How to freelance for AlgorithmWatch AlgorithmWatch is an advocacy organization that also carries out research and investigations to shed light on automated systems. We always welcome contributions from outside journalists. Here's what you need to know before you freelance for AlgorithmWatch.
What we’re looking for
New information about automated systems (ADMS) that have a social impact. These can be credit rating, automated surveillance, scoring of children or prison inmates etc., such as this story about the RisCanvi system for parole in Catalonia, or this story about the automated monitoring of camp inmates in Greece. But we are all the more interested by automated systems that are seemingly low-risk (automated container management, autopilots etc.) but that have unforeseen social impacts. Details on ADMS that have not been published in English, such as this overview of China’s so-called social credit system. Voices from people who are impacted by ADMS, such as this first-person account of an algorithmic error in a French welfare payment system. Coverage of legal challenges to ADMS, such as how Norrtälje, Sweden, had to freeze development of an automated welfare management system. We are especially looking for coverage of systems that affect minorities and systems that have been deployed in countries that are rarely mentioned in the English- or German-speaking media. What we’re not looking for
Interviews (unless it’s Mark Zuckerberg or Olaf Scholz). Analyses and hot takes. Coverage of academic research, unless it fits what we’re looking for. Topics that have been thoroughly covered in English-language outlets, such as Clearview AI or how Facebook can be used to spread lies. Stories about purely technical systems that do not mention their social impact. How to pitch a story
Send us a synopsis (working title and a short paragraph with your methodology) at email@example.com We’ll discuss the deadline and the angle and agree on the precise terms. Upon delivery, we will ask questions and edit the piece with you. We never publish a story as-is, and all edits are made with the goal of improving your work. How much we pay
250€ gross for a story that mostly involves summarizing public information, which is roughly 3,000 characters in length. 500€ gross for a story that involves new reporting, which is roughly 5,000 characters in length. The amount is paid after the journalist sends us an invoice or equivalent and includes all taxes. We do not pay for extra costs (travel, gear etc.) but are willing to support you in applying to small grants that could finance them. Other questions
Do I need to have a press card to pitch? No. Can I write in a language other than English? Yes, in German. Do I have to be a native English speaker? No. We will edit your piece into proper English. Any level of English above and including B2 is fine.