SELL MY STORY ANONYMOUSLY TO THE PRESS
CAN I SELL MY STORY ANONYMOUSLY?
Every day people say to us ‘I want to sell my story but can I remain anonymous?’
The answer is that it completely depends on the story that you are trying to sell. If you are tipping us off to a breaking news story we are always happy to protect our sources, but if you are selling a real-life story – in most cases you will need to be willing to have your name and photograph in the article simply to make the article worth reading (would you read a magazine article about an unnamed person, without photos?). However, there are circumstances where this isn’t the case…
WHEN YOU CAN SELL A STORY AND NOT BE NAMED OR PICTURED
These are the circumstances when you CAN sell a story to the press and remain anonymous:
- You are a whistleblower (for example you alert us to some wrongdoing such as the MPs expenses scandal or a big company dumping waste in the rivers).
- You sell a tip-off to the press about another story (for example you are tipping us off about a breaking news story or you are telling us about someone else’s story that we might make a good magazine article [we pay £50 for tip-offs about friends’ stories – read more about tip-off payments here]). However, if your story is a breaking news story, even ‘tipsters’ can make more money by being named.
- Your story is extremely sensitive or you have legal anonymity (for example, you are a victim of sexual abuse and the judge has forbidden the press from naming you. However, a convicted criminal can still be named and shamed.
- You are selling a photo of something newsworthy or interesting.
Please note that in most other cases it is not possible to remain anonymous. Most real-life stories need to have pictures and subjects who are willing to be named. Newspapers and magazines are not interested in publishing anonymous stories unless it is a matter of utmost sensitivity.
In light of the Lord Justice Leveson enquiry, newspapers must be very careful regarding the sourcing of their stories, so they are much more comfortable if sources can be named. Let’s face it – a publication full of anonymous stories, without any pictures, wouldn’t be very interesting anyway; everyone would assume all of the stories are made up!
If you have a story to sell, please let us know by filling out the quick enquiry form on the left hand side of this page. Don’t worry if you’re not sure; there are no obligations – we’ll simply let you know if your story would work and how much it is worth.
If you would like to read more about press rules and regulations, please visit http://www.nuj.org.uk/home/