The birth of The Pinch Hitter

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We at the Nightwatchman know that the worldwide freelance community has been hit hard by the current pandemic. Governments are finding it difficult to come up with meaningful packages for this community and although there are some promising signs in the UK, we know that many freelancers will still be incredibly worried. Not just about loss of earnings, but about their life being put on hold – what they do, what they enjoy, what they live for, is no longer there. And that will doubtless have a huge psychological impact.

The Nightwatchman is what freelancers – be they writers, editors or photographers – make it. And so we want to help. We are introducing a more or less fortnightly digital publication called The Pinch Hitter, in association with the Nightwatchman, which will launch on Friday April 3.

In order to fund this in the short term, TriNorth Communications (who produce the Nightwatchman and Wisden Cricket Monthly as well as The Blizzard and Gridiron magazines) staff have sacrificed 20% of their salary. It will not be possible to fund the product in this way forever of course and we will also put it on sale on a pay-what-you-can basis. The more support we can get for this from the freelance community in terms of promotion, the better. And we are setting up a bank account so that we can ensure all revenues generated will be reinvested into the magazine.

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Here’s what Wisden Cricket Monthly editor-in-chief Phil Walker has to say about it: “The Pinch Hitter will be an interactive magazine, with columns, features, photo essays, long-form Nightwatchman-style articles, videos, interviews, club cricket, women’s cricket, kids cricket, international cricket, office cricket, lockdown cricket, and general silliness.

“The magazine’s identity will evolve over time and be influenced in part by the type of submissions we receive, but we’re not expecting the style and tone of it to deviate too much from TriNorth’s established publications. Initially of course, with no cricket to cover, the first few issues will be necessarily discursive, with a fair few dollops of nostalgia. But at the same time, we’re very keen to offer a way in for younger readers too, so any pitches aimed at that audience would be very welcome indeed!”

And in addition to one-off articles, contributors may want to suggest pieces to slot into one of these regular, repeatable sections:

  • The Match – a first person recollection of the game that means the most to you
  • My Club – via interview, a prominent professional revisits his/her formative club experiences
  • The World According To… – an in-depth and sprawling interview with a well-known personality from within the game
  • A Cricket Life – a prominent figure from the game’s past looks back on their career: the good, the bad and the ugly
  • Best of, Worst of – from the finest to the most risible… county seasons, innovations, clothing… and plenty more besides

 
You can pitch to Phil, Jo and Matt at pinchhitter@trinorth.co.uk. Rates will be around the usual mark for our cricket-related magazines but we’ll aim to increase them if we get significant revenue in from the pay-what-you-can channels.

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SUPPORT THE PINCH HITTER
You are able to support the The Pinch Hitter, either by making a one-off donation, donating for every issue you read or paying whatever you can afford, whenever you can afford it, in the following ways:

  • Via direct bank transfer to The Pinch Hitter’s bank account (*** IMPORTANT NOTE *** This is the best way to donate. If you donate via PayPal, Paypal take a fee. We’ll provide details in due course as the banks are busy dealing with business interruption loans!)
  • Via the Paypal buttons at the top and bottom of this page (Paypal account not required)

 
ALL of the money that goes from the general public into The Pinch Hitter bank or PayPal account will be used to continue producing The Pinch Hitter, paying freelancers worldwide to write brilliantly about what they love.

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Lastly, there are a few helpful things for sports freelancers in need of support and advice. There are dedicated sites for the Sports Freelancer Collective at https://www.sportsjournalists.co.uk/.

And to join the Sports Freelancer Collective Facebook page go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/495051321162204/?ref=share.

And to join the Cricket Writers’ Club (for all cricket media) email CWC Secretary will.macpherson1990@gmail.com

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We hope you enjoy The Pinch Hitter!

Matt Thacker
TriNorth Ltd

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