P.O. Box 384,
Gainesville, TX 76241
28 News Network is a news organization. Our priority is focused on the stories and the people of Texas. Our readership is a broad slice of the Texas population so please write with them in mind. We aim for smart, concise, connected writing that encourages wider conversations.
The optimum word length for an article is between 250 and 500 words. Google Analytics tells us that 70% of readers access our content on their mobile devices. The evidence says that readers don't complete lengthy articles on their mobile devices, especially if the subject is complex.
More than 500 words make your article much less likely to be read.
If you continually submit articles that are well over the word length, it's likely we won't run them. Editing takes time that our team could better spend on creating original content.
The same principle applies to video: aim for five minutes maximum, preferably three. Viewers won't watch a long piece, while editing can diminish the quality and take unnecessary time.
Lead with your strongest point and the general thrust of the article. It's the first thing that will appear on the screen and hook people into reading. Hyper-link to sources and facts where possible.
Work out what your central argument is: what's the most important thing for people to know? How will you get them to pay attention? What real-life examples or connections can you make? How necessary is each sentence? Does it repeat something you've already said?
Where suitable on opinion pieces, ask a question that generates further discussion.
All articles will be published under the name of the contributor except by specific arrangement. In certain circumstances, articles can, by arrangement, be published under the name of a business or organization.
Fact-check your work before submitting it. Check names, titles, and spelling. Be especially wary of things you presume you know.
Headlines should be direct, concise, and active. Resist being too witty: readers can miss the point. Tagging articles with names, place names, event titles, and keywords enhance filtering across the website and boosts reads.
Video interviewing tips
Plan your interview ahead of time and make bullet points about the relevant issues. Structure the story: who, what, where, when, how, etc... and take the viewer on a journey. Think about timing during the interview and shorten questions instead of relying on post-editing. Live interviewing is a specific time management skill, beyond guest rapport or interest in the topic.
Articles should have a good quality high-resolution photo, preferably landscape orientation to place above the title. Other photos can be included so they can be edited with several paragraphs of text between them.
While generic shots can be unavoidable, recognizable photos of people and places are preferable. If the article is critical, be careful not to include unconnected people in the background. Photos should also be tagged if you want certain ones included in the Photo library.
Remember to credit photos and seek permission for use where necessary. Images should be as high resolution as possible: anything below about 100KB will be grainy when loaded, although we can't load photos above 1MB. Optimal size is 800px X 450px.
All submissions are subject to editing for length, expression, and content. There are no exceptions to this rule. Feel free to contact the editor and discuss further, but 28 News Network retains the final say at all times over what appears on the site. We also retain the right to schedule articles as we see best. If an article is time-sensitive, you must give us a minimum of 24 hours' notice to fit it into our publishing schedule. We cannot guarantee when an article will appear.
Defamation law is evolving quickly in the digital sphere. Please remember that if you make a defamatory statement that's published, we will not bear a legal responsibility simply because we are the "means of publication.
Defamation is where a statement communicated to a third party causes injury to the reputation of the person about whom it's made. Any comment that injures someone's reputation can be defamatory if it brings a person into contempt, disrepute, or ridicule. To be defamatory, comments must be "heard" by a third party.
Avoiding defamation: The most important rule is to state the facts, not the conclusion. Let readers draw their own conclusions from established facts. Be sure that you have documents to back up statements that you make. Sometimes understatement - saying less than everything you believe to be true - is more effective than wide claims. If you are writing something that might be defamatory, seek a second opinion.
Anything before the courts may be sub judice, so check before you report.
- infringes intellectual property rights or copyright
- is defamatory
- violates laws regarding harassment, discrimination, privacy, or contempt
- is abusive or offensive, including obscenity, blasphemy, and racial vilification
- is condescending
- promotes hatred of any kind
- attacks the writer not the argument
- is inflammatory or blatantly off-topic
- is intentionally false or misleading
- doesn't make sense or is of nuisance value
- is inappropriate or vexatious
- could place the writer at risk
We reserve the right to reject submissions on topics that have already been widely canvassed on the site. We also reserve the right to reject submissions from participants who seek to dominate the discussion.
We will also not publish material that:
- compromises the privacy of our readers, contributors or staff
- contains inappropriate personal information or content
- seeks to endorse commercial products or activities or to solicit business (with the exception of sponsored content, which is published by arrangement and clearly marked as paid material – see more details below)
- deliberately provokes other readers
Wherever a submitter has a current or prior relationship with the subject of a 28 News Network article or receives any form of patronage from them; this must be disclosed either in the content or at the conclusion of the article.
Sponsored feature articles
28 News Network partners can sponsor news, opinion, or feature articles from our featured submissions as part of their partnership package. If the content is to be published as news, the sponsor cannot determine the content of the article and it must meet journalistic standards for news content.
Sponsor provided content
28 News Network partners can sometimes supply sponsored content articles as part of their partnership package. All sponsor-provided content must be submitted under their organization's name and disclosed as sponsored content at the conclusion of the article.
28 News Network is actively seeking strong, Texas-connected stories. If this sounds like your kind of writing, please contact us to discuss submitting to our site.