New Market! A Journal of Defense & Media Issues

A newly launched website featuring military, foreign policy, and media analysis seeks submissions of essays, opinions, and reviews. Although not a paying market, the venue appears promising enough to warrant Aiming Circle members' attention. The journal further differentiates itself from the crowded "national security" space with a few creative elements, such as YouTube videos and Apple Music playlists.

The "Words at War: A Journal of Defense & Media Issues" began publication March 2019. Editors accept queries at any time, and promise response times of approximately 7 days.

The journal's staff roster includes two currently serving U.S. Air Force public affairs officers, and a civilian with public relations and publishing experience. The publication's mission statement reads:
Words at War covers historical and contemporary issues at the crossroads of national security strategy, military operations, media, and public opinion. Content aims to be valuable rather than viral, serving serious professionals and students rather than a party or faction. The views expressed by the authors are their own.
According to the website's submissions page, editors seek submissions of essays, opinions, and reviews from military, foreign policy, and media practitioners or students. Topics of editorial interest lay at the intersection of "information, influence, and strategy." Potential contributors should note that editors prefer to avoid pseudonymous bylines. New and original work is also preferred. Editors say they welcome …

  • Essays that "analyze a current issue or historical case in order to provide practical guidance for future policies or strategies."
  • Opinions that "take a thoughtful or politely provocative position on a topic of current relevance to defense and media issues."
  • Reviews on recent or classic books, films, products and services, or other sources of help and insight for readers.

Additionally, the website features a "tools for professional communicators" category, which takes the forms of short instructional videos posted to a YouTube channel, or written articles explaining communication concepts or tricks of the trade.

The website curiously buries mention of contributor copyrights to a secondary, "Frequently Asked Questions" page. At first glance, practices described there seem standard. However, before signing any copyright permissions, Aiming Circle members should seek to clarify the editors' statement: "In a nutshell, we get all rights to publish, republish, transmit, sell, distribute, and otherwise use the contribution in whole or in part in the journal and derivative works. You retain all proprietary rights [sic] other than copyright."

(The Aiming Circle recommends: Never grant "all" or "derivative" copyrights to work, particularly if not compensated. You don't want someone making an multi-million-dollar movie from your 500-word essay—especially, not without getting paid. Also, the language presented on Words at War site is confusing: Copyrights ARE proprietary rights.)


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