Writing for Extra!

Extra! is a journal of media criticism. The media issues we focus on include corporate ownership, over-reliance on official sources, and the lack of independent or alternative perspectives. A typical story in Extra! focuses on U.S. media coverage of a story currently in the news or an issue that receives perennial coverage, e.g., Iraq. We also occasionally cover news about the media—for example, layoffs of journalists, labor disputes or media mergers. Stories on activism challenging media bias, censorship or policy are something we're looking to publish more often.

Extra!'s primary audience is twofold. Many of our readers are media activists, interested in documented proof of media bias that will aid efforts to change it. We are also read by a large number of journalists, who are often skeptical of charges of media bias and resistant to anything that strikes them as shrill or heavy-handed. Both these audiences need well-documented articles based on concrete examples, not on rhetoric. A good Extra! piece contains plenty of quotes from the coverage its reviewing, illustrating its points with instances of clear bias (as well as examples of exceptionally good coverage).

As the publication of FAIR, an anti-censorship media watch group, Extra! needs to observe certain principles. Extra! does not call for censorship of any viewpoint, but rather for the inclusion of excluded viewpoints. Extra! is pro-journalist, seeing working reporters as potential allies rather than enemies. Extra! does not take positions on non-media-related issues, instead focusing on media coverage of such issues.

A typical story in Extra! runs 750-1,750 words, which translates into one to two pages in the magazine. It’s rare that a freelance piece will be more than 1,750 words.

Freelancers receive 25 cents a word, paid within two weeks of publication. To help our message find the widest possible audience, we request that writers grant Extra! the right to approve republication of their articles; any proceeds from such reprints would belong to the writers. We also ask that you grant us the right to publish your piece in the Nexis media database. Extra! publishes under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Creative Commons license, which allows for published work to be copied, distributed, displayed and performed for noncommercial purposes if full attribution is given and no alterations are made to the work.

Submissions from people of color and women are particularly encouraged.

Address submissions, queries, or questions to Jim Naureckas [jnaureckas (at) fair (dot) org].