This Week in Media News 4/25 – 4/30

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Back again! Here’s media news you may have missed this week: Edmund Lee from AdAge has a great post about papers/publishers using “content mills” to supplement their news and opinion articles. Demand Studios and Associated Content are mentioned: More Publishers Trying Outsourced Journalism Thomas K. Zellers talks about: Paper or Pixels? NewsCorp is taking steps to be carbon neutral by the end of the year. Folio.com reports: “Women’s Publishers See Positive Signs Over First Three Months of 2010” Editor and Publisher: “Press Freedom Marching Backward Around the Globe, Freedom House Survey Says” The New York Times: “Stefano Tonchi to edit W [Read more…]

Remember When? Article Queries Edition

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I was clicking through the Freelance Writing Jobs web site reading articles and coming up with ideas for May’s editorial calendar when I came across this old blog post of mine: “There’s Rejection and Then There’s REJECTION!” I found myself giggling at a question “Is it just me or does it sting more when you’re rejected by hot key?” I was talking about the digital querying age and how rejection form letters are often a hot key away from delivering a swift, coarse “No.” I then got a little nostalgic about the good old days of querying. Remember… Stocking up [Read more…]

Why are you writing that article?

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Is it because the rent’s due? You like to see your name in print? It’s a part of a bigger plan of total world domination? You’d anything not to go back to a corporate job? Think about it, we write article after article here at FWJ discussing the best way to write an article, interview techniques, source cultivating, how to make money at the craft, the pros and cons of freelance writing, etc. Today I ask, “What is your motivation?” Some of us are adrift. We write the articles, we send the invoices, we look for more work. A lot [Read more…]

Writer? Journalist? Is there a difference?

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On my web site and in bios everywhere I tend write “freelance writer/journalist.” Sometimes I alternate – freelance writer for one publication, freelance journalist for another. I feel compelled to highlight the difference, but I have to wonder does it matter, if so to whom? I also wonder if there is really a difference. A person writing for a magazine or newspaper has to follow journalistic guidelines, except in first person narratives, so does that make them a journalist? When a journalist blogs like I do for a non-news blog are they a writer only? I tend to attach journalist [Read more…]

This Week in Media News 3/31 – 4/4

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Happy Easter FWJ crew! If you don’t celebrate Easter then, of course, happy Sunday. It’s been good week in media news: Where are the Women? – Alicia Shepard asks an all important question about NPR & it’s diversity or lack of in some areas. A dangerous assignment gone really, really bad -“Paul Raffaele, a top flight freelancer for Smithsonian magazine, was badly injured in a suicide bombing while on assignment in Afghanistan in 2008. Raffaele says the magazine agreed to insure him but he has nothing in writing. The two are now at an impasse. Writer Katie Rolnick tells the [Read more…]

The Ohio State University Kirwin Institute Writing Opportunity

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Hey FWJ community! I was sent this by a friend and thought it would be a great opportunity for those interested. I am pretty sure it’s unpaid, however the perks are many – a published Kirwin Institute author (article) – sounds pretty good to me! If you go for it and get published let me know and we’ll feature your work here at Freelance Writing Jobs! Remember, we’re the number one web site for freelance writers! *end commercial* Visions 2042 Project A CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS (1000-2000 words due Monday, May 17, [email protected]) Visions 2042: Notes toward a Racial Order Transformed [Read more…]

Cleveland Plain Dealer and Anonymous Posting Ethics

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Earlier this week I gathered up a bunch of interesting media and industry news from the past week for the FWJ community: “This Week in Media News.” While several stories are worth delving into, one story in particular had kept my interest since coming across it. This past week The Plain Dealer, a newspaper in Cleveland Ohio, investigated, uncovered and revealed the name of an anonymous poster from their web site. This poster,”lawmiss,” had commented many times, but one comment, aimed at a Dealer reporter’s family member raised eyebrows and led to the investigation. It turns out the username’s, registered [Read more…]

Bitesize: Subheads in Article Writing

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Often an article will have a topic that is like a giant buffet or one of those burgers loaded with everything under the sun. While impressive to look at, it is best to break the whole thing down into manageable bites so that the reader isn’t overwhelmed with information and the writer isn’t overwhelmed with finding a way to transition each morsel into a delectable feast. Outlines Help When writers cull their research and outline their article before starting the writing portion of the process, they’ll find subheads tend to highlight themselves. These standouts are a part of important information [Read more…]

This Week in Media News

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There was a lot of media news this week from trouble at the New York Times to The Plain Dealer’s ethics quandry, here’s my weekly recap. New York Times Staffers Furious Over The Huge Raise Executives Gave Themselves – Gillian Reagan reports for Business Insider the $12 million in executive bonuses the paper paid out is not going over so well with the staff at NYT. Perhaps cutting staff by 100 and giving yourself a raise isn’t the best way to get on their good side… Magazines Use the iPad as Their New Barker – Magazines including Conde Naste are [Read more…]

Looking in the Mirror: Reading Your Published Articles

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I’d been thinking about writing this post for next week, but today I was reading through Deb’s job posting for the day and came across an article she linked to: “Driving Rules for Getting to the Point with Your Lede” and thought, “Hmm, that’s a good topic, interesting headline, I wonder who in the network wrote that one…” I clicked the link and realized it was my work. Oops. Self-flattery aside, I realize I have fallen into a pattern of writing, editing, publishing and forgetting my work. When you first become a professional writer, once you get past the “Whoo [Read more…]

Fun Friday: Editing Gone Wrong!

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Is there anything more fun than typos that are both hilarious and ones you personally didn’t make? Huffpost has some doozies that I’d like to share with you: Regret the Error is another great sight site that’ll help you get you’re your editorial giggle on, but be careful – get two too cocky and you’re bound to end up on it yourself!

Three Tips for Killer Web Headlines

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The other day I wrote “Down with Deb Ng! Headline Writing 101” where I touched on misleading headlines and basic, across the medium rules for writing headlines. The responses are still coming in, many people tuned in to see what dirt I had on Deb and others were ready to jump to her defense – not that she needs it because girlfriend can take care of herself! Anywho, the headline was a success and I got a few emails asking how to write a headline the right way. The parameters change depending on the genre, so today, let’s look at [Read more…]

Follow Article Writing on Facebook

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Heads up FWJ crew, Article Writing at Freelance Writing Jobs has a Facebook fan page! Come on over for great post links from FWJ and other great sites, stimulating conversation and an opportunity to ask all your deep, dark article writing questions.

Day 3, 5 Ways to Enhance Your Writing Skills

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Day three’s tip is easy – have fun. Even when writers are actively living their dream, they can get bogged down in the everyday activities of being a writer. It is important to remember that while you’re billing clients, scheduling meetings, researching, organizing and working to improve your writing skills you can still have fun and you should, this is a fun job! Too often when writers really start working as writers – getting paid on a regular basis, they have multiple clients, etc., they lose sight of the awesome-ness of being a freelance writer and only focus on the [Read more…]

Brainstorming Technique #2 Freewriting

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Freewriting. It sounds like a cool, pill induced experience, but it is actually a perfectly normal way to get all your ideas on paper without stopping to edit or organize. Freewriting is simply writing without stopping. This technique is actually a great way to start the writing process before you move on to outlines. It allows you to see everything all at once and this often leads to stand-out elements and angles for the article like ledes, quotes and important facts. Another great outcome of freewriting is it is actually freeing! Often writers get bogged down in the process of [Read more…]

Interviewing Sources – Looking the Part

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Deb had an interesting post this week: “Appearances Count Even When You Freelance” that had me chuckling and also got me thinking about how writers can shut down their sources simply by walking through the door. Freelancers often brag they get work in their pajamas and while that’s technically true, no one should interview sources in them – at least not in person. When I conduct an in-person interview with a source I pay careful attention to my attire and match my clothing into the message I want to convey. Of course, a writer wants to be viewed as professional, [Read more…]

Brainstorming Techniques #1

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*This was supposed to post yesterday! I’m not sure what happened, but enjoy anyway! Hustling is a part of the job description for freelance writers. We move at a quick pace writing emails, responding to editors, microblogging on Twitter, updating Facebook, interviewing sources and writing articles, etc.. which is why you are checking FWJ the day after Christmas! Even while we aren’t in front of the computer, we are still coming up with ideas and brainstorming. Here’s a quick brainstorming trick to play around with as you go in for your second or third round of turkey or ham! Listing [Read more…]

5 Reasons Why Evergreen Articles Rock

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It’s not just the Christmas spirit and winter snow that has me excited about evergreens. Granted, I love wrapping a big tree in tinsel, but I really love wrapping my keyboard around an evergreen topic. The term evergreen topic refers to subject matter people are always interested in reading. They are popular search engine requests and usually revolve around the basics of any particular subject, for example, “home office deduction,” “freelance writing,” or “writing a query letter.” Most writers will find themselves assigned one of these pieces and that’s a great thing for several reasons: 5. Popular topic, popular article [Read more…]

Email Interviews vs Phone Interviews Part 2

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The other day we talked about the pros and cons of an email interview :”Email Interviews vs Phone Interviews.” Many of the issues that apply to email interviews also apply to phone interviews. The main thing is to consider which interview is going to give you the best outcome for your article. Phone Interview Pros Quick and convenient. Like its electronic counterpart, phone interviews are easy on both parties. All you need is a phone line and an agreed upon call time and you’re set. No need for anyone to dress up or travel. Personality shines through. It can be [Read more…]

Email Interviews vs Phone Interviews

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Interviews are an integral part of article writing. An article won’t survive the sniff test if it doesn’t have a few quotes and information provided by an outside source. I’m still a firm believer that the best interview is the face-to-face interview. Sharing the same space with your source, seeing facial expressions, hand gestures, etc. is priceless, but most writers can’t travel around the world to interview sources so phone and emails help get the job done. There is a big difference between the two and writers should be aware of the pros and cons of both when setting up [Read more…]

Driving Rules for Getting to the Point with Your Lede (Lead)

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The other night The Wizard of Oz was on and I watched Dorothy and her crew sing about following the yellow brick road. It was a simple instruction, but it dawned on me the yellow brick road was a terribly convoluted roadway, with twists and turns all over place. Who were the city engineers on that project? Sheesh! Some ledes are the same way. They are good enough to hook the reader, but take so long to get to the point readers lose interest and turn the page or hit the back button. Here are a few rules of the [Read more…]

Cheesy Query Pick-Up Lines

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I often compare querying a publication to dating or being in a relationship: “Date Your Publication” and what would dating be without cheesy, low class, creepy pick-up lines? “I think we’ve met/Tweeted/are Facebook friends.” “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” Writers really don’t have to press to find a connection with an editor in their query. Unless you’ve had an encounter the editor is going to remember, forget the wind up, just pitch. Some exceptions include: actually meeting them, talking with them and having the door left open for a pitch, regularly interacting via social networking, etc. “Are you looking [Read more…]

Lede This! #2

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Ok, the first Lede (Lead) This!” didn’t go so well as we had no participation. Maybe it was the stunning cuteness of my little lion or the (hopefully) super busy week all our FWJ writers had, whatever the case we are going to try again. I’m a little late getting this up, it’s been a crazy week over here as well. Remember a good Lede (Lead) is what captures your audience’s attention and gets them to read the article. Brush up on your skills and get featured here at FWJ – the number one site for freelance writers! The Rules: [Read more…]

Lede (Lead) This!

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I like having fun on Fridays, I always make it an easy day or a day off of work and I thought I’d bring some fun stuff to the FWJ community. Each Friday we are going to do Lede This and on Monday I’ll pick the best lede and talk about why it works. So here’s how it’s going to work: I post a picture, you write your lede in the comment section below, give the type of publication you wrote it for and the subject of the article. No need to write a full article, actually, please don’t write [Read more…]

Don't Say "Google Me."

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I hate it. I HATE IT when a writer says “Google me” when submitting for an assignment or worse, when asking for advice on their writing career. I’m serious, I have had a writer or two ask me about furthering their career and to then added “Google me to see my work.” Wow. You couldn’t bother to include a link in your email? Are you that busy? Do you think I’m not busy so I have the time and motivation to go looking for “Jane Smith” throughout the Google-verse? Or do you think it makes you look good that your [Read more…]

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