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"What's a news hook?"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by thesnowman, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. thesnowman

    thesnowman Member

    Story time!

    A couple of weeks ago I'd tentatively agreed to do some regular freelance work for a startup weekly, being run by a friend of a friend. I knew from prior work that these guys are business majors, not journalists, but we'd always worked pretty well together so I thought why not give it a shot. Tuesday the call comes in looking for ideas for Friday's paper. The line I got was that while they liked my ideas, they don't want me to write ANYTHING that is even remotely time sensitive. In other words, that really intriguing feature on Athlete A who will be a featured attraction at Major Event B the following week, not allowed ... because someone may pick up the paper (which is dated Friday) the following Thursday, and they may become upset that the event they are reading about happened on Wednesday. The solution they insisted on was to not reference events or dates, period. Instead, write 250-word features without a news hook in sight.

    I've already told them to take a long walk off a short cliff, but thought someone else might need a chuckle today.
  2. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    If they don't pick up the Friday paper until the following Thursday, how can they possibly bitch about the previous night's game not being in the paper? It's a newspaper not a time machine. And if it takes a week for them to pick up the paper, your story is the least of the company's concerns.

    Proceed with caution when venturing into a startup journalism project with guys who are not from a journalism background.
  3. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    I'd echo those warnings from golfnut...but it sounds like you're just in on a freelance basis, so I can't imagine there's much of an investment on your part. If you're not comfortable with this, then just walk away.
  4. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    And if they are businessmen, shouldn't they know that a newspaper is not exactly a hot piece of iron right now?

    But yeah, like Flex said, if you're just freelance than it shouldn't matter too much to you. Just make sure you get paid.
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