Boise State University has become a supporting member of The Conversation, an independent, nonprofit publisher of commentary and analysis, authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public.
This exciting new partnership will allow Boise State faculty to work one-on-one with Conversation editors to write and publish short articles (800-1,000 words) on topics related to their research, while potentially reaching millions of readers.
Several Boise State faculty already have contributed to The Conversation, including: Brittany Brand on the unexpected eruption of Chile’s Calbuco volcano; Steven Feldstein on fatal U.S. airstrikes under the Trump administration; Jen Schneider on the coal industry’s rhetorical playbook; Jodi Brandt on our global sand crisis; John Freemuth (a prolific contributor) most recently on Interior Sec. Zinke’s proposal to shrink national monuments; Troy Rohn on public fears about early-onset Alzheimer’s; Justin Vaughn on George W.’s legacy during Jeb Bush’s presidential run; and Shelton Woods on the history behind Philippine President Duterte’s Obama insult.
This is just a sample of the great work faculty have already published on The Conversation; for a complete list of Boise State contributions, click here.
Now that Boise State is a supporting member, The Conversation wants to hear from you: our faculty and academic researchers. Boise State will be hosting a few information sessions on campus, dates TBA. In the meantime, please see below on how to pitch a story, or contact Cienna Madrid at CiennaMadrid@Boisestate.edu with questions.
How to Pitch a Story
The Conversation reacts to current and breaking news with expert analysis and help set the news agenda with ideas originating in academia. Their editors consider four things in a pitch:
- Is it of interest to a general audience? Our articles are read across the United States and internationally by non-academics. What does a lay person want or need to know?
- Is the idea timely? Timeliness can mean many things: new research, analysis of something in the news, commentary pegged to historic anniversaries. Why should a reader care now?
- Is the academic an expert in what they are writing about?
- Can the academic cover the topic in 1,000 words or fewer? Articles are not comprehensive, but rather make critical points that the public needs to be aware of.
The Conversation is looking for academics to pitch articles. This means you write a four-to-five sentence description of the article and they give you feedback prior to you investing any time in writing an article. The best way to do so is through their pitch form here: https://theconversation.com/us/pitches
Benefits of Writing for The Conversation
Each published faculty member has access to a personal dashboard that allows them to monitor the number of reads the article has received, the geographic location of those readers and by what media outlets the article has been republished. Dashboards also monitor all engagement on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well as comments on site. These metrics can be used to demonstrate public engagement and education.
Unlike scholarly and research journals, The Conversation is written for the general public. The website publishes roughly eight articles per day and attract up to seven million reads per month through their website and news outlets that republish their articles – including The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, CNN and Scientific American, among others. This is because articles published on The Conversation are free to read and free to republish through a Creative Commons license.
In addition, through The Conversation’s partnerships with The Associated Press and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., articles often are picked up in local newspapers – providing analysis in communities hat would not otherwise been able to hear from academics. By writing, academics can reach audiences in publications locally, nationally and internationally.