Rest of World is a digital publication that explores how people in the non-Western world are being changed by technology, using technology in surprising ways, and what these phenomena tell us about life and innovation in a global digital age.
We’re interested in hearing ideas that bring to life stories about how people buy (from e-commerce platforms to retail trends), how people work (how tech companies treat their workers to how tech impacts the labor market), and how people communicate (from social platforms to cultural disruption). We want to see ideas that look at the Big Tech companies — from Amazon to Facebook, and from Tencent to Rappi — and the impact these platforms have in the local market.
What are we looking for?
NOVEL: The subject of the story represents something genuinely new in concept or execution, and not just new to its setting or iterative to existing technology or business models.
UNIQUE: That uniqueness can come from being the first to the story, or it can come from access, angle, or perspective.
ILLUMINATING: The subject casts light on the society in which it exists; it introduces the reader to important aspects of and developments in the wider market.
HUMAN-CENTERED: The story pivots around the people who are the company’s founders, customers, opponents, etc, rather than on the amount of money being made. It is rooted in the space — physical or digital — where it takes place, has characters with agency, who are responsible for or impacted by decisions made by others. “Society” or “the market” are represented by real people in some way.
RIGOROUS: The main arguments of the story should be backed by independent analysis, statistics, and rigorous reporting.
FORWARD-LOOKING: The story does not end at the limits of the text. Not all of its elements have been resolved. There is clear potential for a follow-up.
CONSEQUENTIAL: The actions, and the unresolved questions within the story matter to the characters within it or society at large.
The main action within the story and/or the consequences of the story should take place in a non-Western country. The analysis should not assume that the reader has a high level of knowledge of the country or market that it is operating in, but it should also reveal something to an expert or local reader that they did not previously know.
What do we publish?
Longreads: Classic, colorful, character-driven narrative stories that ask big questions about the nature of technology and human behavior. Read our longform stories to get a sense of what we’re looking for. (3,000+ words)
Features: Shorter in length, but capture a moment of transition in a society, or a particularly unique platform or app that is upending traditional norms or power structures. See our latest published features here. (1,500+ words)
News: Quick-turnaround stories anchored on news development. Read our latest news stories here. (800-1,200 words)
Ideas: Argument and analysis pieces with voice, strong news hooks and well-developed theses. (1,000-1,500 words)
Essays: First-person pieces documenting the transformations, contradictions, tragedies, miracles, and delights of tech around the world. (1,000-1,500 words)
Remember: We are looking for stories, not topics. Stories have a point of view, an argument, and a clear sense of tension. They are not summations of a policy, regulation or the basic history of a company or founder.
What do we publish?
Good question. Like all geographic groupings, “Western” can be subjective.
Here’s what we cover: Everywhere in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Carribean, South Pacific and South Asia.
We don’t cover the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia or New Zealand.
What’s the pay like?
Our rates are high compared with market averages. We cover travel & reporting expenses depending on the nature of the story.
Our team meets every Tuesday to discuss story ideas.
Because of the volume of emails we receive, we’ll only respond to successful pitches (within 10 days).
Have a story for us?
Please use this form to describe your story, including the thesis, in no more than 300 words. In your pitch, be sure to answer these questions:
- What do you already know about the story?
- What is the story really about?
- Why is the story important right now?
- Why are you the right person to tell this story?