What is the extended impact of an op-ed?
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
We have 40-50 (self-reported) alum successes (published op-eds) per month. Many of these op-eds create consequent impact---such as:
We track this ongoing impact only anecdotaly and primarily when it is self-reported.
We are requesting pro-bono research assistance (graduate students in women’s/media studies preferable) to help us figure out how to track the extended impact of op-eds published by our alums (mostly women). The scholar may also be permitted access to certain Advisory Board Members and/or Mentor-Editors for assistance and feedback (see website for list). An excellent opportunity for real-world experience and also a way to help women access the media, not to mention something viable for a CV. This research would also be a good candidate for a class ‘workshop or clinic’ on evaluating media impacts.
Letters of Inquiry may be submitted via email to Danielle Grace Warren.
Contact: Danielle Grace Warren
Director of Operations, The OpEd Project
danielle [at] theopedproject [dot] org
The OpEd Project—featured at length by The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and Katie Couric on her CBS Notebook series—is an initiative to radically expand the range of voices we hear from in the world, with an immediate goal of increasing the number of women in thought leadership positions to a tipping point. Partnering with universities, think tanks, nonprofits, corporations and community leaders across the nation, we scout, target and train top women experts in all fields to make a case for the ideas and causes they believe in—and more broadly, to take thought leadership positions in their fields. Participants are connected with each other and with our network of mentor-editors (high level editors and columnists who volunteer to mentor women who come through The OpEd Project), and when they publish, we channel them to media gatekeepers in print, online, television radio, and more.
The Op-Ed Project has worked with universities such as Stanford, New York University, MIT, UCSF and Yale; think tanks and nonprofits including the ACLU, the Council on Foreign Relations, Human Rights Watch, and The Global Fund for Women; F500 media and finance companies including Time Warner, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Merrill Lynch, and community groups across the nation, including social entrepreneurs in New Orleans and a women’s prison reentry program in Los Angeles.
Participants have published pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Salon.com, Huffington Page home page, and also one piece that was #2 on Google news and had 20,000 hits in the first hour. As a direct result, they have gone on to speak on national television and radio; receive book contracts; found nonprofits; brief congress; expand research careers; receive job offers and admissions to graduate schools; garner funding for start-up social ventures; and receive national and international recognition for their ideas.
Why this matters: The voices that we hear from most in the world come from an extremely narrow slice of society—mostly white, mostly privileged, and overwhelmingly male. The op-ed (opinion) pages of our nation’s top newspapers and websites are 85% penned by men. These pages are the gateway into public debate: they feed all other media, and drive thought leadership—so imbalances here perpetuate imbalances in larger ways. For example, 84% of pundits on Sunday morning TV political talk shows are men; 85% of Hollywood producers, writers and directors are men; 83% of Wikipedia entries are penned by men; and 83% percent of congress is male. Worse among academics: a 2008 Rutgers University study found that 97% of op-eds by scholars in the Wall Street Journal are written by men. What is the cost to society when half of the nation’s best minds and best ideas – women’s minds and women’s ideas – are missing?