The other secret is to know that writers (and editors) always need ideas and stories, to fill their news hole.
So you might find it of interest that Geoff Dougherty, the managing editor at Chi-Town Daily News, has just brought on four full-time reporters to supplement the free-lancers and citizen journalists covering urban issues at that web-only news outlet.
Megan Cottrell, covering housing, was a radio reporter at WCMU public radio in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and her work was featured on National Public Radio's Weekend All Things Considered. 773-362-5002, ext. 12, or megan(at)chitowndailynews(dot)org
Fernando Diaz, labor and unions reporter, was a staff writer at the Chicago Reporter, where he specialized in investigative reporting on immigration. Fernando previously worked for the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., and the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. 773-362-5002, ext. 14, or fernando(at)chitowndailynews(dot)org.
Alex Parker, public health reporter, previously covered education for the Lawrence (KS) Journal-World, and covered youth and politics in Kansas for MTV News during the 2008 presidential campaign. 773-362-5002, ext. 17, or alex(at)chitowndailynews(dot)org.
Peter Sachs, covering higher education including City Colleges of Chicago, worked at The Bulletin, the daily newspaper in Bend, Oregon. His coverage of the city hall beat there, including reporting on Bend's purchase of broken-down used buses, led to changes in how the city purchased equipment and contributed to the ouster of two city officials. 773-362-5002, ext. 18, or peter(at)chitowndailynews(dot)org.
Chi-Town Daily News is one of 20 web sites whose stories are updated continuously on the Chicago Neighborhood News page, a one-stop way to keep up with the news.