You Don’t Have To Outrun The Bear, Just The Other Guy


This is the message Village Voice editor Tony Ortega has for freelancers in an open memo posted to the site this morning.

It comes after an over-eager writer pitched a story, was rejected, and then just had to know why he was rejected…while dissing the magazine.

“You can imagine how much I look forward to a future pitch from this genius,” Ortega says. He adds: “The vast, vast majority of story pitches we get are really poor. Yes, this is a bad economy, there are few permanent jobs, and you seem to be up against an army of other freelancers all competing for space. But the truth is, many, if not most, of your competitors aren’t very strong.”

This advice applies to not just freelancers, we think, but also anyone looking for a job. Remember, the “average” unemployed American spends two hours looking for a job each day (and the rest of the time playing World of Warcraft or something…we assume). And many J-students are totally unprepared for journalism, missing deadlines and generally lacking in any sort of basic knowledge of how the world works.

So remember. It’s like that old joke. You don’t have to outrun the bear…you just have to outrun the other guy.

(h/t FishbowlNY)

photo: Carl Chapman