Other important documents:
- Style Guide Information about GV stylistic standards.
- Posting Guide Technical information about creating posts including text formatting styles and instructions for dealing with images and video.
If you are not yet a Global Voices contributor please see the Get Involved page to learn how to become an author or translator.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Story Types
- 3 News Writing
- 4 Story Structure
- 4.1 Headline
- 4.2 Lead
- 4.3 Context
- 4.4 Commentary
- 4.5 Multimedia
- 4.6 Closing
- 4.7 Excerpt
- 4.8 Permalink
- 4.9 GV Story Checklist
This is a live document that provides a set of standards to ensure that GV content is consistent and clear for our readers and translators.
Points to consider:
- Consistently high editorial standards adds credibility to our content.
- Many in our audience are reading content that is not their primary language.
- Consistency allows our Lingua team to translate posts into other languages seamlessly.
GV content is created, edited and published within the GV WordPress Content Management System.
GV Editorial Code
This code was drafted and endorsed by the Global Voices Community on Aug. 5, 2013. All GV stories should conform as much as possible to this code.
- Be as accurate as possible.
- Identify sources whenever feasible. Our readers are entitled to as much information as possible on our sources.
- Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
- Never plagiarize.
- Be true to GV values. (1)
- Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
- Be aware of the labels you attach to individuals, people and groups. Question terms, names, photos or practices used in other media and by governments – only use labels that are in line with our code and values.
- Build community and encourage meaningful conversation through our reporting.
- Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
- Be transparent and disclose unavoidable conflicts.
- Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context. (2)
- Distinguish news from promotional material. Do not blur the lines between the two.
- Be honest; never misrepresent the relative size, importance or popularity of initiatives you are associated with.
- Minimize harm in your reporting.
- Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and photos of children. (3)
- Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
- Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm to certain subjects and sources. Show compassion and responsibility for those who may be affected adversely in your reporting.
- Put safety of sources and subjects above any other consideration, suggest anonymity when you are concerned that revealing their identity could lead to harm.
- Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes. Be aware that identifying and/or naming juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes is illegal in some countries.
- Be responsible when reporting on stories related to suicide.
- Be aware that people are ostracized for their beliefs and can even be persecuted for their beliefs or lifestyle in parts of the world. Be cautious in your language that describes a person’s relationship to their belief system, religious, political or otherwise.
(2) Coverage on Global Voices Advocacy is understood to be “labeled” as fact-based reporting that prioritizes the protection of human rights online.
(3) Read the UNICEF Reporting on Children Guidelines.
(4) Add this note to GV stories that deal with suicide.
GV Editorial code inspired and produced from the SPJ Code of Ethics
All GV stories should support the mission of Global Voices as much as possible.
We work to find the most compelling and important stories coming from marginalized and misrepresented communities. We speak out against online censorship and support new ways for people to gain access to the Internet.
Posts are displayed on the site in the main well on the left-hand side of the page. All posts should use the default size and font of the GV WordPress system.
Stories appear here with a thumbnail and an excerpt of 30 words or fewer. These stories can run between 100 to 1,200 words. For a post to appear in the main well, tick the Weblog category in WordPress.
Stories are sometimes based on an interview. If so, they should follow the standard format based on bold text and blockquotes:
- Format interview questions as bold text, starting with the name of the person talking.
- Place responses in blockquotes, starting with the name of the person talking in bold.
- At the first mention of a speaker in the interview, write out their name in full followed by their initials in parentheses.
- After the first mention, use initials only.
Solana Larsen (SL): How long have you been blogging?
Jeremy Clarke (JC): Ever since I was born!
SL: What was your first post about?
JC: It was mostly crying and wishing for some milk.
An author is free to either use their name or “Global Voices (GV)” as the interviewer.
There is no special category for interviews.
We want GV stories to be well-sourced, accurate and clear. This criteria largely falls under professional news writing standards. The guidelines that follow help ensure that readers around the world will be able to understand our stories and take away the main point even if they leave after a few paragraphs. Sticking to these standards also makes it easier for our volunteer translators to translate your story.
Attempt to answer the five Ws — who, what, when, where and why — and sometimes even the how at the beginning of the post. In this structure, called the “inverted pyramid“, the story starts with the most essential and interesting elements. Supporting information follows in subsequent paragraphs in order of diminishing importance.
Try to keep paragraphs between one to three concise sentences.
If you are unsure about sentence length, try to say the sentence out loud at a relaxed pace in a single breath. If you can't finish the sentence easily, you may want to break it up into two or more different sentences. Remember, we want to feed the story to the reader in short, digestible bites. Give the reader too much information, and he or she will choke.
Most of the time, it is better to use active voice instead of passive voice in your writing. This way, we keep people as the focus of our posts and not the events that happen around them.
PASSIVE: The meeting was protested by angry residents.
This is passive. The meeting is the subject of the sentence instead of the protesters.
ACTIVE: Angry residents protested the meeting.
This is active. The protesters are the subject.
One important exception to this rule is when writing a lead involving legal processes, injuries or death. In these cases, sometimes we prefer passive voice in order to keep a person as the focus of the lead.
ACTIVE: National police arrested a prominent blogger known for his ruthless exposés of government waste on charges of tax fraud.
Not bad, but police share the spotlight with the blogger in this lead.
PASSIVE: A prominent blogger known for his ruthless exposés of government waste was arrested on charges of tax fraud.
The blogger is now the sole focus of the lead.
It all depends on who should be the main focus of a lead.
News style is obvious and precise. For our content to be easily understandable to a global audience it must be jargon-free. All specialized language or slang should be explained.
Global Voices strives to keep an impartial tone, so we ask you to keep personal opinion restricted to your own blogs, and be fair in quoting multiple voices in a story.
As a community, we are very broadly committed to freedom of expression, peace, and human rights, but our inclusiveness of authors from so many different backgrounds means we must be open-minded and refrain from making statements for or against different issues on behalf of the whole community.
To that end authors must keep their personal opinions out of stories. All statements and perspectives should be accompanied by evidence that supports the claim.
We don't normally write first-person narratives; our authors rarely use ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘us’ or ‘we’ and all stories, with a few concrete exceptions, are written in the third person.
At GV, we rely on trusted citizen media, local or independent sources to back up our facts. We avoid linking, quoting and sourcing to corporate, state and mainstream media because we approach news with an understanding that the most important stories come for people challenging power and privilege, and not from privileged people in the corridors of power. We believe power and privilege is not equitably distributed in the world.
Any time the information in your story comes from a source, and not you, it should be attributed, regardless if that information is a direct quote or not. A good rule of thumb is to attribute once per paragraph. This may seem repetitive, but it’s important for our authors to be clear about where their information is coming from.
Sourcing with links is essential in the quotes we use from social, citizen and local media to support our writing. Whenever you quote, blockquote or reference a blog or media channel in your post, provide a direct hyperlink to the source. Try to only hyperlink a few words – don't hyperlink whole sentences of text.
We are mostly a second-hand reporting site – we curate from sources that live on the Internet – but sometimes we do engage in first-hand reporting. And whenever we do, we try to overemphasize that this is a case of first-hand reporting through clear attribution.
We normally discourage authors from using first person or “I” in posts, but in cases of first-hand reporting, where the interview was conducted over email, phone, Skype or in person and there aren’t any digital files to back up attribution, we encourage authors to make attribution transparent and clear by adding language that explains how, where and when the interview was conducted:
I conducted this interview in person with Navi Lagis in Russian on September 6.
I conducted an email interview in Arabic with Ali Omar on September 6.
I conducted a Skype interview with Ali Omar on September 6.
News Writing Checklist
A useful writing checklist to go over before writing your Global Voices story for review:
- Have fun: Researching and writing a story for Global Voices should be a positive experience. Write about something that interests you and have fun with it. Your readers will thank you for it.
- Don’t write in a stream of consciousness: When you draft your story, the inverted pyramid will be your best friend. The structure will allow you to give the reader a solid idea of the story in the first few sentences, and provide relevant supporting information afterwards.
- Get it right: Don’t be selective about the information you include, unless you’re confident that you are giving your audience the most accurate account based on what's available. Take your time to get the facts straight. If you don’t know the answer, find it from a reliable source. If you don’t have facts, you don’t have a story.
- Be skeptical: Just because you found it on the Internet doesn't make it true. Don’t believe every statistic or quote you come across. Verify the information and save yourself the embarrassment of writing a correction later on.
- Name your sources: When you name sources, you lend credibility to your story. Be aware that in certain situations such as reporting on persecuted communities, identifying a source by their full name might put that source in harm's way.
- Be fair: There is more than one side to a story. Go to great lengths to get information from all sides, even if you personally don't agree with them. If one side is unwilling to talk or hasn't publicly commented on the issue, say so in your piece. At least you tried.
- Be civil: Avoid getting personal in your story. If it’s not relevant to the story, don’t attack the character of another individual.
- Avoid conflicts of interest: If you have a close tie to a source or organization in your story, let your audience know. Don’t let it come out later; people will question your judgment and integrity. Don't blur the line between promotional material and news. And no matter how small, don’t accept gifts.
- Don’t plagiarize: Don’t steal content from someone else. You wouldn't like it if it happened to you. Give the story a unique spin by putting things in your own words.
- Find your voice: The Internet is full of content, so you have to find a way to stand out from the rest. Be original, be interesting and be relevant.
- Keep good records: Make sure you document where and how you found information. Your editor may ask for proof of the great job you did reporting.
- Never stop learning: No matter what stage of life or professional development you are in, you can always improve as a writer and researcher. Take courses, read lots, and ask questions.
The standard GV story contains the following elements: headline, lead, context, citizen or social media commentary, photo and/or video, closing and excerpt.
We also do basic photo posts, interviews, video posts and podcasts; these stories always have a headline, lead and context.
To save time for readers, authors, editors and translators, the recommended word limit for stories is 500 to 1,000, although sometimes we publish stories up to 1,200 words. The total number of words in a post is displayed at the bottom of the editing field in WordPress. There can be exceptions depending on the story; speak to your editor if you would like to write a longer post.
In addition to specific structural elements, all stories should be written with these three ideas in mind:
- Purpose refers to making it clear why a story matters and how it furthers Global Voices’ mission.
- Impact refers to writing a story in a way that resonates with readers no matter where in the world they are or what level of background. Writing with a global audience in mind will increase a story's chances of being read and shared.
- Clarity refers to clear writing that is understandable.
Headlines should give readers a general idea of what the story is about or why it matters. They should be catchy and interesting, but also as relevant and descriptive as possible. Good headlines are never dull; they are often emotional and create a vivid mental picture of the story.
In general, headlines should not exceed 15 words. Please be aware that editors may change headlines to ensure they are clear to the maximum number of readers. It is helpful to brainstorm headlines with your editor to get the very best one possible.
For more detailed guidance on writing headlines, read Tips for Crafting Headlines.
- Be sure to include a location (country, region, city, etc.) that is familiar to most readers. For example:
Oil Spill in the Peruvian Amazon First Poisons Children, Then Employs Them
- Explain any elements that readers might not be familiar with. For example:
China Detains Star News Anchor Rui Chenggang Amid Widening Anti-Corruption Campaign
- Capitalize main words such as nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives. This includes the verb “is”. “Small” words such as “in”, “or”, “and” and “on” should remain in lowercase. For example:
Under Bombs, Gaza's Doctors Are Saving Lives and Tweeting Heartbreaking Stories Between Shifts
- Use single quotation marks when quoting word-for-word from elements of the post. For example:
Thailand's Military Junta Cements Its Power With ‘Undemocratic’ Interim Constitution
- Capitalize the second main word in any hyphenated words:
Why Some Minorities in France Vote for the Far-Right Political Party Front National
Here’s a list of words and/or phrases that should be avoided in headlines:
- Bloggers React
- Netizens Respond
- Citizens Discuss
- Bloggers Express
- Mixed Feelings Follow
- Debates Emerge
- Fate of Refugees
- State of Social Media
Both Country and Nationality:
- Nigeria: Nigerian Netizens
- Sudan: Sudanese Schools
“Your headline is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader. Without a headline or post title that turns a browser into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist. But a headline can do more than simply grab attention. A great headline can also communicate a full message to its intended audience, and it absolutely must lure the reader into your body text.” - How to Write Headlines That Work
“… think about this: when someone Tweets your blog article, what do other people see? Your headline. That means they will choose whether or not to click on your blog based on your headline alone. No summaries. Probably no pictures.” - Top 6 Qualities of a Good Headline
“Treat your title as a mini advertisement for your work. Take at least a few minutes before hitting ‘Publish’ to not only make sure your post is in order, but that your title is going to do everything it can to maximize the chances that people will engage with what you have to say.” - Why Headlines are Important
“Do you know what the single, solitary purpose of your headline is? It's to get you to read the first sentence. Do you know what the single and solitary purpose of your first sentence is? To get you to read the second sentence.” -Demian Farnworth
The lead (or lede) is the most important element of a news story. It is often the first sentence or sentences of our stories. It should hook readers and convey the main idea. The lead is often followed by a nutgraph — a concise paragraph that gives an explanation of the story and why it matters in a nutshell.
For more detailed advice on writing leads, read Tips for Writing Leads.
Front Load Stories
Front loading means you put your most important information first when writing for the web.
- Readers can quickly assess whether they want to read your entire article.
- Readers can stop reading at any point and still come away with the main point of your article.
- By starting with your conclusion, the first few sentences on your web page will contain most of your relevant keywords, boosting your Search Engine Optimization.
So don’t bury your leads!
When you begin a story with information of secondary importance, you are “burying the lead” and forcing readers to delve deeper into the article to discover its essential points. Most readers won’t have the patience to do this.
Types of Leads
Direct leads explain to the reader what the main idea of the story is immediately. Also known as hard news leads, they answer the who, what, where, when, and/or why of a story right from the start. For example:
A group of academics say Shakespeare was a ruthless businessman who grew wealthy dealing in grain during a time of famine.
Delayed leads introduce the story to the reader in a more creative way. This could be an anecdote of some kind of a playful use of language or description. A more detailed explanation should follow immediately after to explain how the lead is relevant to the story. For example:
Hoarder, moneylender, tax dodger – it's not how we usually think of William Shakespeare.But we should, according to a group of academics who say the Bard was a ruthless businessman who grew wealthy dealing in grain during a time of famine.
Researchers from Aberystwyth University in Wales argue that we can't fully understand Shakespeare unless we study his often-overlooked business savvy.
-“Study shows Shakespeare as ruthless businessman” from the Associated Press
Context explains to our readers why the information we are giving them is important. We shouldn't assume that readers are as familiar with the topic as we are.
We should try to include any important context near the top of our stories instead of buried near the end. Imagine someone from the other side of the world reading your story. Explaining right away why the story matters and/or how it fits into the bigger picture is part of what will hook them into reading the rest of it. If the reader is left asking “so what?” at the beginning of a post, he or she might give up on it.
According to Journalism Professor and Media Critic Jay Rosen, for news stories there are three types of context.
This encompasses the things you need to know to “get” why the story is news. This can be achieved by briefly explaining and linking to an explainer article or Wikipedia entry. For example, in our coverage of Bangladesh's Shahbag protest demanding capital punishment for war criminals we included an explanation on and Wikipedia link of the 1971 Bangladesh's Liberation War, which is when the atrocities were committed:
It is not only Bangladeshi men who are occupying the capital city Dhaka's Shahbag intersection demanding capital punishment for war criminals.
The protests have seen extraordinary participation by women. Students, working professionals, and mothers accompanied by their young children have all lent their voice to the Shahbag protests, a movement spearheaded by bloggers and online activists which is seeking the death penalty for those who committed crimes against humanity during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
An estimated 200,000 to three million people were killed by the Pakistani army and approximately 250,000 women were raped during the war.
The Story So Far
This is vaguely similar to background knowledge but is more specialized. It essentially gives our readers a round-up of what happened before they started paying attention to the story.
The story so far is required for developing stories and benefits from linking to previous GV stories written on the same topic.
Take a look at this example from a story from our coverage of press freedom protests in China, which briefly explains and links to previous stories:
China's Central Propaganda Department has issued an urgent notice, blaming “foreign forces” for the rare protests in support of press freedom that are taking place online and offline in the country.The protests were triggered after the newspaper Southern Weekend's New Year’s editorial was censored and rewritten by a provincial propaganda department.
This is context in the sense of the phrase “the larger context.” It delves into the deep historical context, or goes into the discussion of implications and consequences related to the context of the news.
We did this, for instance, in our Special Coverage page “Reformists on Trial in Saudi Arabia.”:
LEAD: Two prominent reformists and human rights activists in Saudi Arabia are on trial. Mohammad al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamid are being prosecuted for “breaking allegiance to the ruler and his successor” and “trying to impede the country’s developments”.And here's some related material context:
CONTEXT: Saudi Arabia is one of the few remaining absolute monarchies in the world and has a devastating human rights record which includes arbitrarily detaining over 30,000 people. Since the state officially imposes (its interpretation of) Sharia law, trials and hearings are expected to be religious debates of what Sharia means.
We include citizen media commentary from blogs, forums and social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Sina Weibo. No matter the source, there are a few basic things to keep in mind when selecting commentary:
Avoid including many quotes that say the same thing
The selected commentary should show a range of opinion on a topic. You can paraphrase a repeated sentiment. For example:
@alpha, @beta and @gamma were unanimous in their view that Global Voices is the best website in the world.
Explain who the user is
If they are a well-respected blogger, area expert or media professional, mention that in the text leading into the quote. This establishes their credibility as a source.
We must be clear about any agendas that users may have. This will alert readers to take what they say with a pinch of salt.
Opt for users located in the country where the event is taking place or people whose accounts focus on the area or topic being discussed.
Explain why that particular point of view is relevant
A basic rule of news writing is to never assume that readers know something you haven’t explicitly told them. We need to put all the important information on why a point of view matters right there in the post, so readers can figure out how it fits into the bigger picture.
Explain any terms, references or slang in the tweet that our global audience might not understand. Mention if the commentary was in response to another comment, story or event, appeared on a certain page or group, or coincided with a certain event or date.
Instead of including a lengthy selection of a social media publication in a story, it's a good idea to only quote the most relevant, witty or to-the-point part and paraphrase the rest. That way, we tighten our stories and avoid repeating any information unnecessarily.
Avoid copy-pasting commentary one after the other
Don't overload a post with commentary after commentary, with only a “This person wrote:” followed by “And this person wrote:” between them. Citizen commentary should move the story along with purpose, not simply be there because it's expected.
Always include the original commentary
Don't include retweets or shares. We should always use the original source in its original form.
More details in our Verifying Citizen Media guide.
GV doesn't set a limit for number of tweets per post, but we recommend not including more than 8-10. Avoid adding tweets just to demonstrate a hashtag. Instead, mention the hashtag in the text.
It's important that we don't violate anyone's right to privacy in a quoted tweet. Don't quote from a private Twitter account. Be aware that Storify may bypass this.
Some tweets have to be anonymous to protect the Twitter user concerned. In these cases, try to give a little context if it will not impact the user. For example:
@anon_China, an anonymous Twitter user from Kunming province, China, tweeted on Friday, March 18:
For more information on how to format tweets, please refer to the Posting Guide.
Posting material from Facebook pages, groups, or individual profiles can be tricky, as sometimes content that once was publicly available is subsequently made private by the user.
There is also an ethical perspective to consider. Many people using Facebook still don't realize that their images and content may be taken and used in a news context. You may need to consider the implications of including an individual's name and comments made on Facebook in a story. Will it put them in danger or affect them at all?
A good rule of thumb is to only use content that is freely available in the public domain, i.e., that can be viewed by anybody and is not restricted to Facebook friends of the individual. Always try and link directly to the comment or comment thread.
However, if news is broken on Facebook, then it is permissible to use information or material from a personal profile. Please discuss with your editor.
Groups and pages are different. If anyone can join, then the content is in the public domain. Bear in mind that some Facebook groups need approval to join, in which case the use of that information or material should be discussed with your editor.
When including information taken from Facebook, always include a link to the publication (found in the “timestamp”). For more information on how to format Facebook content, please refer to the Posting Guide.
When including commentary from Sina Weibo, we want to include the person's real name if available, a link to their account, a description of who they are if available, the date of when the post was published, a link to the specific post, and then finally the post itself in a blockquote.
Remember the blockquote in the original language should be immediately followed by its translation.
Try to avoid writing usernames in Chinese characters. They can be very difficult for non-Chinese speakers to visually distinguish. Use common sense to determine whether to translate the usernames into English or leave the usernames spelled out in pinyin. In either case, it's important to be consistent throughout the story.
Inline Quotes vs. Blockquotes
Short, direct quotes can be enclosed in either double “…” or single ‘…’ quotation marks, depending on whether you use UK or US spelling and grammar. Lengthier quotes should be enclosed in a blockquote tag on its own line.
Consider alternating blockquotes with inline quotes to avoid the visual eyesore of blockquote after blockquote, which can be overwhelming on first glance.
Always provide hyperlinks for direct quotes if the quote is taken from someplace that is available online.
Correcting Language in Quotes
Where text is a direct quote, it cannot be changed from the original. If the original text has a lot of spelling and grammar errors, you may want to indicate that the spelling mistakes are in the original with the word “sic” in square brackets. For example:
These errors are reproducced [sic] exactly from the orignal [sic] source.
If you want to request a correction or update to a story that has already been published, you can request it via the Edit Request Form.
All stories should have a big, beautiful image at the top. Images captions are brief descriptions that usually appear underneath a published photo. Like headlines, captions should be concise, precise and visual, explaining to the reader what is not obvious about the photo. In addition to copyright information, captions should try to answer the following questions:
- Who is that?
- Why is this image in the post?
- What is going on?
- When and where was this?
- Why does he/she/it/they look that way?
- How did this occur?
EXAMPLE: A woman displays her ink-stained finger after voting in Cairo, Egypt on 9 Nov. Egyptians took to the polls today for the first round of parliamentary election. Image by Flickr user @adam101 (CC BY-SA 2.0)
The caption explains elements of the photo that aren't obvious to an observer – that the ink-stained finger is a result of voting as well as the significance of the election.
EXAMPLE: A child severely burned by a car bomb on 8 June, 2005 receives care at the Indira Gandi Institute of Child Medicine in Kabul, Afghanistan. Doctors are struggling with limited medicines to treat the growing number of child victims. Image by Flickr user @adam101 (CC BY-SA 2.0)
The caption explains why the child is burned, where the hospital is located, and the complications of the care the child is receiving there – all things that are not obvious from the image itself.
When embedding videos in a story, please remember to include:
- An explanation of who uploaded the video and where
- An explanation of what the video shows
- A link to the video
We can't assume that readers will watch a video embedded in a story, especially if it is more than a few seconds long. Videos are sometimes deleted after we include them in a story, too. To ensure readers have the information necessary to understand a story now and in the future, we need to explain what happens in the video and quote any important dialogue (and, if necessary, offer a translation of dialogue).
For example, the story “VIDEO: Student Film on Japan's Ruthless Job Hunt Goes Viral” explains what the student film shows:
Finding a job in today's tough economy is hard. But for Japanese college students, the country's ultra-competitive recruitment process or “shu-katsu” which starts a year or more before graduation, takes things to a whole new level.”Recruitment Rhapsody,” an emotional short animated film that captures the rigid and obstacle-ridden job hunt process Japanese students must endure, has gone viral with more than 350,000 views.
The film by art student Maho Yoshida was uploaded to YouTube on March 9, 2013 and illustrates a regular carefree university student who suddenly finds herself struggling to find a job among a crowd of focused, competitive, and uniformly dressed sycophants.
For more information on how to embed videos in a post, please refer to the Posting Guide.
Sum up your post with a big picture closing. What do you want to reader to feel when they finish the post? Should they have a sense of how big the problem is? Or should they feel hopeful? Make sure your last few words speak to them.
All stories in the main well should contain an excerpt that entices the reader to click and read. These excerpts appear on the homepage under the headline and next to the photo. They also appear on social media sites like Facebook when someone posts a link to the story.
Excerpts should not repeat the headline or lead. For more on excerpts, see Tips for Writing Tempting Excerpts.
WordPress automatically uses the headline of a story as its permalink. This is convenient when we use straightforward headlines that include several keywords, but some kinds of headlines, like questions or “teasers” designed for sharing on social media, might not have all the important keywords in it.
In these cases, it's a good idea to edit the permalink to something that includes a few keywords. For example, the headline “Why Activists Sent 128 Tomatoes to Every Single Member of Lebanon's Parliament” teases readers, but doesn't include many keywords that would help it show up in a Google search. That's why the permalink is more straightforward:
For more on how to edit a story permalink, please refer to the Posting Guide.
GV Story Checklist
Before submitting your Global Voices story for review, check these items:
- Headline: Will readers feel compelled to share this headline on Facebook and does it have the keywords that search engines need to bring it right to the top?
- Lead: Do you have a captivating 15-to-25-word summary of the story somewhere in the first three paragraphs of the post?
- Photo: Is there a nice big image at the top that is at least 800×600 px? Do we have permission to use it? Did you include that info in the caption and the link? And did you upload it to the feature box?
- Context: Did you highlight our purpose for telling the story? Why is this story breaking, trending or why is it important to us? Did you give the reader enough background to understand this story?
- Commentary: Did you add 1-6 tweets or citizen media comments? Include some background on the person making the comment. Is a real name associated with the account or is the account under a pseudonym for a person who wants to stay anonymous – we should specify. Is the commenter an expert on the region? Or is he or she just a really well informed comedian from the region? Do they have 10K followers on Twitter; let’s add that in. Or are they an eyewitness? We should specify why their voice is being amplified.
- Big picture closing: What do you want to reader to feel when they finish the post? Should they have a sense of how big the problem is? Or should they feel hopeful? Make sure your last few words speak to them.
- Categories: Did you select the most relevant categories?
- Excerpt: Did you include an excerpt that is different from the lead?
- Thumbnail: Did you remember to select a thumbnail image?
- Have you saved a copy of HTML post in a text editor prior to submitting in case of tech errors?
- Have you notified your regional or language editor that your post is ready for review?