Meet the Journalists: Laura Castañeda, San Diego Union-Tribune

Below are summary points from the interview with Laura Castañeda, Community Opinion Editor, San Diego Union-Tribune.

What is the process like for choosing which Op-Eds to publish?

  • There are six members who work on the Editorial and Opinions page, one person writes editorials, almost daily. Laura juggles about 45 Op-Eds per week, going back-and-forth with authors for their Op-Ed pieces.
  • The team tries to plan out Op-Eds a couple weeks in advance. The U-T will solicit Op-Eds, but many Op-Eds come in unsolicited.
  • All Op-Eds are reviewed and ones with promise are pulled aside – typically those focused on current events or those with a strong narrative.

What are some tips when sitting down to write an Op-Ed?

  • Have a plan, have a narrative and know what you’re trying to get across.
  • Don’t be afraid to make it personal, to tell a story, to make it about someone or something that happened to you – those are the stories that are going to get more attention. For a strong introduction, consider writing in first-person.
  • If your Op-Ed is based on research, find a way to attract the readers – don’t make it a paper because the average reader will get bored.

When submitting an Op-Ed to the San Diego Union-Tribune:

The University of San Diego Media Relations team presents Meet the Journalists, a series of video interviews for USD professors and administrators to gain better insight into the media. Hear from journalists, reporters, editors and producers who cover higher education or rely on faculty experts to provide context to news stories. Watch all eight videos on the Media Relations website.

Begin quote If you're sitting down to write an Op-Ed... don't be afraid to make it personal. The average reader is going to get bored reading a paper. They want to kind of get sucked into a great story.