How to Get Involved 

News tips

Have an idea for a news story that should appear in The Coast? Have you witnessed something that troubles you? Do you have documents or other material we could use to write a news story? Or do you just have a question about how the city operates?

The best way is to reach out to one of our editorial staff directly by email. You can check the Our Staff page to get emails. You can also use this form to share what you know. Discretion is assured when it comes to protecting your anonymity. Its useful to check out the kind of stories The Coast has reported on and subjects we are covering in Halifax. You can also email tips@thecoast.ca. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

Pitch us a story

We have a limited freelance capacity but we are always excited about stories and people that make Halifax interesting. We are looking for writers, photographers, data journalists who can produce investigative packages and or dynamic content that will be of interest to our loyal readers. We have a pay scale of $0.020 to $1 a word. On average we pay $75 per photograph.

Here are some tips to help you make a good first impression when sending a pitch.

  • Pitch a story, not a topic. The more specific you can get, the better. "This person is affected by this law in this way,” rather than “I'd like to write about immigration.” And it should go without saying, but we are looking for non-fiction, not fiction.
  • Pitch a story, not a meeting—we are limited on time and resources, so meetings are hard to schedule. We need you to communicate it in writing, so we can get a sense for your written communication skills.
  • Don't pitch a column. Generally columnists are given their assignments after years of proving themselves as reliable, passionate reporters. If you've never been published in The Coast before, we would never commit out of the blue to publishing your thoughts on a regular basis.
  • Get personal. Stories about people are great: people starting a band, people opening a business, people who need help, people who've been screwed over. That's what we mean by personal. Stories set in the first person where “I” is the main character risk being self-absorbed.
  • Know The Coast.
 We are working from the following mission statement:.
  • Think about what our audience will want to hear in the story’s tone, content and focus. The internet isn’t tied to any one location, but The Coast has a hyper-local readership to HRM. The easiest way to get a sense of our tone and the type of stories we look for is to go back and read some past archive print issues and our website. Follow our newsletters and social media feeds. A quick search on our site should also bring up any past coverage on the same people or stories, so you don’t waste your time pitching something we’ve already published.
  • Make time. We like to cover things that have a tangible timing element, like a meeting happening on a certain day, so keep an eye out for those “time hooks.” And be sure to pitch us BEFORE the date arrives—letting our readers know about things they can go do is much more important to us then letting them know what they missed.
  • Send your pitch. We want to know who you are and why you think this story might make it a good article in The Coast. Just send a short email explaining the story, mentioning any time hooks and other information you think is relevant. It doesn't have to be very formal, but spelling and grammar do count. Introduce yourself and your qualifications, again keeping it short.
  • Don’t send unsolicited stories
. This happens more than it should. Aside from being a waste of your own time if we don’t accept the piece, we also want to collaborate with you on any story ideas. The editors might know an angle, contact or background info you don’t. Your story might be perfect for a feature package in another upcoming issue. Maybe we’ve already FOIPOP’d something on the topic and can hand that research off to you. The process of coming up with stories should be collaborative, but we can’t do that if a finished piece shows up unannounced in our inbox.
  • Know our style guide
. The Coast’s in-house style guide is viewable online. Have a suggestion or something we have missed, let us know at editor@thecoast.ca
  • Conflicts. Halifax is a small town. Not writing about people you know can occasionally be impossible. But any direct connection (your roommate, your mother, your company, your spouse) should be disclosed upfront. If you’re not sure if something is an ethical conflict, it’s better to ask than have us find out later.

Voice of The City

The Coast's Voice of the City is an essay section written by community members who have something to say. This an opportunity to have the mic and let Halifax know your perspective. Writers speak in the first person or from a position of expertise and work with Coast editors to make the piece compelling, interesting and worth reading. If you have an idea, fill in this Google form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Internship

The Coast offers editorial internships to journalism students who need to fulfill academic requirements. These unpaid internships are a minimum of 4 weeks and focus on reporting, writing, photography and design. Internships involve working closely with Coast editors as researchers and assistants. Assignments for the paper or the web will be assigned. Please note that we cannot accommodate volunteers or short-term placements. There is no regular schedule to internships, so if you think this would be a good fit for your education, we encourage you to email us at intership@thecoast.ca.

The Coast is committed to maintaining an inclusive workplace that respects the dignity of every individual. We are committed to ensuring equity, diversity, inclusiveness and accessibility in our hiring practices and workforce. Telling stories about Halifax and all the city’s communities means we need a newsroom that has a broad range of perspectives. We strongly encourage people with disabilities, BIPOC and GNC candidates to apply.

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