How to submit a contribution to WAN-IFRA

As part of our mission to help identify and discuss important issues for the news industry and solutions to current problems, we welcome your contributions and columns. 

We appreciate your willingness to share your perspective. Your voice matters. Some articles by guest writers are commissioned by us; others we select from proposals that come from our members. Publishing external voices is a key part of our interaction with our readers. We particularly relish pieces that explore new ideas and illuminate diverse points of view. We also want our opinion pieces to be punchy, readable articles that make strong arguments.

Submissions must come from individuals, even when they represent a group or organization’s opinion. We do not publish form letters or third-party letters, or petitions in our News section. Press releases are published in the Industry News of our website.

For publication, we especially look for columns that share a unique perspective; that make us think. We look for writers who have spent time and attention developing their own opinions, rather than simply repeating other people’s arguments. Write in your own voice. We’re much more interested in why you feel the way you do than in what you think is wrong with people who disagree with you.

We expect writers to be civil and straightforward.

When we select a piece for publication, we edit it for length, redundancy, clarity, civility and accuracy. If we have substantive changes, we’ll get your approval before we publish the edited version. Our intent in editing never is to change your opinion but to ensure your views are clear and easy to understand.

Think about our readers. WAN-IFRA gives you the chance to talk to a publisher in Hong Kong, an editor in Paris and an engineer in Buenos Aires, all at the same time. That means your article needs to move beyond local issues to make a broader point and it cannot assume inside knowledge.

The best external contributions use vivid examples to tell a global audience something new.

Write what you know. Tell us something others cannot, whether that’s the result of a research project, your journey into digital subscription growth or a pioneer of data science for news, for example.

Write clearly and accessibly. Your piece should be an enjoyable read, not an academic treatise, even if it is a serious or technical subject. Avoid jargon and acronyms at all cost. Use specific examples. Your draft will often turn out to be a starting point. An editor might suggest ways of making the language zestier or the argument clearer.

Be pithy and sharp. Readers value WAN-IFRA for its brevity. Anything beyond 1,000 words runs the risk of getting cut, not getting read.

Diversity, equity and inclusion. As a mission-driven organisation, WAN-IFRA is committed to infusing the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into all aspects of our work, including throughout the research and publishing process, in collaboration with our editors, and external contributors. It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone is given an equal voice. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) is a phrase that broadly outlines an effort to create a more welcoming environment for all people and to create meaningful, systemic change toward a more equitable community. Our priority is publishing high-quality work that reflects, and originates from, the whole community. When submitting a contribution, please consider that our strategic framework for Diversity and Inclusion includes increasing women’s leadership and voices in the news we publish.

You’d like to submit an OpEd? To qualify for publication, OpEd articles need to take a stance on news media-related topics, often making recommendations on a particular issue. Lobbying pieces that self-promote an organisation or an author will not be published as an OpEd. When you submit your opinion, it might be several days before we’re able to review it. We thank you in advance for your patience.

Use logic and reasoning to support your opinions. Facts and figures are great, but give them context (and include the sources with your submission). If you do make a factual error, we’ll work with you to fix it before publication. If the error is discovered after publication, we’ll issue a correction. OpEds should ideally be 700-800 words in length.

Our readers like to know the source of our data, so we please ask you to provide links or other sources for your assertions.

An editor’s approval is always needed before publication. If we accept your piece, you must certify that the work is yours and has not appeared elsewhere, even in another language. So please do not send us proposals that you are sending to others.

Rest assured that we will always show you a final version for approval and, if we cannot agree, naturally, feel free to consult another publication. If you have not heard from us within four days of your submission, please do feel free to move on. We’re looking forward to reading your work.