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Guidelines For Contributors

Please read the following guidelines carefully if you would like to contribute to The Latest News.

We are a news website founded early 2015 reporting on stories from around the world. Articles are accepted by electronic submission only, including photographs and other images but not videos, although videos can be linked to articles. Please submit in WORD format, plain text (ASCII) or as a simple HTML file. If you don’t want to insert links yourself, please indicate where these links should go. If you do insert links, please ensure each link opens in a new window.

Payment for all articles is strictly by arrangement until we build our revenue stream.

Please create original articles, not duplicate content, and do not simply paraphrase what someone else has written or said.

Please italicise the following: newspaper, magazine, book, film, song and album titles; Latin words and phrases, words and phrases that although “foreign” are sometimes used in English, such as billet doux or intifada.

Many visitors to this site will read English as a second language, so please try to avoid technical terms; if you use such expressions, please explain what you mean. Please try to avoid figures of speech like “when pigs fly” and obscure cultural references; these may be readily understood by someone living in New York, but not by someone who lives in Beijing.

Always use correct grammar; the word “ain’t” has now become acceptable but text shorthand like IMHO is not. Try to avoid split infinitives and use “try to” not “try and”, this is a horrible grammatical mistake that has even found its way into popular songs. Do not end a sentence with the word with, eg write “the doctor with whom they went” not “the doctor they went with”.

Always proof-read your work carefully; do not rely on a spell checker.

Please avoid using swear words or racial epithets unless really necessary, ie you are quoting someone in context and that quote adds something to the article.

Please do not use euphemisms like “person of colour” – “black man” or “black woman” is perfectly acceptable. Please do not use “gay”; homosexual is correct.

If you use an acronym, don’t put it in brackets right after the actual phrase, for example “According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), this is the third time this has happened since March.” If you are mention the FSA only once here, better to use FSA and link to the website.

Regarding links, the Internet is a fluid medium, and there is no guarantee a link used in an article today will be valid next year or even tomorrow; this applies especially to news sites and small, personal websites. It is a good idea to use archived links; you can find these through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine; if a particular page is not archived, you can archive it yourself in seconds. You can also use government archived websites.Try not to link to YouTube videos. These can be archived but usually are not.

You should always link your articles, especially if you are quoting someone or citing a source. You don’t have to go over the top, but links give your articles credibility, and also enable readers to follow up.

Be very careful when using or quoting statistics. Many people and organisations simply make up statistics, this applies even to the United Nations. Pressure groups in particular often exaggerate wildly to promote their causes. Claims about the prevalence of rape, people (especially children) living in poverty, even environmental damage, often have little or no relation to reality. Before using statistics, ask yourself who or what produced them, and on what evidence.

Be very careful reporting claims made by any pressure group or agenda-driven special interest group, including charities. Some simply lie. This applies especially to alleged miscarriages of justice such as the murder convictions of Krishna Maharaj, Linda Carty, and Jeremy Bamber. It can also include 9/11 Truth cranks, conspiracy theorists…as well as many others.

The Latest News welcomes articles about off-beat subjects, including interviews. For example, how many people realise there is a thriving heavy metal scene in black Africa?

Please do not report trivia or nonsense. What some wannabe celebrity did at the airport is not news.

Although you are unlikely to be sued for libel, please don’t repeat rumours, scurrilous gossip or wild allegations just because they have been published elsewhere. Obviously if somebody has been convicted of a serious offence, killing someone while driving under the influence perhaps, then you are entitled to report this, but don’t write things about other people you wouldn’t like them to write about you, and don’t go out of your way to dig up misdemeanors or trivial matters from decades past.

If you report on criminal proceedings, there can be legal restrictions to observe such as the Contempt Of Court Act, 1981 in the UK. Until a person has been convicted of an offence he is entitled to the presumption of innocence, however overwhelming the case against him may appear. This is extremely important; in the UK there can be severe legal sanctions for those reporters who are found in contempt of court. Including prison.

May 2015