Hello. Welcome to, how to pitch a story to a newspaper or magazine.
In this video, we'll talk about the process newspapers and
magazines go through when picking what stories to print.
Part of this process is called pitching a story.
We'll talk about what it means to pitch a story and what information the journalist must include in a pitch.
Let's start with the process of selecting stories to print.
Journalist usually work as a team, and the head of that team is the editor.
The editor makes the final decision on what will appear in a newspaper or magazine.
Journalists give a pitch, which is a short description of the story that a journalist wants to tell.
When a pitch is given verbally, it's about 30 to 40 seconds long.
The purpose of the pitch is to sell this idea to the editor, so,
it will be written and printed in the newspaper or magazine.
So, it's important to say first and foremost, why is this story news worthy?
Or why is it a story that should be in the news?
This is the main idea of the pitch, why is the story important?
The second question a journalist must answer in a pitch, is who cares about this issue?
This relates to the idea of a target audience.
A newspaper should have mass appeal meaning, citizens of all ages, backgrounds, levels of education. Should be interested in at least some of the articles published in a newspaper. But for magazines, the readers have much more specific traits. For example a magazine may target women who live in cities and have professional jobs.
In the pitch, the journalist should be able to identify who in particular would be interested in the story.
The third questions is, who or what are the sources?
The journalist needs to prove that they have access to information on this topic.
They should say who they're interviewing, when those interviews are scheduled. How those people connect to the story, and what other types of information they'll use to tell this story.
This proves to the editor that the journalist can get the information needed to tell the story accurately, completely and truthfully.
The final question that should be answered in this pitch is how long
does the journalist need to research and write the story?
Many times a newspapers are competing with one another to tell the story first. But first is not always better. For example, if the journalist is rushing to be first, they might make more mistakes.
If this happens, the audience could lose trust in that journalist or
even in the newspaper. So while being first is good, it's better to be right.
Editors will want to know when they can expect the story to be completed.
To summarize, journalists pitch story ideas to an editor who then selects which stories to print.
The pitch includes why the story is newsworthy.
As well as possible audience, sources, and a timeline.
In the next video, you'll learn what it means to pitch to radio news.
Hello, welcome back to Unit 2.
In this video we're going to look at pitching a radio script.
This is similar but a little bit different to pitching a print media script.
When a journalist pitches a radio script, they need to think about two things,
the structure and the approach of the pitch.
Let's look at the structure first.
Structure means the relationship between the parts of something.
For a radio script, this means which
parts are in it and how are they ordered?
So a radio pitch should contain the following parts.
1, a summary of the story or a question to be answered.
2, the names of people who are going to be interviewed and
what they are likely to say.
3, any link to current events. And 4, an explanation as to why the story is important.
Let's think about a story and use this structure to make a pitch.
Radio stories are often personal stories that people listening can relate to.
Let's look at an example.
Imagine that a person goes to a food cart to get lunch every day for years. And then one day the food cart disappears and nobody knows where it's gone. We can use our four point structure to pitch this story.
First, we can introduce the story of the food cart and ask the question, what has happened to the food cart?
Next, we can suggest some interviews with former customers,
the person who owns the food cart next to the one that went missing, and with a market inspector, who might know what happened.
Then we can see if this story has any connection with current events. For example, in the USA, food carts are becoming more and more popular.
Finally, we can say why we think the story is important.
Perhaps the food cart represents more than just a place where people eat.
It's a social place where people meet, talk, and develop relationships.
The second thing to think about when pitching a story for radio is approach.
Approach means the way that you do something.
Remember, the purpose of a pitch is to convince or persuade people that this is an interesting story.
Therefore, the approach you use at the start of the pitch
should help to make the story sound more interesting.
There are two easy ways to do this. One, summarizing the story in the first sentence, or two, establishing your connection to the story.
Let's use these with our example of the food cart.
The first sentence of the pitch could be, this is a story about a missing food cart and how people were affected by it.
This opening would interest people straightaway.
The second way is to establish your connection to the story.
You could say something like this.
For two years I bought my lunch from the same food cart.
I chatted with the owner about football, I asked him how
his children were doing, and then one day, he was gone.
This opening shows that you are connected to the story.
To summarize, in this video we talked about the structure of the pitch, the different parts that should be in it, and the approach of the start of the pitch.
The pitch should contain a summary or question, a list of interviewees, a link to current events, and why the story is important.
The approach of the opening could be a one-sentence summary to hook the reader, or maybe a way of showing your connection to the story.
Now you can practice creating a pitch by playing the game that follows this video.
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