Entertainment

Pitch Guidelines for the VICE Culture Desk

How to pitch pieces about music, entertainment, and food.
Leslie Horn
New York, US
April 29, 2021, 3:59pm
Concert crowd at live music show
Stocksy/Robert Kohlhuber

Who are we? 

The VICE Culture desk covers music, entertainment, food, online cultures and subcultures, trends, and nostalgia. We think critically about how people interact with culture in their everyday lives, whether we’re looking at the intersection of race and reality TV; the future of live music during and after a global pandemic; what goes into the naming of a recipe; and more. We’re dialed into the moment, but we don’t just report on what’s happening—we explain how and why it matters.

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What are we looking for? 

We’re currently accepting pitches for one-off stories and recurring series. 

One-off stories should be reported and authoritative pieces about music, entertainment, or food; or timely cultural commentary that comes from a place of authority and expertise, not a baseless take. Pitches for recurring series, whether monthly or bi-monthly, should use the same format to interrogate or approach a different topic in each installment or clearly focus on the same topic each time. Here are some examples of recurring series:

Whether you’re pitching a one-off story or a recurring series, we’re interested in ideas along the following topics.

  • Fandoms and stan culture
  • Influencer culture
  • Unexplored elements of internet culture
  • Music trends
  • Deep dives on niche topics
  • Extremely thorough investigations of extremely inconsequential things
  • Highbrow treatment of lowbrow topics
  • “Rabbit hole” stories, or stories that unravel longstanding or little-known mysteries
  • Oral histories
  • Unconventional approaches to mainstream topics
  • Expert angles on mainstream topics
  • Gritty, VICE-y nostalgia 
  • Online cultures and subcultures (how existing subcultures, whether good or bad, are finding new ways to connect and communicate online) 
  • Tip-of-the-tongue trends (things that others have noticed but not identified, i.e., “the gentrification font”)
  • Food trends and cultural analyses that haven’t been identified elsewhere

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Here are some examples of successful stories along these topics.

What are we not looking for?

  • Takes, i.e., uninformed and/or arbitrary opinion pieces that are not rooted in any kind of reporting or research
  • Profiles and interviews (unless you have some kind of exclusive)
  • Anniversary content (unless it’s an oral history or there’s an exclusive, “never-been-covered-before” element to the idea)
  • Song or album premieres
  • Stuff that has clearly already been covered elsewhere

How to pitch us: 

To give your idea the best chance of being considered, make sure your pitch includes all of the following:

  • 1-2 rough headlines 
  • Cogent one-liner or clear thesis statement
  • A one-paragraph summary that clearly lays out your approach to the story 
  • Any sources you’re going to talk to
  • Any other relevant details (i.e., drafting timeline) 

Pitches should be sent to culture.pitches@vice.com with “PITCH:” in the subject line. If we like your idea and want to move forward with it, a commissioning editor will be in touch to assign a target word count for the piece.