Editorial Policies & Guidelines
All stories must be related to current events and maintain a styling and purpose of delivering timely information providing readers with a source for local and or national news reports. Writers are selected based upon expertise in a certain subject area, and we require that your posts remain within the agreed-upon theme. If you wish to write on another topic, even for a single post, you must obtain approval from The Published Reporter® first. The Published Reporter prefers that all content be original and posted to PublishedReporter.com prior to other online locations. As the author, you may subsequently use it afterwards as you see fit. As the author, you must also have legal right to all media (images, photographs, etc.) posted with your stories. If you do not have images, our editors will gladly select our own from file photos or from other licensed sources.
Carefully choose a headline that explains what your story is about—in clear terms. It’s very important to spend effort on coming up with a catchy headline, as it’s the one that entices users to click on your post in the first place. This will increase traffic to your posts and help you develop a larger readership. Remember that readers look at headlines and photos first, and then decide whether or not to read a story. If a headline is not clear or doesn’t entice readers, they’ll move on. Note: Only 65 characters of headline appear in most search engine results pages, so be sure your first 65 characters carry the punch. If your story is an opinion piece, or even includes opinion, it should be labeled with “Op-Ed” or “OPINION” in the title.
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When possible, you should always try to include a photo. This is because search engines generally display a photo as an icon and will result in your article link being clicked on more often simply since it is easy to identify. When using photographs you must use photographs you either took yourself or are in the public domain such as images which were taken by a US Government Agency in the course of business such as The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, Publicly funded operations such as Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) or Public domain imagery site Pixabay.com (Offers over 1,188,450 free photos). Remember: You are solely responsible for any damages incurred from unauthorized use of photos. Please re-read the Terms of Service.
Make sure all photographs have a great caption. Remember that readers are looking at headlines and photographs first, before deciding to read a story, so your photo caption is more important than many authors might think.
As a skilled writer for PublishedReporter.com, you are expected to self-edit your work and submit content that is publishable at the level of professional media. Errors lower the credibility of your story. So carefully check for grammatical and spelling errors before posting. Our readers have come to appreciate and expect our high editorial standards, so stories containing errors are subject to removal. A good practice is to read your story out loud before finalizing—this will help you catch errors. You must attribute all specific facts and quotes used in your story. Please follow journalistic style of in-text citation (do not use footnotes or citations in brackets).
You should hyperlink to or otherwise include or cite sources used. Make sure the sites you link to are directly relevant to the content, and that the external site does not violate Published Reporter editorial guidelines. Note: Wikipedia articles and other types of user-generated content are not authoritative and should never be cited as sources.
When posting your content, please follow these style guidelines.
- Space between paragraphs.
- Do not indent—all text should be left-justified.
- Use Title Case in Headlines (Capitalize Principal Words).
- Use sentence case in drop heads (capitalize as you would in a sentence).
- Avoid subheadings.
- Avoid EXPLANATION POINTS especially in titles.
- Place the headline in the title field only (i.e. not in the body of the article).
- Avoid underlining (except hyperlinks) and avoid TEXT IN ALL CAPS.
- Photo credits should be in brackets after the photo caption
ETHICS AND DISCLOSURE
As a PublishedReporter.com writer, you are expected to adhere to a journalist’s code of ethics. This means you must be independent in your writing and be free of obligation. As such, your posts cannot to be used for the promotion of a product or service, whether overtly or covertly. You can write about products and services, but you cannot benefit monetarily from the writing, nor may you receive gifts for your writing.
We require full disclosure if you have a special relationship or material connection to the subject you are writing about. For example, you received the opera ticket for free, or your sister-in-law is the marketing director of the company that sells the cool new product you’re reviewing. Any affiliations should be disclosed in your author bio.
As a PublishedReporter.com writer, you’ll want to develop a group of followers and generate traffic to your page. Posting consistently will help you achieve that goal. While you may post as frequently as you wish, it is best to write 2-3 articles a week, and to post them on a regular schedule.
For example, if your followers know you post on Fridays (or Tuesday mornings, etc.), they will be more likely to check in at that time to read your latest post. On the other hand, if you post several articles one week, and then nothing for a month, it will be more difficult for you to develop a following.
However often you decide to post, just remember that consistency is most important and it will help grow your readership. The best times to post in terms of website traffic are 10 – 11 a.m. Eastern, 6 – 7 p.m. Eastern, and on the weekends.
Comments may be posted on the website below any story. Users may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of authors and commentators. Users are solely responsible for their own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance on the comments of others. We reserve the right to remove any comments for any reason at any time.