Six years ago, The Conversation was potentially a good idea and was set up as a six month pilot. Six years later it attracts an international readership of over 12 million views a month.
Writing for The Conversation
The Conversation is an online, global newspaper that offers a platform for academics to write articles collaboratively with professional journalists in an accessible, fact-based style. The University of Brighton is one of its partners and I was delighted to attend The Conversation’s six-year celebration at City, University of London on Friday 17th May 2019, representing our University and Business school. I was interested to see on a league table that some academics attract over two million views of their articles!
People from universities from all over the UK were present and there was a genuine celebratory atmosphere.
Writing for The Conversation personally over the last few years has enabled me to disseminate my own work very widely, internationally, attracting over 400,000 readers and seeing my work (due to a Creative Commons License) appear in news papers and magazines such as Business Insider, The The Ecologist, China Daily, Epoch Times and Time Magazine.
The skill of the word count
It can be a challenge to capture your ideas and evidence in just 700 words. The collaboration with skilled news editors and journalists has brought my work into the public eye and led to wider interest in our work here at the University and Business School. My own articles, which I know have been used as teaching materials, have covered such areas as digital innovation, cybersecurity and leadership.
Our students benefit
There is also a benefit to our students and this view was very much shared at the celebration. Our students see us writing authoritatively about world events, often drawing on our own research and also analysing and interpreting the work of our peers.
I have written analysis pieces as well as ‘explainers’ which sometimes lead to radio and TV interviews. We enhance our teaching materials and our students see us as ‘out there.’
Growing our public engagement
The celebration reminded me how well our institution can be regarded when we share our work and expertise with the wider public. If you haven’t written for The Conversation it can be very personally and professionally rewarding and also raise the profile of our organisation. I’d be happy to offer any support or advice.