Can I write for COVID-19 Africa Watch?
Yes, we commission journalists based in African countries to produce original articles for our site. Priority is given to established journalists with publication records in international outlets or major national or regional publications.
We are currently open to receiving pitches and submissions.
What are you looking for?
We are seeking original, on-the-ground reporting and analysis of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on individual African countries. We are seeking un-reported and under-reported stories of how the pandemic has impacted African lives and how Africans are responding.
In general, we are not looking to commission pan-African think pieces and are instead interested in pieces concerning a single geography (ie, the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs in Addis Ababa, or on agriculture in Sierra Leone). Particular topics of interest include the economic consequences of the pandemic for individuals and businesses, the impacts on education and gender equality, and stories featuring health workers or local efforts aimed at mitigating the health, economic, and social impacts of COVID-19.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of articles we would be excited to publish:
We are a non-political and non-partisan organization and are, in almost all cases, not the right outlet for pieces about national politics.
How long should my article be?
Submissions should range between 700 and 1,200 words. In general, we recommend pitching your idea to us before submitting a completed piece.
Do you pay contributors?
Yes, we pay journalists for original reporting. Please inquire for specific rates, as fees vary depending on the kind of article we are commissioning. Rates will be confirmed by COVID-19 Africa Watch in advance of acceptance for submission and payment will be issued following publication. Our preferred payment method is PayPal.
Please note, payment is only for original reporting that is exclusive to COVID-19 Africa Watch. Of course, we encourage contributors to promote their articles for our site in other media, both traditional and social, with appropriate references back to COVID-19 Africa Watch.
Although we sometimes publish op-eds and articles from non-African academics, current and former senior policymakers, and officials within multilateral organizations, we do not pay a fee for these pieces.
How can I submit?
Please send pitches to africawatch [at] milkeninstitute [dot] org with the word PITCH in all caps as the first word of your subject line. Pitches should include the core idea of the article, an indication of why you believe you are well-positioned to report on this topic, a brief author bio, and links to representative published work.
In short, your pitch email should include the following:
- The topic of your story: What do you aim to cover? Why do you think your topic is relevant to our site?
- How you will cover the story: Who will you interview or how will you cover this topic in a way that adds value to our readers’ understanding of the topic?
- Who you are: Are you a working journalist? Where are you based? Where have you published before?
- Status of the submission: Is the piece drafted or will the reporting be completed after we have responded with interest to the pitch? Are you pitching multiple publications with the same idea?
We will aim to respond within one week to all pitches and submissions. If we do not respond within three weeks, you may assume that we have passed on the piece.
Upon acceptance, we may wish to go through several rounds of edits with the author. This process can take an additional one to two weeks prior to publication and payment.
Should I pitch an article idea or send a drafted submission?
We prefer to receive a pitch first to make sure the article is right for our site. That said, if you have a completed draft ready to send, we are happy to receive it directly. Please still include the word PITCH in your subject line and be sure your email covers all information requested above.
Thank you for considering us as a possible destination for your reporting. We look forward to receiving your submission.