Next City publishes articles reported and written by journalists, and op-eds written by academics and practitioners in the fields we cover: urban policy, planning, housing, economic development, transportation, tech, environmental sustainability, arts and culture, and design. We center equity in every sector we cover. Next City firmly believes that nothing we do in cities matters if we do not make life more equitable for everyone. (Note: If you have a submission that promotes your organization’s specific projects or services, please see the “Sponsored Posts” section, below.)
We welcome well-considered pitches from journalists around the world for our shorter “daily” pieces (800 to 1,200 words) and our weekly features (around 3,000 words). When writing to us, please specify which type of article you’re pitching. See also this frequently updated list of series and topic areas for which we are actively soliciting pitches.
Generally, we report on equitable economic development, urban policy and design, planning, transportation, environmental justice and sustainability, arts and culture and tech. Although our current funding portfolio specifies that we cover mostly U.S. cities, we can occasionally accommodate international coverage as well. Writers who are the best fit for us have a deep understanding of the challenges facing cities — ranging from economic hardship and affordable housing shortages to transportation deserts and changing infrastructure — and the solutions posed to address those problems (whether effective or not). Our regular freelancers (and we are always looking to expand that roster) are committed to the extensive reporting required to explore these complex issues, and adept at translating “policy” to real human impact. We take solutions journalism seriously, and are currently the third most prolific contributor to the Solutions Journalism Network’s Story Tracker, behind only the New York Times and The Guardian.
A whopping 89% of Next City’s readers say that they or their organizations are working toward greater racial equity. And 74% of our readers use Next City for their jobs. We’re committed to bringing them smart reads about the solutions that can be replicated from one city to the next city. We seek to highlight a diverse array of voices and perspectives.
We’re looking for specific story pitches, not topic ideas. You must answer the following in your pitch:
Why tell this story now? (In other words, what’s the news hook?)
Why do Next City readers need to know about this?
What’s the problem at the center?
How does the solution you are writing about address the problem? You should have a general idea about possible solutions before pitching. (“I want to explore … ” won’t get you an assignment.)
What evidence is there (initial findings or long-term analytics) that the solution is effective?
How does it translate to a broader urban policy context?
Has it been covered elsewhere in the media? If so, how would your approach differ?
Please reference potential sources in your pitch. (Here’s an excellent primer on writing solid pitches, courtesy of NPR.)
We don’t cover events or conferences or symposia or meetings. But you certainly might get a lead on a great story at one. Pitch us after you’ve attended and looked into the idea. We also pass on Q&As, book reviews, history overviews, horse race journalism, white papers, academic treatises and fiction.
Op-eds should be topical and relevant to Next City’s mission of inspiring equitable change in cities, and speak to ideas and policies that can effect such change. They should express a strong, informed opinion. (If you’re writing about your organization or the specific work that you do, however, please see “Sponsored Posts,” below.)
All submissions must be original, and not published elsewhere. Maximum length is 1,200 words. We will not consider articles that have already been published, in any form, in print or online.
We pay a small honorarium for op-eds, but do not guarantee publication in advance of receiving a submission. To submit pieces for consideration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Op-Ed Submission” in the subject line.
We review all emails with op-ed submissions, but we can’t respond to every one.
Next City’s sponsored articles are the most effective, guaranteed way to tell the story about your company or organization’s work. Our sponsored content is labeled, lives on the site forever, includes roadblocked display ads and comes with a 500-page-view guarantee. We also offer sponsored webinars, which give you the chance to talk to our audience of changemakers directly. Find out more in our media kit and contact Eleanor Barba, Integrated Sales & Marketing Coordinator, for more information about these and other marketing opportunities with Next City.