Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Engagement: Engaging Broader Publics via Op-eds and Opinion Pieces

Type: Panel
Theme: Public Engagement in Geography
Sponsor Groups: American Association of Geographers
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Napoleon B2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Organizers: Derek Alderman
Chairs: William Moseley


This session is one of several organized for the purpose of providing grounded but critical discussion of public engagement and outreach opportunities, strategies, and challenges. Sessions build upon the experiences of panelists/facilitators and the sharing of perspectives from the audience to create a space where geographers can train each other, trade innovations and ideas, and negotiate practical and even political obstacles to public engagement in geography.

Now more than ever, many public debates would benefit from the input and perspectives of geographers. Op-eds and opinion pieces are long standing features of well-established news outlets, as well as emerging digital media platforms. Characterized by a clear perspective and a well-supported argument, the opinion piece is a critical medium for the public intellectual. Like any other piece of writing, however, the practice of crafting an effective op-ed is a skill that must be learned and honed over time. This DIY session will lay out the key elements of a good op-ed and discuss strategies for getting such pieces published. The session will also provide hands-on, tangible examples of op-eds, from the first draft, through revisions, back and forth with editors, to actual publication. If time permits, we will also devote time to workshopping op-ed ideas provided by audience members.


Type Details Minutes
Discussant William Moseley Macalester College 20
Discussant Joshua Muldavin Sarah Lawrence College 20

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