Pitch a story, not an idea, when reporting on development topics

2022-06-08 08:56


Credit: by Alin Anderson/Unsplash

Focus on specific case studies and characters when writing a development story

By: -journalism


A new guide from the European Journalism Centre defines development reporting as "coverage that brings attention to the global social, cultural and political issues and challenges affecting the development of people, communities and places", encompassing climate, migration and healthcare reporting among many other issues.


This type of reporting is essential and increasingly sought-after, but because these stories are often complex and long-term, it can be hard to nail down a concise pitch. The key: do not try to take on the entire topic in one article, but think about the core of the story you want to tell.


The guide shares some handy tips, including:

  • Focus on an individual to bring the story to life (and make it relatable by highlighting themes that link the person in the story to the readers of the outlet you are pitching)
  • Use one or a small number of specific situations or responses to illustrate a wider point
  • Show editors that you are going beyond existing narratives by outlining how you would include under-represented voices and how you would address long-term impacts of the topic


The full guide also includes links to topic-based pitching resources, advice from editors on structuring your pitch, and do's and don'ts for ethical reporting on development stories.