Contributor's Guidelines: International news

Preferred e-mail(s) for inquiries: Appropriate regional editor (see below), with copy to Managing Editor Amelia Newcomb.

Overview 

The Monitor has long been valued for its thoughtful and balanced coverage of world affairs. Stringers make an essential contribution toward that end with the incisive analysis and vivid description that comes with on-the-ground reporting. Writing for us has its challenges: We require lively, concise writing that sets events in context; and we expect you to back up your analysis with the voices of intelligent observers and to enliven your stories with a sense of place.

Best opportunities for freelancers 

We are almost always disappointed with a spot-news, day-one account of a news event. Our readers like us because we step back, sum up, and look ahead. Monitor coverage almost always has to read like a day-two analysis. We are interested in a variety of pieces, from 500-word news stories to longer news analysis and news feature pieces for our weekly magazine. We want stories to cover the 'who, what, when, where, why' but we expect stories to focus on the 'why.' The goal here is to either explain the broader meaning of an event or to explain what's at stake. We are particularly interested in understanding the ways of thinking or perspectives that are driving your story.

How to pitch and follow up 

For international stories that aren't tied to breaking events, we prefer a written pitch. Please e-mail us a brief description of the story, specifying the angle you plan to take and the number of words you think you need and when you could deliver it. E-mail addresses are listed below.

Regional editors (all numbers in area code 1-617)
       
Europe/Baltics/Russia: Arthur Bright 450-3263 brighta@csps.com
Asia and Africa: Molly Jackson 450-2652 jacksonm@csps.com
Middle East: Ken Kaplan 450-2470 kaplank@csps.com
Latin America Whitney Eulich   eulichw@csps.com

Payment and expenses

In commissioning a piece from you, it is understood that we will pay the costs you incur in discussing the piece with us, before and after filing, and the costs you incur in transmitting the story to us. We do not pay filing and communication costs associated with pieces unless we accept the story.

All expenses – travel, long-distance phone costs for your reporting, or anything else – must be approved in advance of expenditure. In other words, you must estimate what these costs will be and receive our approval before you proceed to spend the money. Otherwise we will not reimburse it to you.

We do not accept material produced by journalists receiving benefits (such as free travel) from any entity or person who could be perceived as an interested party to the story in question. So if you are proposing to travel from your place of residence and write stories for us on your trip, we will want to know who is funding your travel.

Please note

Until we commission a story from you, you may not represent yourself to officials, sources, or credentialing authorities (or anyone else, for that matter) as a representative of The Christian Science Monitor. Until we designate you as our stringer in a particular locality, you may not identify yourself as a Monitor writer in researching a prospective piece prior to pitching it to us. And you may not identify yourself as a Monitor writer for the purpose of obtaining a visa or a credential as a resident correspondent from a foreign government without the express written consent of the International News Editor.

Obviously, once we have established a relationship, you have more leeway in identifying yourself as the Monitor's representative. Nonetheless, we ask that you do so judiciously.

Also note

We expect named sources. If a named source can't be found, reporters should include additional means of verification for what information they provide and request an on-the-record reason for concealing a source's identity and should include the reason in the story. All use of anonymous sources must be cleared by the international news editor.