Writer Guidelines

Tips On Adding Articles

Articles can be written by you or republished from other websites. 

In contrast, please do not add personal blogs (which are more informal, loosely structured, and usually less relevant to a general audience).

Here are some more general tips for original writings:

  • Be sure to cover all the basics (who, what, why, where, and when).
  • Add some impartial distance between you and the subject matter. Even if the story is about you, the emphasis should be on the value of the content for readers
  • Avoid self-promotion. Articles can contain a descrete level of self-promotion, but the majority of the article should be about the issues, taking yourself out of the picture. Two good examples would be this and this.
  • Be selective about what you publish. If you have 10 great articles from your "back catalog" that you want to publish, make the tough call and only publish the best 2 or 3 of them.
  • Only post one per day. Let people savor and digest what you just published before adding anything new. It's a basic psychological fact that if you forward your friend five articles in a single email, they're not likely to read any of them because the sheer bulk is a turn-off. However, if you pick just one of those to share, the one they just HAVE to read, they'll be much more likely to read it.
  • Play editor for a moment and ask yourself if the article is ready to be published, or if it needs a little more work. Could you see the article being published by your favorite independent news publication? We're obviously not all professional writers, and we certainly don't expect everyone who publishes on our site to be one. On the contrary, we encourage new writers to publish their works and to make this a place where everyone can "become the media," a place where we can all become more experienced writers. That said, could you imagine your peice being able to hold its own and fit in with the other content on the site?

 

Additional writing tips brought to you by the fine folks at Worldwide Hippies:

1. Write something hip and true in your favorite text program.

2. Read it aloud to yourself. Is it easy to read? Cool! Are you trying to jam too many thoughts into one sentence? Bummer.

3. Use contractions.

4. Cut all needless words.

5. Check your punctuation and spacing. Should you use an ellipse, or a comma? What’s the difference? You need to know… and use them correctly.

6. Spellcheck.

7. Grammar check (if your text program allows).

8. Double check punctuation and spacing. Please don’t make our editors wear out their backspace key by leaving spaces where they don’t belong. Single spaces between sentences are standard. [Also, punctuation always goes inside quotes and quoted words: The film was "nice," not the man was "nice", ]

9. Read your post again. Edit it.

10. Read it again. Edit it. Be brutal. Cut everything that’s awkward, difficult to understand, or doesn’t flow.

11. Register on the site.

12. Submit your article.

 

 

 

Hazards to be mindful of: Disinformation and propaganda

There is a high volume of unreliable information on the internet, from both mainstream and alternative sources. It takes time to research and discern what is accurate and what isn't, but the quality and usefulness of our website depends on keeping the erroneous opinions and false-statements to a strict minimum. Our recommended news links on the left column of our Independent News page provides a good starting point for reliable information.

Here are a few examples of films that contain mis- or disinformation, and which use classic propaganda techniques to establish their conclusions:

Please take the time to research issues with a fair, critical, but open-minded attitude, and do your best to avoid adding content that contains misinformation, disinformation, or is otherwise misleading.

Distinguishing the gold from the mud can be difficult, of course, and takes time, especially when diving into this information for the first time. If you're interested in improving your media-literacy skills, we encourage you to check out these resources: