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Guidelines for Contributors

Tech Policy Press is a startup nonprofit media and community venture intended to provoke new ideas, debate and discussion at the intersection of technology and democracy. You can read a bit more about the backstory and goals of the organization here, and see more about our board and masthead here

We publish opinion, analysis, research and reporting on a wide variety of issues. Key areas of concern include topics such as:

  • Concentrations of power: the role and interaction of tech platforms, governments and the media and the future of the public sphere;
  • Geopolitics of technology: how nation states approach technology in the pursuit of advantage;
  • Technology and the economy: the relationship between markets, business, and labor;
  • Racism, bigotry, violence & oppression: how tech exacerbates or solves such challenges;
  • Ethics of Technology: how technology should be viewed alongside existing democratic ethos, especially with regard to privacy, surveillance and personal freedoms;
  • Election integrity & participation: mechanisms of democracy, problems such as disinformation and how citizens come to consensus. 

This list is not meant to be comprehensive or exclusive to other ideas at the intersection of tech and society. You can get a sense of the range of topic coverage at the website, and take a listen to the podcast here. 

What should I submit? 

Typical pieces on the site are between 800 – 2,000 words, though some are longer. The sweet spot is around 1,000 words. We are happy to work with you to develop your idea at whatever stage it is currently at. That means you can send a short pitch of a few sentences, or work that may already be in draft form. We can assess it, and we may have a follow up conversation to advance the draft. 

We are also open to creative ideas, such as a series of articles, interview formats, or other formats you may have in mind. Not everything is an essay! But, well-argued essays are certainly our base stock. In general, you should be certain the work is yours, and that you have appropriate permissions for any material, images or quotes you include in your piece.

Are there format requirements?

We prefer to work in Google Docs, rather than versioning Word or other formats by attachment. This way we can work in real time and see each other’s changes, and share with others we may wish to review the work easily. But other formats are fine, too.

How long does it take to get a piece published?

This may depend on a range of factors, such as how much editing is necessary or what fact checking is required, but typically we will move quickly. Think anywhere from days to a couple of weeks on average. Typically, we do 2-3 rounds of review and revision.

What if I don’t see my particular topical expertise represented yet on the site?

Don’t worry! We are keen to learn more about your expertise and to explore ideas and technology policy questions that are not yet covered on the site to date. 

Is there a style guide?

We do not have a standard style guide, but for basic parameters we recommend The Economist Style Guide, which is an excellent resource for people explaining complex subjects to educated readers, especially in a global context. Try to keep your writing fairly concise and avoid jargon where possible. Make citations with in-text links.

Who owns my work?

You retain ownership, but when you agree to publish on Tech Policy Press, you are giving us permission to host it. You are free to publish the work elsewhere, as well; in some cases we may even work with you to find additional channels. But, we only publish work that will simultaneously appear elsewhere by agreement.

Do you pay your writers?

At present, Tech Policy Press is an entirely volunteer operation that is financed by small donations. We are unable to pay contributors.

I still have questions. Who can I contact?

You can reach Justin Hendrix, Editor of Tech Policy Press, directly at justin@techpolicy.press. We can set up a time to go through your questions and brainstorm ideas.

Please note: the choice to publish a piece or not is in the sole discretion of Tech Policy Press. We cannot publish every piece that is submitted, and regularly reject proposed submissions.

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