4 surefire ways to anger a reporter

If you want to guarantee that a reporter will never call you back and put you on his or her email “block” list, do these things.

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Imagine for a moment that each mistake that you made would live forever on YouTube, as seen in this not-safe-for-work video, or each time you produced something, it would be open for public comment and sharing (usually with a headshot of you next to it).

Then imagine that you chose to do this, not for pay (because there isn’t much), but because you really love a good story.

For all of the criticism of the press (and media should be criticized), there is no reward when they perfectly deliver a story. That is just the expectation. With that in mind, a small dose of empathy for the press can go a long way.

I know the following behaviors are guaranteed to irritate any editor, reporter or producer because I have been guilty of them myself. You don’t have to go down that road.

Don’t do these:


You’ve worked hard to craft the pitch and, finally, the producer says he will go with your story. There’s just one problem: Your source decided to flake completely. Best of luck trying to explain yourself or offer other options. It doesn’t work.

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