How to pitch Type Investigations
Type Investigations is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to transforming the field of independent investigative journalism. We produce high-impact reporting in partnership with print, broadcast, and digital media outlets — allowing us to bring our work to a wide range of audiences.
Shrinking newsroom budgets have left an increasing number of reporters without the institutional support to pursue long-term investigative reporting. Our team provides journalists with expert editorial guidance; rigorous fact-checking; research assistance; and funds to cover their travel, time, and other reporting costs.
What stories are we looking for right now?
We cover the most urgent stories within a wide range of topic areas, including racial and economic justice, climate and environmental health, and civil and human rights. Our work is focused on systems, policies, and powerful entities, and we are committed to elevating stories from the communities most affected by wrongdoing.
We are particularly interested in pitches on the following topics:
- Right-wing extremism and threats to democracy. Right-wing extremism remains a powerful and ascendant force in American life. Particularly as the 2024 U.S. presidential election season gets underway, we’re interested in stories that uncover how this movement is influencing politics and society on a local, state, and national level — from disinformation campaigns and efforts to suppress voting rights, to the ongoing battles over abortion rights, trans rights, and more.
- Technology and its harms. Tech companies and platforms are increasing surveillance, invading privacy, being exploited by bad actors to spread misinformation, and perpetuating bias. Which companies and individuals are behind these efforts? Who is winning and losing as the AI arms race heats up? What are the consequences for individuals and communities, and how can tech firms be held accountable?
- The labor movement and economic inequality. We want to continue our long track record of exposing workplace exploitation and discrimination — highlighting the ways in which employers are trying to undermine unionization efforts, probing the precarious position of workers in the current gig economy, and holding individuals, companies, and regulatory agencies to account.
- Climate change and environmental justice. As the climate crisis becomes increasingly severe, we’re interested in how communities, corporations, and governments are responding: who’s profiting, who’s getting left behind, and what new systems of power are emerging.
This list is not exhaustive, and we remain interested in articles that fall outside of these topic areas. Please take a look at the investigations we have published to get a sense of what we cover.
What makes a story right for Type Investigations?
The most important characteristics of a successful Type Investigations pitch are:
- Originality — Has this reporting been done before?
- Rigorous evidence — Is there solid sourcing, data, or other documentation to support the story, and how feasible is it to obtain this evidence?
- Potential for impact — Could this reporting trigger hearings or criminal investigations, change corporate policies, lead to new legislation, or expose inequality, corruption, exploitation, or abuse?
In general, we’re looking for investigations that incorporate compelling storytelling but go beyond feature reporting. We want to document wrongdoing and show who’s responsible — whether a company, a regulatory agency, or an elected official.
In the face of the rapid consolidation of local news, we are also actively seeking partnerships with local newsrooms that might need extra financial, editorial, and research support to dig into the issues they know best.
What we’re not looking for in pitches
We don’t commission traditional profiles, cultural essays, true crime stories, or epic tales of adventure.
If you are proposing an article that focuses on a particular individual or event, please be sure to explain how that person or situation can shed light on wrongdoing more broadly or help us understand a larger systemic problem — and what sources or other evidence you have to support the story.
We don’t expect you to have all the answers or to have completed your reporting before pitching. But you should be able to explain what information you still need and how you plan to obtain it.
How does the pitch process work?
The first step is to email us a short query — no more than a few paragraphs. Please include a few sentences on what the story is, why it matters now, and any unique angle, documents or access you may have.
If it seems like a good match for us, one of our editors will ask for a full proposal, which we’ll assess according to three main criteria: originality, feasibility of the reporting plan, and potential for impact.
We typically meet once a month to review proposals, though our editors do also consider time-sensitive pitches. Our decision-making process is designed to be informal and supportive. If a project has potential but we have questions about your reporting plan or budget request, we’ll contact you to ask for revisions.
Once a story is commissioned, we work with reporters throughout the editorial process, from refining the investigative target to guiding the reporting to helping to secure placement with a partner outlet. We then jointly oversee each project with the publishing partner, editing drafts and vetting findings.
Word counts and rates
When we greenlight a story, we cover the reporter’s direct costs associated with the investigative project, in addition to a supplemental reporting fee.
Written features generally run between 3,000 and 5,000 words — though we do publish articles that are shorter and longer. Typical budgets range from $3,000 to $6,000 (including travel and other reporting expenses, as well as the reporting fee) and are based on the submission of a detailed reporting plan. We pay a portion of the fee upfront.
When stories are published, we expect partner outlets to pay reporters their normal article fee as well.
Please read our FAQ for more information.
Pitches, questions, and other inquiries may be sent to email@example.com.
Pitches may also be sent to one of the following editors:
Aviva Shen, Deputy Editor
Sasha Belenky, Senior Editor
Maha Ahmed, Managing Editor
Cassi Feldman, Editor in Chief
We look forward to hearing from you!