It was like a compass in the muddy waters of uncertainty V. Blanchard
Guardian Liberty Voice
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“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself... Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” Nelson Mandela
To be honest with yourself is to recognize that you can be an instrument of change. But fear’s grasp always makes truth difficult to recognize. Nevertheless, there are moments in life when upon hearing truth, you know it; because a certain quality of information will resonate deep within one’s rational inner being, overcoming all reasonable and unreasonable doubt, overcoming fear. For me, that moment arrived when I first listened to the Mandela audio witness we now possess. DiMarkco Chandler
i L n a i d r a u G T
he Guardian Liberty Voice is ushering in a new era in journalism. In fact, we’re redefining what a newspaper is and embracing today’s technology to benefit the public. The days of advertiser-dictated news delivery are over and the internet has made this possible. Through the unique power of citizen journalism, we’ve escaped the muzzle of corporate America. You see, huge newspaper brands strive to bring you balanced coverage of newsworthy events and information, but they have an Achilles Heel, and that heel is pierced not by the arrow of a fictional deity but by advertising dollars, corporate interests and governmental concerns. Page 6
The Guardian Liberty Voice is different: We’re not tethered to any corporate or governmental interests as we deliver information to you because we’re powered exclusively by content from you, the citizens of the United States, as well as citizens of other countries that contribute to our publication. Our journalists are just regular folks who happen to have a talent for writing and research. They come to us from all walks of life. Our writers’ opinions run the gamut from one end of the political spectrum to the other and everywhere in between. There is no overseeing entity telling us what we can and cannot say. In a regular newsroom, much attention is given to the concerns of advertisers. In fact, one of our journalists was told, in her previous position, that a restaurant review she wrote was “too negative.” Why? Because that restaurant was an advertiser with the paper, and that
fact wasn’t hidden from the reporter; rather, it was freely disclosed to her as a matter of status quo. Now take that one example and apply it to the major networks. By doing this, a clear picture of extreme censorship begins to unfold. Censorship from corporate sponsors or political interest is of no
We tell the truth about everyth that truth may sometimes be u
concern to the team at Guardian Liberty Voice because we’re funded by technology and readership. We answer to no one but you, the people, because we, too, are the people. We bring you citizen-run news and information, and we bring it to you from every outlook and philosophy under the sun. We are not intimidated by advertisers or worried about who might be offended at the political level. We
e c i o V y t r e b i s U t u o Ab
every sociological and political angle.
bring you the truth as seen by an incredibly diverse set of intellects; unsullied by outside interests. We represent all angles, all viewpoints, all narratives, all stories. When you dive into our paper you dive into a world of complex and varied insights you simply can’t get anywhere else. But it’s not simply opinions that we deliver, although we certainly
hing that affects you, even if uncomfortable to hear.
publish plenty of op-eds. We deliver real facts based on supported research. Our hard news stories are reviewed by a team of senior editors to ensure an unbiased approach. Our opinion writers are required to back up their statements with verified and respected research: peer reviewed studies, expert testimony, published quotations and statistics provided by reputable sources.
Our key concern is quality. We don’t accept just any writer; we demand excellence from our staff members. While we are citizen journalists, we are also gifted wordsmiths. Our elite team of editors is comprised of professionals who have training and experience in a variety of fields, including journalism.
The Guardian Liberty Voice is committed to bringing you the truth, even if that truth may at times be uncomfortable to hear. The influence of the mainstream media has decided elections, made careers – or ruined them – and brought down powerful figures; sometimes with justification and, sometimes, without. We, at the Guardian Liberty Voice have no special affinity with the political structure of the United States. We have no wish to bring down the innocent, but neither will we ignore the crimes of the guilty. We pledge to bring you the facts, as well as researched analysis and reasoned opinion. We are one of the few publications in America that offers views from
Our readers will find breaking news, entertainment and sports stories; they will find political news as well as analysis and opinion – from both Right and Left – and each side presented with equal passion; they will discover science, technology and health features, both mainstream and alternative; they will be provided with coverage of developing stories from around the world. The Guaridan Liberty Voice will continue to grow and to expand its reach, introducing new sections and features while remaining true to its founding principles. We value our readers and their opinions. We encourage feedback and comment,
so long as it obeys the general rules of civilized discourse. We will never censor or refuse a comment unless it is obscene or is intended to deliberately incite hatred or violence. Technology has given us the power to make our voices heard, but as the old saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.” It is our pledge to you, our readers, that we will honor that responsibility to bring you objective, fact-based news as well as editorials that span a wide spectrum of viewpoints. We welcome everyone into the dialogue, from all points on the spectrum – the left, the right, the moderate, the religious, the non-religious, the liberal, the conservative, and everyone in between. The U.S. was founded on a similar platform. While America’s forefathers may have engaged in passionate shouting at each other when trying to give birth to the United States, one thing they all agreed upon was that everyone had the right to speak. This is an exciting time for us. We have come a long way in a short period of time and we are about to challenge the ‘establishment’ publications for a place at the apex of news and opinion journalism. We sincerely hope that you will join us on this journey. You will not be disappointed. The truth about the things that affect you is about to
be available in one place: Guardian Liberty Voice.
This website was first conceived as a print newspaper to be distributed in and around the Las Vegas, Nevada area. While originally founded by DiMarkco Chandler, the company began to emerge as a real media player when Bonito Sahagun decided to provide his professional expertise to complete the partnership now known as Frackle Media Group. The Guardian Liberty Voice newspaper, led by Frackle Media, moved away from printing newspapers after 22 consecutive publication weeks and began to focus their efforts online. Since its February 2012 launch, the Guardian Liberty Voice has turned the corner from start-up to a legitimate online newspaper. Guardian Liberty Voice publisher has been quoted as saying: I spent 10 years working on a BA, MA and PhD before I saw any real fruit from my labor, but during that period I gained knowledge and experience. Thus, what we offer is a real opportunity for writers and reporters to grow their talent and skills in a professional journalistic environment. No
time clocks, no pressure, just peer accountability. Your work will be subjected to 2,500,000 verifiable readers per month. Do you have that many verifiable viewers on your blog? If you do, you definitely don’t need us. That said, The Guardian Liberty Voice is a Las Vegas based newspaper with a broad scope that includes national and world news. They offer their readers relevant news, commentaries and amusement to inform, inspire and enhance the quality of life for members of a culturally diverse world community. Their news stories aim to expose injustice and corruption, which can undermine the liberties and freedoms cherished by all. Ultimately, The Guardian Express seeks to provide a safe platform from which to sound the diverse voices of the wonderful world community, encouraged always by today’s successes and tomorrow’s possibilities. Articles vary in number and include such category topics as science, business, health, religion, politics, entertainment, technology, sports etc. Guardian Liberty Voice strives to be original and to provide fresh breaking news stories and opinions around the clock, 7 days a week.
NOTE: Boldly Inclusive
nclusivity is perhaps the single most important human need to facilitate and demonstrate fairness for all members in an open and free society. When this principle need is compromised by appearances of unscrupulous self-interested privileged elites to perpetuate a systemic widening disparity between social-economic classes favoring exclusivity, it is eminently imperative to galvanize public opposition to mitigate this threat. A society that is governed by its collective citizenry should never be marginalized by its institutions or the people that run them. No institution should be more esteemed than its human beings. Thus, the Guardian Liberty Voice seeks to provide a historic backdrop to help trigger a new wave of global interaction and imagination. We must make an effort to level the playing field so that all voices are invited to participate in our global conversation. I for my part offer this instructional manual as a starting point towards bringing greater understanding and inspiration to further our global debate.
Editor’s Notes-Editorial Privilege When you receive corrections from an editor, the proper response is “thank you, I will make the corrections right away.” If an editor is taking the time out to correct your article, they are doing
it for your benefit, not their own. It is not acceptable to argue back, explain why you can’t make the corrections or make excuses. Check your ego at the front page, please.
Sources If posting an article, particularly in the science or health section, you must use sources and those sources should be reputable. We should not be making claims based on nothing with no sources to back up what we are saying. Please make sure all news articles contain at least three sources.
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“A poor original is better than a good imitation.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox
This quote reflects the desire to always apply your best to every article you write, as true writers want nothing less. The fundementals of journalism can be taught in a classroom, but that which makes a good jounralist, cannot. Journalists possess specific characteristics which include: -Sacrificing sleep for a good story. -Researching for, and locating, strong references. -Providing more than one reliable source and protecting sources as requested. -Delivering a spin that is unique or varying that demands a reader to read further. -Writing is a desire, a need to be fueled, an anticipation to share with the public. In acting on these desires, a writer will deliver nothing less than original and intriguing work. Guardian Liberty Voice provides exceptional tools, not found commonly in the trade, use them as a foundation for originality. While the topics may not be original - the spin of the article always should be your own. When an article performs well, by attracting a sizable audience, it can be inspirational. On the other hand, copying another author’s work and passing it off as one’s own can anger the original author. Artist are sensitive people, invested in the work they produce. When someone comes along and steals their ideas, it is necessary for someone to take mitigating action. This offence is made worse when the thief is a colleague of the offended. The community of writers at Guardian Liberty Voice have outlawed this practice in its entirety. While there is nothing wrong with several authors writing on the same keyword topic, it is imperative that each writer fashion their own original thesis, clear and distinct from one another. The Guardian Liberty Voice, boldly inclusive; not bold and intrusive. Where journalistic integrity is priority number one.
BASIC NEWS The ABCs of news writing are Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity. The first and most important is accuracy -- a story can be creative and compelling, but if it contains errors, it is worthless.
that wouldn’t be obvious to the average person. The more information you gather, the more you have to sift through to determine what belongs in the lead. The more you know, the harder it is to tell it quick and make it simple. It’s only easy if you don’t know what you’re talking about. No one said good reporting is easy.
Actually, it is worse than worthless; a false news story undercuts the public trust necessary for the survival of a free press. Keep in mind that the First Amendment specifically protects the press from government control so that the public can receive accurate and unbiased information. The public needs unbiased information to make intelligent choices in the voting booth. This is critical to the process of democracy in our country. If the public loses faith in the accuracy and fairness of the press, loss of faith in democracy will soon follow.
Always check numbers, spellings of names, who said what, and the other basic facts of any story. A reporter’s job is to find out what is going on, then write a story that’s interesting and informative. Accuracy always comes first.
Journalists decide which stories are important enough to run on page one, and which ones run inside.
Second is brevity. Each word in your story should do a job. If not, take it out. Get to the point. Say it just once. Don’t be redundant. Don’t say “8 a.m. in the morning,” since 8 a.m. is in the morning. Just say 8 a.m. Or say 8 in the morning. Remember the inverted pyramid style of writing. Put the most important fact in the lead. Hook the reader’s attention. Explain the lead and then go on to the next most important fact in the second inverted pyramid. And then the next. Lead up to an interesting finish. Don’t just stop writing when you run out of information. Clarity starts before you write. Clarity starts with complete, competent reporting. You should understand your subject so completely that your story leaves it crystal-clear in the reader’s mind. Your story should leave no questions unanswered. Avoid jargon. Explain anything Page 12
Who decides what stories will be printed in the Monitor? Who picks the stories for the 10 O’Clock News on Channel 2? Journalists make those decisions, and when they do, they are performing their “gatekeeper” function. They decide which stories to let through the “gate” and which to toss into the trash.
But the gatekeeper function also affects the way we write our stories. The reader looks to the journalist to make sense out of a confusing world. It is the journalist’s job to find out what’s going on, then choose from a notebook full of scribbles only those facts necessary to give the reader a clear, concise picture of the most important events. Obviously, this process leaves some facts out of the story. You must be
sure that your story includes the most important information. But for you to make that judgment, you have to learn everything possible about your subject, and that means you will end up knowing a lot of less-important facts that will never make it into a news story. A good reporter loves to dig into a story. The rule is: “Write 10 percent of what you know.” THE FIVE ‘W’s’ Every news story must cover the “Five W’s:” Who, What, When, Where, Why and sometimes How and So What? You don’t have to cover all these in the lead, obviously, but usually you will address one or two in the first graph. The rest should come soon. Make sure they are all covered somewhere in your story. NEWS VALUES What is news? The cliche is, when dog bites man, it’s not news. When man bites dog, that’s news. Critics say, why is the newspaper always full of bad news? Because bad news is unusual, and no one wants to read about ordinary events. “The Monitor adviser arrived on campus this morning and found things much as he left them the night
before.” Who cares? If the adviser finds a mountain lion waiting for the elevator in Building 5, then there’s a story. With photos. News usually has at least one of these elements: • Impact. Impact is determined by the number of people affected, the number of boats that sink, the number of cars wrecked, etc. The more people affected, the more boats sunk, the bigger the impact of the story. • Proximity. The closer your audience is to the event, the greater its news value. If a train hits a bus in Bangladesh, it may receive three column inches behind the sports section. If a train hits a bus on Niles Canyon Road, the Argus will play it on page one. • Timeliness. “New” is a big part of news. If it happened just before deadline, it’s bigger news than if it happened last week. Even “big” stories last only a week or so. News, like fish, is better fresh. • Prominence. If it happens to the mayor, it is bigger news than if it happens to the Monitor adviser. The public cares more about celebrities than they do about people they don’t know. If President Clinton goes jogging, reporters take pictures. If the Monitor adviser goes jogging, dogs bark, but no one else notices. (This is fine with the adviser.) • Novelty. If an event is unusual, bizarre, the first, the last, or once-in-a-lifetime, it is has more news value than if it is something that happens all the time. • Conflict. War, politics and crime are the most common news events of all. If everyone got along, there wouldn’t be much news. • Relevance. How does the story affect the reader? If there’s no effect at all, maybe there’s no news. Page 13
• Usefulness. How can I use this information? Home, business and leisure news sections have sprouted in newspapers in an attempt to give readers news they can really use.
The lead is usually the toughest part of writing a story. The lead is the first word, sentence or paragraph of the story. Sometimes it can be two or three paragraphs. Whatever its length, the lead has several important jobs to do. First, it must interest the reader in the rest of the story. Imagine the reader as impatient, with lots of other things he or she could be doing instead of reading your story. Imagine the reader saying, “Get to the POINT! Don’t waste my time! Tell me the STORY!”
W • Human interest. A story may be weak on the other news values, but be interesting anyway. It can be as simple as an interview with a fascinating person who does unusual things. If people are talking about it, it’s news, even if it doesn’t meet the criteria of our other news values. OBJECTIVITY/FAIRNESS
The reporter’s job is to find out the truth and tell it, regardless of who might be made uncomfortable. The reporter’s responsibility, as implied by the First Amendment, is to serve only the reader.
The public needs unbiased information in order for democracy to succeed. That means that your stories must be unbiased. Most reporters believe pure objectivity is impossible. When you select one word over another, your judgments enter the story.
But fairness is possible, and fairness should be every reporter’s goal. Fairness requires the reporter to recognize his or her own biases in the story, and then consciously include all relevant points of view -- even ones that the reporter doesn’t like, personally. Always look for the “other side” in any story. If someone or some institution is accused of something by a source in your story, you have an absolute obligation to contact the accused party and give them the opportunity to respond. This should be done in the first story, not in some later “response” story. Use neutral language. Avoid exclamation points. Don’t say “our college” when referring to Ohlone. Say Ohlone. Our tone should be one of the disinterested, but honest observer.
A reporter’s credibility is the only guarantee the reader has of the story’s accuracy. There are no policemen in the newsroom forcing reporters to be accurate. The First Amendment wouldn’t allow that. If we write inaccurate or biased stories, the readers will stop trusting us. And if that happens, we all might as well go into some other field. THE LEAD Page 14
If your reader were stranded on a desert island with nothing to read but your story, you could probably get away with a vague, rambling lead. But today’s reader has a BART train to catch, the kids are fighting again and the TV never stops blaring. Your story has tough competition.
Surveys have shown that most people say they get their news from TV, but many then turn to newspapers for the details behind the headlines. Your job is to write a short, punchy, informative lead to attract readers who have grown accustomed to TV’s “sound bite” journalism. But then you must supply the details, the insights, the context that TV doesn’t have time for. What are the rules for a good lead?
• Keep it short. News writing is always tight, but the lead calls for special care. Condense your story into one sentence, then one phrase, then one word. Make sure that word is near the beginning of the lead. As a general rule, no lead sentence should be longer than 10 words. • Get to the point. What is the story about? Tell the reader in the lead. Don’t say, “The city council met last night.” Tell the reader what the city council did. “Business taxes were raised a whopping 30 percent on a 6-1 vote of the city council last night.” What’s the story about? Taxes. So get taxes in the lead. • Focus on the action. Use the “active voice.” Instead of saying something happened, say who did what to who. Use the action word. If nobody did anything, it may not be a news story.
• Hook the reader. Put the most important, the most interesting, the most exciting thing in the lead. A novel may take 100 pages to lead up to the climax of the story; a news story puts the climax first and then explains what led up to it.
These rules are sometimes thrown out for feature leads, or “anecdotal leads” that start with a little story that sets the scene for the point you are trying to make. But the lean, punchy news lead will work best on most stories. THE NUT GRAPH Every story needs a “nut graph” that answers the question: Why am I writing this, and why do I think the reader should read it? The best way to make sure your story has a point is to state it, simply, somewhere near the top of the story. It doesn’t have to say, “The point of this story is...” But if the story is about a budget shortfall, a good nut graph might quote a district official on whether the shortfall would force an increase in tuition. How does the story affect the reader? That’s what should be in the nut graph. If it doesn’t affect the reader, maybe it shouldn’t be a news story. QUOTES Quotes bring a story to life. Let your sources tell the story. The reporter’s voice in the story should outline the main points and set the stage for the quotes. Quotes let your sources “talk” to the reader, giving a personal impact that you can’t get any other way in print. But quotes should be special. Don’t use quotes for information that can be more clearly explained in your own words. Only direct quotes are contained inside of quotation marks. Information inside quotation marks must be the source’s exact words. But another step is needed to achieve accuracy: The words inside the quotation marks must also convey the intent of the speaker. To use the speaker’s exact words to say something he or she did not mean is to take the quote out of context. It is a serious complaint often made by sources. At the end of the interview, always check quotes that you intend to use, and if you are unsure what the speaker meant, ask. The proper form for using a direct quote is: “I won’t run for president,” Dan Quayle said Thursday. “But I may walk a little.” Notice that punctuation is inside the quote marks. The quote is attributed after the first sentence. Try to minimize the use of partial quotes:
When asked about his presidential plans, Quayle said he “won’t run.” The first example, using the full quote, is both more interesting and more accurate. The partial quote leaves a false impression. Indirect quotes don’t have to use the speaker’s exact words, but they must convey what the speaker meant. For example: Brett Favre Thursday denied reports that he would retire from football at the end of the season, but he said he is feeling his age. Indirect quotes can be used to introduce direct quotes. For instance, the next sentence in the Favre story could be: “I feel every tackle of my career when I wake up in the morning,” he said. Make sure that the reader knows who is talking. If you’ve quoted one person for several paragraphs, and then plan to quote someone else, use a graph of transition between the two quotes. For instance: Meanwhile, another city councilman had opposite views. “I think the planned development stinks,” said Councilman Joe Smith. If you end one quote and start another without tipping off the reader, confusion will result. Remember, you may accurately report what a person said, but that person may be wrong. Verify any questionable statement by calling other sources. It’s not enough to say later, “But that’s what he said.” Keep in mind that your goal is to inform your readers. Never rely on only one source. If you find that one of your sources doesn’t have the information you need, switch sources. TRANSITIONS Each paragraph in your story should flow naturally from the one before it. If you have gathered enough information, and if your lead is strong enough, you may find that your story seems to “write itself,” flowing naturally from Page 15
beginning to end.
But other stories seem “choppy,” with the narrative taking jags and loops that could lose or confuse the reader. Transitions smooth out those jags and make the story easier to read. Here are some guidelines:
A good ending gives a “rounded out” feeling to a story, especially if the end makes reference to information in the lead. For instance, in a story by a Monitor staff member about a young man trying to quit gang crime and turn his life around, the ending was:
• Make sure your story elements are presented in a logical order. The most common order is the chronological order. This happened, then this happened, then this happened. For the sake of variety, you want to use the word “then” no more than once. • Use introductions as transitions between speakers. For example: Ed Smith, professor of biology at Ohlone, disagrees with the idea that frozen yogurt causes split ends. “That’s the craziest idea I’ve ever heard,” he said. • Set the scene for a new area of discussion. Don’t just start in a new direction without notifying the reader. For example: Meanwhile, a group of Ohlone instructors have been developing another theory, one based on experiments with bananas. “We think we’re on to something,” said Professor Harold Foote. ENDINGS Although the news writing style tries to put the most important information in the beginning, in order to draw in readers, it is also important to save something for a good Page 16
Valle gave a convincing “yes” when asked if he is going to graduate from college. This means that he will have to see his mother cry again, although this time he will see her from a stage while he is wearing a cap and gown, holding a diploma in his hand. The lead had talked about how his mother cried when he received a scholarship to attend college, shortly after he had been released from jail. The ending made a smooth reference to the lead, tying the story together. OTHER STUFF Avoid one-source stories. Talk to as many people as possible in the time you have for reporting. Make sure you leave enough time for the writing portion of the story. How do you know when you’ve done “enough” reporting, talked to enough sources, read enough reports? Experience will teach you the answer, and it will be a lot more than you thought at the beginning. The news reporter’s job has three parts: Reporting, writing and meeting deadlines. All three are important, but news reporting couldn’t exist without deadlines. The deadline is your discipline. Learn to meet deadlines, learn how to gather information, and the writing style will come eventually.
There is a broad, clear distinction between news writing and advertising. Use your normal objectivity and fairness when writing about advertisers, even if they push you for a “positive” story, and threaten to pull their advertising if they don’t get it. Our focus is on the reader. Our job is to write truthful, fair stories, and sensible advertisers will respect that.
lead of the story. Write a lead that emphasizes that news value. 9. Write in the active voice. 10. Don’t lead with a name, time or place unless that is the most interesting/important thing in the story.
The same applies to our college administration. We must always give all sides of a story, and we must ask for reaction from all interested parties, but our job is to report the news objectively, regardless of who is involved.
1. Don’t make the lead too complicated. Don’t load it down with too many names, figures or details. Keep the lead sentence short -never more than 35 words. 2. Don’t begin with the time, day or date, or place. Better to focus on the action, the who or what. 3. Don’t begin with an empty, say-nothing expression or a generality that fails to distinguish this news from other news: There were... In a report released today... According to... 4. Don’t begin with a question if the question is answered in the story. Question leads are cliché leads. 5. Don’t begin with a direct quote if it is a full sentence. Don’t start with a quote unless it is an exceptional quote. 6. Don’t use a form of the verb to be in the lead, if you can avoid it. Use an action verb. 7. Don’t overstate the news in the lead, making it more dramatic than it really is. Watch “disaster” words.
Make sense out of numbers. A number is meaningless without a comparison. If enrollment grew 5 percent this fall, how does that compare to last fall? How does it compare to the average fall semester? Story-telling is part of being human. We try to understand experience by turning it into a story. We use the story to remember the experience, and to share the experience with others. We learn through stories. News is a special type of story, one that presents facts without the storyteller’s judgment. HOW TO WRITE A NEWS LEAD 1. Condense story into one or two words. Put those words as close to the beginning of the first sentence as possible without destroying the flow of the lead sentence. 2. Keep leads short — 20 to 30 words for the first sentence. Or fewer. 3. The news lead should tell the reader what the story is about and be interesting enough to draw the reader into the rest of the story. Remember that the readers won’t know what the story is about until you tell them. 4. Find the action in the story. Put the action in the lead. 5. Always double-check names and numbers. Check spelling, style and grammar. Put everything in order. 6. Attribute opinions. Stick with the facts. 7. Details, description. Report first, then write. Learn all, tell 10 percent. 8. Decide which of the news values best applies to the
WHAT NOT TO DO IN LEADS
ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING 1. Precision. Use the right word. Say exactly what you mean. Be specific. Avoid sexism in your writing. Use generic terms: firefighters instead of firemen, letter carriers instead of mailmen. 2. Clarity. Use simple sentences. Noun, verb. Think clearly, then write. Watch grammar and punctuation. 3. Pacing. Movement of sentences create a tone, mood for the story. Long sentences convey relaxed, slow mood. Short declarative sentences convey action, tension, movement. Use variety of sentence lengths. Use shorter sentences when writing about the more active, tense part of the story. 4. Transitions. Progress logically from point to point. Put everything in order. 5. Sensory appeal. Appeal to one or more of our five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. What does it sound like? Was the room too hot? Could you smell the cooking outside on the walkway? Did the person Page 17
speak slowly and carefully, or rapidly, with confidence? 6. Using analogies. Describe it as being “like” or “as” something that is familiar to readers. TEN-POINT CHECKOFF LIST 1. Accuracy 2. Brevity 3. Clarity 4. Be specific 5. Get to the point 6. Put things in order 7. Get quotes right 8. Write smooth/active voice 9. Grammar/spelling/AP style 10. Five Ws/answer all the questions STORY ORGANIZATION What do I want to say? Where do I put it? 1. The lead. 2. Material that explains and amplifies the lead. 3. Necessary background material 4. Secondary or less important material. 5. Descending pyramids. Narrative. 6. Transitions 7. Quotes 8. Ending. Form versus content. Form becomes part of content. Without form, content can be lost. Know what you want to say. Then say it. Don’t begin by saying something else which you think will lead up to what you want to say. (The city council met last night) Never start writing without a plan in mind. Even long, complicated stories can be stated in a sentence or two. AVOID LOGICAL FALLACIES Hasty generalization — a conclusion based on insufficient or unrepresentative evidence. Deaths from drug overdoses in Fremont have doubled in the past three years. Therefore, more Americans Page 18
than ever are dying from drug abuse. Many hasty generalizations contain words like all, every, always and never, when qualifiers such as most, many, usually and seldom would be more accurate. Either have enough data to verify your statements or use qualifiers. Non Sequitur (Latin for “does not follow”) — a conclusion that does not follow logically from preceding statements or that is based on irrelevant data. Mary loves food; therefore she will be an excellent chef. Mary’s love of food is no guarantee she will be able to cook. False Analogy — falsely assumes that because two things are alike in one respect, they must be alike in others. If we can put a man on the moon, we should be able to find a cure for the common cold. Both are scientific challenges, but quite diferent. Either... Or Fallacy — the suggestion that only two alternatives exist when if fact there are more. Either the 49ers find a new running back, or they will never make it to the Super Bowl..
Actually, the team could make it to the Super Bowl without a new running back. Faulty Cause-And-Effect Reasoning — assuming that because one event follows another, the first is the cause of the second. Like a non sequitur, it is a leap to an unjustified conclusion. Since Gov. Smith took office, unemployment in the state has decreased by 7 percent. Gov. Smith should be applauded for reducing unemployment. We must show Gov. Smith’s policies caused the decrease. Circular Reasoning — instead of supporting the conclusion with evidence, the writer simply restates the conclusion in different language. Faculty and administrators should not be permitted to come to student council meetings because student council meetings should be for students only. The writer has not explained the position, but has merely repeated the point.
voice is vigorous and emphasizes the actor. Passive voice is evasive about naming the actor.
ACTIVE VOICE, PASSIVE VOICE
News writing should almost always be in the active voice because news is about action and actors.
Voice is that inflection of a verb that shows whether its subject is the doer of the action indicated or is acted upon. If the subject performs the action, the verb is in the active voice. If the subject is acted upon, the verb is in the passive voice. Active voice is dynamic. Passive voice is static. Active
To test for the active voice, find the subject and verb in the sentence. Put the subject before the verb so that the subject takes action: Jill hit the ball, not: The ball was hit by Jill.
As a writer for the
As a writer for the Guardian Liberty Voice, there are many key elements to keep in mind. Before even composing the body of the article, the writer must be familiar with and know how to use several important tools. The following websites should be added as favorites on your computer to allow for easy access: www.titlecase.com www.titlecase.com does exactly what it says. It checks your title for accurate Upper and lower case words. Usually prepositions less than five letters are not capitalized, however www.titlecase.com will verify that for you. Some small words are important and may need capitalization in the title. www.bottlenose.com This is a most exciting site for the writer who is looking to break into headline news! This site accepts specific details about your keyword and zooms in to help find a new angle to the story. There are many options to use with your search and it gives the writer a birdâ€™s eye view of what the world is talking and reading about. www.googlenews.com (Google News Nomenclature) You have to start with Google News! This is where to find
the keyword your article will be about. Topics are chosen from the first layer of news which is easy to remember by using: WUBTESSH.
This stands for World, U.S., Business, Technology, Entertainment, Sports, Science, and Health. Each of the eight categories have sub-topics you can find by clicking the main keyword. For example: If you click on Entertainment, eight more topics come up such as Miley Cyrus, Breaking Bad, Michael Douglas, etc.... In total, there are 80 topics to choose from when looking for a keyword for your article. www.copyscape.com This is the most important tool in the writing industry, It will help you avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is the direct reproduction of another writerâ€™s work. It can result in fines, loss of business, sales. and reputation. It is taken very seriously at The Guardian Express. After completing and editing your article, copy and paste it into www. copyscape.com for results. The article is written around the chosen keyword topic. By reading a few of the already published stories
uardian Liberty Voice in the news, you can get an idea of the proper direction to go. The keyword must be the first word or phrase of your title. The title needs to be used as a seamless sentence in the first paragraph, the middle of the story and in the last paragraph. The article must contain at least 500 words. More is even better, but you do not have to write a book! Proper spelling, grammar and punctuation is expected, so donâ€™t rush to submit your article with out checking everything!
category your keyword is from. Make sure you uncheck Headlines!Sources must be listed and linked. This will be taught in class. Wikipedia can be helpful, but is not to be listed as a source.
A picture is worth 1,000 words, so select an image with care and one that reflects the theme of the article. Google Images contains a huge variety to choose from! Watch for watermarks and words on the image as those pictures can not be used. Also images from AP, Reuters and Getty can not be used. Adding the image and sizing details will be taught in boot camp. At the bottom of your draft page, you must set the featured image. Videos can be added with the guidelines explained in class.
Saving each edit and addition to your story is important to avoid sending the wrong draft for review. Reread your article at least two times and check that everything is accurate and included.
Give your self credit and add your byline. Also add your name to categories, along with checking the correct Roanne H. FitzGibbon
Guardian Libe Platinum: 94 articles per month: Produce 90 articles of choice and 4 assigned by Senior Editor – 45% commission (Small Stipends between $125 and $200 per month) Expenses paid, Equity Ownership potential
Enterprise: Member: 1 Produce 108 articles o by Publisher – 50% co ranging from $200 to penses paid, Equity O upon 7 months of sati work performance. Po Co-founder.
Gold: 64 articles per month: Produce 60 articles of choice and 4 assigned by Senior Editor – 40% commission
Silver: 45 articles per month: Produce 41 articles of choice and 4 assigned by Senior Editor – 35% commission
Basic: 29 artic Produce 25 ar and 4 assigned Editor – 30%
erty Voice Royalty
112 articles per month: of choice and 4 assigned ommission (Stipends $300 per month) ExOwnership Guaranteed isfactory conduct and otential Late Stage
cles per month: rticles of choice d by Senior commission
Monthly Compensation Structure
Active Minimum: 2 article per month: Writers are deemed active and receive a 10% commission on article submissions
Contributor: 8 articles per month: Produce 2 articles of choice and 6 assigned by Senior Editor â€“ 20% commission
Part time: 16 articles per month: Produce 8 articles of choice and 8 assigned by Senior Editor â€“ 25% commission
All writers that remain under membership contracts for at least 7 months will be given an opportunity to earn equity shares of the Guardian Express from our employee equity pool. As company income increased stipend minimums will also increase. Page 23
What Is Associated Press Style? One of the first things a student in a beginning journalism course learns about is Associated Press style, or AP style for short. AP style is simply a standardized way of writing everything from dates to street addresses to job titles. AP style was developed and is maintained by The Associated Press, the world’s oldest news service. Why Do I Have To Learn AP Style? Learning AP style is certainly not the most exciting or glamorous aspect of a career in journalism, but getting a handle on it is absolutely necessary. Why? Because AP style is the gold standard for print journalism. It’s used by the vast majority of newspapers in the U.S. A reporter who never bothers to learn even the basics of AP style, who gets into the habit of submitting stories filled with AP style errors, is likely to find himself covering the sewage treatment board beat for a long, long time. How Do I Learn AP Style? To learn AP style you must get your hands on an AP Stylebook. It can be purchased at most bookstores or online. The style book is a comprehensive catalog of proper style usage and has literally thousands of entries. As such, it can be intimidating to the first-time user. But the AP Style book is designed to be used by reporters Page 24
and editors working on tight deadlines, so generally it’s pretty easy to use. There’s no point in trying to memorize the AP Style book. The important thing is to get into the habit of using it whenever you write a news story to make sure your article follows proper AP style. The more you use the book, the more you’ll start to memorize certain points of AP style. Eventually you won’t have to refer to the style book nearly as much. On the other hand, don’t get cocky and toss out your AP Style book once you’ve memorized the basics. Mastering AP style is a lifelong, or at least career-long, pursuit, and even expert copy editors with decades of experience find they must refer to it regularly. Indeed, walk into any newsroom, anywhere in the country and you’re likely to find an AP Style book on every desk. It’s the Bible of print journalism. The AP Style book is also an excellent reference work. It includes in-depth sections on libel law, business writing, sports, crime and firearms – all topics that any good reporter should have a grasp of. For instance, what’s the difference between a burglary and a robbery? There’s a big difference, and a novice police reporter who makes the mistake of thinking they
are one and the same thing is likely to get hammered by a tough editor. So before you write that the mugger burgled the little old lady’s purse, check your style book. Here are some of the most basic and commonly used AP style points. But remember, these represent only a tiny fraction of what’s in the AP Style book, so don’t use this page as a substitute for getting your own style book. Numbers One through nine are generally spelled out, while 10 and above are generally written as numerals. Example: He carried five books for 12 blocks. Percentages Percentages are always expressed as numerals, followed by the word “percent.” Example: The price of gas rose 5 percent.
Ages Ages are always expressed as numerals. Example: He is 5 years old. Dollar Amounts Dollar amounts are always expressed as numerals, and the “$” sign is used. Example: $5, $15, $150, $150,000, $15 million, $15 billion, $15.5 billion Street Addresses Numerals are used for numbered addresses. Street, Avenue and Boulevard are abbreviated when used with a numbered address, but otherwise are spelled out. Route and Road are never abbreviated. Example: He lives at 123 Main St. His house is on Main Street. Her house in on 234 Elm Road. Dates Dates are expressed as numerals. The months August Page 25
through February are abbreviated when used with numbered dates. March through July are never abbreviated. Months without dates are not abbreviated. “Th” is not used. Example: The meeting is on Oct. 15. She was born on July 12. I love the weather in November. Job Titles Job titles are generally capitalized when they appear before a person’s name, but lowercase after the name. Example: President George Bush. George Bush is the president. Disclaimer While we use AP Style as a guideline, we have made some specific style choices at the Guardian Express. They are spelled out in the Style and Submissions Guidelines pages that follow. Journalism Journalism isn’t fiction writing - you can’t create stories from your imagination. You have to find newsworthy topics worth writing about. You can get started by checking out the places where news often happens - your local city hall, police precinct or courthouse. Attend a city council or school board meeting. Want to cover sports? High school football and basketball games can be very
exciting and provide great experience for the aspiring sportswriter. Or interview local merchants for their take on the state of the economy. The Police Precinct If you want to cover the local crime beat, visit your local police precinct or station house (it’s good to call ahead first.) If you’re in a small town, get to know the police chief, detective and beat cops if you can. Ask them about any interesting cases or crimes they’ve handled recently, or ask to see the arrest log for a day-by-day listing of incidents. The Courthouse The local courthouse can be a treasure trove of stories. Your local district court will typically be where less-serious cases are dealt with – everything from traffic tickets to misdemeanor offenses – while a superior courthouse will be where felony trials are held. Check with the court clerk’s office to see what cases are due to be heard on any given day. Town Hall The city council, county commission, town board or village committee – whatever you call it, local government can be a rich source of stories for any reporter. Start by finding the website for your local town government. It will probably list times and even agendas for upcoming meetings. See what issues are being discussed, do some
background research, then head to the meeting, pen and notebook in hand.
community theater group performing a new play? Again, write a review or interview the actors or director.
The School Board School board meetings can also produce great stories. Again, school districts typically have websites that list school board meeting times and agendas. Such sites will probably list the members of the school board along with contact information, which can be useful for doing pre-meeting research or for doing interviews after the meeting.
Local Colleges Colleges and universities typically host to a wide range of lectures, concerts and forums that are often free and open to the public. Check the college’s website for listings of such events.
High School Sports Events Aspiring sportswriters need look no further than their local high schools for games to cover. Many top sportswriters – those who cover the NFL, NBA and MKB – got their start covering high school football, basketball and baseball games, among other sports. Check your high school’s website for schedules.
Businesses Want to become a business writer? Interview local merchants for their thoughts on the state of the economy. DiMarkco CHandler
Community Centers, Local Libraries Places like these often have bulletin boards listing upcoming events in your area. Such facilities also often host events like lectures from visiting speakers or authors, or community forums. Art Galleries, Performing Arts Venues Is there a new exhibit by an up-and-coming artist at your local gallery? Review the exhibit or interview the artist. Is a
Style and Su Reputation is everything. We stand or fall on our reputation; our reputation as a media organization, as well as our individual reputations. In order to bolster both of these, it is absolutely vital that we create total consistency in style and formatting, throughout the site; this tells the reader that we are professionals and it speaks to the integrity of the articles they find on the Guardian LIberty Voice website. Although different websites - and print publications - develop their own guidelines for style and formatting, they all base these guidelines upon the AP Stylebook. It is strongly recommended that every one of our writers obtain a copy of this book, or take out an online subscription. Be warned, however; the AP Stylebook is very extensive and extremely daunting! Do not expect that you will be able to study and memorize it. If you can, I want to become your publicist, because, together, we will make a huge amount of money! The following rules lay the groundwork for the Guardian Liberty Voice style guide. Over time, we will add to and expand upon - these guidelines. They must be followed by every Guardian Liberty Voice writer. Certainly, everyone should have this file open, or readily available for reference, when writing an article. After a time, the style guidelines will become second nature. We shall begin with some basics. If you do not have the AP Stylebook and you have a specific question on formatting, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and, although I do not guarantee you an instant reply, I will get back to you with the answer to your question, as soon as I am able.
Plagiarism Plagiarism, basically, means copying someone else’s work (or even their ideas). A famous person once said “there is nothing new under the sun,” meaning that nothing is completely original; anything and everything that is created today was influenced - to a greater or lesser extent - by something that has gone before. Regardless of legal definitions, it is difficult to precisely define plagiarism. The Guardian Liberty Voice has a very simple rule, regarding plagiarism: ALL ARTICLES MUST BE ORIGINAL WORK! There are no exceptions, unless we were in a situation where - for whatever reason - we had been given permission to reproduce someone else’s work. What plagiarism means for us: If you copy someone else’s writings and try to pass it off Page 28
as your own, you will destroy your own reputation - not to mention possibly finding yourself in legal trouble. Other than never again writing for the Guardian Express, which is a certainty, you will probably never again be employed, as a writer, by anyone. By publishing an article that is not original work, the Guardian Liberty Voice risks - other than a potential lawsuit - being completely ostracized by Google; which could destroy the business overnight. If that were not bad enough, our reputation would be shredded. Many journalists write articles based on other articles; unless a publication is breaking a story from its own sources, everybody is reporting the same news. However; it is not acceptable to copy someone else’s article and neither is it acceptable to re-word someone else’s article.
When researching a story idea, a writer should be reading at least three different sources; either news articles or other sources of related information. Having done this, the writer can recount the event in their own words, using the information they have gathered. Ideally, the writer should be tracing the story back to the original source: If you want to write an article about the George Zimmerman trial, for example, you can find video coverage of the trial itself, the transcripts of telephone calls, previous interviews with defense or prosecution attorneys, etc. Having studied these, it is then possible for you to create an original article. The Final word on this is that any writer found plagiarizing someone else’s work will be permanently banned from writing for the Guardian Liberty Voice nd will, in addition, forfeit all rights to royalties from their articles. Article Titles The first letter of all words in headlines must be capitalized, other than certain conjunctives, such as “and”, “the”, “to”, “at”, etc. The Easiest Way to Ensure Correct Capitalization is to Use the Conversion Tool at www.titlecase. com. Simply paste your title into the left-hand box and hit the ‘convert’ button; your correctly capitalized title will appear in the right-hand box, for you to copy and paste. Try - as much as possible - to keep your title as short as you can. Make one point with your title; do not ramble or try to make multiple statements, so that the reader knows, at a glance, what the focus of the article is. Use as little punctuation in article titles as you can. Craft your titles to make sense without punctuation, if you can.
If your title requires punctuation, however, then use it! Nothing looks worse than a title that is grammatically incorrect. Acceptable: Justin Bieber’s Monkey Seeks Asylum Not acceptable: Justin Biebers Monkey Seeks Asylum You’ll find plenty of articles that are ranked highly on Google News that contain question marks, colons, semi-colons, apostrophes and commas. Use when necessary, but try to avoid using punctuation in article titles if you can. Justin Bieber Surprised as Monkey Seeks Asylum Numbers When writing numbers, spell out one through nine. Numbers greater than nine should be represented by numerals; You may be able to come up with nine reasons why you think Justin Bieber is fabulous, but I can give you 10 reasons why I do not agree. When referring to positions or ranks (mainly for sports writers), use No. 1, No. 2, No. 50, etc. Do not write Number 1, or #1. Money
Monetary figures should be represented as numbers, preceded by the symbol that represents the currency: $10, $100, $500, $10,000. An amount of $1 million or above should be written as shown: $5 million, $787 Billion, etc. Do not write “$500 million dollars”; this is redundant, as you have used the dollar symbol and there is no need to include the word “dollars.” Dates When writing a date that includes the day, month and year, abbreviate the month, write the day as a number and separate the year with a comma. Always capitalize the month:
ably, a more creative album.. Emphasis When emphasizing a word or phrase in an article, you should italicize. Do not use bold type or UPPERCASE letters to emphasize; this is neither professional, nor correct. Abbreviations .Avoid abbreviating altogether; it is simply not accepted as a formal, professional way of writing.
The Declaration of Independence was signed on Jul. 4, 1776. Correct abbreviations for months: Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. If writing only the month and year, spell out the month, with no comma before the year: July 1776, September 2001. Centuries should be represented as follows: 20th century, 18th century, 21st century. As with regular numbers, anything less than 10 should be written; first century, ninth century. Names and Titles Obviously, names of people and places are capitalized. Official titles are also capitalized, as in President Barack Obama. Less formal titles are not capitalized. Sports writers, in particular, should keep that in mind; Tony Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts; Hernandez, a former tight end with the New England Patriots. All country and city names should be capitalized: Botswana, Los Angeles, Syria, Edinburgh. When writing the titles of books, articles, movies, television programs or songs, do not use quotation marks; simply italicize the quoted title. Recording artists and bands, however, are not emphasized: Acceptable: Watching the movie Blazing Saddles, whilst trying to read John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and listening to the Misfits - all at the same time - is extremely confusing. Not acceptable: Although Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” is one of their most well known works, The Final Cut is, arguPage 30
Acceptable: She is scheduled to appear on The View next week; They are calling for Justin Bieber’s monkey to be imprisoned. Not acceptable: He’s anti-gun, but he has armed bodyguards; It’s going to be a great contest. Third Person On occasion, it is acceptable to write in the first or second
person; if reporting an incident in which you, the writer, were directly involved, for instance. Normally, however, all news articles, op-eds and analysis pieces are written in the third person. First Person: Me, I, my, mine. Second Person: You, your, yours. Third Person: He, she, they, their Itemized Lists Professional news articles do not contain lists. Do not use bullet-point or numbered lists in your articles. If you
Do not embed links to other sites within your article. This may encourage the reader to navigate away from our site, in order to read the information to which you have linked. The only links you should be placing within the body of your text - if at all - should be links to related articles on the Guaridan Express Liberty website. Links to Wikipedia articles are not acceptable; whilst Wikipedia is an acceptable source of basic, background information on a specific person or event, it should not be considered a definitive source of accurate information. Certainly, the Guardian Liberty Voice should not be publicizing the fact that Wikipedia has been used in the research of any article. Editorial Standard The Guardian Liberty Voice occupies a unique position in the media world. Our willingness to publish opinion that spans the entire political spectrum sets us apart from all others: The mainstream, Liberal media refuses to provide a Right-wing viewpoint; The Conservative media (mainly online) does not put forward the Liberal perspective. In boldly choosing to publish both, we assume an enormous moral, ethical and professional responsibility; to educate, inform and then allow the reader to choose, analyze and decide where they stand, on a given issue. In the interests of preserving this unparalleled position, we do not wish to impose too many restrictions on what we are - and are not - prepared to publish. However; we should always keep in mind that each of us has a duty to present our respective argument in an informed, logical and civil fashion. There already exist countless political blogs, both Rightand Left-wing, that express hate, intolerance, bigotry and extremism, with little or no credible source for their views. We shall leave the ranting and raving to them. Our political articles will meet the following standards:
wish to make a number of separate points, simply list them as separate paragraphs. Sub-headings should be avoided, but if you really feel that your article needs to be divided into sections, then separate the sections with a double space and then put your sub-heading for that section in bold - in the same way that the sections of this guide are formatted. Embedded, or In-text, Links
1. They will contain substance. The most respected and widely-read political analysts and pundits on the internet, be they Liberal or Conservative, cite quotes, polls, statistics, studies and accounts of actual events, in order to justify their views, analysis and predictions. It is not acceptable to write an article title that expresses an opinion and then provide - within the article - no credible information that substantiates that opinion. If the article merely opines, but does not inform and educate, it does not belong on our site. 2. They will not contain extreme statements. One Page 31
could argue that the definition of ‘extreme’ is subjective, depending on one’s beliefs. Therefore, we are obliged to define the word for our purposes. Extremist language will be deemed to include the following: a. Personal insults. Whilst we may express the opinion that a certain individual is clueless, ill-informed, uneducated, ignorant (and point out why they are so), we shall not insult a person’s physique, family, gender, skin-color, sexual preference, race or religion. b. Incitement of hatred or violence. We may describe an individual as deserving of arrest, impeachment, imprisonment, investigation, termination from whatever position or occupation they hold, etc., but we will not wish physical harm or death upon them, merely because we do not agree with their politics. c. The word “hate” should be avoided: It is impossible to prove that any individual or group “hates” another unless you can cite an actual quote or speech in which the word, or some derivative of it, is used. To say that one person, one political party or one ethnic or religious group hates another is almost always purely subjective. As an example: One could say that Republicans “hate” women, because they are opposed to abortion, but one could also argue that Democrats “hate” children, since they so enthusiastically promote abortion; both statements are merely extreme assertions and entirely un-provable. Writers would be well-advised to avoid using the word; it is, simply, unprofessional to make such an accusation
unless you can provide unquestionable evidence to corroborate it. 3. They will contain honest information. It is unacceptable to make statements that can be proven false, to recount an incident that did not happen or to accredit a statement to someone who did not make it. 4. Health and Science articles should be corroborated by legitimate, peer-reviewed research and/or studies. Any article that promotes a theory, speculative conclusions, or metaphysical beliefs and practices must always be clearly labelled as such and should be written in a manner that states, honestly, that the subject-matter is not verified by conclusive scientific or medical research. Science-related articles should be labelled as ‘metaphysical’. This is a category under science, in the list of categories. Health-related articles should be labelled ‘alternative’, which is under the ‘health’ category. The Guardian Liberty Voice, truly, has the potential to become the most read and cited political opinion site on the internet. We should all aspire to the very highest standards of integrity, respectability, professionalism and insight, whilst promoting our respective views with passion and fearless commitment. Graham J Noble
Capitalization, Grammar, and Editing 1. Title case – Prepositions less than five letters, definite, and indefinite articles should not be capitalized, unless it is the first word of a title. Examples: a) b) c)
Heat Wave in July For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway Hiking Through the Rockies
2. Subject and verb agreement – Make sure a single subject has a single verb, and a plural subject has a plural verb. Examples: a) A common problem in many hospitals is… “Problem” is singular and the subject. The verb referring to it should also be singular – “is.” b) According to the ambassador, the issues are worldwide. “Issues” is the plural subject and “are” is the plural verb. 3. Punctuation and quotes – Periods, commas, etc., go before the closing quote, not after. Examples: a) b)
“Look at that,” she said. This was the professor’s “undoing.”
4. Spelling – When two or more words are pronounced the same but have different spellings, make sure you select the correct spelling for the sentence context. Examples:
a) b) c) d)
I want to give you a present. I have a present for you, too. There are two books on the table. This is their favorite restaurant.
Listing sources is covered on the next page. 5. Listing sources – If the source is from another website, do not list the url. You can type in the name of the article from that website and link it, or, you can list “source” and link it that way. You will get a feel of when to list “source” and when to list the actual article/website name (not the url) on your own the more you do this. Examples: a) Incorrect -- http://guardianlv.com/guardian-express-team/ Correct -- Guardian Express Team b) Incorrect – Source 1 (without a link) Correct – Source 1 When referencing a specific article or page within a larger website – Incorrect – Las Vegas Guardian Express Correct – Las Vegas Guardian Express editorial – The Historical Model Also Correct – Source 1 When referencing the website of a subject of your article Incorrect -- https://disneyland.disney.go.com/ Correct – Disneyland Cynthia Collins Page 33
All certified writers at Guardian Liberty Voice should have only considered joining this publication because they love writing. As such, they should seek out articles that tell a story, inform and/or entertain their audience. We use a 500 word minimum for articles. For breaking news stories, fewer words are allowed, but breaking news must follow the criteria below:
Breaking News Mandatory Criteria: 1) Happens no later than one hour prior to the story being submitted 2) Is noteworthy and new, such as death of a major celebrity or a politician, or a major news story that has a huge brand new development. 3) Is being covered by the major news outlets (unless you have a major exclusive on a big story that no one else knows about. An example of this would someone you know texts you from inside the senate floor before it gets out the press, or someone you know who knows a celebrity tells you they just dropped dead or something like that. Otherwise, breaking news should be on CNN, BBC, etc. If it’s not, then it’s probably not exciting enough to be called breaking news.) 4) Has the potential to go viral Page 34
5) Is something that will produce an entire article afterwards or even many multiple articles. In other words, it should be “BIG” important and exciting brand-new-news. Otherwise, it should be written as a normal 500 plus word article. Writers should be excited and enthused to write 500 words or more on their chosen topic and not simply be seeking out stories in which they can submit very few words. Only a true breaking news story is the exception to the 500 word rule. All breaking news stories must meet all of the criteria above to be published as breaking news or else it will be sent back to the writer for expansion.
Difference Between Regardless of the subject on which you are writing, the most fundamental distinction you have to make is whether what you are writing is news or opinion.
Reporting news means covering the facts. It is that simple, on the surface: Who? What? When? Where? and How? These are the questions your news story must answer. A good news story supported by empirical evidence. As answers each and every one of these an example: questions in enough detail to satisfy the reader that they have no more questions Representative John Doe is a terrible about the actual events. politician. This cannot possibly be true. On a deeper level, you should endeavor It is an opinion, by any standards. It to add details to the what? and the how? doesn’t matter what party John Doe that other media sources have not cov- belongs to; there is no universally-acered. This will make your report unique cepted definition of what constitutes “terrible.” enough to place it ahead of the rest.
of John Doe having been found guilty of committing fraud, however, then the statement is true...it is now news, rather than opinion. Representative John Doe has been accused of being a dishonest politician. This is news. The writer is not expressing his or her own opinion; they are merely reporting other peoples’ opinions about Rep. Doe.
Representative John Doe is a dishonest politician. Here, the line between truth This is something the writer should reflect carefully upon. Whilst the Las and opinion loses focus a little; this Vegas Guardian Express publishes statement could be either. If a writer makes this statement with no support- many opinions, we will not publish ing examples of Doe’s dishonesty, then it opinion as news. Regardless of how strongly one believes something, it is opinion. is only true if one has indisputable The fact that the writer evidence that it is so. believes Doe is disAn opinion piece is a narrative that reflects the writer’s own perspective, be- honest does not As a footnote, it is worth liefs, suspicions, theories and/or preju- make it true. If, bearing in mind that, simply dices. The one thing that separates com- however, the because one reads somepelling and credible opinion from mere writer follows thing in another media rant is, once again, verifiable supporting up with an source, it still may not be example information. This is particularly imtrue. As always, verificaportant when writing political opinion: tion and cross-referencing Many of those who harbor very strong of information is of parapolitical opinions, on both the Right mount importance. and the Left, often fall into the trap of mistaking their + own opinions for the truth. Truth, itself, has become somewhat subjective. Real truth, however, is something that is Page 35 Opinion pieces tackle an additional question: Why? A good op-ed will cover the previous questions and provide enough detail, sources, quotes or other verifiable information to satisfy questions of credibility, but it is the why? that makes it opinion.
By: Cynthia Collins
At the end of your article, type in â€œSource 1â€? (as an example).
Highlight the url you want to attach and copy it.
Highlight entire word “source” or phrase you’ve listed in your new article.
You’ll get the insert/edit link box.
Paste the copied url into the space that says URL.
Type or paste name of specific article or name (not url) of website
Check the box that says open to new window/tab.
Click add link button. Screen returns to the posting page. If done correctly, anyone who views that published page should be able to put their cursor on the highlighted link, hover over it, and see the name of what you linked.
HOW To Insert
Placing your cursor
In order to add an image to your page or post, you must first insert your cursor in the place in the text where you want the image to appear. By placing your cursor within your text, you can add images inline with your content. You can also place your cursor on a blank line if you want the image to appear by itself instead.
Click the Add Media button Once youâ€™ve placed your cursor on the line where you want your image to appear, click on the Add Media button to launch the media uploader interface, and then select the Insert Media option from the list of actions in the left side of the media uploader window.
Add or Select Your Image
You can add or select the image you want to add to your page or post by choosing from either of the following options in the center of the media uploader window: Upload Files: Upload the image you want to use from your computer by dragging it into the upload area. Media Library: Select from any previously uploaded images in the media library by clicking on the one you wish to add to your page or post.
The Attachment Details pane displays a small uncropped thumbnail of the image, as well as important information such as the filename, date uploaded, and image dimensions in pixels. There are also action links that allow you to Edit Image, which takes you to the Edit Image page, or to Delete Permanently to remove the image from your site In addition, you can edit the following media information: Title: The title of this media. Caption: The caption for this image. The text you enter here will be displayed below the image. Alternate Text: Enter the Alt text for the image, e.g. â€œThe Mona Lisaâ€? to describe the media. Description: A description for this particular media.
Attachment Display Settings The Attachment Display Settings pane controls how the image is displayed when viewed on the site. You have options to set how you would like the image aligned on the page (in relation to the text and margins) and what the link behavior of the image will be, In addition you can set what size image you would like to display on your page.
The Alignment setting allows you to determine where you would like the image to appear in your content area and how it interacts with any text on the page. You have the following image alignment options to choose from: Left: Aligns the image on the left hand margin, and any text that is on the page wraps (or flows) around the image to the available space on the right. Right: Aligns the image on the right hand margin, and any text that is on the page wraps (or flows) around the image to the available space on the left. Center: Aligns the image to the center of the page, with no text displayed around it. None: Inserts the image in to the page with no alignment
Cutting Images Finding the right image that fits all the requirements can be very difficult. Especially when youâ€™re trying to set up images on the feature slider. Keep in mind, landscape image work better than portraits on the Guardian Express website. Here are 5 easy steps to follow on how to resize and cut an image for our primary feature sliders. 1. 2.
Main feature slider size 940x380 Entertainment slider 450x300
Edit Image After uploading your Image into the Media Gallery, click the edit image icon.
You will be taken to a screen that looks like this: a.
h. i. a. Crop b. Rotate Counter Clockwise c. Rotate Clockwise d. Flip Verticale e. Flip Horizontal f. Undo g. Redo h. Scale Image i. Image Crop Image Crop The image can be cropped by clicking on it and dragging your mouse to select the desired part. While dragging, the dimensions of the selection are displayed below. Crop Aspect Ratio You can specify the crop selection aspect ratio then hold down the Shift key while dragging to lock it. The values can be 1:1 (square), 4:3, 16:9, etc. If there is a selection, specifying aspect ratio will set it immediately.
Crop Selection Once started, the selection can be adjusted by entering new values (in pixels). Note that these values are scaled to approximately match the original image dimensions. The minimum selection size equals the thumbnail size as set in the Media settings.
Select scale image. Youâ€™ll get a dropbox. Where you can proportionally scale the original image. For best results the scaling should be done before performing any other operations on it like crop, rotate, etc. Note that images can only be scaled down, not up. Type desired size to scale. Ideally you will want to only use first box to keep proportion diamention. Once youâ€™ve placed your desired size in the first box, click Scale.
Crop Once Scale is complete it’s time to satisfy your diminsion interest. Whether it is 940x380 or 450x300 once you click your mouse inside the image you’ll will get a new window that looks like imge below. From the top left corner select the crop tool, click and drag inside the image. Once Crop frame is inside image. Go to the Image Crop selection area and type desire dimentions and click Crop.
Save and Update
After image is Cropped, Select Save and Update. You’ll notice that the dimensions have change.
Regenerate Thumbnails Before going back to the previews tab where you insert your image. Go to the Guardian dashboard and click Media Library, when you hover the image with you mouse click the option Regenerate Thumbnails. When action is compleated you will get a screen like the image below with 100% completion.
Go back to the previous page, youâ€™ll notice that the option (edit) has change for (Refresh,) once you click refresh the size will change to the new size.
Fill out Attach details from page 32 and click insert into post or set as a feature image.
by: Gricelda Vicario Page 47
HOW TO USE
Bottlenose is one of the best tools at your disposal. It can be used in conjunction with several other tools to help you find more angles for trending stories on Google News. I liken the use of Bottlenose to fishing. It requires â€œbait, â€? which is your topic search term. It also requires patience.
Using Bottlenose on its own: If you have a Google trend subject to put into the search engine, you can start immediately using the application to see what the topic is doing in trending and recent trends. Since the application changed to the free Bottlenose Lite, Facebook posts have been removed from the search results. You can still find all the Twitter traffic though and that can help you find an angle to a story that no one else has covered.
First login to Bottlenose lite After uploading your Image into the Media Gallery, click the edit image icon.
After logging in
After logging in, you will get your bottlenose “homepage.” This is where twitter feeds that you are following will show up letting you know you’re in the right place!
After logging in Go to the left of the screen and click on the search icon [the magnifying glass] and you can get started
After clicking on the search icon, you will get a search “box” come up. Just type in the topic you are looking for in the box. In this case we will put in Alec Baldwin, since he just got the axe from MSNBC to see what is out there. He is trending on Google News right now. This will tell us if he is “hot” enough to write about.
You will now get the “search” page where bottlenose is looking for trending links/tweets that mention Baldwin
Looking at the bottlenose search result, it appears that in spite of Baldwin trending on Google News he is not such a hot topic right now. But to double check we will just click on the Sonar icon to see what is happening right now.
Sonar has given us a better response for Baldwin. We can see along the right side of the display that Alec is still getting some attention from social media.
By clicking on any of the links on the right-hand side we can see specifically what people are saying. In this caseâ€Ś not a lot.
But here we have Sarah Gibson who has given us a further link to an actual source. If we click on the source...
We can see the original source that give Sarah the story that she is referring to
We can actually add a “stream” that is dedicated to Alec Baldwin specifically. This stream will automatically collect any tweets about Baldwin and show us the result.
Customise Our Stream We can now customise our stream.
Once you click “Add Streams” you will get “pop-up” menus.
The next pop-up menu will give you choices of where you want Bottlenose to look.
We can select what type of message we want to see.
You can see the many different types of information that you can choose for your stream.
Once you have picked what type of information you want as a filter, you can save your stream to your dashboard
Using Bottlenose with GUARDIANLV.COM site searches:
Using Bottlenose with Google Analytics: If you check out Google analytics and see that a particular subject is trending, you can plug that subject into the search engine on the application and check for any unique angles that we have not covered in our existing articles.
The same principle applies to checking against terms that have been searched for on our site stats. If 200 people are looking for a particular person or item on our site, it stands to reason that on the Internet many more are looking for the same subject.
Using Bottlenose with Google News: Apart from the obvious use of seeing what is trending in Google News and plugging it into the search engine to see what is out there news wise, you can also use it to see just how long this item has been trending. I have discovered that you can find trends on Google News that â€œappearâ€? to be trending recently only to plug that term (or name) into the search engine and find that it has really been trending for days. Obviously, a topic that has been trending that long would not be a preferred one to write about.
Bottlenose tips: You can use Bottlenose in a variety of ways. You can set up search streams, like DiMarkco does, or conversely, you can set up a new search each time you find a topic to write on. I tend to just put in the name. For example; on Justin Bieber I had great luck just putting his name in the search bar and putting no filters on the search. I also did the same for the Miss USA contest. In both of these examples I found little known stories about both subjects that no major papers had written about. The end result was a total of at least four articles that pulled in views for each one in the hundreds of thousands. Experiment with the application. I found what worked for me by deviating from the
Michael Smith Deputy Managing Editor/Senior Editor Entertainment. Page 55
oogle only has a certain number of topics trending at a time. If everyone at Guardian Express wrote about the same trends, life would become repetitive and boring, no matter how well the article is written. Here are some tips I learned just by trial and error to help combine the best of both Google trends and Bottlenose. Keep in mind that these will not always work, but will help more often than not. I’ll use the generic topic of “museum” as an example. First, I’ll check Google trends to see what topics interest me. Science has a trending subject about the precision of atomic clocks. I’m not a science person, but this subject has lots of possibilities. This is where Bottlenose comes in. I type in “clock museum” in the Bottlenose search bar to see if anything related comes up.
Trends I’m in luck. Something pops up about an exhibit opening in Massachusetts in October about chiming or musical clocks from the 1700s. I’ll write about that house museum and the upcoming clock exhibit but, somehow, will try to tie it in with how clocks have evolved. Here’s another example, this time using a trending topic under Business – United Parcel Service (UPS). The lead story is about UPS and Wells Fargo layoffs and eliminating healthcare benefits for spouses. I type in “Wells Fargo museum” in the Bottlenose search bar because I think it will have more possibilities than UPS. Several results come up. I could write about the Wells Fargo museums and tie in their significance with present day. You can reverse the process by starting with any subject in Bottlenose and see if it hits on Google trends. I hope this helps illustrate how a limited number of subjects can become limitless. Cynthia Collins
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Unit 1.) 3 days of topics selected from Google News by Training Candidate (Unit 2.) 3 to 6 days of training: 1.
2. Google News Layers Page 58
t s i ckl
a. news.google.com b. www.google.com/analytics/web/?hl=en&pli=1#realtime/rt-overview/a31758845w58618456p59852263/ c. twitter.com/BreakingNews d. guardianlv.com/wp-admin e. www.alexa.com/ f. www.alexa.com/toolbar g. bottlenose.com/ h. www.worthofweb.com/ i. thesaurus.com/ j. images.google.com/ k. adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__ c=1000000000&__u=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS l. www.google.com/help/features.html m. support.google.com/websearch/answer/142143?hl=en n. www.googleguide.com/category/search-tools/ o. www.googlekeywordtool.com/ p. www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&tab=3w&authuser=0 q. www.google.com/intl/en/about/products/ r. accounts.google.com/login s. Finally, everyone must have or open up a twitter account and NYTimes registration
4. Categories 5. At least one of the following eight categories must be selected. (World, U.S., Business, Technology, Entertainment, Sports, Science, Health.) Now there are subcategories underneath these primary categories. It does not however suffice for one to select a subcategory and leave one of the primary categories unchecked. An editor must always make sure one of these 8 primary categories are checked. Once more, they are “WORLD, U.S., BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY, ENTERTAINMENT, SPORTS, SCIENCE, AND HEALTH. 6. Titles must have searchable key words that make up the trending element. 7. Titles should not be in the content as a title, but must be at the very top of the editing dashboard title location. Once a title is placed in its proper location, it should not also be included as a title separated from the content again. 8. Titles must however, be integrated into an article as a sentence. It does not have to be word for word, but the best practice is to make sure all the words of a title are included in the article and in context as a sentence within the report. 9. Do you have at least 500 words? Unless you are breaking a story, in other words trying to get it out before anyone else, an article should have at least 500, words or close to 500 as possible. 10. With all the work it takes to write a long article, it does not make since for an author’s piece to receive under 100 views. If you don’t care if someone reads your article or not, then you are not only hurting yourself, you’re hurting the team and should consider a different organization to share your talent with.
11. Only News Stories should be placed in the large feature area of the Guardian’s front page. 12. Did you use a spell check and did you check your grammar. It is best that writers read their articles out loud before submitting them to the publisher. 13. Is your image centered and have you included a feature image 14.
Have you identified your sources
Change all the meta data in an image
16. Remember to put your name at the bottom of your post. Remember that post need to be at least 500 words. And remember to save as draft if the post is not ready for publishing. If you save as pending it is telling the publisher, you are ready for your submission to be published. Continue to choose topics from Google News but candidates should be using Google Analytics to experiment with. Candidates should begin to produce one article a day during training using Bottlenose application Candidates begin to receive assignment articles from the editor Education covering Google’s Regular Browser Trends Verbal Test 17.Day of Reckoning: Candidate must produce a viral article that hits at least the second layer of Google News. This consist of using Google Analytics, Bottlenose, Google News in conjunction with article submission. A candidate must set aside at least 8 consecutive hours to complete this task. Once this task is successfully passed a candidate will receive a certification certificate of achievement. Page 59
Google News Nomenclature Google News has what we call 4 layers. 1) First Layer – 1 page – If your article appears on Google’s first layer news – 5,000 to 100,000 reads the first day that google places it there. (they put your article under the ‘first layer’ section www.new.google.com 2) Second Layer – 8 pages - If your article appears on Google’s second layer news – 1,000 to 5,000 reads the first day that google places it there. (they put your article in front of their audience) - WUBTESSH 3) Third Layer – 80 pages - If your article appears on Google’s third layer news – 100 to 1000 reads the first day that google places it there. (they put your article in front of their audience) Keyword Topic Subjects 4)
Fourth Layer – Unlimited – not very profitable
TESSH SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT
HEALTH Page 61
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1. Title, Title, Title……..In order to deliberately fashion an article that can attract a viral audience, it is extremely important for a writer to construct a provocative headline title. In other words, you need use your imagination to give your report an angle that is uniquely different from similar stories that are tied to your primary keyword. (a primary keyword can be found underneath a second layer category name). All titles must have in them the primary keyword chosen from Google news. 2. There are 8 second layer categories located at https:// news.google.com. They are: World, US, Business, Technology, Entertainment, Sports, Science, and Health. Underneath each category, writers will find 10 primary keyword topics. When submitting your article to the publisher for review, a writer must select at least one of the eight category choices. Make sure the correct category is checked 3. Ideally, you want to start your title with the primary keyword topic you have chosen to write about. 4. Title Sentence: all writers should place a seamless sentence in the first paragraph, made up of the primary keyword, nouns, verbs and adjectives used to create the headline title of your article. The sentence must however be seamlessly integrated into the first paragraph. 5. Relative to Google page ranking – it is important that your submission is made up of at least 500 or more words. Page 52
6. In order to maximize your article’s performance, it is important for writers to include three separate instances of your primary keyword topic sentence. a. One in the first paragraph b. Place a second one somewhere around the middle of your article c. Place a third keyword topic sentence as you close your report. 7. Try to avoid using punctuation marks in your headline title. Question marks are fine, but commas, colons and semicolons tend to hinder performance. 8. Never use all capital letters in a headline title 3)
9. Periods and commas must always be placed inside quotation marks when periods or commas are necessary (body of your text). 10.
Remember, always remember to place your name at the end of your article.
11. Put embedded videos on the text side of the WordPress editor; and use 640 width. 12. Be aware that your topic of choice may have a short life in Google News, so choose your topics wisely, and get them to the publisher so he/she may preview as soon as possible. Ignoring this advice could cause a good article to perform poorly. This checklist is the copyright material of CCMA and Frackle Media Group. Any disclosure or unauthorized use by anyone other than certified members of the Guardian Express or New Yorker Times is violation of U.S. Copyright Law
1) Keyword probability check 2) Topic Keyword – Needs to start your title 3) Title - http://titlecase.com/ 4) Copyscape - http://www.copyscape.com/ username = guardian. Password: mchand2303 5) Read your article out-loud 6) Check spelling 7) Word count at least 500 8) Make sure you have the correct category selected – don’t check everything 9) Center images – Make sure the image is at least 300px tall 10) Grammar check 11) Follow number 6 from the article performance checklist 12) Search for images with your title: this will help make sure you’ve spelled your title correctly. 13) By line – your name, select your name from among the category list. 14) Sources
O I T A C I F I T R uth E A d e i f i s n e t n
Beginning at 12:01 AM â€“ 11:59 PM 1. Candidates that expect to graduate and receive certification must set aside this entire day, which begins soon after the aspirant arises from sleep (candidate are trusted to choose an appropriate hour) to partake in the dayâ€™s planned activities. 2. All candidate must write at least 5 articles chosen from any one of the 8 WUBTESSH second layer categories and one article assigned to them by the publisher. If any of these article go viral, (at least 30 -40 online readers concurrently access your article) a candidate has successfully completed this most important task. However, submissions that do not pass the Article Performance Checklist will be voided and will not count as a qualifying news story. In total, 6 articles must be submitted for publication.
Y A D n N o i U s r S e m N m I O
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a. Article Types from which a candidate can choose from I. Breaking News – word count rule is relaxed for breaking news stories (Limit of 2). Candidate should use Bottlenose. Anything older than an hour will not count as breaking new. II. News – remember that when writing a news story, stick to the facts. Hint – for those of you that find it difficult to write 5 articles or more article in one day, remember that Breaking News and News stories that stick to the facts are not time consuming endeavors. Moreover, news stories and breaking news do not necessarily have to be original; in other words, you can paraphrase. III. Opinion – your opinion on a primary keyword topic IV. Other – if your idea of an article type falls outside of this list, only your team leaders will have the authority to provide approval. Therefore, make sure you have a way to reach them. (via phone or email) V. Each candidate will receive one article assignment from the publisher. Once you are in receipt of your assignment, you must give it your immediate attention, and complete it before continuing any other certification task.
3. If a candidate fails to complete their writing tasks, they can either start from scratch on Sunday, spend another week in Bootcamp or simply forfeit candidacy. Note: candidate can go in front of a review board to request membership entry. 4. All candidates must create and submit to the publisher, in their own words, an article review checklist. This requirement must be met before a certification certificate can be issued. 5. All candidate must submit to the publisher a testimony describing their Bootcamp experience. 6. Once a candidate has completed these task, a 5-10 minute oral exam will be administered over Skype. This process is simple: Upon completion, a candidate must connect to Skype username – t4rge1 and take their oral exam. 7. Candidates are to leave their Skype on upon completion of oral exam so that they can receive their personal test results. 8. The final task involves image sizing (eliminated). Once the candidate passes their oral exam, an image sizing test will be observed by the administrator. Once a candidate completes this final challenge they will be immediately certified and receive an email copy of their certification certificates along with a company Press Pass. GOODLUCK Page 65
Guardian Liberty Voice Writer’s Bootcamp Testimonial Nancy Schimelpfening The Guardian Liberty Voice’s Boot Camp, hosted by DiMarkco Chandler, is simply the best training experience that I have been through in my career as a writer. DiMarkco really knows his stuff and he has a way of inspiring writers of all levels of ability to work hard and do better. You really feel like you are a safe environment in this class, where there are no mistakes, only lessons. I can’t say enough about how much I have benefited from this experience. If DiMarkco will have me, I would thoroughly enjoy working for this organization. My ideal outcome would be to work at a Platinum or Enterprise level, although I think I would be better able to deliver at the Platinum level due to the fact that I have a small child.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Guardian Liberty Voice Bootcamp experience and have found it to be extremely helpful to me as a writer in polishing not only my writing and editing skills, but in working as a team, in finding attractive and timely articles to write and to become an over-all better and more effective story-creator. I am very grateful to DiMarkco Chandler who owns and heads up this operation. His insights and techniques are very insightful and effective. He has been kind, supportive and available any time for questions, feedback and unending information on how to perform better, write better and feel more confident as a journalist. I highly recommend this program and would suggest it to anyone looking to dive into journalism and have an enjoyable, educational and productive time - professionally and for the mere pleasure of writing a good story. It is an honor to be associated with such a reputable individual and organization. I am truly blessed. ~ Stasia Bliss
Laura Oneale - Guardian Liberty Voice - My testimonial I am Laura Oneale from Johannesburg. South Africa. This is my testimonial about my experience I have received over the last three weeks from the Guardian Liberty Voice Boot camp training course. Toward the end of last year, I joined the New Yorker Times. A social network site currently in beta stage and it is where I met interesting people and had instant access to great articles. One of my new contacts from that site recommended I join the Guardian Liberty Voice Boot camp SEO Training program. I completed the application form, and within a day, my training began. The first part of the course was relatively easy and I had to submit four articles for review. To my delight, I advanced to the second stage of the training program. This is where I had learnt so much about article writing, SEO importance, and much more. Every day, for three weeks, I was guided and taught the correct way to write articles. During the course, I learned about the importance of choosing a strong title for an article. The focus on submitting perfect images and videos for an article was intense yet invaluable. The time difference between my country and the home of the Guardian Liberty Voice became a problem and almost caused me not to carry on with the course, but the Editor Mr. DiMarko Chandler, allowed me to continue with the course at a convenient time. The experienced staff of the Guardian Liberty Voice guided the students through this training course with expertise, patience and perfection. Their drive for perfection, their dedication, and pleasant manner made the course an adventure and challenge for all. I believe the most important lesson I gained under the guidance of a talented leader, is that determination to succeed is possible and if you fail the first time, fail better the next time. Thank you to all the Guardian Liberty Voice Editors and staff, I am forever grateful to you.
Guardian Liberty Voice Boot camp is one of the smartest most immersive training programs I have ever been through. The stacked classes and repetition go a long way towards making sure everyone who pays attention will get all the information they need to perform well and become a member of GLV. Having previously written for AssociatedContent.com, now Yahoo! Voices. I am pleased to see a site that recognizes the hard work of authors and content providers. Instead of receiving a mere pittance, we are given every opportunity to go as far as we wish, depending on just how much we can or will do as far to contributing to the site content. I still have about 45 articles on Yahoo!Voices, which I am not being paid for. I attempted to contact someone on the matter and was simply told there was nothing that could be done because I had failed to log in within the time frame to maintain my active status. That page had nearly 100k views last time I looked at it. I am so disappointed and disheartened I can no longer bear to read my own work. I am excited to be working at GLV, because I look forward to sharing my experiences and learning new and better ways to do this writing thing. I have always always dreamed of writing for a living and making enough money so that writing could be my job. I cannot thank GLV enough for allowing me to realize my life dream. Dimarcko has given me something I couldn’t find anywhere else. I will move mountains for this company. Thank you, G Jordan
I entered into the writer’s boot camp with a sense of dread. I usually take my time writing, and completing six articles in a row seemed daunting. However, I am a writer on the upswing. So I kept listening to the news and checking what the latest was. I’m kind of a news junkie anyway. I didn’t get to sleep until late the night before, and woke up early the next morning. I hummed through the first few articles. I checked Google News, saw what was trending and what sparked my interest and off I went. It wasn’t as hard as I thought. Before I knew it half the day was gone and I was already through three. I paced myself after that. I started feeling fatigue but my lovely wife bought Indian food. We watched an episode of Spaced and I was renewed. Articles four, five and six came in dips and drabs, with long intervals between. I am not used to writing like this but accepted the challenge and kept moving forward. I enjoyed each topic, found great pictures, the photos were put in easy and I was ready to go. Practice definitely helped. In the end, even though I dreaded it at first I really appreciated this exercise. It proved to me that I’m a great writer, that I can really pull it out when push comes to shove, without sacrificing the quality of my writing. By: Philip Perry Bootcamp was a bit intimidating at times but reminded me a lot of college, an environment that I have just left and apparently already miss. It was comforting to know that mistakes could be made and feedback given. The writing profession sometimes feels a bit isolating when opportunity after opportunity presents complete silence on the other end of toil and sweat from the writer. Each step of the way was met by me with both excitment
and trepidation. Dare I hope that something I write could be read by more than just my closest friends? I have had this dream to find my voice, be heard and make a difference. There are a lot of conversations going on in our society and I like to think that I have something meaningful to contribute, but will this perception prove to be vanity? Then, a few days into training something wonderful happened. I wrote an article that thousands of people have read. For better or worse, some have even reacted. I was surprised to receive such validation so quickly. Over the course of the rest of the week, I have been cited and quoted in other people’s articles. My voice has been heard, my contributions have begun and I’m still in bootcamp. I attribute this largely to the fact that DiMarkco put so much of himself into teaching me and my fellow bootcampers how to get our voices out into the world. Learning new things, looking forward toward the future and hoping for success can be overwhelming for me, but DiMarkco’s enthusiasm was comforting. It was like a compass in the muddy waters of uncertainty. This was a pretty valuable part of training for me, personally, because I take my writing very seriously and things I take seriously I tend to freeze and struggle to accomplish anything with. Needless to say, I felt a lot of anxiety about “Hell Day.” The sheer volume of writing required for the day was both scary and very motivating. After the article I wrote while in training and all the excitment I felt in that success, I wanted this next challenge to prove to myself that I was capable of even more. It took me over 12 hours to finish and I got yelled at for a mistake I should have known better than to make, but I wrote six articles that I feel represent me rising to the challenge. Vanessa Blanchard Page 67
Testimony To: DiMarko Chandler, Ph.D., Las Vegas Guardian Liberty Voice Re: Support for Writing Boot Camp
classes lasted longer each day. The more instruction I could have absorbed through the past two weeks the better. I have enjoyed this learning experience.
Writing Boot Camp is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It has been intense, and a great learning experience for someone like me who has loved to write all her life.
I always like learning new things and this has expanded my horizon.
Yes I am sure most people say that, but for me it comes from the heart. I have kept journals of my life since I was 8 years old because I wanted to write so much. It has been my one true passion, and only real talent in life. Boot camp was a place I got to be where I was able to do it as much as I wanted. Only other writers understand what it feels like to be able to express yourself with the written word. We are artists just the same as painters, musicians, singers, yet we have only our hands to be able to express what our brains are so desperate to say. Boot camp allowed me to be able to use my mind in different ways I had not thought of before, new directions in which I could let my thoughts soar in a totally different directions. I felt as free as a bird. The two week period is the correct time period length, in my opinion as well, although I would not mind if the Guardian Liberty Voice Bootcamp Testimonial by Michael Blain Despite having an English degree from a well-respected university, I can honestly say that I learned more about modern journalism during this writing boot camp than I had ever thought possible. Tapping into the pulse of current news in order to inject my writing within has been both a humbling and exhilarating experience. The final certification day has been by far the most intense, even armed with tricks and proven methods to succeed on the journalistic battlegrounds it takes a calming routine and steady hand to navigate. No matter what happens beyond the boot camp experience, I know for certain that both my world view and writing abilities have both been expanded.
I have learned more about the online newspaper business here in half a month than I even knew existed before. It is rather fascinating and sounds like a company I really want to be a part of. I was so impressed by everything I learned in Writing Boot Camp. If I become certified, I would like to be either a Platinum or Enterprise member if you would so allow me. Thank you. Sincerely yours, Kimberly Ruble
My experiences learning how to write news articles that trend, as taught by the owner and editor of The Guardian Liberty Voice, DiMarkco Chandler, were a combination of fun, learning new things, and hours of hard work. But, in the end, my efforts have paid off, and with Mr. Chandler’s excellent teaching methods, I have become a better writer of news articles and I have learned various ways to make them trend, thus attracting a wider audience and more page views. By including key elements in my news articles, as Mr. Chandler has shown me how to do, I have learned how to turn an article that should get thousands of page views into one that will get them, or will have a much greater chance to get them, and to be successful on Google News. This has been done largely through Mr. Chandler’s teaching about the best ways to use Google’s rules about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and which words that Google will search for when they scan your article with their spiderbots and other methods. Not all of my articles have trended, but I can attest to the fact that by following Mr. Chandler’s teaching methods, I and anyone else will have a much better chance to get higher page views and to have their news articles trend on Google. Written by: Douglas R. Cobb,
â€œMembers of The Guardian Liberty Voice serve mankind by contributing to and helping create the grander vision of collaborating with one another and by staying focused on the positive impact each and every one of our published words produce. Notably, Members of The Guardian Liberty Voice are characterized by excellence and distinction. We, therefore, are neither employees nor are we mere spectators; we neither marginalize nor do we exclude others from the opportunity to honestly express themselves; we seek and guard the truth and shall encourage our fellow Members to do the same. It is, therefore, the belief of all Members that everyone is entitled to their well-informed and educated opinion and it is the duty of the Members of The Guardian Liberty Voice to make their best efforts in making such voices heard. Though we may have our own disagreements with or disapprovals of certain opinions expressed, we nevertheless have come to the agreement that it is our responsibility as Members to be the guardian of mankindâ€™s right to express it. It is with great honor that I join in this covenant with my fellow Guardians.â€?
Guardian Liberty Voice
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