Tagged With journalism

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This week on The Upgrade, we spoke in front of a live audience at On Air Fest with journalist Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor of the New York Times, and the co-author of Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas. Jill is currently a political columnist for The Guardian as well as a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at Harvard. Her next book, News Wars, will be out in 2019.

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Journalists, and bloggers who pose as journalists, get a lot of pitches over email. I get about 20 a day, so I'm pretty heavy on the archive button. But if you're trying to pitch something you've worked on, and you aren't a professional publicist, you're actually at an advantage. Last month, game developer Andrew Miller asked me for advice on how to pitch his work for coverage. Here's what I told him.

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Now that everyone has a blog and two podcasts, you don't have to be a rarified expert to field questions from a journalist, or to appear as a guest on a show. Talking to the media can be exciting but terrifying. What if they misquote you? What if they secretly want to do a hit piece on you? What if you're so boring that they cancel the show forever?

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I only remember one practical writing lesson from my three years as an English major: Whenever you can, put the best bits at the end of the sentence. Put the next-best bits at the beginning, and put the rest in the middle. This trick works in every kind of writing, and I wish I'd spent my university years learning more tricks like it, instead of pretending to read The Brothers Karamazov.