The business of music has never been so weird, original, and exhilarating. At Rolling Stone, we’re obsessed with covering the rapid upheaval of everything from artist royalties to album drops to the very notion of celebrity, and we’re interested in telling stories about the propulsive new industries around music, as well. We’re always looking for new voices and perspectives, so here’s a brief guide on how to get in touch.
What is Rolling Stone Pro?
Rolling Stone Pro is Rolling Stone‘s home for richly reported storytelling around the music business — which, in 2021, is often also the business of technology, social media, film, law, and many other overlapping areas. We write stories for anyone with a deep interest in the behind-the-scenes of the global multibillion-dollar effort of music-making and celebrity.
We publish deep investigations, special projects, data-driven analysis, print magazine features, and visual storytelling alongside daily reporting. Last year, we launched the Pro vertical to give these business-of-culture stories their own home on our website; we also debuted Rolling Stone‘s first dynamic email newsletter (for which you can sign up here), offering analysis, rumors rattling around the industry, and early previews of our weekly music charts. We’re excited to announce other features down the line, including interactive features, custom tools, and and deep field guides. Stories can be squarely about the music business, or they can sprawl out into the many businesses adjacent to it; we look at pitches by their scope of ambition.
Pitching stories as a freelancer
We welcome pitches from freelance journalists. We’re most interested in reported stories that hit on a timely, urgent topic (for instance, this piece on unprecedented protests at Juilliard), offer a fresh point of view (such as this essay on K-pop’s cultural feedback loop in South Korea), deliver an inside perspective (e.g. this story on the radio industry’s inability to reckon with race), or go deep on a behind-the-scenes tension (like this wide-ranging feature on the death of Lil Peep, which has spawned continuous follow-ups).
We value diversity of thought and voice. Pitches should lay out a specific narrative and angle, with a good sense of the story’s scope, and preferably a list of sources you’d like to interview or have already contacted.
Since we are already a well-staffed newsroom, we tend to be selective with accepting contributor stories. We’re much more interested in enterprising feature ideas and investigations than in pitches for profiles, event coverage, or major breaking news. Please take a look through our site first to make sure that your story feel like a good match and that the topic hasn’t already been thoroughly covered.
Pitches can be sent to senior editor Amy X. Wang.
In opinion writing, we look for bold, voicey takes that offer a surprising perspective or a thoughtful personal take — or can contextualize a niche subject for the average music or entertainment enthusiast. Examples of successful op-eds we’ve published: a piece from a music manager warning against the TikTok gold rush, an essay from a major artist on the white-washing of his genre, and an industry group’s appeal to end music-streaming payola.
We do not accept press releases or self-promotional announcements as op-eds; however, authors are allowed to touch on their company and project within the context of a broader trend, event, or critical issue. We are eager to read well-argued pieces that can appeal to both industry insiders and the average reader.
If you have news you’d like to share without your name attached, our confidential tip line is open 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To suggest story ideas, new features, or feedback on business stories: email@example.com.
For physical mail and inquiries about anything else related to Rolling Stone — including customer service, licensing and permissions, letters to the editor, and pitches for our culture, music, and politics teams — see our contact page here.