For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on pitching articles to U.S. media outlets, which is a difficult part of the freelancing process. Few U.S. outlets exist that publish traditional journalistic news features, and even fewer that publish international pieces. (And then not all take first-time contributors or “cold pitches.”) Reporting from Panama has its pros and cons: I have little competition for reportage on urban social issues BUT I also have to try harder to show my stories’ relevance. Though the U.S. has played a large role in Panama’s history, Panama is barely on the average American’s radar.
But I’m making progress! I’m working on two articles right now (one shorter, one longer) and have gotten vaguely positive responses about at least one of them. Editors are more likely to take a look at your e-mails if you have some mutual connection who can vouch for you. I’ve checked in with friends and mentors in the journalism world for advice, but I’m otherwise horrible at the networking process — it always feels sort of slimy.
Either way, I’m writing and reporting almost non-stop these days, and if no one will publish me, I’ll publish here on this blog. Hopefully I can share at least one of my writing projects with you soon.