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Magazine editor thinks of freelancers as searching for a ‘nugget of gold’

Business North Carolina contributor Edward Martin was among the winners of this year’s Alliance of Area Business Publications awards for his feature on a large, atypical farm in the area.

Open Grounds

Custom Harvesters at open Grounds Farms in N.C.

The story paints a clear picture of the farm while also providing great details. For instance, in one paragraph Edward writes:

“Weather and commodities markets willing, more than $25 million of corn and soybeans flow through the bins in a year. A fleet that includes seven Caterpillar tracked tractors rests in the equipment lot, and inside a giant hangar, four $450,000 grain combines, among other things, await harvest season.”

Editor in chief David Kinney says being a monthly publication means the staff has to produce the kind of stories people don’t have to read, but want to read. As such, they have to focus on the writing, and a big part of meeting that goal is hiring the right freelancers. It takes a long time to find a “nugget of gold” like Edward, who excels at colorful writing, David says.

“We want people who are drawn to the magazine as opposed to ‘we’ve got to get somebody for this story,’” says David, who bought the magazine in 1998 with investors. “You have to keep your standards up. They have to work out for you.”

The magazine also has to focus on getting information right. Its audience comprises top level business executives who know more about business than they do, he says.

“When editing, I use my writer’s eye. I have to make sure every fact is in place,” he says.

Overall, Business North Carolina won seven Alliance awards, including five gold.

 

About the Author

Rosland Gammon is a former business journalist turned college instructor. Her newsroom experience includes reporting for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and reporting and editing at Bloomberg News. Gammon currently teaches communications at Alverno College in Milwaukee. Follow her daily posts. | E-mail: Rosland Gammon

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