Journalists brainstorm all kinds of ideas for stories, but then they have to find the right publication to print them. Prior to conducting interviews, delving into research and typing up copy, a writer needs to contact the editor at an appropriate newspaper to query his article concept. The information contained in that newspaper article proposal is what clinches the deal for writers and ensures that their ideas can be published and shared with a reading audience.
Along with presenting the story idea, a journalist needs to show the editor how the article is newsworthy. Discussion about why the subject is important in today's world is essential. Tying the concept to current events or social concerns is an effective way to gain the attention of an editor. Include basic facts and statistics that demonstrate how your topic is outstanding compared to the status quo. If you want an editor to take your query seriously, you have to establish that the angle of your story is interesting and worth the space in his newspaper. Additionally, provide details about the expected length of your article and the time it will take to deliver it.
Explain Audience Appeal
Share your insights about how the story will appeal to the newspaper's target audience and how it relates to their interests. Explain how the age group or socioeconomic class will respond to the article and why it matters to them. The editor has to understand why your article is a good fit for his paper in order to offer you a contract to write it. Show how other, similar stories attract readers, and discuss how yours will, too.
Share Source Ideas
An editor has to know how you plan to fulfill the angle to your story. Provide a sample list of potential sources and interview questions so the editor can see that you've analyzed your subject and are prepared to move forward with the research required to write the story. When you clearly show that sources are available and how they will contribute to the article, an editor can more fully comprehend the depth of the story and how it will impact her readers. Additionally, suggest ideas for photographs, sidebar stories and other aspects that will make the article have an even greater effect.
Qualify Your Expertise
Not only does an editor have to agree that your story is worth publishing, but he also has to believe that you're the journalist to write it. Provide links to other articles you've written, list previous publications you've contributed to and include your education credentials. Showing that your experience qualifies you to effectively craft an in-depth feature is essential to getting the gig. Furthermore, an editor has to feel that you have the connections to get the article done. Discuss how you plan to contact your sources and why you think they will talk to you. A story idea may be great, but if you can't pull it off because interview subjects won't respond to your calls, the entire process is worthless. Convince an editor that you can do the job.