A lot of people out there seem to share our mission because our widely circulated calls for pitches got us around 800 entries! With infinite resources, we would have loved nothing more than to publish all of them. But bearing in mind our modest resources we had to grit our teeth and choose only a bunch.
We had to find an effective strategy to go through all the pitches, and respond to everyone within a certain period. Our editor-in-chief Tina Lee and engagement editor Zahra Salah Uddin took one for the team to create an initial shortlist of around 200 pitches. We still faced the trepidation of choosing the final 30-35.
The entire editorial board including Mercy Abang, Purple Romero, Wafaa Albadry and myself, went through these pitches divided under categories like environment, labor, human rights/conflict, minorities/racism/inequality, sexism/patriarchy, LQBTQIA, health/Covid, mental health, disability, media, technology, etc.
Many stories fit into more than one category, and some were outside any of these themes. These sections were just reference points for us to ensure we were picking the under-reported stories we had aimed to.