Reporting Consultancy

Customized Editorial Assistance

The FIRE Reporting Consultancy provides selected applicants with up to two hours of complimentary tools and feedback—which can be extended at FIRE’s discretion—to advance a story. It is a gateway to grants and full services of FIRE's Virtual Newsroom.

Depending on the reporter's needs, a Reporting Consultancy might help a reporter

  • find new sources or promising avenues of inquiry for a story
  • identify appropriate outlets for a story
  • refine a story idea or angle to address particular editors
  • identify funding opportunities for a story

The Reporting Consultancy addresses three broad areas:

Funding referrals

  • a general overview of the funding landscape for those new to the field
  • advice on referral to funding sources for reporting expenses (and in limited cases on preparing proposals)
  • customized guidance on obtaining additional grants on a story for which you have already received funding
  • an invitation to apply for funding via the Virtual Newsroom program, at its sole discretion

Editorial advice: general

  • a sounding board for precise, tailored mentoring and advice—including on developing a story or finding an appropriate outlet for it

Editorial advice: specific

  • Editing, early stages
    limited help formulating pitches and early-stage stories for success with funders or outlets
  • Editing, late stages
    limited help with new angle to pitch or re-pitch a funder or outlet, including specific story sources and proposal strategies
  • Research requests
    limited access to high-powered research tools like Lexis/Nexis or Accurint
  • Open-Records requests
    general advice and limited referral in obtaining government documents via Freedom of Information Act and state requests
  • Resource library
    customize assistance in obtaining research materials for stories

For more information, visit Guidelines, FIRE Consultancy Overview, and FAQs.

Note: If you are an IRE Freelancer Fellow, you do not need to apply for a Consultancy; it comes automatically with your fellowship. See IRE for details.

Freelancers are also encouraged to take a brief survey on contractual needs here.

For additional resources offered by FIRE's allies, visit here