"Journalists don’t want to cover our subject anymore."
Though this statement may be accurate, they’re also looking at it the wrong way. It’s true that old system of beats has been dissolving steadily for years now. There are still some beats still covered of course — government, tech, sports are some of the obvious ones — but more and more journalists have become generalists.
And you can sum up the type of information they’re looking for in one word: useful. Send them something useful and you are in business. Try to convince them that they have a duty or obligation to cover Topic X because they haven’t for a while, and you’ll get nowhere.
What’s useful to a journalist? Here are a few examples:
- Information that enables them to accomplish something they have to do regularly, like connecting them to a source who can comment on those government figures that get released the first Friday of every month.
- Information that’s useful to their audiences, something that helps their readers or viewers do something they couldn’t do before they knew about it.
- Information that comprises a good story, in the narrative sense of the word story. This means something with elements of surprise, conflict and interesting characters.