You don’t have to be a professional journalist to become a correspondent for Youth Radio. We’re all about stories BY young people, ABOUT the things that young people care about. So if you’re between the ages of 14 and 25 and have an idea for a great story, here’s what you can do:
Ask yourself, “Is this a YOUTH RADIO story?”
- Does it have a strong youth angle <–this is a MUST.
- Is it a story people who live all around the country, not just locally, would care about?
- Is your story idea or angle one that hasn’t been covered by other national news outlets?
- Is it on one of our beats? We’re especially interested in surprising stories about race/inequity, gender/LGBTQ, STEM/tech, politics/activism, juvenile justice, pop culture, music and the arts.
- Does your idea include people or places that aren’t covered enough by traditional news sources?
If the answers to most of those questions are yes, then it’s totally a story for us. Keep going!
Ask yourself, “How do I want to tell this story?”
Think about the kind of media you’d want to use to tell the story. We accept pitches for:
- First person commentaries/essays – 200 words to 700 words
- Q&As with young newsmakers: 700 words or less after editing
- Listicles – GIFs/photos with some short copy for each item — should inform as well as entertain
- Photo essays – up to 10 images with quotes/captions that include first name, last name, and age
- Breaking news reporting for social media – photos, videos, and captions of live events relevant to young people
- Cartoons/illustrations related to news/culture – 1080x1080px
- Videos – (1-minute) explainers, reviews, breaking news; (1 to 3 minutes) reported features
- Soft news feature (audio) – 2-3 minutes; ideally bring to us before reporting has begun
- Longform written feature – 500 words to 1,000 words
In a few sentences, tell us about your story idea at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tell us what you want to cover and why it matters
- Let us know why you’re the right person to cover this story
- Let us know about important dates or news pegs related to this story
- Include the best way to contact you, including full name, phone, email, and time zone.
What happens next?
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 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, so please talk to your editor about $ once you get a story accepted)