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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

About

Writer's Guidelines

 

Gotham Gazette is an online publication about the issues facing New York City and New York city and state policies and politics. All of our articles concern these subjects. We look for clear, compelling writing that will attract readers with an interest in New York but not necessarily any expertise in the topic being covered. As a result, we avoid jargon, go easy with technical details and shun acronyms.

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The best source for how to write for Gotham Gazette is the website itself, but here are some basics.

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We buy a limited number of freelance articles. Most are articles on a current topic of concern in New York that feature a policy angle, such as the debate over whether to close schools for Muslim holidays, proposals to preserve small businesses in the city, the debate over how to clean up the polluted Gowanus Canal, how public transportation is inaccessible to the disabled and controversies over installing bike lanes in some neighborhoods. While we do not usually cover breaking news, we are a news site and the article should reflect some current development or controversy. The articles tend to be around 1,250 words and we pay a limited amount for them.

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We also publish commentary articles of about 1,000 words, taking a position on a current debate or suggesting a policy for the city. These articles should present a reasoned argument, bolstered by facts, and not be a harangue or a campaign speech. We do not pay for commentaries.

Pitching Stories

Send a brief summary of your article, explaining why it would be of interest to our site and why it is timely. Please tell us where your writing has appeared; we do not require a formal resume. Send this as an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We would also appreciate seeing samples of relevant work.

We will read unsolicited manuscripts but strongly advise sending a pitch before taking the time and effort to write a piece. Most of the unsolicited stories we have run have been commentary articles.

Writing for Gotham Gazette

We need clear writing in standard English that seeks to explain complicated issues and interest readers who may be unfamiliar with the subject at hand. Articles should make it clear how policy decisions affect ordinary New Yorkers and if possible include quotes or anecdotes documenting this.

Articles other than commentaries should present various sides of the story. All articles, including commentaries, should be fair and reasoned. They should meet the accepted standards of journalism in terms of accuracy, fairness and clarity.

Analyzing an issue often requires that a writer offer interpretations and opinions with which other people might disagree. We will not censor such views, but as a non-partisan site dedicated to the free exchange of ideas, we expect any opinions to be backed up by facts and, when possible, that credible alternative arguments be presented as well.

Because we are a Web site that serves as a portal site, we need links to other relevant sites and to reports and other material cited in the article. Articles should have quotes and include reporting. We do quote from other articles but cite the source and, if possible, link to it.

Once a story is accepted and a deadline set, we expect that deadline to be met. Finished stories should be e-mailed to the assigning editor in the e-mail, not as an attachment. To ensure the quality of our site, we edit vigorously and expect writers to be available during the editing process, responding to our editorial suggestions, rewriting when necessary and providing additional information that we request. Writers should be aware that changes in events may also require additional rewriting.

Writers will receive payment within a month of posting of the story on the site. We do not pay kill fees but work hard to try to make stories work on the site. We have killed very few stories since we began in 1999 but certainly cannot guarantee that a story will be posted.


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Last Updated (Feb 25, 2013)