Have a story 💬
for us to tackle?

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Here’s what you need to know before you work with us.*

We really mean the part about working with our team. This needs to be a collaborative process from the very start.

De//space is the innovation lab for GateHouse media.
One of our main directives is to help drive storytelling at the local level.

But de//space isn’t about just putting your words on a template and calling it a day. We want to help you focus on the reader’s journey and push your storytelling to the next level. That means we need to be included along every step of the way.

You won’t be handing us a folder of text and images to put on a page. We want to be part of your team from the beginning.

What’s your idea?

Where did the idea come from?

Where’s your data?

What makes this a great story?

Most importantly, what’s your pitch?

Define the pitch

From the start we expect a detailed project pitch. We'll ask all the regular questions: Who, what, when where and why.

But we push past that and talk about delivery models and opportunities for engagement and innovation. How can you push the boundaries of storytelling? How do you plan to include the community? What’s it look like across all platforms? What’s your social push? What’s the best way to tell the story in print and in digital, because those can sometimes be dramatically different things.

This isn’t an easy thing to do, but your story will be better for it. And the reader will be better for it as well.

So what makes a great pitch?

Your pitch is an outline on steroids.

From the story perspective, you should have a solid understanding of what your findings are. You don’t have to have a first draft, but you should be able to build one from your pitch.

You should have an idea of what the story is, but also be ready for some feedback and hard questions that may change the direction or focus.

This is where the story gets poked, prodded, dissected, put back together and fine tuned.

Here’s checklist to get your pitch started:

In a short paragraph, what’s your story about?

✅ Where did the idea come from?

✅ What are your key findings?

✅ How are you backing up your claims?

✅ How should this story be told in print and digital?

✅ Start talking about media assets. Data viz, photo, video, audio.

✅ How will you drive readers to the story?

✅ How will you engage the community afterwards?

✅ Is there opportunity to expand the story regionally, or even nationally?

Come out of the pitch with a clear plan of next steps

When you answer all these questions put together a slide presentation in Google Slides and get ready to make your pitch.

After the pitch

This is your time to refine, refine, refine.

If your pitch makes into our project queue it’s time to get to work. The product designers at de//space will work with you to create the site, or work with you to fit it in one of our pre-existing templates.

We’ll work with your local team to:

  • Figure out the best way to tell the story for digital
  • Create/edit the right visuals.
  • Visualize your data.
  • Design and code the digital experience.
  • Help drive engagement process.
  • Coordinate communication and print design with CND stakeholders.

So, how do we get started?

First, have a big idea. This is for your BIG journalism. The story you are spending time, resources and money on.

Then . . .

. . . Reach out to de//space, ASAP.

Not after you have written everything, not after you have shot all the photos and videos and most certainly, not two weeks before you’re ready to publish. We want to be included the second you have an idea.

And that’s all it takes. We’ll assist you from there.