Zenger News is a newswire, so stories published are available to thousands of websites. Many of those are run by Hispanic newspapers and broadcasters. www.Zenger.news
WHAT ZENGER IS LOOKING FOR
Zenger never turns down a great story, but right now we’re mainly looking for pitches in the following subject areas:
- Fighting injustice
- Inspiring stories about “The hero no one knows”
Proposing (“pitching”) a story to Zenger is simple.
There’s a unique online form at www.zenger.news/pitch that walks you through what is expected and starts a process that results in a story being published and journalists being paid.
Reporters who pitch Zenger often say that the questions in the online form help them focus their thinking about stories and that everyone (most importantly, the readers) has a better experience in the end.
Zenger publishes mostly in English. However, Zenger is running Spanish translations of an increasing number of stories. If you can’t pitch in English, there’s an email address on the form that you can use instead.
Before you send a pitch for the first time, you should visit www.zenger.news/register to apply to work with us as a freelancer. Currently, Zenger is registering reporters, editors, photographers, and videographers.
WHAT ZENGER PAYS
Zenger doesn’t have a single fee for all stories. They discuss payment with reporters when they accept their pitches, and evaluate each story separately.
Right now all the reporters, editors, and photojournalists are earning flat fees for each story they work on. In the future, however, our distribution network will be big enough that earning a share of advertising revenue across a large number of websites at once will be a better deal for journalists. When that happens, Zenger will switch to a revenue-share payment model.
WRITING FOR ZENGER
Zenger is reinventing journalism in some ways, so they require things that are sometimes unfamiliar to reporters.
1. They do not publish information from unnamed sources. That includes quotes from “a senior official,” “a person close to” a celebrity or “a source familiar with” a situation. Every quote must have a real name associated with it.
2. The stories follow a basic structure that readers find helpful and fair.
- They explain what’s happening, who’s making it happen and why, quoting the people who are taking action so readers understand why.
- They look for an opposing party, someone who disagrees with the main character in the story. We quote them so readers have a fair idea of why.
- They find neutral, fair-minded observers and ask them what they think. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? They quote them and identify whatever makes them qualified to draw any conclusions.
Along the way, of course, Zenger provides important context so readers can feel like they’re in the middle of the story. Sometimes painting pictures with words to help readers along.
The most important thing to understand is that every good news story is based on a conflict of some kind. It doesn’t have to be a war; it can just be a political disagreement, or celebrity feud, a lover’s quarrel, or something smaller. But unless there’s conflict, there’s no story.
3. Once reporters spell out the conflict, Zenger expects them to identify the main characters in the story and contact them. Also, reporters are required to provide three (3) or more source interviews before filing a story.
4. News stories must be filed with at least three (3) photos that you own, or have legal permission to use.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND COPYRIGHTS
You should photograph every source you interview, without exception, even if that means taking a screen capture of a Zoom video call.
Sometimes an organization, a government agency or a publicist will provide you with a photo you couldn’t possibly take yourself, and send you an email confirming that we can publish it. (This is more common in the COVID-19 era than it used to be.)
What you must NOT do is download a photo from the Internet and send it to us with your article. Chances are that photo is someone’s copyrighted photography. If you think a specific online image is critical to your story, and you believe it’s in the public domain, let us know. We’ll be happy to check it out.
If you shoot video footage for your story (again, footage that you OWN) which is dynamic and interesting, Zenger might pay extra for it. Feel free to talk to an editor about it.
Zenger News, www.Zenger.news