Hi, I'm Zach. 

Ryan Christopher Jones/New York Times

Ryan Christopher Jones/New York Times

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I'm a freelance journalist and writer in Chicago. In 2017, I completed a master's in specialized journalism at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Broadly, my writing focuses on the intersection of public health and criminal justice in the context of drugs. 

Media has a long history of stoking drug panics and spreading misinformation that reinforces stigma toward people who use drugs. Rather than framing drug use and addiction as a sin or crime, my work is rigorously grounded in the scientific literature, focusing on health well-being.

I write for a variety of news outlets and magazines. My work has appeared in New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Slate, WIRED, The Nation, Scientific American, The New Republic, Longreads, Politico Magazine, New York Magazine, Vulture, The Daily Beast, VICE, Undark Magazine, Salon, Chicago Reader, RedEye Chicago, The Appeal, Earther, The Fix, Alternet, Thought Catalog, Critical-Theory, Revolver, and Huffington Post, among others.

I’m currently a journalism fellow at Northeastern University’s Health In Justice Action Lab. As a fellow, I helped build #ChangingTheNarrative, a digital toolkit to help reporters, policymakers, and other influential communicators avoid inaccurate, stigmatizing, and harmful tropes that plague the field of addiction.

Finally, I co-host Narcotica, a podcast about drugs, informed by science, policy, and the lives of real drug users. Here's our first episode: "Opioid of the Masses." 

Click around and read some of my clips. For any inquiries, just shoot me an email: zachary.siegel1 [AT] gmail.com. For encrypted messaging: Signal 847-502-7933 or zachary.siegel[AT]protonmail.com

PGP: 5309 C52A 4503 A36D 85B2  267E FFBD 5FF7 F6DB C91B

All the research and knowledge I’ve gathered as a journalist has really expanded how I’ve understood my own addiction. It’s expanded my perspective, and given me the confidence to find my own path.
— "Addiction Doesn't Always Last a Lifetime," New York Times, Sept. 1, 2018