When pitching an idea to an editor, a journalist is not only selling an idea, but selling themselves. A good pitch should have all the qualities of a good feature, it should be instantly interesting, thought provoking, informative and believable. However it must also be original and written in a suitable tone, (one in fitting with the house style of the publication they may be pitching to), and give clear direction and detail.

A pitch should tempt an editor into wanting an article, so should get the editor interested and wanting more, without giving to much away.

Journalists should try to make the angle of an article unique, have an interesting take on a subject that an editor hasn’t already seen. They must convince an editor that they have the best facts or the best access, i.e They were there when it happened, or know the person the article might be about.

A Journalist should also know the magazine they are pitching to. Allowing them to be sure the article they may have written is suitable for the publication they are pitching to.

“The only way to know what the editor wants is to know the magazine inside out. Subject matter, style, approach. You also need to know how the magazine works, the sections and departments,” [1]

Selling a pitch is like selling anything els, if you cant sell it in the first few minuets the likelihood is your not going to sell it at all.

To make an article appealing to an editor and a publications readers, it must have angle.  A main point, which the rest of the article is there to support. Two stories on the same subject may vary dramatically due to the angle a journalist has chosen to take.

“One of the easiest ways to tell a professional writer from an amateur writer is  their use of an angle when writing articles. A pro will create an angle and  pledge their article around this, while an amateur writer tends to drift from  one point to another resulting in an unclear angle. This can leave readers with  more questions than answers.” [2]

The use of angles can also provide extra revenue for a writer. As it allows a journalist to pitch an article to various different publications. For example many magazines may cover the same article, although the angle of the piece is likely to be catered to the house style of the publication. Therefore a writer may edit an article’s angles in order for them to pitch different copies of the piece to different editors.

“To a journalist, angles are a mighty powerful tool. The same story can create  multiple sales by being submitted to various newspapers and magazines. Tailoring  the angle to suit the format of respective publications gives articles a second,  even third or fourth shot around the traps.” [3] 

[1] Andrew Humhreys of Ink Publishing. Source Unknown.

[2] James Koutlis. The Best Article Writers Tips – The Importance of Angles. (11/17/09) Available: http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Best-Article-Writers-Tips—The-Importance-of-Angles&id=3280426. (06/12/13).

[3] James Koutlis. The Best Article Writers Tips – The Importance of Angles. (11/17/09) Available: http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Best-Article-Writers-Tips—The-Importance-of-Angles&id=3280426. (06/12/13).

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