What can I pitch?
First thing’s first: Vashti is not a shul newsletter. We’re not solely interested in the Jewish world, but also in what it means to be a Jew in the world. Talk to us about anti-semitism and annexation, but also unions and the climate crisis.
Our main medium is our weekly newsletter, The Pickle. Here we publish an original article each week on a variety of subjects (UK politics, Jewish culture, Israel and Palestine) and in a variety of formats (opinion, review, reporting). The best way to understand what we do is to browse our Pickle archive.
Generally, we work at a slower pace than bigger media platforms, which you should bear in mind particularly when pitching pieces hooked to the news cycle – will this angle still feel relevant in two weeks’ time?
Who can pitch?
You don’t need to be Jewish to contribute to Vashti, nor do you need any journalism experience. We want to hear from you whoever you are, but particularly if you’re:
✡️ a woman
✡️ gender non-conforming
✡️ Mizrachi & Sephardi
What do you pay?
Vashti is a small, not-for-profit media organisation funded primarily through a modest crowdfund; a small number of grants; and a handful of larger donations from individual philanthropists. We’ve ambitious plans, but we’re currently a very small operation.
Nevertheless, we are committed to paying people fairly for their labour. Currently, all Vashti staff are freelance and paid a flat rate of £15/hour. We use the same hourly rate with external contributors. We don’t offer discretionary rates, as we believe this tends to favour people with good negotiation skills, who tend to be more privileged.
We appreciate that while typical of journalism fees at least in the UK, our fees are not at present high enough to compete with larger publications. We understand if you cannot afford to write for the rate we offer for any reason, and hope you will return to us in the future when we are able to pay more.
We are committed to regularly reviewing our pay policy to ensure that it aligns with our financial position and values as a company.
If you have any questions or concerns about our pay policy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We pay a standard rate of £120 for our newsletter, the Pickle, on the basis that it should take one eight-hour day to produce. With longer or more in-depth articles, we will negotiate a higher fee that reflects the time required.
If during the writing process you realise that a piece is taking you longer than expected to produce, contact your editor before completing any additional work to discuss re-negotiating your fee.
Since we commission a limited amount of audiovisual work, we will work with contributors on a case-by-case basis to estimate a timeframe, then calculate a fee based on our hourly rate.
We ask that those who are able to consider donating their fee to Vashti.
We do not pay politicians for their contributions to Vashti.
If a piece is filed to brief and on time, but we decide that we cannot publish a piece for whatever reason, we will pay the fee in full. If a piece is filed but we decide we cannot publish it since it is not to brief, or is filed late, we will pay a 50% kill fee.
How do I pitch?
Once you’ve got your idea, pitch@vashtimedia with the subject line ‘Pitch: [Pitch title]’. In your email, include up to 250 words about your idea, and a few more about yourself.
If we’re interested, we’ll negotiate a rate, word count and deadline, and help develop your piece.
See you in our inbox 💌