Next City publishes news stories 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 urban culture, health and safety, and design. Below, find guidelines for pitching news stories and op-eds to our editors, as well as pay rates for transparency.
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, and seek character-driven stories with a strong solutions orientation and explanatory approach.
Generally, we report on equitable economic development, urban policy and design, planning, transportation, environmental justice and sustainability, arts and culture and tech. 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. See a list of topics and themes our editors are particularly interested in right now.
Our stories generally have three major components:
A focus on the local. Our stories look at local solutions that liberate cities, neighborhoods and urban populations from systems of oppression. We don’t use a strict definition of what constitutes a city or urban area. Although we cover mostly U.S. cities, we occasionally publish international coverage as well.
A solutions-based approach. As the Solutions Journalism Network describes, a solutions-oriented story should explore a response to a social issue, looking at how it works, evidence of its impact (or lack thereof), its limitations as an effective solution, and insights or lessons that others can glean from this response. Ideally, our stories will look at case studies of scalable and replicable solutions to the problems that oppress people in cities. We typically assess solutions that are already working on the ground, rather than covering new programs or ideas.
An equity angle. Our stories look at how such solutions are impacting marginalized populations in particular, and we make a serious effort to feature the voices of marginalized individuals. This includes people experiencing homelessness, disabled, elderly, low-income, non-white, LGBTQ+ people and others often left behind by urban policy.
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 lead to such change. They should express a strong, informed opinion. (If you’re writing solely about your organization or the specific work that you do, 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 senior editor Aysha Khan (email@example.com) with “Op-Ed Submission” in the subject line. We review all emails with op-ed submissions, but unfortunately we can’t respond to every one.
We would especially like more op-eds like these pieces, which are rooted in research and personal experience:
We are not currently accepting freelance pitches for news stories, except for solutions-oriented reported news stories that fit into our economic justice and housing verticals. Most of our news stories are currently published by our staff, reporting fellows and interns.
We also publish stories in collaboration with other nonprofit news outlets; we are happy to discuss opportunities for co-publishing and other forms of editorial collaboration. Our current publishing partners include Prism, Nexus Media News, Shelterforce and more. Please reach out to senior editor Aysha Khan (firstname.lastname@example.org) with “Co-publishing pitch” in the subject line.
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. In addition, we offer sponsored webinars, which give you the chance to talk to our audience of changemakers directly; offer print and digital ads; and underwriting opportunities. 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.