Lu-Hai Liang

thoughts from a freelance foreign correspondent

Pitchable outlets #2: The Independent

with 3 comments

This a series examining publications and their accessibility to freelancers. Use the pitchable outlets tag to follow this series as it continues.

Status: medium-high / 1st tier

Reach: The Independent is a respected name in journalism. Launched in 1986 alongside a brilliant advertising campaign, the young Independent was a major fresh voice in British journalism. But with shrinking circulation over the years and financial difficulties, it is now a very lean operation drawing the majority of its print readership from London.

But it has some major names on its books; heavyweights such as Robert Fisk and John Pilger. And its website and social media presence is much improved. People still look to The Indy, as it’s colloquially known, and its innovative editorial stances, such as the bold cartoon splash for the Charlie Hebdo attacks, draw much praise. It remains a vital part of British journalism, although its international coverage is hampered by a small budget.

Accessibility: I have mainly pitched to the features desk and international desk, as a freelancer, at The Indy. I have been published in The Independent on Sunday (The Sindy) and the tabloid version of the paper The i.

There’s no real need to pitch separately to these three papers, as the staff for this national newspaper numbers around 140.  The email format for The Indy is the initial of the first name dot last name @ independent dot co dot uk — ie j.smith@independent.co.uk.

Ease: The main problem with getting published in The Indy are the small budgets they have. Freelancers will have a harder time as the newspaper fills its pages with the coverage it needs, and will not be so interested in topics that bigger publications such as The Guardian cover. That said, there are definite opportunities for freelancers to get an Indy byline if you have a unique story or angle.

Payment: The last time I was published in The Indy was this month — 4th July 2015 — in the newspaper and online. I received what they said was their standard rate, which is 15p a word. This is not a very good rate.

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3 Responses

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  1. Hi Luhai, very helpful blog!
    I have a query. While looking for whom to pitch, should I be searching for a commissioning editor, or editor of the particular section? I am planning to pitch a soft story (education-related) regarding India, not sure if I should mail the foreign ed or the commissioning ed.
    Thanks.

    shaifali12

    November 2, 2015 at 9:30 am

    • Hi there, thanks for reading. For the particular story you have, and for India stories in general, it would best to contact the foreign editor(s) as your first port of call.

      Lu-Hai Liang

      November 2, 2015 at 10:06 am

  2. Great! Thanks 🙂

    shaifali12

    November 2, 2015 at 11:16 am


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