Our Mission

Through independent grassroots journalism, Plea For the Fifth strives to empower Staten Islanders whose stories have been previously erased, ignored, or forgotten, namely Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrants, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, youth, and the elderly.

We encourage all submissions related to specific struggles or the state of work and life in Staten Island. We particularly encourage pieces that connect individual struggles to big picture questions about systemic power and the state of our Island.

Submission Guidelines

Please write with us!

We are currently accepting pitches for articles from freelance journalists who believe they have a story that highlights an often under-reported Staten Island story. Pitches should be no more than 250 words, and contain the following information:

  • What is your prospective story about, and what story are you planning to tell?
  • How would you categorize your story? (e.g. healthcare, environmental justice, education, transit, etc.)
  • Why does this story matter, and why should this piece be written now?
  • How do you plan on doing the reporting for, or have done the reporting, for this piece? (e.g. who are you planning to talk to?; what information are you planning to use?; etc.)
  • How long do you expect the piece to be? (Note: Our pieces often range from 850 to 1200 words)

Email pitches with “[Pitch]” in the subject line to us.

While we’re excited to look through the brilliant story ideas, we cannot respond personally to every pitch we are sent. You will receive an auto-reply email saying we received your pitch. If you don’t hear from us again within about two weeks, you can assume that we have decided to pass on your pitch.

While we hope to one day offer competitive freelance rates, we are currently operating on a volunteer basis. Because of this we will be flexible in working with you to find a manageable deadline.

New to Journalism?

If you’re not a freelance journalist or don’t have publishing experience, but are still interested in pitching us a story – or writing with us, generally – please reach out to us. Please put “[New Writer]” in the subject line, and indicate your writing experience (Casual, Recent College Grad, Literary, etc.) in the body of the email, along with your pitch or inquiry.