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 some of the details of being a Global Voices author and writing original stories on our platform.

Getting Started

If you haven't yet, please take a moment to read Welcome to Global Voices! It describes the project and our community, how we work together, and important things to keep in mind!

What do GV Authors do?

As an author in our newsroom, you will work with newsroom teams and editors to find the most compelling and important stories coming from marginalized and misrepresented communities.

We produce credible and trustworthy stories from 167 countries. To do that, we rely on the first edit of all our stories to be from a newsroom editor with knowledge of the country or the subject (for example, Advox or RunetEcho editor). Our newsroom editors are best equipped to verify citizen media sources, add context, and also, make sure that we are amplifying voices that usually get ignored or misrepresented by other media outlets.

Contributors at Global Voices seek to highlight and help a global audience understand the interesting conversations that are taking place in the blogosphere, citizen media or independent media of their country or subject. This involves 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 professional opportunities. Global Voices contributors are frequently contacted by foreign media and organizations when there are important events occurring in their countries.

Additionally, your posts could be translated into dozens of languages by Global Voices volunteer translators. 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:

Your Profile

Your editor will create an account, then the site will send you the username a link to create a password to log in to Global Voices’ WordPress platform. The first thing you should do is edit your profile, add a bio and upload an avatar.

When you update your bio, readers will know about all the exciting things you are working on! Your bio will come up in Google search, make it interesting!

We also have a few social media fields for contributors 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.

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 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 regarding 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 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 commenting. 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 the 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 before submitting in case of tech errors?
      • Have you notified your newsroom 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 they 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 are 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 newsroom 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 notification from WordPress in your email about this.

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

After the sub-editors are done reviewing your post, you and your newsroom editor will receive an editorial comment asking for clarifications and questions or they will say the post is ready to be published. The Newsroom Editor usually publishes the post.

We aim to publish your post 3-24 hours after you notify your Newsroom 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@globalvoices.org.

GV encourages contributors 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 georgiap@globalvoices.org

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