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Styleguide Requirements for Pirate Times content / articles
There are three important journalistic principles for writing articles. The articles should be interesting, new and relevant. The Pirate Times, as a journalistic medium, should report news impartially and in a neutral manner. Private opinions should be kept out of the articles as far as possible. Also we should use polemic and sarcasm very sparingly – polemic is possible in commentaries, however it must be marked as such. A neutral form of wording should be used. E.g. only "good" instead of "very good".
These guidelines apply for all articles. It should also be noted, that all articles do not simply cover something that is interesting for the members of a specific group (Young Pirates, a national party or NGO) but suited to an international audience. The majority of our readership are pirates, close to us or have enough interest to subscribe to our newsletter. Topics should be chosen that are new, interesting and relevant enough to cover the needs of the whole readership. Generally we can write about any subject, however, we should orient ourselves to this readership. All articles should preferably fit into one of our four core categories: Pirate Party News, Pirate Topics, Tips & Tricks or Interviews.
Naturally we want to inform our readers about themes relevant to pirates. Internal subjects such as the workings of PPI, conferences and actions are important but also external subjects such as topics of general interest to pirates, as they relate to daily politics. In any case, it is important that the news is interesting for the reader wherever they are in the world. Every author should ask themselves if these criteria are fulfilled before they submit an article. Additionally the articles should conform to a certain standard of writing described below.
The Pirate Times is not the Pirate Party's megaphone – we do not publish press releases. Indeed, we are a party medium but even more a news medium. As such we can use a press release to write an article, however, the finished article should have an increased value for the reader compared to the bare press release. We are not the correct place for advertisements or electioneering – we can safely assume that the majority of our readership will vote for us anyway.
Pirate Times Team Style Guide
Quotations: Quotations are marked by quotation marks “ ”. If whole paragraphs are quoted then the WordPress quote function is to be used. If quotes are edited for tense (future, present, past) or other reasons the edited words should be marked with "[ ]". If other texts are quoted, they should be linked to the source, if available, otherwise the source should be named in "( )".
For Interviews: The question should be in italics with "Pirate Times:" before it. The name of the interviewee should be in bold before each answer. In the case of pirates the first name is enough, with others the full name is to be used. Example* Pirate Times: Question Bla bla bla? Answering person: Blablabla.
Headings: The heading is basically the title of the article and will be linked, as such, in the mail. If sub-headings are used they should be in bold and placed in the first line of the article.
Dates: The date format to be used is: 23 May 2011. Always include the year.
Spelling: UK or US English spelling can be used, as long as it is consistent within the article. Please stick to one of these two options and do not use other local spellings (NZ, Australian etc). If you are not sure about your spelling, the proof-readers can help you. When proof-reading an article try to maintain original choice of UK or US English. Foreign words should be in italic with a translation behind inside "( )", unless they are commonly used.
Number Formatting: Numbers from zero to nine, as well as their enumerative forms (first, second, third, …) in continuous text are generally written out. Additionally those which can be easily read in words, like twenty, hundred or three thousand. All the other figures are written in groups of three characters to the left of the decimal point and separated with commas (30,000 members). However, numbers of the same kind are written consistently within a sentence. Example: “In the class 5C we have 12 boys and 13 girls“ (both figures can also be written out). The hybrid form “twelve boys and 13 girls “ is incorrect. Small fractions should be written out e.g one third instead of 1/3.
Prices and Currency: The currency is to be written out. That is Euro instead of €, dollars instead of $.
Links: All links are to be opened in a new window.
Links should be used to back up claims made in the article, to point to sources, for attribution of Creative Commons work used and to allow the reader to access information that cannot be included in the body of the article itself. Inline links are to be used for linkng to pages directly relevant to a specific point being discussed. For example an explanation for a concept that the general reader will not be familiar with (use sparingly) or the webpage of a person or institution being refered to. Footnote links are to be used for more general background information but can also be used to avoid too many links in the body of the text. For example the websites for Pirate Parties attending a conference.
Images and videos: A picture should break up an article in a nice way. Submitted pictures should have a “clean“ license and not break an existing copyright (e.g. public domain, CC licence or copyrighted but with allowance). Images will only be published if the license is provided. This is the same for videos which should be embedded. In general, an article should include a small image for the a teaser and optionally one (or several) big image(s) for the article. Images or films are never sourced by linking to external sites. The featured image needs to be within certain specifications in order to display in an optimal way. A guide on how to do this is found at http://ppintnews.piratepad.eu/39
Length of an articles & paragraphs: Articles should have at least 150 and a maximum of 3,000 words. Long articles should be broken up into several articles and discussed with the editorial leader. Paragraphs should be constructed to simplify the reading of the article. A paragraph should contain at least three sentences.
Weights and measures: All weights and measures should be in metrics. For US authors imperial measures may be used but metric amounts should be placed in () afterward. Degrees should be written in Celsius. Proof readers can help if needed.
Accronyms: Accronyms, that may not be familiar to the reader, should be written out in first usage at the beginning of an article e.g. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Jargon: Jargon should be avoided but is acceptable if the term is explained in parentheses.
Naming Pirate Party Conventions: Party names should be capitalized. E.G. Pirate Party of France it is also recommended to capitalize the word Pirate when refering to members of the party. When a party, that does not have an English name, is referenced then it should be translated in parentheses in such a way that an English speaker can know which party is being refered to. E.G. Piratpartiet could be Swedish or Norwegian - Piratepartiet (Norwegian Pirate Party) or Piratepartiet (SwedishPirate Party) In the case of several parties the PPI code E.G. PPSE or PPNO
Guidance for points not covered in this styleguide: http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide/ The editorial leaders ultimately decide on what is right or wrong for an article. Contact them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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