Getting to some important stories

Every writer has been told at least once to “write what you’re passionate about.” I guess I’ve always been somewhat of an exception to that advice, although not really intentionally.

Another piece of advice along the same lines is to develop a niche, something you know very well and have been able to write about successfully. Back in the day, natural gas development was one of my niches. Not really by choice. The newspaper I worked for at the time had the bureau I worked in right in the middle of intense gas drilling. It made sense to focus much of my efforts on that topic.

I don’t live in the same area and haven’t written about natural gas in many years. Maybe some people Continue reading “Getting to some important stories”

I dig digging in to find a story

Truth be told, I never found writing breaking news stories that hard. You’re really just telling what happened where and, if possible, why. It’s an important role for a journalist but it never really lit a fire under me.

Not so with most of the stories I’ve written over the last several years. As a freelancer, I get to pick and choose the stories I write. My clients are not interested in breaking news, although some probably wouldn’t turn it down if I learned of something that merited immediate coverage. They’re more interested in features and details, so I get to dig deeper and find an angle and a story.

My most recent case in point involves Continue reading “I dig digging in to find a story”

Pitching my pitch gets closer

For freelance writers like me, with a strong journalism background, one of the areas I’ve wanted to learn more about and give a good try is story pitching.

Instead of having an editor assign stories, the writer tries to convince an editor they should publish or post a story. As a reporter, I would often actually pitch story ideas to my editor. But one main difference was those stories often resulted from some event or news release I read that morning. And since stories, or content, is what newspapers, TV stations and any other news outlet need to survive, it wasn’t too hard to get my editor to say “go do it, Mike.” 👍

As a freelancer, I don’t have that relationship with an editor. I get asked by clients to do this story or that story, Continue reading “Pitching my pitch gets closer”

Urban wildlife a life reminder

It seems like common sense, doesn’t it?

You live in a small town, where fewer people should mean more wildlife, right?

Well, I’m often witness to situations or just animal sightings here in the Denver, Colorado, area that I never saw in my two decades or so of living in a city of around 10,000.

Case in point happened the other day. Finches have made their nests Continue reading “Urban wildlife a life reminder”

Public lands transfer movement watched closely

Forest 1There has been a growing awareness and attention paid in recent months to a movement among many Western states to transfer millions of acres of federally owned public lands to the states.

The American Lands Council, based in Utah, is leading the effort, arguing that it would improve public access, generate more economic growth and better protect the environment. The group cites the fact that most public lands in the Eastern part of the country are locally managed, but not in the Western states, as they say the U.S. Constitution requires and America’s founders intended. Continue reading “Public lands transfer movement watched closely”