Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The problem with freelancing

One problem I'm running into as a freelance journalist is identifying myself as such and being taken seriously by sources. Or getting callbacks.
As you may already know, I have a story pitch on, a Web site where people donate money to have a story done. One story I'm working on is a follow-up to the oil spill in the San Francisco Bay a year ago. When asked what news organization I represent, I respond that I'm a freelancer working for and that my story may be picked up by newspapers but will most certainly be on the Web site and other Web sites. So this morning I make a few calls and after the source checked out the Web site, I could almost hear her laughing in her head about who I represent and how the official I'm trying to reach may not want to talk to me because of his limited time and because I'm from a startup Internet site. But, she said, I could talk to her (the public information officer), which is OK but not like going straight to the source. Frustrating.

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