Washington Post blog guidelines

"A group led by Outlook Editor John Pomfret and involving editors and reporters from the newsroom and wpni has drafted guidelines for blogging on washingtonpost.com," says an internal memo obtained by FishbowlDC:

This memo describes guidelines for our newsroom for creating, maintaining (and ending) blogs. Blogs, like all content on washingtonpost.com, are published under the supervision of editors at wpni. This primer aims to help reporters and editors at the newspaper decide when, how and whether to launch a blog.

All blogs should draw on our principles for Washington Post journalism on the web, including meeting our standards of accuracy and fairness and rules for expressing personal opinions.

What works?

• A news column/opinion blog with two or a single contributor. Examples: Raw Fisher, White House Watch.
• A breaking news or event-driven blog that can accept many contributors but should generally be supervised by one editor. Example: The Trail.
• A blog oriented around a relatively defined issue with two or a single contributor. Example: soccerinsider.
• Blogs with voice, a consistently strong (even provocative) writing tone. Example: Achenblog.
• Blogs with active editors. Guidance is important and all blogs need editing and benefit from the back-and-forth between the author and an editor.

What doesn’t work?

• Group blogs that lack focus.
• Blogs that lack voice.
• Blogs that are not updated (several times a week AT LEAST).
• Grab-bag blogs that are a dumping ground for notes that will not make the paper.

Types of blogs

Breaking News Blogs. Created for a big breaking news story, such as the Virginia Tech shootings. One editor should supervise the blog content and another editor the coverage in the newspaper. The two editors should be in constant communication with each other and the corresponding wpni editor.

Event Related Blogs. Created for a one-time or periodic event, such as the Maryland Legislature or the ACC Tournament. An editor should be assigned to oversee the blog in collaboration with the editing of the newspaper’s coverage.

Subject Blogs. These are long-term blogs around a clearly specified topic. In most cases the number of contributors should be limited to fewer than three reporters, with exceptions such as The Trail.

Blog Launch “9 Point Checklist”

Proposals for new blogs are welcome from across the newsroom. Proposals should address the following questions:

1. What’s the blog’s topic or what event will it cover? Blogs with relatively narrow topics do better than loosely defined blogs. Either way, the topic of each blog needs to be clearly defined. A strong personality or voice can serve a similar defining function (Achenblog, the Kurtz media summary).

2. What’s the competition, and how will your blog win? You’re unlikely to find many topics that someone else isn’t already blogging about. Identify the competition and tell us why your blog is special.

3. How will your blog supplement what appears in print and online? Blogs on washingtonpost.com must contain original material – newsworthy reporting, useful information and/or strong commentary. Some of the best blogs have a live and fresh feel precisely because they take readers inside the news. Outline how your blog will relate to existing print and online features.

4. How often will it be updated, and at what time(s) of day? Blogs need to be updated at least once each weekday.

5. Who will write your blog? Blogs usually benefit from a distinctive voice. At the same time, reporters can’t offer personal opinions on a blog in a way that would not be acceptable in the newspaper (critics exempted, for example). Proposals should include at least three “test posts” to judge whether the writer can produce posts with effective and acceptable voice.

6. Who will edit your blog? Blog items need to be edited. Your proposal needs to say who will edit blog copy.

7. Who will moderate comments on your blog? User comments typically account for 10-25% of a blog’s traffic and are a key to success – but need to be moderated.Who will review comments that appear to violate the site’s discussion policy and delete them if necessary?

8. How and where will your blog be promoted? Successful blogs typically “live off the land” by attracting bloggers who link to them and a loyal audience. But promotion on washingtonpost.com and in print is helpful, particularly at launch. Work with appropriate editors on both sides on a realistic promotion plan.

9. What names and “taglines” do you propose for your blog? Since many names are already taken, you should include several possibilities in your proposal, and do a quick web check to make sure none is in use.



9 comments about 'Washington Post blog guidelines'

I would like to do a Daily Blog on Politics and the race for the white house. How do I begin??

Posted by Demarquis at January 31, 2008 10:28 PM

this is rather thorough. thanks!

Posted by kris gale at February 5, 2008 12:44 PM

американское правительство самое дибильное и хитрожопое. мудачье короче

Posted by nikodim at August 11, 2008 6:42 AM

I would like to draw your attention to some extreme and horrendous criminality being conducted with the involvement of United States Government-related Agencies and the complicity, if not participation, of many other governments, security agencies and/or shadowy organisations - involving the use of DIRECTED ENERGY AND NEUROLOGICAL WEAPONS on defenceless people.
I can confirm that the technical abilities and powers to:-
1. place a human subject under continuous surveillance, no matter where he/she is, from remote locations.
2. continuously monitor a human brain from remote locations, including thought, reaction, motor command, auditory event and visual image reading
3. continuously input directly into a human brain from remote locations, including the ability to override, control and alter consciousness, and to introduce voices, noises, other disturbances, images and “dreams” into the brain
4. directly interfere with, abuse, torture and hit bodies - including performing advanced medical procedures - and objects - from remote locations
5. directly interfere with, alter, insert etc. data, files, communications and legal evidence from remote locations - even during transmission
6. make live TV, and other screens and monitors, two-way – for surveillance, invasion of privacy etc..
7. control the flow of information and orchestrate the media – worldwide.
There is massive ignorance and secrecy regarding this, and victims such as I are being subjected to uncontrolled and unacknowledged torture and mental and physical destruction. This has remained completely unreported and undiscussed publicly. There are many others, all over the world, who are being subjected to similar torture and abuse – some of us are being subjected to the most extreme and totalitarian violations of human rights in human history
As well as being inhumane and criminal the crimes being committed against us are contrary to the Principles and Values of all the major religions and ethical systems - and yet our appeals for justice, protection, assistance and/or publicity to Government Representatives, Government Officials, Government Agencies, International Organisations, Human Rights Organisations, Universities, Scientific and other Institutions, and the International Media have been almost completely ignored and/or suppressed.
For anyone at all concerned about human rights, liberty, democracy, privacy, the rule of law and ALL aspects and degrees of human freedom, individuality and mental and physical integrity and health this uncontrolled and unacknowledged technology and torture and abuse is intolerable!
Your attention and assistance is urgently needed to halt these atrocities, control and regulate the use of these technologies, and to bring these extremist elements to justice.

Posted by ilsun at September 22, 2008 6:49 PM

Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Terrorism, Radicalism, Fundamentalism is the remnants of the CRUSADERS and the Christian who waged Holy Wars against their brother community the AMBIGEANS who followed different, balanced and non radical idea about CHRIST and GOD. Further the CRUSADERS fought against the Muslim world for more or less than 200 hundred years in the pretext to liberate the HOLY CITY while the Holy City was always opened for them for pilgrims, and they offered every facility to stay there as guest of the Muslims and even the Jews. The skulls were brought as a sacred gift to their friends in Europe are still laying inthe archives and drawing rooms.
Further Radicalism, Terrorism and killing the public figures and cultural representatives was carried out by the Iranian and Syrian Fida,I Ismailis specially the Nizari Ismailis. They adopted this killing Modus Operandi to gain power and as a megalomania.
Before the advent of Pakistan or any other Islamic country no such example of Radicalism, Fundamentalism and terrorism was prevailed in any corner of the Islamic World.
The present phase of terrorism, radicalism, and fundamentalism started when in the WEST the Idea of Clash of Civilization was adopted by the elements having political interest, undergrounds, Mafias and conspirators who were ambitious to snatch the immense resources of the world of this area. The second motive behind was RISING of CHINA as a super power.
Without generating pseudo Taaliban the Americans and Westerns could not proceed forward, and could achieve their goal. Even in Pakistan the the ruling elites who could not give the country a system in the 60 years were so allured by the influx of dollars that they offered their services to destabilize the area.
These elements themselves are very strong and stable but the country they ruled is the weakest of the world even being an atomic power. This atomic power was also abused and used to grip the country and the nation not to gain the national pride. Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq are there to sell the nation for dollars. The Americans and the Westerners themselves not do dirty things, but they select/choose people like our elites and rulers to do these dirty things in the disguise of Taliban or Terrorists. Community, Jamaats, Tablighee, Islami and Ulema are not involved, directly nor indirectly in these dirty activities.
Millions Dollars, twenty truck supplying ammunitions on daily basis, hundred trucks ration, intact logistic system, target identification, correct linkages and communication system, sophisticated guide line system is not simply maneuvered by the so called Taliban themselves. It is the Institutions and their co-ordinted and integrated system and efforts which is sustainable, durable and directional playing the game. Other wise a group of troops may have driven them out in a single day or two.
Please STOP to befooling the world. Esoterically all know that you are befooling them.
S. Nazar Fatimi Chitral

Posted by Syed Shamsu Nazar Fatimi at April 30, 2009 5:29 AM

I from Pakistan share my point of view in REFERENCE to ILSUN date September 22, 2008 about NEUROLOGICAL TERRORISM through neurological weapons and their REMOTE functioning on the human brain, diverting and suppressing the human mind and brain in certain direction to ruin and misfiguring him. In Europe such terrorism is reffered back to the history of ASSASSINS the Ismaili Nizaris who's (Holy Killers) brains were turned and directed through intoxications and suggestions that the person said to be intoxicated with a blend of religious indoctrination volunteered to sacrifice his life and the enemy who would be a representative of a different culture and religion. The Western research and approach is seemed to be half true but there is a little bit taste of suspense and religious subjectivity.
Terrorism and radicalism has emerged in various forms as my brother has very clearly discussed above. The American CIA invented and smuggled the technology and exported to the countries where they used the narcotics production for their politic objectives . Otherwise the Afghanis and Burmese could not engineer such sophisticated machines.

The recent invasion on Iraq and Afghanistan is another method of terrorism and radicalism in the guise and disguise of political motives. The reason of such atrocities and invasion was fabricated and politically orinted.

Every aggression and political atrocity is done beyond the smoking screen as Pluralism, Democracy, and social services. Socual service pave the way to infiltrate in to the brains and societies and so convert, divert and indoctrinate the simple minded people and exploite them to achieve the goal. All Mafias, Under grounds,secret societies and Templars follow these conspiracy theories and methodology. The above blog has further exposed such theory and methodology to convert and diver human mind to prepare terrorists, suiciders,Assassins and crazies to easily achieve POLITICAL objectives without sacrificing their soldiers . Let me think and offer some more fresh informations in the next session.

S Nazar Fatimi

Posted by S. Nazar Fatimi Pakistan at May 2, 2009 2:11 PM

The reason of such atrocities and invasion was fabricated and politically orinted.

Posted by cheap computers at October 15, 2009 5:20 AM

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Posted by davidbaer at February 6, 2010 7:04 AM

How about a class act suit against the Washington Post for purtting your personal information on goggle, bing, yahoo and other web sites with out your consent?

Posted by Marita Willoughby at June 23, 2010 2:59 PM

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