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Log In / Register | Nov 27, 2014

Blue MauMau's Citizen Journalism Guidelines

Only Members Can Contribute News Stories

Difference Between a Blog and a Story - A blog is generally an advice column or professional journal entry. Only members can contribute blogs. A blog is automatically put in the relevant category in the back sections of the journal; for example, "food". Sometimes the editor may decide to put the column on the front page.

When you contribute a "story" as opposed to a blog, the news story will be reviewed by the editor to determine if it is an accurate report of a news event and should be placed on the front page news section or the category news section, such as the hotel section of this journal.

How do you get an official (Blue MauMau) stamp on your news story? Official Blue MauMau news stories are more widely read. In order to get the (Blue MauMau) stamp, a story has to be original, timely and relevant. It cannot be news that is copied from a newspaper, journal or blog, in which a blogger writes comments about the copied quote. That's a blog, not original news content. Professional advice columns, although very needed, are also not considered news stories. Such articles will not be placed in our news section or formatted to look like a news story by the editor.

e.g. WICHITA, Kans. (Blue MauMau) - One of the largest franchisee...

Blue MauMau's press release section is a good place to find news. Press releases are typically not copyrighted. Such releases can be quite relevent to the industry but read like well - a press release. The trick is to find the nugget of news. Interview people to get more insights.

Be brief.

EXCLUSIVE - News scoops that are highly important and that are likely not to be published elsewhere will be given the "exclusive" tag by the editor (see picture). These news pieces should gather from primary sources, whether it is an email that the CEO has sent out to franchisees, an interview, or from another type of documented source. Our citizen journalists then write a news story that helps franchisees know about and understand that event.

Please contact the editor to let him know that your article is an exclusive story or write it in the first line of your story.

Blue MauMau's Preferred Style of A News Story

Title - Keep it short (7 words or under, if possible), with the first letter of every word capitalized.

Introductory sentence - One sentence summary of the article that attracts readers to read the entire news story. This sentence will show up in the front page or news section page.

Introductory paragraph - A teaser to attract franchise readers further and to click "read more" to access the complete article.

Body - Short sentences. Short essay. Use hyperlinks to back up sources or to link to related articles for readers who want to know more. Keep the story neutral and objective. Do not use the first person to call attention to yourself as a citizen reporter. E.g., don't use "I," "this reporter." If you want to express your opinion, you can do so in the remarks area. Having a subjective point of view in the story will automatically disqualify it for a front page news story.

No Signatures - No names and hyperlinks to the author's website should be at the bottom of a news story. These bits of information should already be included in your user page. Readers only have to click your automatic hyperlinked name (see example below) to get to information about the journalist.

EXAMPLE:

An Interview with Cuppy's Coffee President Submitted by jsparks on Thu, 2007/05/10 - 19:57

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