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Note: You will likely have several topics that aren't approved during your time here. Don't let is discourage you, it's part of the editorial process. Give us some crazy, outside the box topic ideas!
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ReasonThere are lots of great issues worthy of coverage (environment, U.S. homelessness, LGBTQ, etc.), but our focus is global poverty. If the topic doesn't strongly relate to those living on less than $1.25 per day, it probably won't be approved. Keep in mind that our focus is developing countries: issues centered in the U.S. or developed nations are typically not in line with our focus.
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Reason 1Potentially boring to most people.This is obviously subjective, but we're really trying to reduce topics that the general public would find boring. Our mission is to engage the masses in global poverty and let's be honest, very few people want to read how "Cholera impacts elderly in Tajikistan." If people aren't clicking on it, then they're not reading it. Give your topic the WWTRT treatment... "Who wants to read this?" Think of people you know (friends, family members, etc.). If they saw the headline while scrolling through the news, how many of them would be intrigued by the topic and click to read it?
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Reason 2Not in line with the organization's focus.
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Reason 3Potentially divisive topic.The Borgen Project has been successful because we bring people from all walks of life together in righting the world's wrongs. If the topic turns people away, we probably don't want it published on the site or magazine. For example, articles that could be viewed as pro-life or pro-choice are going to drive people away who don't agree with the author's views. Remember the whole idea is to bring people to the global poverty fight. Don’t choose a topic that will alienate certain readers, e.g. abortion, gender and sexual minorities, climate change or Israel v. Palestine. Note: We don't cover family planning / women's reproductive health issues, including discussions around abortion and contraceptives
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Reason 4Timely articleWhat is a timely article? "U.N. summit next week will... Polio outbreak hits Pakistan... World leaders met yesterday to discuss... New report finds... Australia launches a program to...etc." Keep in mind that the majority of people reading your article will be reading it weeks, months and even years from now. The search engine optimization (SEO) strategies we utilize will help your article appear high in search results, but articles with timely titles next to the published date receive far fewer clicks (ie. In the search results, if viewers see "published 4/5/2007," and the title is "Next Week's G8 Summit to Tackle Poverty," they are not likely to click on the article as it is outdated).
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Reason 5Could be viewed as partisan/political.For an organization that's influencing politics, The Borgen Project works mighty hard to avoid being viewed as political or partisan (You don't get access to 99% of the U.S. Senate by only focusing on one party). Your topic idea might be spot on, but how does the topic come across to people who don't share your views?
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Reason 6No thank you, doom and gloomHead into the light! We want to cover the good news and what's working. Regardless of the media outlet, most coverage of humanitarian issues focuses on "something awful that just happend." If it bleeds, it leads. The public is saturated with the bad news and we want to take a different route. Avoid topics like "thousands of refugees flee sudan" and focus on topics like "Software helps refugees locate their relatives."
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Reason 7We've already covered the topic.We do not need any more articles on the following topics:
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food issues/hunger in Pakistan
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The World Cup
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trains/transportation
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actor/actress philanthropy
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International Affairs Budget
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community kitchens
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child poverty
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education
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beauty brands
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water in Guatemala
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waste/recycling
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women's issues
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energy solutions
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Kiva
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HIV/AIDS in Tanzania
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Amaudo
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UBI
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NGOs in Kazakhstan
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human trafficking in North Korea
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electric vehicles in Kenya
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seed farming
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poverty in Kashmir
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malaria
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cholera in Mozambique
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fragility/rule of law/corruption/government issues
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designer advocacy/philanthropy
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literacy in Mexico
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Cupcakes of Hope
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Exceptions to the Rules: You'll notice that some Practice Article topics don't pass the boring test (or rules 1-5 for that matter). In the case of Practice Article Topics, we're targeting specific terms that thousands of people are searching each year. While "Poverty in Norway" might not be click worthy to the general public, it is a term we know people are searching and we can rank high on.
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