What is Zenger?
Zenger is the world’s first digitally native wire service. Owned and operated by journalists.
Zenger aims to:
- Restore trust in news, and to reward journalists and news outlets in a new way for producing stories that inform, entertain, and hold leaders and institutions accountable.
- Zenger’s model is to reward its open network of journalists by sharing advertising revenue with the people who create the content.
- We pay quickly and electronically. No more paper checks from out-of-state banks, months after you publish.
- Zenger provides wire stories to news outlets, for low or no up-front cost, and shares advertising revenue with them. Instead of subtracting from their bottom line and deepening a struggling industry’s challenges, Zenger adds to their top line.
Zenger is dedicated to bringing high-quality news content to overlooked communities and promoting the broadest possible variety of voices and subjects.
Zenger is a product of Z News Service, Inc., a Delaware Corporation. The majority of shares are held by journalists who work for Zenger. The minority shareholders include investors and funds in Paris, London, Dallas, Salt Lake City and San Francisco. No shareholder is involved in campaigns, lobbying, politics, or government.
We have an online overview of our advertising services that’s a terrific starting point, but sometimes it’s just easier to speak to someone. It’s easy to get started: Email or call us and one of our associates will walk you through the process. And contact us if you have a brief or a request for proposal (RFP) for your campaign that you’d like us to respond to.
We take the most popular Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) sizes.
Email us at [email protected].
No. Zenger does not accept guest posts or sponsored posts of any kind. Any communication asking for a guest or sponsored post — including link insertion for “do-follow” purposes — will be considered spam and immediately disregarded.
FOR REPORTERS, EDITORS, PHOTOGRAPHERS AND VIDEOGRAPHERS
Zenger has no party line or partisan orientation and does not select stories based on whether it hurts or helps any particular party or politician. We are open to verifiable stories on any topic that would interest, educate, or entertain a general reader.
Zenger focuses on news. It does not publish opinions, essays, press releases, fiction, listicles, self-help, personal advice, or memoirs. Zenger does not engage in story aggregation or publish stories that are principally based on other news outlets’ reporting.
Zenger strictly prohibits the use of anonymous sources, even at the risk of not being able to report some stories quickly, or at all. Every story Zenger publishes includes only named sources.
Reporters pitch Zenger via an online pitch form where they propose a topic, suggest a timeframe for filing, and describe the sources they plan to contact. Zenger’s editors can accept the pitches, reject them, or communicate with reporters with directions and requests for clarification, just like any other editor.
Please treat the pitch form as your best friend. It asks you to list the elements of your story idea that are most likely to engage readers, based on research conducted by the University of California Berkeley. The pitch form will help you think through a story before you write it and give you a good idea of what we’re looking for.
Zenger matches independent editors with stories that intersect with their areas of expertise and offers articles to them along with editing deadlines. At least two editors edit every story.
Zenger’s editing philosophy is based on the editorial standards of The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. We seek to provide a consistent reader experience in which thoughtful sources on both sides of a story’s central conflict are presented fairly and accurately.
A reader should come away from a Zenger story with enough information to argue both sides of a question and see what facts or arguments are driving a debate. It promotes understanding, not picking winners and losers.
The lede requires the most work from our editors. We aim to seize the reader’s attention in the first 17 words and vividly present the central conflict in a way that’s engaging, surprising, or amusing.
A reader should know, from the lede alone, what the central conflict is and who the main characters are on both sides. It should use simple and striking words, not jargon, acronyms, or clichés.
Every Zenger story must include characters (real-life people on both sides of an issue who are interesting and distinct); conflict (an issue that is dividing the public, officials, experts, or participants); and context (the history of the conflict, as well as the physical and emotional setting and motivations of the participants). Eyewitnesses and decision makers make the best sources.
Yes. Everything filed with Zenger is a “work for hire,” meaning Zenger purchases all rights to it.
Unfortunately, yes. AB5 affects independent reporters, editors, photographers, and videographers who live or work in California, allowing them to provide no more than 35 pieces of content to an individual news outlet during a calendar year. To be absolutely certain that Zenger doesn’t run afoul of the law, its California-based content creators are limited to 30. We regret this, but we don’t make the laws.
Not at this time. However, Zenger is always looking for talented freelancers to work with us. Signing up here is simple and will only take a few minutes.
Yes. Zenger is happy to help journalism students grow their portfolios, subject to the same high editorial standards applied to working professionals. They are paid the same way.
Yes. Zenger now has correspondents, editors, and photographers in more than 120 countries. Zenger aims to deliver stories from all over the world and welcomes journalists and photojournalists who are based in any nation. Most stories are filed, edited, and distributed in American English.
We partner with Paydesk, a London-based platform, to quickly pay non-U.S. freelancers in their chosen currencies and at their chosen banks. Please register with them so we can pay you without any needless delays. Click here to join Paydesk – http://paydesk.co/zenger
At this time payment rates are negotiated at the time Zenger accepts a pitch. Please contact [email protected] with questions.
Zenger is a wire service that distributes news stories and images to online and traditional news outlets that collectively serve more than 1 billion readers across the United States and the world.
Among our current content partners are Apple News, Google News and Verizon Media—three of the Internet’s top five content providers.
We supply news to outlets including Forbes, Newsweek, The New York Post, The Miami Herald, and many other major metropolitan U.S. daily newspapers as well as Apple News, Google News, Yahoo! News, AOL, SmartNews, hundreds of urban and Latino newspapers, and the websites of many radio and television stations.
Generally, Zenger aims to make payments within 48 hours of publication. We directly and electronically pay journalists who live and work in the United States and have accounts at American banks. That means no waiting by the mailbox, paper checks, or bank delays.
If you live or bank outside the U.S., America’s banking laws make it hard to pay you as quickly, so we partner with services that generally deliver funds within five business days.
We understand the frustration freelancers face. Our founders were freelancers once, too. We designed Zenger to replace the most painful parts of independent journalism with something better.
If you have questions about payment or tax issues, please contact us at [email protected].
If I encounter a problem related to registration, pitching stories or some other feature of Zenger’s software, who should I contact?
Please email [email protected] to reach our technical support team.
FOR MEDIA REPORTERS
Zenger meets or exceeds the high standards set by the world’s most successful news publishers, including rigorous editorial review involving at least two editors.
In addition, Zenger provides an unprecedented level of transparency by banning unnamed sources and naming the editors of every story.
Today’s news industry is focused on breaking stories before the competition, and that often involves citing sources who won’t attach their names to their claims. While some important stories throughout history were broken that way, hindsight has proven many others to be untrue.
The only way for the public to be certain that reported information — especially words in quotation marks — is real, is to tell readers who said what. Anonymous sources create distrust in the entire news media.
Zenger News invites factual corrections from the public and promptly corrects all published errors of fact brought to its attention, noting clearly both the error, the remedy, as well as the date and time the correction was issued. Corrections triggered by an editor’s error are identified that way. Zenger also forwards all corrections to syndication partners immediately. All corrections are approved by a senior editor; some involve consultation with legal counsel.
Corrections will generally follow this format:
Correction: Month date, year, 00:00 AM/PM [Exact time correction is posted]
“An earlier version of this article misstated Zlatko Kovach’s status when he arrived in the United States. He was a student, not a refugee. Zenger regrets this error.”
Zenger’s holding company is Z News Service, Inc., a Delaware corporation. It is backed by a consortium of tech investors from London, Dallas, London, and Salt Lake City, who collectively own a minority of the company. The founders and employees hold the remainder. Journalists own a majority of the company’s shares.
Zenger charges a monthly subscription for its stories and videos. Out of this revenue, Zenger pays its editors, reporters, photographers, and videographers. Additionally, Zenger earns revenue through ads on Zenger.News.
Zenger takes its name from John Peter Zenger, an 18th century printer whose New York newspaper exposed misconduct by the royal governor. He was jailed for eight months, while his wife delivered food and bravely kept putting out the paper. Finally, Zenger was put on trial in 1735 for libel, which at the time was defined as any criticism of the crown.
He freely admitted publishing the scathing newspaper articles, but maintained his right to publish the truth about those in power. A jury of his peers acquitted him — declaring that the truth is an absolute defense to libel. This was a shocking precedent that echoed across the English-speaking world. For the first time, the rich or the powerful couldn’t use the threat of ruinous lawsuits to silence the press. It remains a bedrock press-freedom law to this very day.
It would be another half-century until James Madison wrote the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
We stand on John Peter Zenger’s shoulders. So does every other journalist.
I’m interested in Z News Service, Inc. How do I receive financial information about the company’s performance and projections?
To review the prospectus, and to view quarterly statements and other financial reports, please contact us at [email protected].
Potential investors will undergo background checks akin to the kind investors typically conduct on founders.
If your profession or principal source of income is lobbying or working for any government or serving in any elected office, we respectfully are not interested in receiving inquiries from you about any form of investment participation in Z News Service, Inc.