Q: I've been working freelance for the last few months, and I have a question about etiquette.
I have a story that I think will break soon, whether I get to be the one to break it or not, and I've pitched it to an editor but I haven't received a response. In this situation, is it acceptable behavior to pitch the article to another editor in the same newspaper? How long should I wait before offering the article to another paper?
Thanks a lot for your help - if you choose to use this question online, I'd prefer if you didn't print my surname.
All best wishes,
A: They key in either case is to keep people informed. Tell the first editor, "I may not have submitted this to the right editor, so I am going to try this other editor at your publication," or, "I am getting anxious about losing this story, so I would like to withdraw the story from your publication and pitch it over there.&"
It is best not to have the story pitched to two editors at the same paper all at once withuttheir knowledge. It could come up at a news meeting, which would straighten things out, but it could be a little bumpy. There could be a train wreck if both of them like your story so well it is slated for two section fronts at once.
Under no circumstance do you want to surprise an editor who is reviewing your proposal by havnig it appear in the competition. That could end your freelance chances at that publication.