Canopy Atlanta is an award-winning journalism project re-imagining journalism by partnering with communities in the five-county metro Atlanta area to choose, report, and present stories. We prioritize stories that relate to civic issues—housing, food access, equity, policy—and focus on Black and brown communities directly affected by them.
We pay competitively and will prioritize pitches from journalists with connections to these communities, though that is not required to work with us.
Each Community Issue focuses on a specific community in the five-county metro Atlanta area. Your story idea must be rooted in some way in or about these communities (see a list of upcoming issues here). Maybe it’s an issue specific to the area, a piece of its history, or a way in which something happening in the area is representative of a bigger issue.
We are looking for written stories (short and longform), photo essays, audio, video, graphic ideas, or other experimental forms you may be interested in.
Here are a few examples of what we love:
- Gavin Godfrey and Canopy West End Fellow Aboubacar Kante, “The water boy’s hustle”
- Sonam Vashi and Rachel McBride, “State of Flux: Can Forest Park keep its Hispanic residents? That may depend on police.”
- Stephannie Stokes and Canopy Forest Park Fellow Angie Tran, “The Southside: A Vietnamese community flourishes in Clayton County”
- Nikishka Iyengar and Canopy Bankhead Fellow Genia Billingsley, “Locked out of legacy”
- Jason Marck, “Organizing a race in Chicago requires fees, permits and patience” (WBEZ Chicago)
Working with Canopy Atlanta will be different: We collaborate with community members—which means that South DeKalb community members will help choose story topics, and our acceptance of your pitch may be based on their feedback. You may also be working with a Journalism Fellow—community members who we’re training—who may contribute reporting or more, and you’ll be expected to partake in some editorial meetings to facilitate collaboration.
Our twice-monthly newsletter features short, explainer-y stories on community-centered topics across metro Atlanta. They may focus on an uncovered angle to a breaking news event or answer questions asked by the community. The “community” in question could be a physical place, though it may also be a group of people existing across the five-country metro Atlanta area who share common interests and goals.
Written stories range from 300 to 600 words, and can be reported articles, as-told-to style interviews, guides and resources, or mini profiles. We’re also open to photo essays or other experimental forms.
Here are a few examples of what we’re looking for:
- Jewel Wicker, Angie Tran, Ann Pellegrine and Rachel McBride, “Back to school in Forest Park”
- Genia Billingsley, Ann Hill-Bond and Adrian Coleman, “Where is Bankhead?”
- Josh Green, “My Atlanta: Janaya Keaton was just evicted, and she blames gentrification” (Curbed Atlanta)
- Joe Richman, “Walter Backerman, Seltzer Man” (All Things Considered)
- Heather Buckner, “Sterling Davis is Atlanta’s king of trap (neuter, return)” (Atlanta magazine)
- Jose Fermoso, ”What is Oakland doing to enforce traffic laws? You asked, so we explored” (Oaklandside)
- Madison Hopkins, ”COVID Help Desk: Everything you need to know about testing in Kansas City” (The Kansas City Beacon)
As with our Community Issues, the stories we select must center and need to be aligned with community members’ perspective. Our acceptance of your pitch may be based on community members’ feedback.
How to Pitch Us
Either fill out this form, or email a pitch to email@example.com.
Questions? We’d love to chat. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.