As far as worst pitch, that would have to be a freelancer who pitched me a couple of years ago about an AIDS study. It was a very controversial study, promoting (if I remember correctly) an unusual therapy. Fortunately, I passed the pitch by our AIDS expert, Jon Cohen, who did some digging and found out that the freelancer’s mother-in-law was an author on the paper. I confronted the writer about this, and he told me it wasn’t a conflict of interest because he could be objective about the study. As we were going back and forth I noticed something else troubling: The freelancer himself was mentioned in the paper’s acknowledgments. When I brought that up, I didn’t hear from him again.
Top that! :-)
Thursday, January 12, 2012
how NOT to pitch
Great advice from The Open Notebook. Among the tips: email rather than phone, pitch a story rather than a topic; and know your market. As for bad pitches? Here's a taste, from David Grimm, editor of ScienceNow: