One of the best ways to make a mark as a freelance journalist, in addition to knowing how to write, is to provide timely articles to a newspaper or similar news organization.
Timely is meant to follow up on news issues that are already being covered by a news outlet, be it a newspaper, magazine or website. To do this, it’s important that you follow these three rules: Identify the issue, move the story, and write it in proper journalistic style.
Editors are unlikely to accept someone who isn’t a street worker and is submitting what they want, let alone paying for such articles.
However, if you follow the three steps mentioned above, you can greatly improve your article’s chances of getting published and opening the door for more work.
Identify the problem – By simply reading your target news outlet for a few days, you can get an idea of what stories and issues they care about. You can also read rival publications to see how they treat similar stories. Check out all the sections: General News, Business, Sports etc. to decide which topics you are most comfortable with. Ignore a particular news issue and make yourself an expert on it. Know who the main players are and what their thoughts or complaints are.
Take the story further – every day that passes needs to be reworked to make it new. If an athlete is injured one day, the next day people will want to know how long he will be out. If a tragedy occurs, the follow-up will be casualties and response. But remember that news outlets will either have their own employees or a syndicated wire service providing articles for them. This means that you have to think of an angle that is completely different. If you can think of a piece of news that deserves news and hasn’t been covered by anyone else, you’ll win the confidence of the editor involved. Check out the relevant blog to see what the man on the street is saying. Some of them may have insider information that no one else has.
Write in Journalistic Style – The article you are reading right now is not written in a journalistic style. This is more of a “how to” article. Journalistic news writing means employing the who, what, why, where, when and how system that gets the news out as quickly as possible. You also need to know what kind of story you are going to write. Is it a tough news article, a poignant quote story or an investigative feature?
With all three elements completed, you are ready to call the editor and sell your article. If you have a good story that is relevant to the issue, provides fresh perspective and is different from what a news outlet or one of their rivals is likely to have, you have a great chance to see their byline the next day. .