Advice from the Media | Toby Harnden
July 23, 2013Name: Toby Harnden Title: Washington Bureau Chief Media Outlet: The Sunday Times (UK) Twitter Handle: @tobyharnden Personal Blog: www.tobyharnden.com 1) Describe your typical workday in 140 characters or less. No day typical. Longest recent day when Boston bomber caught. Out reporting on grnd all week. Started writing 10pm. Filed 5,100 words by 9am 2) What's the best pitch you've ever received? I am instinctively suspicious of PR pitches so best ones are probably approaches I never knew were pitches. I've been invited to go fishing using hand grenades with the French Foreign Legion. That's quite attractive. 3) The greatest words of wisdom an editor ever gave you? Always go there. It's obvious but so many reporters these days use email as a crutch or don't go to an event because it will be on TV or they'll get a transcript. Early on in my career, in Northern Ireland, whenever there was a bombing or shooting I'd go, whatever the time of day or night. It was always worth it - I'd get a different angle or I'd meet a potential contact. It astonished me how many reporters were lazy. Along the same lines - always make the call. You never know whether or not the person will speak to you. But if you don't try, then you can be sure they won't.