Examples: pitch forms

We’ve compiled five pitches below to provide examples of what constitutes a strong pitch, and linked to the stories that we ultimately published.

Four of the examples are student publications, and one is an example taken from a health story written by a News Decoder correspondent.

Notice how these pitches reflect that the authors have considered the following questions:

  • What issue are you examining?
  • Why does this issue matter to a global audience?
  • How will you gather data and evidence?
  • What are your sources?
  • Will you conduct interviews?

It isn’t easy migrating to America. Three refugees’ stories

Pitch: 124 words

I’m interested in writing an article on the experiences of Sudanese refugees living in Louisville, Kentucky, a U.S. city that took in several “Lost Boys” — some 20,000 young men and boys who were displaced or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War.

I plan on interviewing Sudanese refugees living in Louisville to share with readers the obstacles the 25.9 million refugees currently in the world would face if they were to ever reach a safe host country. And to show how governments should prioritize more humane immigration laws.


Data compiled by the UNHCR as well as the IRC and the Alliance for African Assistance (two organizations that worked with the U.S. government in 2001 to assist with new arrivals of Lost Boys to the U.S.)

A New Yorker finds new ways of thinking in France

Pitch: 88 words

Since I arrived in Rennes with SYA France, I’ve observed how French and Americans relate to, identify with and talk about their governments and their countries.

As an American, it can be taboo to talk about politics, while that is not the case in France. I realized this after chatting with my host family.

I want to write an article about the contrast between political expression and national pride in two different countries, to show others how hearing different perspectives can help you to better understand cultural differences.

Is Big Sugar trying to get you addicted to soda?

Pitch: 129 words

My piece will help young people understand how soda companies are influencing data and funding research to mask the harmful effects of sugar. It’s an important issue, but news coverage can be misleading. Sugary products from Coca-Cola and Pepsi are sold everywhere, but only recently has it been revealed that the sugar industry has been funding research that points to other causes of obesity and heart disease.

Sources: Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research; A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents; Soda industry influence on obesity science and policy in China; New England Journal of Medicine; American Journal of Preventative Medicine; Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health; African American collaborative obesity research network

Interview: Stanton Glantz at University of California San Francisco’s Center for Tobacco Research and Education

I’m Asian-American and finally proud of it

Pitch: 112 words

I recently moved to a new school where I met Asian-Americans students who were proud of being Asian — a contrast from my former school where students and teachers alike made me feel like an outsider for being Asian-American.

Using anecdotes from my experiences at both schools, I would like to write an article on how I have learned to be secure and confident about my American and Malaysian identities. The Asian-American population in the U.S. has grown faster than any other racial/ethnic group according to the 2010 census, which found there to be 17.3 million Asian-Americans from “major groups” China, Korea, Japan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam, living in the U.S.

Climate change: A dire situation captured in photos

Pitch: 110 words

I will produce a photo gallery to convey how humans contribute to climate change, accompanied by a short text explaining how I created the images. Despite overwhelming evidence that human activities are rapidly changing the natural landscape, the U.S. has formally withdrawn from the Paris Accord, signed by 195 countries to take steps to prevent further damage to the atmosphere and reduce global emissions.

I will take maps of CO2 , NO2 and O3 emissions and global warming patterns, print them and freeze them in blocks of ice. Then photograph them as they melt, putting road salt on some to speed the process and then smash the ice covering others.

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