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Reporting and Writing

ICYMI: Conde Nast’s Charles Townsend, DC Snowstorm, Bernie Shaw Tribute

Phil Pruitt and Marcia Myers Join Scripps DC Bureau

The E.W. Scripps Company announced two hires today at their investigative reporting newsroom in Washington. Phil Pruitt is the new director of digital content and Marcia Myers joins the team as the senior investigations editor.

Pruitt will lead digital news and information operations for the bureau, including launching DecodeDC, a new multi-platform political news outlet acquired by Scripps last fall. Prior to joining Scripps, he served as senior politics editor for Yahoo News in D.C. He has also worked for USA Today and Gannett News Service, and was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team for Gannett that authored a series titled “Getting Away with Murder” which uncovered hundreds of child abuse-related deaths that were going undetected each year as a result of errors by coroners.

Myers will be tasked with developing, leading and editing national, high-impact investigative projects. She has spent the past several years in London, reporting for Bloomberg. Before that, she spent 5  years as an investigative reporter for The Baltimore Sun. Over the course of her career, she has twice won the George Polk Award -once for international reporting and once for medical coverage.

Both will report to work January 13th. Congratulations, Phil and Marcia, from us here at FishbowlDC!

3 Press Club Events

The National Press Club has a trio of events coming up that you might find interesting. Check em out:

1) January 11 - James Carville and Mary Matalin – Love & War: 20 Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home

WHAT: James Carville and Mary Matalin discuss their new book LOVE & WAR. Must purchase tickets online ($5.00 members/ $10.00 general).
WHO: James Carville, Mary Matalin, and the National Press Club
WHERE: The National Press Club, Ballroom, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC
WHEN: Saturday, January 11, 2014; 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

2) January 13 - Ms. Quote: Why Are Women Missing From the News?

On Monday, Jan. 13, a panel at the National Press Club will explore these issues and strategies for change. Panelists include Matt Winkler, editor-in-chief Bloomberg News, Sally Buzbee, AP Washington bureau chief, Ken Strickland, NBC Washington bureau chief, Ruth Marcus, Washington Post op-ed columnist, Anna Palmer, Politico senior Washington correspondent, and Jill Zuckman, managing director SKDKnickerbocker. Linda Kramer Jenning, Georgetown University journalism instructor and Washington editor of Glamour, will moderate the panel.

WHAT: Expert panel on women in the news. Must purchase tickets online ($10.00).
WHO: Bloomberg News, AP, NBC, Washington Post, Politico, SKDKnickerbocker, Georgetown University, Glamour Magazine
WHERE: The National Press Club, Conference Rooms, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC
WHEN: Monday, January 13, 2014; 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Read more

WSJ‘s Theo Francis to Lead Seminar on Investigating Corporate Fraud

WSJ's Theo Francis

WSJ’s Theo Francis

Theo Francis, a Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, will be co-instructing a free seminar on February 27th in Baltimore entitled “Detecting Corporate Fraud.” Participants will learn where to look in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings and other disclosures to quickly identify trouble spots and how to recognize when crucial details are missing. Francis -who has spent more than 8 years covering hospitals, insurance, retirements, and pensions for WSJ, and teaches journalism at the University of Maryland , will be joined by Roddy Boyd, an investigative reporter and founder of the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation (SIRF).The seminar is being organized by the Donald Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism -a project of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. To sign up, go here.

WHAT: Free Seminar -”Detecting Corporate Fraud”

WHO: Theo Francis of WSJ, Roddy Boyd of SIRF, and the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism

WHEN: February 26, 2 -5 PM

WHERE: Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards, 110 S. Eutaw St., Baltimore, MD

 

 

Keija Minor, Editor-in-Chief of Brides on Her Jump From Law to Publishing

keija-minor2Keija Minor has come a long way from her initial career as a corporate lawyer. This D.C. native left the world of law around 2003 and took a major pay cut to start over again as a magazine intern. Her leap of faith paid off: she’s now the editor-in-chief of Brides.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Minor discusses her vision for Brides, being inspired by artistic director Anna Wintour and how she transitioned from law to publishing:

How did you make the move from corporate law to magazines?
There is literally a book called What Can You Do With a Law Degree? that was sticking out on a shelf at Barnes & Noble, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a sign!’ So I decided basically by the end of year two [of my job as a lawyer] that I needed to look for something else, and then it took a year to save a year’s worth of mortgage payments, with my theory being that I may be broke and not be able to eat, but I won’t be homeless. And I actually started taking [women's magazine] classes at Mediabistro. Once I made up my mind that that’s what I wanted to do, it was like this huge burden was lifted off my shoulders — I had five minutes of regret about two minutes after I left the firm.

To hear more from Minor, including what it’s like to be the first African American to hold a top position at Condé Nast, read: So What Do You Do, Keija Minor, Brides Editor-in-Chief?

Mother Jones is on the Lookout for Fearless Reporters

MotherJonesMother Jones, the independent, nonprofit newsmagazine, has always been about holding those in power accountable for their actions. Since its inception in 1976, this fearless pub has done just that. Remember Mitt Romney’s infamous ‘47 percent‘ video? That was uncovered by David Corn, MoJo’s Washington D.C. bureau chief.

So how can freelancers get their foot in the door at this National Magazine Award-winning pub? Well, it helps to know what the editors are (and aren’t) looking for:

The mag prides itself on strong reporting, so those sending a query need to demonstrate the reporting opportunities and highlight any reporting that has already been done for the story. “I can’t emphasize the reporting bit enough,” explained [senior editor Nick Baumann]. Freelancers should also keep in mind that the editors will judge how well you write based on the pitch — so make sure you nail the voice of the piece in your query. “Just like you want to surprise the reader, you want to surprise us. Surprise the editors,” said Baumann.

To hear more about Mother Jones, including what mistakes to avoid when creating your submission, read: How To Pitch: Mother Jones.

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.

YouBeauty.com Seeks Strong Writers and Reporters

YouBeautyYouBeauty.com is about a lot more than makeup. Although the site does discuss the latest lipstick trends, they’re focused on beauty as a harbinger of health.

The site is 75 percent freelance written and writers can land up to $1 a word. But where should you start?

With research and science at the core of YouBeauty’s content, high-quality reporting and writing is paramount. As such, editors generally work with writers who have previous experience covering topics on one of the site’s existing channels. “We really want people who specialize in their different segments because we get in depth,” said editor-in-chief Laura Kenney. “So it helps for someone to come in who has a [specialty] that they’re very confident in writing about and then pitching us in-depth stories for that vertical.” The key here is to be uber-specific when pitching.

For more pitching tips, including editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: YouBeauty.com.

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.

When To Decline A Job As A Freelancer

specializingSaying ‘no’ to any paying gig seems like a dumb idea, especially if you’re a strapped-for-cash freelancer. But there’s a method to this madness.

Veteran freelancers agree that in order to cultivate your career, you need to be choosy — to an extent. Obviously try not to turn down every opportunity you get. But do weed out what works and what doesn’t for your schedule and your career:

If the pay is too low, the amount of work too demanding or the subject is outside of your area of interest, don’t be afraid to say no. A former client connected me with a man who needed help getting his mystery novel published, and when I read his email it seemed that what he really needed was a literary agent. I could have given him advice, working as a sort of consultant. But he seemed a little too proud and inflexible, and I wasn’t sure I would enjoy working with someone like that. Additionally, this type of work wasn’t in line with the direction I wanted my career to follow, so I politely declined.

To hear more tips on how to enhance your writing career by narrowing your focus, read: Growing Your Writing Career By Becoming A Specialist.

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 Published In Real Simple

RealSimpleReal Simple, the monthly women’s lifestyle mag, is on the lookout for fresh new writers. The pub covers a broad range of topics, everything from health and beauty to parenting, food and fashion, among others.

The mag is 60 percent freelance written and pays $2 a word. So what section is right for new pitches? Deputy editor Noelle Howey has some advice for writers looking to break in:

Though most of Real Simple is pitchable, the FOB is particularly freelancer friendly. Naturally, Howey advises new freelancers to start there. For “Health,” editors are looking for a wide range of topics: Nutrition, fitness, hygiene, metabolism, weight loss, skincare and more are all covered here and, if you can weave a pitch that tackles multiple health-related subjects at once, even better.

For editors contact info and more pitching advice, read: How To Pitch: Real Simple.

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.

So You Think You Can FOIA?

I can haz government records?

I can haz government records?

We’ve all been there: You spend all night on your F.O.I.A. request -cross every “t”, dot every “i”, spray a little cologne on the pages, put the whole thing in a nice plastic binder -and then ship it all off the next morning, only to wait weeks and weeks and weeks for some record custodian to deny you based on some bulls#!t technicality. Then your whole editorial schedule is blown, and you’ve got nothing to write, so you end up cranking out some casually sexist drivel just to meet your blog post quota for the day, and then someone on Twitter makes you feel bad about yourself, .

SUCKS.

If only there were some workshop you could attend that would teach you “how to submit effective government Freedom of Information Act requests that quickly get results.”

Oh, well, guess what, my friends?? I didn’t put the last part of that previous sentence in quotes for nothing! There IS such a workshop! And it’s being hosted in two scintillating parts by the National Press Club on Monday November 18 and Monday December 2 from 6:30 to 8:00 for the low, low price of $15 per class ($25 for both) for members!

Hot damn, what a deal!

The class is being taught by FOIA Research Center founder Lisette Garcia, and participants will “review case studies and learn how to overcome standard objections raised by U.S. records custodians at local, state, and federal levels. The first session will deal with initial requests, while the follow-up session will focus on appeals.”

Sure, it doesn’t sound as sexy as a Drone Summit, but it does seem more useful. And less deadly.

 

 

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