DIY: Perfecting the Pitch


DIY: Perfecting the Pitch


Before we can green-light your idea, you need to send over a pitch that tells us what you have in mind, why you’re the right person to create the story and how it’s a fit for YR Media. This DIY will provide you with everything you need to know about how to develop your story idea into a solid pitch for YR Media.

You’ll need to be clear on three main things: vertical, tone, and format. Ask yourself: 

Does my story idea fit under one of YR Media’s five verticals?

Can I tell this story in YR Media’s News Tone?

Do I know what format I want to use to tell my story?

If you answered yes to all of the above, you’re good to go. If you can’t answer one or more of these questions (or run into any trouble while you’re submitting a pitch on our site), we’re here to break it down for you.

Does my story idea fit under one of YR Media’s five verticals?

We publish stories under five main verticals, and each has a few sub-categories. When you’re pitching a story to YR Media, you want to make sure that your story will fit under one of our verticals. Also, at different points we’ll be especially interested in stories from outside contributors for specific verticals, and other times we’ll be working mostly with our in-house creators on one or more of our beats. We’ll let you know when you pitch if that’s a factor in our decision.

Can I tell this story in YR Media’s News Tone?

You may have looked through DIY: YR Media News Tone and learned that there are qualities we look for in all of the stories we publish on our site. 

We outlined some common mistakes people (even really experienced journalists) make when pitching their ideas to us. Click through these six pitching pitfalls so you can avoid them.

Do I know what format I want to use to tell my story?

1-5 minute videos with news/lifestyle/art/culture/political character-driven stories from around the U.S.

First-person essay/commentary
200 words to 700 words

GIFs/photos with some short copy for each item — should inform as well as entertain

700 words or less after editing

Photo essay
Up to 10 images with quotes/captions that include first name, last name, and age

Written feature
500 words to 1,000 words

Breaking news
Photos, videos, and captions of live events relevant to young people

Illustration or political cartoon
minimum 400px
8:5 ratio for headline images
1080×1080 px for Instagram

Audiogram High resolution photo and clear high-quality audio of a young person answering a prompt or providing a perspective.

Ok, so now what?

When you’re ready to pitch, just follow this link. Don’t worry, you’ll only have to do this once.

Then, we’ll ask for some information about your pitch. We have a bunch of other DIY resources to help you out if you find yourself feeling stuck.

Lastly, join the YR Media national network via Slack to access a community of contributors who work together to share best practices and amplify each other’s content. Here, you’ll find more opportunities, resources and conversations.

We do our best to respond to all pitches in a timely manner, but let’s be real — things can be busy. If you still haven’t heard back from us after 14 days, consider the pitch released and feel free to shop it to a different outlet.

If we do take your pitch, here’s the process:

  • We’ll pair you with a professional editor to help you talk through the angle/production of your piece
  • We’ll work with you to establish a timeline for the story to be completed and help you if you get stuck
  • You’ll get edits (everyone does) and we’ll work together to come up with a product you are proud of that also works for our platform
  • We’ll publish the piece on our site — and potentially through our media partners
  • We’ll work together with you to spread the story on social and tag you (remember to give us your social handle)
  • You’ll submit paperwork and get paid (rates vary depending on the piece)