Where should you pitch your story during Covid-19? Check our working Google doc.

by Rachel Smith
10 April 2020

It’s no secret that Covid-19 has pretty much sent the entire world into a flat spin – and freelance journos have been particularly hard hit. Suddenly, figuring out where to pitch your story isn’t quite so simple – and that’s a major worry if you make a living writing for magazines and websites.

So, who do you pitch to? Who’s got a commissioning freeze on? Most of us don’t have a Scooby-doo, and the situation can change in the blink of an eye as magazines and websites are forced to slash their freelance budgets.

The good news is…

Many Australian mags and websites ARE still commissioning.

A few days ago, I spotted a Google document from US site Study Hall, posted by Marisa Wikramanayake in the Freeline email group. It detailed all the publications in the US taking commissions, and those that were disrupted.

I thought it was a bloody good idea and wondered if there was such a thing for Australian media (there wasn’t).

So we started one: Australian publishers still commissioning during Covid-19.

The bad news…

Yes, a number of Australian publications in print and digital have been disrupted by Covid-19.

If the publication has been affected they:

  • might only be using their regular freelancers right now and not commissioning from anyone new
  • may still be commissioning but have a reduced freelance budget
  • may only be taking stories related to Covid-19
  • might have a complete commissioning freeze on.

What can you do?

We’d love to you look at the Google doc, contribute to it if you can (you can be completely anonymous), and share it as widely as possible.

You’ll be helping your fellow freelancers everywhere with key information they desperately need right now. And you may get a heads up on a home for an idea you’ve been percolating, too.

Sure, you may want to keep any intel you have to yourself at this time. We understand that.

But if you do decide to share what you know, please know how hugely appreciated it will be by your colleagues and the freelance journalism community at large. I hope we can all pull together wherever we can right now – and I believe doing so will help us navigate through a situation that, let’s face it, is alien to us all.

The Google doc is here, and we’re updating it regularly.

Here’s to our amazing freelance community sticking together and making it through this challenging time.

And may your Easter be full of yummy food, many FaceTime chats and a helluva lot of chocolate. XO

Rachel Smith
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