"For some reason, there's been a rush of people calling and emailing to ask if they can write for the [Tucson] Weekly lately, something I appreciate because I guess that means we're something worth being a part of ..." - Dan Gibson, Editor, "How Weekly Writing Works," Tucson Weekly, August 28, 2014. Here you can read the entire "Editor's Note."
In this time when media properties and their leadership are uder escalating pressure, it's a shock that an editor would take the time to be authentically helpful to newbie journalists. That is exactly what Dan Gibson has done here in Tucson, Arizona, a hotbed of driven writers. Unfortunately, they are mostly unaware of how the game works.
In a full page "Editor's Note," Gibson clues them in. He explains that contacting him with a detailed pitch is the way to go. Do that by email. No, don't call. And, no, don't send clips stating you are looking for an assignment. The angle for the pitch should be local. Just as important it should be about what the Tucson Weekly has not yet covered. That means you have been a regular reader. And, most importantly, explain in detail how you plan to cover it. And when it will be ready.
Amidst ghostwriting/speechwriting assignments, I have been doing a bit of journalism here and there, since the mid 1970s. This is the most concise, on-the-money, yet compassionate how-to-get-published I have run across.
As a profit center for the Tucson Weekly, Gibson should knock out a textbook on how to write and market local journalism. Textbooks sell for a bundle. Here The Economist explains why.
With the profits from the textbook, Gibson can expand the Tucson Weekly. That means more opportunities for freelance journalists.