Lists of newspaper names with editors
The third thing you need to do to begin work as a freelance writer is find all the newspapers within a reasonable radius and get the name of the editors.
Small newspapers would be the best place to start with this. They are usually understaffed and in sore need of feature pieces, sports writing, and maybe even some meeting coverage although the human interest pieces seem to be the best things to turn over to freelancers.
I had the advantage of knowing the newspapers and their editors already because of dealing with them for many years (and having a state newspaper guide handy), but chances are you know the name of a newspaper or two in your area. Start your list with them.
Go online to www.usnpl.com and click on your state for a list of newspapers. That will not be all the papers in your area, but a look at a regional phone book or a trip to the library should produce the names of some more papers and the names of the editors of the papers. If you are looking at the paper online go to the "Contact Us" tab for names and contact information. If you are able to skim through an actual newspaper, there will be a staff box inside the paper somewhere, maybe on the bottom of the editorial page, that names the editor. If it lists both an editor and a managing editor, make a note of both names. While you're at it get the phone numbers and email addresses just in case.
Make a list of the names of all the papers you can find within a reasonable distance from you and be sure to note the names of the editors.
You're almost ready to go out and distribute your resume. (Yes, you're going in person!)