The Conversation

The Conversation is a nonprofit, independent source of news and views written exclusively by the academic and research community. All the articles it publishes online are also distributed via Associated Press to media outlets around the globe, which have the option to re-publish them exactly as they’ve been written. In 2020, the most current year for which numbers are available, articles published by The Conversation were read more than 100 million times.

The Conversation offers a unique opportunity for you to share your expertise and/or scholarly work through a news article you’ve written that has the potential to be read by millions of people around the world.

What The Conversation Publishes

The Conversation features commentary and analysis — though not opinion — authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public. The Conversation focuses on three priority areas:

  • Timely, evidence-based analysis of issues making the news
  • Articles explaining new research and its significance for a non-expert audience
  • Timeless, plain English “explainers” of complex issues

The word count for an article is typically 800 to 1,000 words.

How to Write for The Conversation

All USC Dornsife professors, postdoctoral scholars and PhD candidates are eligible to write articles. No previous news-writing experience is required. The Conversation has an experienced team of editors who will guide and support you through a collaborative and rigorous editing process.

The editors strongly prefer to consider a story idea before it’s fully written, so craft a brief pitch that outlines the story you intend to write. Those that are timely are most likely to be accepted, as are topics related to new research. The USC Dornsife Office of Communication can brainstorm with you ways in which to relate your expertise to timely topics.

Send your story ideas to Darrin Joy, senior director of strategic and scientific communication, or Jim Key, senior director of marketing and media relations. They will work with you to pitch your story to The Conversation’s editors. You can also submit pitches directly to The Conversation, where you can find more information about what the editors are looking for in a pitch.

Visit USC Dornsife’s landing page on The Conversation to read articles by our faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students.

The Impact of Writing for The Conversation

Publishing an article with The Conversation allows you to share your work with a large audience well beyond USC. Articles published on their website are typically read between 1,000 and 1 million times. A survey of authors reported that after publishing with the The Conversation:

  • 51% requested for radio interview
  • 38% requested for a print outlet interview
  • 27% requested to write an article for a different outlet
  • 17% requested for a TV interview
  • 43% were approached for another academic collaboration
  • 31% increase in citations in scholarly articles
  • 23% used article or metrics as part of grant or other funding
  • 14% influenced policy by a decision maker
  • Approximately 7% received a book proposal (or other book publishing)

In addition to publication on The Conversation’s website, your stories may be picked up for republication in mainstream media outlets, including The Washington Post, CBS News, Newsweek, Associated Press, Smithsonian Magazine, PBS, Time, and New Republic, among others. Articles published by The Conversation are free for anyone to read and will never go behind a paywall.

More questions? Contact Darrin Joy at or Jim Key at