearts of Woman’s Day readers. “We did a story six months ago about a woman who makes cakes for children with cancer. Another editor and I discussed it and she said, ‘do you want to put a call-out for people to give?’ The woman didn’t have a 501(c)(3), so I didn’t feel comfortable soliciting donations on her behalf. But it didn’t matter,” [executive editor Annemarie Conte] shares. “Our readers found her. One even wrote in and taped a $100 bill to her letter. Our readers are incredibly giving and want to find deserving places to give.”

To hear more about how to get published in this mag, including what not to pitch, read: How To Pitch: Woman’s Day.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How to Get a Publication to Pay You Without Going to Small Claims Court

chess-knightsThis week we wrote about how journalists should be paid in the digital environment. Journalists being paid is a hot issue, especially since a lot of times, we’re asked to write for free or for exposure. That, too, is a loaded issue — sometimes it might be worth it, or it never, ever is.

And sometimes, we agree to do work for payment and never receive it. This is a classic freelancer dilemma and while most of you are, hopefully, sitting in newsrooms with a salary and benefits package and paid sick days, you never know when the shoe is going to drop and you need to pick up some work. Or, as is common in the digital environment, your contract allows you to write other sites every now and again, as long as you’re not competing with yourself.

Recently, I made a rookie mistake by taking on work for a start-up magazine. The work kept coming and the pay was in line with my experience and time. I won’t disclose the name of the publication (just to say it wasn’t this one), since the affair is — almost — concluded. But I did learn some lessons. Not about how to prevent this from happening again — there were contracts and tax information and all the legalese you can dream up.

So, short of a lawyer, who wouldn’t have been worth the sort-of small change I was owed,  and one step away from small claims court, here’s how I won my war.

Read more

WATCH: Five Things I Didn’t Learn In J-School

Something they don’t always teach in college is that learning doesn’t really happen until you’re out of school. But by that time it’s called working on your craft. And you get paid for it.

Stephanie Tsoflias, New York market TV reporter and Mediabistro instructor gives her list of the top five things she didn’t learn in journalism school.

If you like what you hear, click on this link to sign up for Tsoflias’ “TV News reporting” class or go to mediabistro.com/courses to search for something else you may want to learn.

How to Handle Haters: Journalist Edition

We’ve all had to deal with them: I call ‘em haters.

Journalists indubitably have to face the (oftentimes) unjust and inaccurate criticisms of those who don’t like what we have reported and written. With the Web, our work is constantly under scrutiny, and anyone has the opportunity to comment on the story’s content, the reporter, and the reporter’s mother.

The “haters” vary — be it municipal public information officers, school board members, politicians or just a publication subscriber, if you haven’t ticked someone off enough to receive a nasty letter or angry phone call the morning of publication, (despite your unbiased, factual and carefully edited reporting, of course), you’re probably not doing it right.

Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>