At The Daily Californian’s opinion section, we are constantly seeking writers to fill our pages with insightful commentary via op-eds and letters to the editor. Our goal is to provide a space where readers can express views on any relevant subject, respond to claims made in the paper or otherwise make their voices heard.
Much of the content that you read in this section is solicited, meaning one of the section editors sought out a particular person in the community to write on that topic. But a significant portion of our content is also unsolicited, published after the writer sent in a submission to our department without our asking. That could be you.
First, you should know a little information about how the opinion section operates. The op-eds, letters, columns and cartoons printed here do not reflect the opinion of the Daily Cal as an organization nor the personal views of the section editors. Op-eds and letters, which allow non-Daily Cal staff members to write for the paper, are selected based on what is happening in the news and the amount of content we receive. Columns (which, in the print edition, always appear on page 3 because we run a column every day) and editorial cartoons are produced by Daily Cal staff members and, once again, do not represent the organization’s viewpoint.
Editorials constitute the other major portion of the opinion section. Those are based on discussions held by the Daily Cal’s Senior Editorial Board — currently composed of 10 section editors in addition to the editor in chief and the managing editor — and are written by the opinion page editor.
So how can you get published in this section? And what kind of submissions are we looking for? Before submitting anything, please remember that all content sent to the Daily Cal’s opinion section must be original and unpublished. If you read an article or opinion piece in the Daily Cal and would like to respond to an issue raised there or react to the piece in any way, you can write a letter to the editor. Those should be no longer than 350 words and can be emailed to [email protected] or filled out using our online form at dailycal.org/opinion.
Op-eds provide a space for longer commentary. Topics generally cover local news or issues affecting UC Berkeley or the UC system as a whole. We do publish op-eds regarding national or state issues, but they should appeal to the Daily Cal’s primary audience: UC Berkeley students and Berkeley residents. Though op-eds frequently cover topics that are “in the news” (like UC tuition or the local election), they can discuss more abstract or less-mentioned concepts. All we ask is that an op-ed submission present a coherent, well-written argument on a topic with which the writer is familiar. Op-eds are typically no longer than 800 words, and submissions should include links or citations to aid in our routine fact-checking process. Like letters, they can be submitted via email to [email protected]
Not every submission is guaranteed to be published. Op-eds or letters that are deemed libelous, racist, sexist, homophobic or highly offensive in any other manner will not print. Content that does not meet our fact-checking standards will not print. And, at the end of the day, all content publishes at the discretion of the opinion page editor.
Finally, if you have any questions or concerns about how to submit something, feel free to email me. I hope this information is helpful, and I look forward to reading your submissions.
J.D. Morris is the opinion page editor. Contact him at [email protected]