News Outlets

The following are outlets that regularly seek submissions from academics. This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have an opportunity to add to the list, please email

The Academic Minute is a 2.5 minute radio segment put together by WAMC in Albany which airs on 60+ stations nationally, as well as on the Insight Higher Ed and American Association of Colleges and Universities website. (AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella is the host.) It involves writing and recording a 300-word essay on something related to your area of study. This is open to faculty, postdocs, and students. (“The Student Spotlight.”) 

The Conversation is a non-profit news organization where researchers/academics affiliated with an established institution of higher education can publish essays on their area of expertise. These stories are then made available to republish for free under a Creative Commons license. In that way, some stories that first appear on The Conversation do end up in other places as well. If you are successful in pitching The Conversation, you will work with one of its editors on the piece. You can find editor contacts for different sections online. Please note that student-wise, only doctoral candidates will be accepted. You can begin your pitch by registering here and there are more details here about what they look for.

Future Tense is a column on Slate, put together in partnership with New America and Arizona State, that “examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.” Several of our faculty and students have contributed columns - see examples below. 

The New York Times Opinion Guest Essays (formerly “Op-Eds”) make an argument based on your expertise or experience. Most are between 800 and 1,200 words and cannot have appeared anywhere else already, nor should they be currently submitted elsewhere. Accepted essays will go through fact checking and you must provide citations. You can submit a pitch or a full piece by filling out this form. First though, read the full submission guidelines. At the time of writing this, Penn offers free subscriptions to its faculty, students, and staff. Please contact the Annenberg Library for more information.

Scientific American accepts a few different types of articles, but the type you are most likely to write is “opinion and analysis articles.” The stories are 800-1,000 words long. Read the full submission guidelines here. When you’re ready, you’ll email a one-paragraph pitch to Chief Opinion Editor, Megha Satyanarayana or to the main opinion mailbox,

The Washington Post Opinion section only accepts finished pieces - no pitches. They should be no more than 750 words, and must be submitted as an exclusive  - don’t pitch the same piece elsewhere at the same time. They say they will respond within a week, and after that it is safe to assume they will not be publishing the piece. More details and the submission form are here. WaPo also has an extensive Q&A here about the process. At the time of writing this, Penn offers free Washington Post access to its faculty, students, and staff. Please contact the Annenberg Library for more information.

The USA Today Opinion section also seeks finished pieces of 550-750 words that are submitted as an exclusive. They can be pasted into an email and sent to with links to factual references. At the end, include a brief bio of not more than 2 sentences. USA Today is part of a group of 100+ newspapers around the country. Those newspapers regularly pick up USA Today Opinion pieces, which can give your op-ed a wide reach. Full submission details here. If you do not hear back about your pitch within three business days, you can pitch it elsewhere.

We’re Here to Help

While time doesn’t allow the Communications Office to ghostwrite your stories, we can help you talk through any story ideas you have and advise on pitching editors. We may also be able to offer feedback on your drafts. Please reach out to the Director of Communications.

If you need to produce an audio essay, please contact for recording assistance. The school owns recording equipment and can assist with its use.