In a world where we’ve all been trained on a diet of news consumption, it can be hard to imagine any other way to approach journalistic storytelling.
What’s left if you don’t cover the world as a series of disparate events, don’t centre your reporting on any particular geography or make assumptions about who your audience is, and therefore what they already know or don’t know?
So very much!
Don’t just tell us something is happening; tell us why it’s happening
At The Correspondent, journalists are encouraged to think not about breaking news from around the world to a specific audience, but to explore and explain the foundational structures and developments that underpin and connect all our lives. Put more simply: don’t just tell us something is happening; tell us why it’s happening and, crucially, use it to reveal a system or way of thinking that might otherwise be obscured from view. Use a local reality to make a global point.
If, by reading your journalism, our members (at time of writing, some 50,000 people in over 130 countries) can see that the challenges they and their communities face are not far removed from other struggles, then it is possible to feel both a little less alone and a little more empowered as their sources of inspiration and solutions widen.
So what are we after, more concretely?
As conversation leaders, our expectation is that a freelancer who works with us will not just deliver exceptional journalism, but will also join the discussion their journalism sparks. For journalists who produce multiple pieces for us, we will also talk about how we can make your reporting process collaborative.
Here are the topic areas we currently have a special interest in:
Redundancy, health, future economic models, waste, belief, biodiversity, education, money and trade, conscience, gaming, food, the information frontier, modern lives and modern love.
If you have a good idea that doesn’t fit any of these rubrics, pitch it to us anyway. The above list is far from exhaustive.
At The Correspondent, we also believe that the right journalist is just as important as the right story, because we know that a person’s multiple identities, background and life experience all shape the lens through which they look at the world. As such, individuals from groups and geographies underrepresented in international media are especially encouraged to pitch.
Tell us what your idea is and who you are.
Not a writer?
Cartoonist Joe Sacco’s reflections on satire in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris are all the proof you need that other forms of storytelling can also serve to slow us down, stimulate reflection, help us see in ways we may not have seen before.
If you are working on a story of your own, tell us more about it here. If you’re open to be commissioned to produce work that could be used to tell other people’s stories more richly, we are equally keen to build a diverse network of multimedia journalists, data journalists, and illustrators. Email your portfolio to image editor, Lise Straatsma: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We pay competitive and fair rates
For special projects, where a journalist works with us for up to three months, we pay a monthly wage. When we commission photography, illustration or other visual formats, we pay you for your time, rather than for the number of images used.