Getting started as a foreign correspondent

by Nicole Martinelli
Oct 30, 2018 in Freelancing

Today, reporters working from far-flung locales are no longer waiting around the fax machine or haunting the American Express office for checks.

Now they "pitch by day, blog by night and tweet whenever and wherever a story breaks," says Graham Holliday, a photojournalist, university lecturer and BBC journalism trainer.

Holliday, who has lived in and reported from Rwanda, Vietnam, Korea and France, recently gave an insightful presentation for the Frontline Club on how to get started as a foreign correspondent now.

Tips in the 45-slide speech include:

*Before you go anywhere, you gotta go and meet editors face-to-face...Find the editors you're interested in working with and follow them on Twitter, find out what they're about and read the sections they edit.

*Go somewhere cheap and odd, make yourself visible, and read a lot before you write anything.

*You have to pitch, and pitch a lot...Sell the idea, the who, the what and the why...Send it everywhere...Make sure you hone the pitch to the particular vagaries of each section and editor. No one, especially not an editor with an attitude, and they all have attitude--likes receiving an irrelevant pitch.

You can view the full presentation here.

Holliday has worked for BBC News, Al Jazeera English, The Observer and GoodFood magazine. His current blog about life in Rwanda is Kigali Wire.