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, Longreads, New York Magazine, 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 Law School’s Health In Justice initiative. I was also selected for 2018's Guggenheim Justice Reporting Fellow at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York. 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 clips.

For any inquiries, just shoot me an email: zachary.siegel1 [AT] gmail.com. For encrypted messaging: Signal 847-502-7933 or zachary.siegel@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