What would you want to tell your past self about your career in journalism? Do you think there are gaps in advice available for reporters? Can you get under the skin of an issue journalists are talking about?
We know we don’t know everything, and we’d never pretend to – it’s why Journo Resources invites new writers with new ideas to contribute to our long-form advice section. Please note, pitching is now closed until at least February 2021, while we redesign our website.
Cool! What Kind Of Stuff Are You Looking For?
If you take a look at the pieces on our current advice section, you’ll get an idea for the type of stuff we’re looking for. The most important thing we look for is angles we haven’t thought of yet, and we’d expect you to conduct interviews for every piece we publish.
In short, we produce long-form content which is practical, full of advice, and is good journalism in itself. Basically, the person who reads it should feel they’ve taken something away by the end. Normally this is about 1,000-1,500 words. We’re looking for original ideas that broadly fall into one of three categories:
- Deep Dive Features: Our long form features take a deep dive into a specific issue that affects working journalists or aspiring reporters. You’ll speak to multiple experts or people with experience to weave together your story, and will leave the reader with a broader knowledge or skill set before. Previously we’ve looked at the ethics of personal essays, the struggles of being the fact checker in the family WhatsApp group, and the changing world of music journalism.
- Practical Advice Features: Our practical advice pieces are generally slightly shorter, and focus on gaining a specific skillset or walking people through something. Generally, we don’t accept listicles from freelancers, and every piece we publish must include interviews. For example, we’ve written this guide to freelancing as a student and sprucing up your LinkedIn.
- Personal Essays: Just because we cover journalism, it doesn’t mean we don’t cover emotions. We’ve written personal essays on things like news fatigue, job rejection and more. We’ll want you to have specific experience of whatever it is you’re proposing to write about, and you may want to contact other to help back up your experiences too.
- Day in the Life Pieces: This series is currently covered in-house, so we don’t take pitches on this strand.
Our readers tend to be students and journalists within the first five years of their career, so making sure pieces are accessible is a must – but we do actively want to reach out to other groups, so please don’t feel you can’t pitch us on stories which target other demographics. We are particularly keen to also reach out to people returning to the profession, or who have newly become freelance.
We have covered a fair few topics already, but know there will have been areas we’ve missed, so we’re looking for pieces which make us go ‘why didn’t we do that already’. As ever, we’re always keen to hear from a diverse range of voices, as well as people across the country, in different types of journalism jobs, and of any age.
Everything also tends to get re-shared quite a lot, so we’re looking for evergreen content which won’t date easily. As we’re a small team, it’s worth emphasising we don’t have the capacity to do super quick turnarounds, so we aren’t looking for reactive takes pegged to the news cycle.
As a freelancer, we’ll also expect you to abide by our editorial standards – more details on that over here.
So, Obviously The Next Question Is Money & Process…
As a small start-up, there’s not a lot of money kicking around, so we are currently only able to commission about two pieces a month, and that really is a hard limit.
This means we may end up commissioning your piece for use in a couple of months time (if you agree), and that even if we like it, we might not always be able to say yes. Please don’t be offended, it’s purely about the amount of money in the bank account and we do hope to be able to commission more in the future.
In terms of cash, we will pay up to £150 for deep dive features, and £100-120 for practical advice features, listicles and personal essays. We hope to be able to raise these rates in future, however, this is currently our top limit as an independently funded outlet. We will always agree a deadline when we commission you, as well as how much we can pay you and send some outline notes to help shape your piece.
Once you’ve submitted your piece, and an editor has agreed it’s ready to go, or almost there, you’ll receive payment with 30 days. We are strongly against payment on publication, and will always aim to process fees more quickly (our target is seven to 14 days), however, it’s currently just one person and a banking app!
We’ll aim to provide you with detailed feedback on any edits, so you know exactly what’s going live and the reason for any changes.
So, How Do I Send You My Ideas?
Send your ideas to our editors via email – please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don’t send them to our editorial team individually – we monitor this inbox as a team, and this allows us all to see pitches, and stops your pitch getting caught in an inbox bog. It really is the best way to pitch us. You can see more details of what we’re looking for from a pitch here. Please note, pitching is now closed until at least February 2021, while we redesign our website.