E-Media Group Editorial Guidelines

These Editorial Guidelines should be used as a point for any writer before they submit content for publication.

General article information

1. ALL articles must be proofread, fact-checked by the writer and will then be assessed for suitability by an Editor prior to publication. As a minimum we expect you to run a spell check, double check all facts and re-read articles before submitting them.

2. Articles must conform at all times to high standards of spelling, grammar, punctuation and prose.

3. ALL articles must be longer than two hundred (300) words, excluding quotes.

4. Provide context with other articles and past news linked to your article (reference with links).

5. Try to avoid use of third person in your articles.

6. Use full names and proper nouns for first instance and shortened thereafter (e.g. “Manchester City” in the first instance and “Man City” thereafter).

7. No foul or offensive language.

8. In general, readers don’t like being hit with a huge block of text. Using paragraphs allows for small breaks making it easier for information to be absorbed.

Article attribution and substantiation

1. ALL quotes must be attributed to credible English language or foreign language sources, for example: newswires, regional and national press, broadcasters, official press releases, press conferences and officially authorised media.

2. ALL claims must be substantiated with reference to credible sources (1), which must be recent.

3. With regard to both (1) and (2), sources referenced in articles that are publicly available online must be linked to. Linked sources must be suitably close to the claim/quote used and not cited out of context. Sources that are not publicly available online must be referenced with sufficient information to allow readers to verify the claim or quote. Language such as “according to reports”, “allegedly”, “it is thought” must therefore be avoided.

4. Each claim and or quote must be attributed and not presented as your own.

5. The first time a source is attributed, it must be linked to. Further uses of the same source must be unambiguously identifiable as a continuation of that. If you use more than one article from the same source, each must be linked to.

6. Links should point to the exact page, whether in English or in another language, where the claim or quote can be seen (i.e. the original article). It is not sufficient to link to the sources homepage.

7. Transfer valuations may only be used when the valuation quoted derives from a recently completed transfer deal or else is substantiated with reference to a credible source, as stated above (3).

8. When producing transfer round-ups you must reference each source with a link.

9. Rumours, speculation and supposition must not be presented as statements of fact.

Sources

1. We expect writers to exercise good judgement when deciding whether or not a source is deemed credible. As such, we do not provide a list of credible sources. If in doubt, ask.

Types of article

The structure of any news articles should be as follows.

First paragraph – Intro: This has the full story described in a couple of sentences in order to immediately inform the reader about the news. For example “Manchester United loanee Javier Hernandez has spoken of his frustration over a lack of playing time at Real Madrid.”. You must get the news out in the first paragraph because a reader does not have a large attention span.

Second paragraph – Further facts and figures: Light explanation. How many goals has XX scored? Has there been speculation about his future? Have United been linked with him? Etc. e.g. “Hernandez joined the European champions on a year-long loan from Man United last summer but he has made just one La Liga start for the club.”

Third paragraph – Further explanation: For example “Madrid have an option to make the Mexican’s deal permanent at the end of the season but it is highly likely that he will be sent back to United in the summer.”

Fourth paragraph – Set up the quote: For example “Hernandez insists he is giving his all for Madrid but admitted spending time on the bench has given his confidence a blow.”. After quote/fifth paragraph onwards – Detailed explanation – We want your informed opinion as a United fan. How does this piece of news impact the club? Two paragraphs minimum.

e.g. If Dani Alves signs a new contract, where does that leave Rafael/Valencia?
e.g. If Fellaini receives praise, how does his form now compare to last season?
e.g. If Barcelona want Pogba, who could United get instead?

Example news article

Introductory paragraph summarising the news story
Second paragraph with initial context
Third paragraph providing another light layer of context
Fourth paragraph setting up quotes
Quotes
Penultimate paragraph adds in more context, taking in fans of point of view in this scenario
Final paragraph finishes story and try to open the article into some supporting content

Example transfer news story

Introductory paragraph summarising the news story (include attribution) e.g. ‘according to the Guardian.’
Second paragraph with initial context
Third paragraph providing another light layer of context
Fourth paragraph setting up quotes, or more information if needed
Quotes? If not, more context
Penultimate paragraph adds in more context, taking in fans of point of view in this scenario
Final paragraph Finish story and try to open the article into some supporting content

Interviews

From interviewing an ex-player for a feature or speaking to a journalist with insight on a transfer target or a big news story or to get some inside context to a developing story, it’s a way for us to give the readers some engaging content which gives context to topical issues.

The purpose of an interview is to gain insight and new knowledge on a subject area.

If you ask the right questions, you’ll get unique information which will make it an exclusive for The Peoples Person. If you ask the wrong questions, you’ll get a generic and dull interview. We don’t want generic and dull interviews, they will be boring for the readers.

For example: if we were linked with a move for Ezequiel Garay again, we’d speak to a journalist covering Zenit St Petersburg and we’d ask him questions which would give us some very engaging insight.

We want questions which have not been asked before, questions which give us fresh insight and new angles to think about.

We don’t want to purely ask mundane questions (what are Garay’s strengths/weaknesses, how much do you think he would cost, etc.) They are boring interviews.

Be creative with your questions. Think outside the box. Think about how you can offer something new and unique to the readers with an interview.

Features

An opinion cannot be wrong, how you structure your work can be. There’s no wrong piece of work as long as it follows these guidelines.

Your content must have a strong flow. It must be easy to read. Re-read your work after you have finished, is it something you enjoyed reading back to yourself?

Feature writers have far more freedom with their work in comparison to news articles. It is the breeding ground of conversation and debate, which is what we want.

Aim for 600-1000 words. Any longer and you will lose the interest of your reader and you might divert away from the original purpose of article.

We want a feature to be opinionated, well-written and well argued. All of your points must be given context and based on facts.

We want you to think of unique and original feature ideas. Try and think of content ideas which have never been covered before or are extremely relevant so they are very fresh.

We want informed opinion, not rants. Don’t mix the two.

Features are designed to create conversation and debate.

Choose topical questions which will be very relevant at the time, try not to be generic.

For example “Why Wayne Rooney is Manchester United’s best ever striker” = Mundane. Has been written a hundred times before, not relevant to topical conversation. Won’t catch reader’s attention or imagination.

“Why James Wilson should start ahead of Radamel Falcao” = Relevant, topical and a strong opinion. People will disagree with you, they’ll reply in the comments and conversation is created.

Don’t be afraid to be controversial so long as your work is based on fact and context.