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Journalism 101

15 Online Pubs to Pitch Your Personal Essay

 The first, second and third installments of our popular series, Personal Essay Markets highlighted 45 pitchable pubs for first-person stories. Today, we bring you online outlets for the final piece.

E-zines that highlight everything from food and culture to environmental news are taking pitches, so check out the requirements for some inspiration. Who knows? Maybe you can make some extra cash by turning an I-can’t-believe-that-happened-t0-me experience into an essay.

For more, read Personal Essay Markets, Part IV. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

University of Wyoming Journalism School Unlikely to Replace Retiring LAT Alum

George Gladney, a financial reporter with the LA Times in the 1970s, segued to academia in 1991 after stints with a pair of newspapers in Colorado Springs and a job as managing editor of the Jackson Hole News. This December, he will be retiring from the only professorial position he has held since going back to school to earn his Master’s and Ph.D.

Per a warm write-up in the Laramie Boomerang, Gladney’s pre-University of Wyoming Communication and Journalism career dates back to the days of typewriters and giant LAT printing presses. He tells reporter Eve Neiman that the professional key today remains the same as it was when he was in the trenches; get it right:

Conrad Smith, another professor in the Communication and Journalism Department, said Gladney’s professional background set him apart in the department. “I feel that in journalism, academic experience is overvalued and real-world experience is undervalued,” Smith said. “He brings a real reporter’s mindset to the classroom.”

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See Your Byline in the LA Times

Last week, we brought you Part I of our popular series, Personal Essay Markets. This week brings Part II, which outlines more venues that love printing this unique and accessible style of writing. Included among them are tips on how to submit to The Los Angeles Times‘ first-person column.

Be sure to come back for our final installment of the print markets in Part III, as well as our digital guide in Part IV.

For more, read Personal Essay Markets Pt. II. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

John Cusack Talks Freedom of the Press, Hunter S. Thompson on Reddit

Actor John Cusack has teamed up with Pentagon Paper whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, writers Glenn Greenwald and Xeni Jardin, documentarian Laura Poitras and Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow to launch a new First Amendment and investigative journalism advocacy foundation called Freedom of the Press. He’s currently fielding an AMA on Reddit about the endeavor… and his new film Rampart.

Plenty of info on Freedom of the Press (whose website appears to be slow/down under the traffic burden) but Cusack also had some interesting things to say about his friendship with the late Hunter S. Thompson:

I spent many many late nights on phone with Hunter through Clinton and Bush years…

Here were his thoughts on the Iraq war Bush & company started:

“We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world — a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, and that is how history will judge us. No redeeming social value. Just whores. Get out of our way, or we’ll kill you. “Well, shit on that dumbness, George W. Bush does not speak for me or my son or my mother or my friends or the people I respect in this world. We didn’t vote for these cheap, greedy little killers who speak for America today — and we will not vote for them again in 2002. Or 2004. Or ever. “Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid rich kids like George Bush? “They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us — they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis. And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them.”

HST didn’t mince words.

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Writers, Filmmakers Welcome to Pitch The Grio

Editors at The Grio are always on the lookout for new writers. The site, aimed toward the black community, has about half of its content generated by freelancers. The NBC-owned website averages 2 million page views per month and distinguishes itself with video content and a lot of original reporting. Because the site relies so much on video content, editors also welcome pitches from aspiring filmmakers and producers for story-driven, narrative, documentary-style videos.

The Grio has only been around for a couple of years, but editors have already established strong relationships with freelancers who they turn to time and time again. That’s good news for writers looking to break in, because editors are always on the lookout for fresh talent to add to their stable. “Once a writer has been used on a regular basis, we will definitely farm stories out to them based on their specific style and previous pieces they’ve pitched,” explained managing editor Joy-Ann Reid.

For more info, read How To Pitch: The Grio. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

10 Terms Every Freelance Writer Should Know

Every industry has its own jargon, which can be confusing for those who are just starting out. For rookie freelance writers, it’s essential to understand certain terms to avoid frustration down the line.

In the latest Mediabistro feature for AvantGuild members, editors and veteran journalists break down the terms that are crucial to success in the biz.

Read the full article in 10 Terms Every Freelance Writer Should Know. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Loyola Marymount Finally Adds a Journalism Minor

It took Loyola Marymount University English professor Linda Bannister roughly ten years. But beginning next spring semester, the fruits of her labor will finally be on the school’s curriculum: the option for students of a journalism minor.

Up until now, LMU has offered only a Journalism Certificate. The minor will come in especially handy for students planning to apply to graduate journalism school and has been designed to also serve the university’s social justice mission. From the school’s recent announcement:

According to Bannister, the minor will require 21 units including four required courses: “The Language of Journalism” (or “Writing for Journalism”), “Journalism: New Media,” one course in community journalism or specialized journalism and one 400-level Capstone course with backpack journalism and long-form focus.

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Yahoo’s Marc Spears is Terrible at Playing Pool

Yahoo Sports reporter Marc Spears often has the inside scoop on all kinds of NBA-related gossip. But he sure is terrible at pool. Good n’ terrible. Yahoo seems to be experimenting with casual multi-media interviews. Which is fine. But whoever decided that Spears and NBA rookie Harrison Barnes should play pool, should have asked Spears if he actually knew how to play pool. Because he clearly doesn’t.

Seriously, watch Spears’ shot at :48. Just awful. And whoever edited this video really must not like him. That was the best closeup shot you could find? Really? You just unabashedly clowned one of the best NBA reporters in the business.

Things don’t get much better from there. Spears appears to only make one shot the entire game–a 12-inch gimme in the corner pocket. The next time Yahoo tries one of these casual video interviews, Spears should try chess, or Playstation, or Settlers of Catan. Anything but pool.

Craft Recipes and Pen Features for Vegetarians

Vegetarian Times started out as a newsletter that veggie-convert Paul Obis distributed through Chicago health food stores. All he wanted was to connect with other herbivores and learn how to cook vegetarian meals. Little did he know that his humble newsletter would become a go-to resource for plant-eaters: The website houses the world’s largest online collection of vegetarian recipes.

VT enjoys a unique position in the market despite the presence of publications that may focus on vegetarian/vegan lifestyle or healthy cooking. “We are vegetarian, we are epicurean, and no one else can say that,” said EIC Liz Turner.

Freelancers can pitch recipes, nutrition/science features and ongoing blogs. Get all the details in How To Pitch: Vegetarian Times. [subscription required]

Pen Smart Features for Psychology Today

You don’t need a Ph.D. to write for Psychology Today (and you don’t necessarily have to quote one either). The magazine, which once was the pub of the American Psychological Association, went from dry, clinical research to fresh, accessible writing thanks to the efforts of EIC Kaja Perina. So, don’t worry if you’re not an authority in the world of psychology. As long as your ideas and writing are fresh, you could land a byline.

The magazine publishes bimonthly, so it isn’t dependent on breaking news. “We can’t be fast, so we try to be smart. We always want to look at what’s causing a particular trend,” said Perina.  You can also break into the pub by pitching the mag’s blogs. “We’re interested in everything that touches on human behavior, on how we relate to the world,” she said.

Read more in How To Pitch: Psychology Today. [subscription required]

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