Everyone should be in some stage of the EHST story assignment — pitching a story idea, identifying sources, conducting interviews, doing background research, or writing the story.
Here are some of the questions that Ms. Karimipour and I have been asked, via Twitter, email or in conversations. Thanks to Hannah Colson and Elena Castello for helping us with the in-lecture questions via Twitter.
Q: When should we start pitching our EHST story?
A: In the panel discussion, Alligator editor Kathryn Varn said that you can contact an Alligator editor (Metro or University) either with a story idea or a finished story. Erica Hernandez, who is an editor for WUFT.org, said they review final stories.
Q: Is there a deadline to when we need to get it published?
A: The deadline for getting published is Lab 14, which is April 14-20. Some of the EHST stories could have a time hook related to UF’s Earth Month or to Earth Day (April 22).
Q: How do you handle it if an editor is taking awhile to reply to you, and your article is time sensitive?
A: Try to submit the story with as much lead time as possible. In the email you send to the editor, be sure to note the time issue and say that you would appreciate receiving feedback as soon as possible. Then send a followup if you haven’t heard from the editor. If still no reply, email to say that due to the time sensitivity of the article that you are withdrawing it from consideration there so you can approach another publication. Be sure to let the editor know that you are moving on. You don’t want to have the article published by two publications with each publication thinking that the story was exclusive to that publication.
Q: How can I find expert sources at UF?
A: Visit http://experts.ufl.edu to find an expert source to interview for your story. Beware that the list isn’t always up to date. Also even when you find a faculty expert, that person may be on a research trip or too busy to be interviewed. One strategy is to ask the expert if there is a colleague or graduate student that you could talk to about the story topic. Sometimes a great expert source can be a professor you have had for class.