What is the byline project?
The Byline Project is an open-source WordPress plug-in that allows journalists access to newsrooms and editors who are looking to discover new stories that serve their audience. The Byline Project is a one-stop-shop that streamlines the journalism process, starting with the initial step of receiving pitches from writers, photographers, and creators, all the way through to the moment a story goes live, after readers can financially support the stories they find valuable through direct-to-reporter tipping.
Why should I pitch using the Byline Project:
Is something happening locally that has a national impact? We want to hear about it. Okayplayer is using The Byline Project to encourage local investigative reporters to pitch localized stories centered around his or her community. We are hoping to get stories from communities that are often left out of larger national conversations. Obviously, we will pay for this work. But, in addition to your fee, you will get the ability to earn tips on your stories after they go live, giving your local and online communities the ability to support your work.
How is this different from pitching the editors I normally work with?
We are seeking specific investigative reporting through The Byline Project and looking to welcome new bylines, from smaller, under-served markets, onto our pages.
So what kind of stories are you looking for?
Okayplayer is a news, music, and culture site, with a special interest in social justice and stories that impact marginalized communities. So we are looking for pitches that fit that bill. Is there a local jazz scene that is bubbling that needs exploration? Is there someone in your neighborhood that is organizing in an impressive way to solve a national or systemic issue? Is something in the milk not clean about a story that affects the livelihood of a neighborhood? We want to hear it. You can check out stories that fit the bill here.
How do I get paid?
If your pitch is accepted, your editor will be in contact with you about payment information and rates.
What’s this tipping thing all about?
Making a living as a journalist is becoming increasingly difficult [hyperlink to research about news deserts] so we wanted to create a leg of earning that continues long after your final product goes live. We truly believe the more engaged the readers of your piece is, the more likely you are to receive tips from people who have benefited from or appreciate your work.
Why is this asking for my PayPal information?
We are just the conduit to allow people who enjoy your stories to tip you directly. To do this, you’ll need to input your payment information any time after your pitch is accepted but before your piece goes live. We do not interfere with the money that is sent from the audience to the writer.
Am I qualified to pitch?
While we are willing to work closely with journalists on accepted pitches, this should not be your first time at the rodeo. You should be an experienced journalist with really great clips that you feel strongly about. You should also be open to collaborative feedback.
Where do I go if I have more questions?
Hit us up! firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re humans, so give us a bit to get back to you.