This guide will help show you the steps to creating an article on Local News Now sites. Throughout this process, follow a guiding principle: what is in the best interest of the reader?
1. Identify a piece of news that is interesting and/or important for our audience to know.
2. Put it in the rundown on Asana.
3. Email (or call if necessary) those who have information needed to report the story. Or, find a sufficient amount of verifiable info online and/or physically at the scene.
4. Complete info gathering. If unable to get a response from those contacted, decide whether to continue with story as-is. Artfully craft the wording so that any uncertainty is couched (i.e. “expected to open in April”).
5. Gather visuals that will add to the story and reader understanding/interest. May use existing photos from library, new original photos, public domain photos, screenshots, YouTube videos, etc.
6. Start new draft in WordPress.
7. Type placeholder text on first line. Press enter.
8. Write the lead. It should grab reader attention and set the stage for the article. It should be concise and crisp. Avoid “kitchen sinking” too much information.
9. Delete the placeholder text and insert visuals (photo, gallery, video, etc.)
10. Set featured image.
11. Complete rest of article, adding links to relevant additional stories (especially our own) as you go. Insert a jump and endnotes if necessary.
12. Write the headline. Identify what about the story is most important/interesting to readers.
13. Proof read in editor.
14. Select category.
15. Add tags.
16. Press preview and proof again. Look for extra line breaks, formatting issues. Test gallery, video, links, etc.
17. Schedule to publish on 5s or 0s.
18. About 5-10 minutes after publication, load homepage and re-read article. Make any necessary edits, noting the time of the update.
19. Do social media.
20. Within 30-60 minutes of publication, check/moderate comments. Look for potential reader-submitted corrections — to investigate — or violations of comment policy — to delete.