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Selling freelance investigative journalism proposals is a lot like selling other stories, but harder. There just aren’t enough media outlets willing to engage in watchdog reporting.
For more on Distribution, Promotion, and Freelancing, see our GIJN Guide.And pitching investigations which may have uncertain and controversial outcomes is especially challenging, requiring the establishment of mutual trust.
What’s more, the costs of doing time-consuming investigations can be high, while the compensation is inadequate. It’s hard to predict how much time and effort will be involved, making even a rough cost-benefit analysis only a wild guess. Then, lastly, there’s personal risk. Freelancers can face special challenges working on controversial stories, with legal and safety risks that media outlets won’t assume.
It’s hard to predict how much time and effort will be involved, making even a rough cost-benefit analysis only a wild guess.Despite all this, the ranks of freelance investigative reporters remain strong.