Journalist’s area

STORY CHECKLIST

Run through this check list before sending your post to be reviewed by the editor. This is a good example of how your posts should be formatted and laid out.

GOOD JOURNALISM

  • Legal – complies with UK law and regulation on reporting from courts, defamation, confidentiality, privacy, copyright, information and expression. Journalists should follow the Editor’s Code of Practice
  • Impartial (not taking sides, but providing a breadth of view)
  • Accurate (an accurate account of the facts, from verifiable, credible and reliable sources). Do NOT copy other news sources, get your facts and opinions from the horse’s mouth
  • Diverse in opinion, where necessary
  • Independent of political and commercial interests

Transparency – Did you tell your contributor that the material will be used in the public domain on a UWE student journalism website and social media accounts? If not, please seek their permission before publishing.

STYLE GUIDE

For advice on how to write dates, names, titles, places, weights, distances etc, use the BBC Style Guide

ETHICS & EDITORIAL ISSUES

It’s important that you discuss with your editor any concerns or issues you have with your story, including accuracy (are you sure about those facts), the possibility that it could cause offence, that it may not respect privacy, includes a vulnerable contributor ie children or a homeless person, or that it may not be ethical. Many issues have been tackled already by the BBC and their Editorial Guidelines provides some useful pointers on how to deal with issues.

CORRECTLY FORMATTED

  • Headlines should be no more than seven words
  • Intros should be between 20-25 words and bold
  • All key facts have been summarised in the first four paragraphs
  • Crossheads should be formatted as ‘Heading 4′ and bold, with no more than three words
  • Large chunks of text have been broken down into easier to read and shorter paragraphs
  • Make sure you tick appropriate categories so your content ends up in the right areas of the site
  • For pull quotes in your article keep the quote to two lines or less and use the block quote feature and the ‘Heading 4′ format on your text, so it looks like this:

“We loved our Gromit with the ladybird on its nose and it has a really country feel.”

IMAGES

Your story MUST have a featured image (Use the Set Featured Image at the bottom of the post editor). Your featured image will appear at the top of your story. You must crop your featured image to 700 x 400 pixels

  • If your story features a person then a head and shoulders shot is a MUST. Make sure it’s close up, in focus, well lit, follows the rule of thirds with looking room – just like video.
  • Crop your featured image in Photoshop using the crop tool, save as a jpeg
  • To embed your images within the post, you can use the image size command in Photoshop. Make sure the chain icon is linked to constrain proportions
  • For large images, set the longest side to 700 pixels
  • For medium images, set the longest side to 400 pixels and justify the image to the left in WordPress, so the text wraps around it. This option is best if you need to embed a portrait oriented image
  • When you import your re-sized image to the media library, make sure you select ‘full-size’ in the ‘attachment display settings’
  • Don’t forget to caption your image, crediting the copyright holder where necessary, and fill in the image title, alt text and description
  • A good source of copyright free images is Unsplash

LINKS

Use contextual (within the story) links to send users to relevant content that is specific to the linked word or concept eg A link to a report quoted in the story.

Related links are always placed at the end and include similar stories that the reader may also be interested in.

Example of a contextual link: Clifton Suspension Bridge was closed today due to high winds.

Try and add at least two related links in the following format at the end of the story:

Related Links:

This Is Bristol: Police will up patrols for funeral of Margaret Thatcher

Indymedia: Hundreds celebrate the death of Thatcher

Ensure you always tick the box  “Open link in a new window/tab” when linking to an external website.

Always check your links work in the preview window.

EMBEDDED CONTENT

If it’s dramatic pictures (images or video) that convey the story instantly then put them up front. If it’s an interview clip then place it in the part of the article where the interview is mentioned. If it’s a map then it usually gets placed at the end of the story. Images of people usually go where they are quoted in the text.

Embedded content should (if possible) be set to 700 px wide – for Youtube and Google MyMaps, you can customise the code:

If you have uploaded content via Youtube/Vimeo it must be titled appropriately.

When embedding content using embed codes, ensure you are in the text editor and not the visual editor -tabs found at the top right of the post editor in WordPress.