Welcome to New Authors

GVers ride a jeepney at the 2015 Summit in Cebu, Philippines. Photo by Jeremy Clarke.

GVers ride a jeepney at the 2015 Summit in Cebu, Philippines. Photo by Jeremy Clarke.

Thank you for joining Global Voices! This document explains our mission and how our community works.

Other important documents:

  • How to Write for GVBest practices for writing and reporting a GV story.
  • Posting GuideTechnical information about creating posts including text formatting styles and instructions for dealing with images and video.
  • Style GuideInformation about GV stylistic standards.
  • Toolbox for Authors: Tips on verifying social media content and writing excellent stories.
  • Lingua Translators GuideTechnical information about using the Lingua system to translate posts.
  • Lingua Editors GuideInformation about administrating a Lingua site.

Getting Started

We don't have a physical office, so Global Voices’ staff and our more than 800 (mostly volunteer) contributors operate virtually, from our homes in various parts of the world. Activity revolves around the English-language website, our 40 language sites, as well as two special projects, Advox and Rising Voices. Each section of GV has its own team of editors and contributors/translators.

Your role as an author is to find the most compelling and important stories coming from marginalized and misrepresented communities. You're seeking to highlight and help a global audience understand the interesting conversations that are taking place in the blogosphere and citizen media of your country, language or subject. This will involve following blogs, social media and other citizen media resources, and identifying key stories and perspectives that deserve to be explained and amplified.

Volunteering for Global Voices can be time-consuming, but also very rewarding. Writing for GV opens the door to many new friendships and even professional opportunities. Global Voices contributors are frequently contacted by foreign media when there are important events occurring in their countries.

Additionally, your posts could be translated into dozens of languages by Global Voices volunteer translators Lingua websites. Everything on Global Voices is published under a Creative Commons license, so be prepared to see your best work appear on other news websites and blogs too.

Learn more about Global Voices:

Who Is Who at Global Voices?

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Photo by drone to commemorate GV's 10th anniversary. Taken in Cebu, Philippines. CC BY-NC 2.0

A lot of people are involved in making Global Voices tick from day to day, including you! Make sure you have at least one editor who is your primary contact person and that you are subscribed to the appropriate GV Google Groups.

The easiest way to see who is who is to visit:

Your Profile

Your editor will send you a username and password to log in to Global Voices’ WordPress platform. The first thing you should do is edit your profile, add a bio, upload an avatar and change your password to something you can remember.

When you update your bio, readers will know about all the exciting things you are working on apart from Global Voices. Your bio will come up in Google search, so you want to make it interesting.

Also, it is really helpful if you fill the contact information fields within your profile: phone numbers, city of residence, and emergency contact. Only editors will have access to this information.

All this is voluntary, but authors are urged to keep their contact information in their profiles updated. In moments of crisis and conflict, the Internet can go out or can be taken out, and we will want to know you are safe. In the past, we've struggled to locate alternative contact information for authors (like landline or mobile numbers) and it's made us acutely aware of how important it is for us to keep more information about how to reach authors in case they're not able to respond email.

In addition to the serious safety fields, we have a few social media fields for authors to fill out. When you enter your Twitter name in your profile, (just the username, no @ sign) readers who click on the “Tweet” button on any of your articles will be invited to “follow” you on Twitter. In the Blog RSS field you enter the feed of your personal blog. Please fill out ALL fields.

Writing Your First Post

Elizabeth Rivera, our contributor from Mexico writing notes during a brainstorm at the 2015 Global Voices Summit. Photo by Jeremy Clarke, taken on January 21, 2015. CC BY-NC 2.0

Elizabeth Rivera, our contributor from Mexico writing notes during a brainstorm at the 2015 Global Voices Summit. Photo by Jeremy Clarke, taken on January 21, 2015. CC BY-NC 2.0

Always discuss your post ideas with your editor before writing. Make sure you read what has last been written about your country or topic.

Before you start writing, make sure you read the How to Write for GV and the Style Guide thoroughly to understand what is expected in terms of story topics, style, structure and sourcing as well as the Posting Guide to learn the technical aspects of creating a post. If you have any questions, please ask your editor.

Once you have finished, save the draft, and scroll down the post to Notifications and tick your editor in the Users. Then scroll up a bit and and leave an editorial comment letting them know that your post is finished and ready to be edited.

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?

What to Expect From Editing

Editors meeting on January 26 following the 2015 Global Voices Summit in Cebu, Philippines. Photo by Sahar Habib Ghazi. CC BY-NC 2.0

Editors meeting on January 26 following the 2015 Global Voices Summit in Cebu, Philippines. Photo by Sahar Habib Ghazi. CC BY-NC 2.0

At Global Voices, we aim to produce clear, contextual and well-sourced news reports — that meet our mission and editorial code — for a global audience. Besides the checklist above, your newsroom editor and subeditor will go through your posts to make sure:

      • All facts are sourced to credible sites.
      • The story has the necessary context for readers across the world the understand.
      • Language is clear and concise. Vague language and wordiness can confuse or mislead readers and our translators.
      • The story and its angle or approach are in line with our mission and editorial code.
      • The tone and language of the post is balanced and fair.
      • The flow of information in the post follows the inverted pyramid, with the most important and interesting elements at the top. Supporting information follows in subsequent paragraphs in order of diminishing importance.

Editorial Comments

After receiving a notification from WordPress, your regional editor will check the post. They will focus on the checklist, sourcing and context. They might send you a few points to clarify through Editorial Comments. You will receive a notifications from WordPress in your email about this.

Next, the Regional Editor will add the subediting team in the Notifications section and send an editorial comment asking them to review the story.

News Editor Lauren Finch and Runet Echo Editor Kevin Rothrock lead the subediting team on weekdays and Central Asia Editor Chris Rickleton runs it on weekends. After the subeditors are done reviewing your post, you and your regional editor will receive an editorial comment asking for clarifications and questions or they will say the post is ready to be published. The Regional Editor usually publishes the post.

Our aim is to publish your post 3-24 hours after you notify your Regional Editor. Varying time zones and schedules make this challenging, so please be forgiving if we end up taking longer. If you feel like there is an urgency to your post, it is a good idea to check in with your editor on chat, WhatsApp or email.

Social Media Posting

All stories published on Global Voices are promoted through our official Global Voices accounts on Facebook and Twitter. And many stories also get featured on our Tumblr page and our daily and weekly newsletter. If you have a specific request or query related to social media, you can send an email to our Outreach Editor nevin.thompson@globalvoicesonline.org.

GV encourages authors to promote their own work and the work of other GV community members; it helps drive traffic to our site and help us continue the important work of the organization.

For advice and tips on posting strategies, check out our GV Social Media Guidelines. These guidelines are for the official GV social media team and you don't have to follow them while posting from your personal accounts. If you want to join the social media team, send the managing editor an email at sahar@globalvoicesonline.org

Being Part of the Community

GV Europe in Crisis at the 2012 Global Voices Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo uploaded to Flickr by Asteris Masouras

GV Europe in Crisis team at the 2012 Global Voices Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo uploaded on June 20, 2012 to Flickr by Asteris Masouras. CC BY-NC 2.0.

As a Global Voices community member you help decide what happens to the website, what our priorities should be, and what the future of our project is.We also try to connect to each other through social networking sites. You should always feel free to suggest ideas or raise concerns to your editor, the managing editor, news editor or your board representative.

Mailing Lists

You will be added to two Google Groups email lists. One is the regional email group with other bloggers from your own region. The second is called the “GV Community” email group. Everyone at Global Voices is included in the conversations on the GV Community group, where we discuss editorial and organizational issues.

Regional WhatsApp and Facebook Groups

Some regions have there own WhatsApp or Facebook groups where they check in, share ideas, and discuss trending news. Some very interesting stories and collaborations often result from here. Check in with your editor to see if your region has a group on a social media platform. If they don't yet – you can start one!

Board Representation

Like all nonprofit foundations, Global Voices is governed by a board of directors. You can see the members of the current board here. The current GV board of directors comprises nine seats. Two of these seats are reserved for the founders of GV (Ethan and Rebecca), three for members of the GV community and four for other individuals of the board’s choosing.

The GV community board representatives exist to ensure that the interests of GV community members are served by the organization. They’re basically the community’s spokespeople at board level, and the conduit for community perspectives for the board. As such, they should be in regular touch with you all to listen to and familiarize themselves with your opinions and concerns. Learn more here. 

Global Voices Meetups

Every year and a half or so, Global Voices holds a summit in a different location to bring as many Global Voices contributors together as possible. In the past, we've been able to invite some our most active volunteers to travel to these summits at no cost. We will always strive to bring as many people as possible.

At other times, Global Voices authors and editors who live in the same cities or regions have organized their own smaller meetings. Feel free to reach out to fellow GVers who are in your area. You could also be invited to blogger events or conferences where you meet other Global Voices contributors.

Also read: Community Ethics and Harassment Policy | Rights and Responsibilities of Authors