Writers’ Guide

Style Guide

Berning Media Network uses the InstaPress Style Guide.

Essentials

Every article needs an image. When a story is breaking, use the breaking image (you can save this from the Google Drive folder), when it is developing, use the developing image of image from the scene. All images must be HD and good quality. Images must be cited at the bottom of an article in Helvetica Italicized with “Image” or “Image 1” being linked to the image.

Stylize as such: Image 1 of the flooding from CBC News.

The underlined part should be linked to the image, not the website of the image source. When you press View Image on Google Search and all its showing is the image, that is the URL you want.

Title

“US sends troops to Syria” is an appropriate title. Short Forms are encouraged. Titles must not be longer than 5-7 words.

When a story is “Breaking” or “Developing”, keep title really short.

No capitals past first word, unless needed. Also, numbers are all written as numbers. (Remember that in articles, one to nine are written out and any number that is first in a sentence is written out – more below.)

It’s always good to have a location in the article title.

Some examples of good titles are:

  • Russian plane shot down by US
  • Van attack in London kills one
  • Over 15 injured in Iran plane crash
  • Putin targets western jets in Syria

Please do not use “Topic: This is my article”

For example, do not write this:

  • Syrian conflict: US shoots down Russian plane

Articles are already sorted into categories, thus that definer is not needed. If there is a circumstance where you need to use “Topic: Article title” please capitalize the first word after “:”.

Money

$1 million USD……….And for money below $1 million:

$999,999 USD

$99,999 USD

$9,999 USD

$999 USD

$99 USD

$9 USD

You can put ($12 CAN) if you want/is relevant to story. If it is a specific number, you can add the “.80” to the end. This are all correct:

$80,999 USD $80,999.90 USD $2 million USD

Time

Both below are correct and appropriate.

2 am ET 10 pm local time

Never write “yesterday” “today” or “tomorrow”

Write “Thursday” “Friday” or “Saturday”

Note We do not use EST or CST but ET or CT, shortening the time zones short forms to two letters for ease of readability. You do not need to add the timezone with every time you mention, usually once near the beginning of an article is good.

However, it looks cleaner if you do not use “ET” in the lead, but rather “local time”, but its even better to just use the day, and then specify times in the next line.

You can use “last week” but it is preferable for you to state a specific date.

Jan 1, 2017 or Jan 1 or January 2017

Quotations

Trump said “the wall is broken” in the speech. Trump said this on Friday: “The wall is broken.”

[enter to next line, don’t continue]
These remarks come as Mexico continues to bombard the border wall with molotov cocktails.

“The wall is broken,” Trump said to hundreds of supporters.

[enter to next line]

Tense

Present tense can be used for a breaking news story if it is a possibly happening in the moment, but for nearly every story (whether breaking or not), it has already happened.

However, there is the odd circumstance where it is going to happen. An example is: “Mr. Trudeau will be holding a press conference on Tuesday regarding the attack.”

People

First time you write a title you say it in full; whether in the lead or not.

  1. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
  2. Mr Trudeau
  3. Trudeau

Places

The first time you say a country name, you must spell it out in full. For example, if an operation from the US is happening you write this:

The United States started a military operation against the Syrian government on Saturday.

Also, when there are short forms, you may write capitals without dots.

US / UK / NATO / UN 

Just always be sure to spell it out the first time you use the country, organization, etc.

Numbers

  • Any number one to nine must be spelt out.
  • Any number at the start of a sentence must be spelt out unless it is over “Ninety-nine”.
  • Any number 10 and over within a sentence must be used as a number.

Measurements

  • Measurements are done in short form. We use kilometres, not miles, as the majority of the world uses km.
  • Feet = 5 ft
  • Metres = 5 m
  • Digits = 5”1 ft
  • Make sure there is a space between value and measurement type

Miscellaneous

 

  • (brackets are placed within a sentence, and have no capitals unless a title or otherwise needed)…..no periods, capital at the beginning unless necessary, commas can be used. There is only one sentence within brackets. If you need to use ; or ,
  • Underline in bold a link to another article. Use a period and don’t just write the relevant article’s title. If it’s an original story that has developed or is no longer current, link to the latest under the lead, as explained in the “Format Guide”.  

 

  • If the article link is part of the article, ie in a sentence referencing another even and you want to link the article, then do that but don’t bold the link, just leave it underlined in regular article font.
  • Daesh (IS) is used the first time ISIS is mentioned in an article. Second time is “so-called Islamic State” and after that just “Daesh”.

Breaking v Developing

  • Breaking is used when a major story just broke. Most likely the source you’re getting it from is also considering it “Breaking”. Some examples include shootings, attacks or major developments in politics, war or terror.
  • Developing is used usually only after a Breaking story, however, that is not always the case.

When a story is “breaking”, stylize like this: (title)

Breaking: US forces enter…..

When a story is “developing”, stylize like this: (title)

Developing: US forces enter……

 

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