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 the markers of a Rest of World story?
As a baseline, the main action within the story and/or the consequences of the story should take place in a non-Western country. The story does not assume that the reader has a high level of knowledge of the country or market that it is operating in — but it should be able to teach a reader something that is relevant to their current understanding of technology, and how it could impact communities around the world moving forward.
Furthermore, a Rest of World story also embodies the following qualities:
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. We want to be the first to tell the story, or tell it with a unique angle, perspective, or have unrivaled access.
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 company’s founders, customers, opponents, etc., rather than on gadgets, faceless industry trends, or on the amount of money being made. The story 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.
Global: The story can connect the dots between the subject matter in question, and other similar narratives and dynamics playing out in the region or across the world.
Consequential: The actions, and the unresolved questions within the story matter to the characters within it or society at large.
What kind of formats do we publish?
News: Topical and time-sensitive stories with some sense of urgency. These include both news in their own right (small scoops, interesting studies) and pieces responding to the news, providing context and analysis. (500-1,000 words)
Reports: If news stories are defined by their immediacy, reports take a slightly longer view. Both are pegged to topical issues or events, but reports can come up to 7 to 10 days later. This allows for a deeper and more considered take, local voices and characters, and offers global angles or analysis that others aren’t seeing. (1,000-2,000 words)
Features: 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)
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 mean by covering non-Western world?
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 Caribbean, South Pacific and South Asia.
We don’t cover the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia or New Zealand.
We are also interested in migrant groups’ use of technology.
What’s the pay like?
Our rates are very competitive compared with market averages. We cover travel & reporting expenses depending on the nature of the story.
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?