How to Become Front Page News

By Tyler Austin

No, I’m not going to suggest you run a marathon across the United States naked, but that probably would make you front page news.

This article from Poynter Online titled How to Turn a Student Journalism Project into a National Story” suggests a few ways to get your student work published by major news organization. Some talented journalism students were lucky enough to get their investigative report on transportation safety published on the front page of the Washington Post.

Seek outside help to find the right story.

The article says to find a topic that news organizations have reported on, but not in depth. These students used the Center for Public Integrity’s executive director to help them find a topic.

Set up a way for students to learn the necessary background as quickly as possible.

The students in this story were a part of weekly telephone calls that gave them the confidence and practice to pitch their stories and access to specific individuals that could help further their investigation.

Recruit professors to completely edit the work before sending it to news orgs.

Having your work edited is invaluable, especially by a professional. This also gives your story credibility that it’s been fact checked. Which also gives the news organization more incentive to publish your work, if they don’t have to work as hard to edit and fact check.

Find a link to the newsroom you want to pitch your story to.

Having a professor that works for or use to work with or for someone in the news organization you wish to pitch to can be helpful. The students in the article had a professor that had positive ties to The Washington Post pitch their story for them. Having a professional rally for your work is also credible.

Give news orgs flexibility when it comes to publishing content.

I know this to be true as a public relations student. The more wiggle room the organization has, the more likely they are to publish your work.

Good Luck!

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5 Responses to How to Become Front Page News

  1. briannabalty says:

    I really enjoyed your post.! It’s simple and concise and shows great tips. And I also highly agree with having other students or professionals edit your works. You get so much more insight to your work with fresh eyes looking at it!

  2. mbalandra says:

    As you know Tyler, trying to get the media’s attention can be a daunting task. I never realized how difficult it is to get published in a newspaper or magazine until I started our work with StandUp for Kids. Sometimes its pretty frustrating to think about the fact that your press release, media alert, or feature article is going into a stack that is two feet high. But these are some good tips, I think I will use this for the next public relations campaign I come across!

  3. Kay Gilbert says:

    I was wondering if you ever tested this out for yourself or know of anyone who has?

  4. zachdrex says:

    Excellent post and excellent advise. It was short enough and detailed enough to keep my attention. There is some really useful information here.

  5. dannyduran says:

    Thank you for the tips. I think it is very important to have the work professionally editted as you mentioned. Also, having a professor who formally worked for a particular newspaper could help greatly. I am too curious if you have attempted to get something published.

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