>SF Chronicle opportunities

>Totally lacking inspiration, I went back to the Columbia Journalism Review list of what corporations own what newspapers and checked out the Hearst Corp. Remember William Randolph Hearst, Hearst Castle, Citizen Kane, Rosebud? In the old days, newspapering was a personal crusade by the publisher. But now, Hearst is yet another huge corporation, and although it still owns a dozen newspapers, it owns far more magazines, TV stations, and interactive media. Check out the list at the CJR site.

Once upon a time, I lived near San Francisco and read the Chronicle, one of the Hearst papers, so I thought I’d see what they’ve got for freelancers these days. Unlike many papers, they do have online guidelines that are easy to find and include examples of topics that have they have used. However, paid opportunities are a bit on the slim side. Writers are welcome to send letters, photos, and commentary for the glory of a clip in a major daily. Your best bet is the Sunday magazine, which does pay, although they don’t say how much. As a columnist, I’m intrigued by “My Word,” a 900-page back-page personal essay. This sounds like a good option. The one caution in every section is that there must be a Bay Area connection. As with most general-interest papers, the local link is essential.

If you don’t live in the Bay Area, consider trying one of the other Hearst papers. They’re spread across the country. I’m betting the guidelines are similar for all of them. I’m also thinking that if you study the paper, you’ll find more possibilities in other sections that aren’t listed in the official guidelines. Sometimes freelancers have to search beyond the obvious and boldly offer their services wherever they see a need.

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