Reporters at Outlier Media work hard to bring valuable information and effective stories to Detroiters, but we also want to support the work of independent reporters, visual journalists and residents who want to tell their own stories in their own voices.
Freelance Journalist Network
Outlier Media organizes a Freelance Journalist Network of reporters interested in helping Detroiters lead even more well-informed lives. We hope to establish mutually beneficial connections with freelance journalists enthusiastic about responding to significant information gaps in Detroit. Members of our freelance network are invited to our collaborative editorial meeting with media partners to pitch story ideas. Sign up and share the form with freelance journalists interested in joining our network.
If you are a freelance network member and you have a pitch, reach out to Managing Editor Erin Perry at email@example.com.
The Curtis Bailey Fund
The Curtis Bailey Fund supports emerging writers and freelancers publishing with Outlier or our media partners. The fund was inspired by the story of Sonya Mull — a former Detroit resident who lost her childhood home to tax foreclosure in 2018 — and the aunt who raised her, Curtis Bailey.
Mull endured a series of disasters that could only happen in Detroit. Her family home had been overassessed by the city: The tax bill was artificially high, and the 18% interest rate on that tax bill meant Bailey, the owner of the home, could never catch up. When Bailey died and left the home to Mull, someone posing as the owner rented it out before Mull could move in, requiring her to navigate an eviction process on top of tax foreclosure and keeping her from accessing the home and Bailey’s belongings.
Mull brought her story to Outlier in 2019 when she was representing herself in court in a last-ditch effort to save her home from foreclosure. Our reporting brought attention to the failures of the city and the county, but it did not help Mull get her home back, nor did it allow her to fully share her perspective of how devastating the loss of her home was and continues to be.
We encouraged Mull to write her own story, helped her with shaping and editing and paid her as a freelance writer for her time. We worked with the Detroit Free Press, one of our media partners, to publish our reporting and Mull’s story.
Coming out of that experience, we committed ourselves to setting aside part of our budget to support emerging writers interested in reporting or in sharing their own story. We call this support The Curtis Bailey Fund in honor of Mull’s aunt and as a tribute to their experiences.
If you do not consider yourself a freelance journalist but have a story you want to tell, contact Managing Editor Erin Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.