Freelance Outreach
January 4, 2005 8:38 AM   Subscribe

I used to be a freelance reporter and won an award for this work, but haven't written much in about 2 years. Very recently, a casual conversation spun into the opportunity to interview a big name in recent Middle Eastern affairs. I would like to get the interview a home before the Palestinian elections in a progressive online or print venue. Given this context, which venues are most amenable to cold contact, and by what methods of contact?

The award is cited online and I have writing samples available. I'm waiting for response from one large online venue but would like to line up interest from some others. One friend of mine suggests "cold-calling newspapers" with the story. I'd like to talk to people who are amenable to content from unknown individuals.
posted by By The Grace of God to Work & Money (10 answers total)
That's less than a week, right? Wow. You could contact Salon. They claim that it can take up to three weeks to get back to you, but I got my friendly "we're not interested" email in a few days.
posted by goatdog at 10:02 AM on January 4, 2005

Along those lines, seems to get a fair amount of material (in the form of the Diarist feature, or other one-time features) from freelancers. is another obvious one, but I assume you've already thought of the most obvious candidates.
posted by availablelight at 10:43 AM on January 4, 2005

Try The American Prospect or The Nation. Send a query and clips to, you know, the editor, the way one always does.

Lots of people take two years off from reporting, though it's usually to write a book.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:47 AM on January 4, 2005

The NewStandard is a newish (one year old) progressive website that replies quickly to queries, in my experience.

Foreign Policy In Focus has a site and an e-mail newsletter. It's a great publication that seems perfect for your story, but I've never written for them, so I don't know what to tell you as regards contact/payment.
posted by jeffmshaw at 11:26 AM on January 4, 2005 seems to be a place which will accept a lot of stuff. The good thing is that it will then get amplified all over the web, if people are interested in it.
posted by chaz at 12:38 PM on January 4, 2005

With your credentials, you should be able to cold call just about any newspaper or magazine to offer the story. Don't worry about them being "amenable," the story should do the persuading.
posted by me3dia at 1:54 PM on January 4, 2005

Yeah, Salon prints stuff from people they haven't worked with before. There's also Alternet.
posted by inksyndicate at 3:31 PM on January 4, 2005

Salon pays dirt, though. If you're going to get paid dirt, better you should have a clip from a fancy magazine.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:13 PM on January 4, 2005

Palestine Chronicle will accept your work although you're not likely to get more than peppercorn payment. It is important and widely read in the region.
posted by dmt at 10:56 AM on January 5, 2005

Response by poster: Update

The gentleman is obviously too busy campaigning! Interview postponed 'till after tomorrow. Thanks for the suggesties, folks!

Salon, by the way, rejected the pitch. They are more interested in Abbas. :P

so still pitching since i've more time, and a post-electoral interview is just as good for what I want anyway.

I just adore Palestine so much, it's just the best thing to write and read and learn about, and has transformed me from an ecumenically interested muckraker to a single issue lady.
posted by By The Grace of God at 10:13 AM on January 8, 2005

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