Content Quality Guidelines

Stories that are written for PubDAO ought to be representative of journalistic best practices. To that end, here are some pointers for PubDAO writers to keep in mind:

  1. Stories ought to be well reported. It’s perfectly OK to get a story idea from a press release, but please do not consider that stuff the gospel. Do your own reporting to verify “official” communiques.
  2. Reporting is all about accuracy and facts. Usually, that requires emailing, DMing, Telegramming, Discording— or better yet talking —to the people at the center of a story.
  3. We love quotes. Usually, the people we talk to are more interesting to hear from than the writer. It’s great to record interviews in case anyone complains later about being misquoted.
  4. While the idea of “objectivity” in this day and age has been pretty well debunked, we should endeavor to be fair. If you are writing about something that is controversial, try to present both sides. (Yes, yes, “both sides-ism” can also be problematic but try it.)
  5. We make mistakes. All the time. When we do we correct them, prominently at the top of the story.
  6. Plagiarism is a terminal offense. Put things in your own words. Other slashable sins include:
    1. Hate Speech
    2. Incitement to violence
    3. Fabrication
    4. Accepting Gifts for coverage
    5. Libel and slander
    6. Child porn
  7. Stories typically begin with a hook, to grab the reader's attention. Get to the point by the third graf. Often referred to as the “nut graf,” this sets out the parameters of the story. The rest of the story ought to elaborate on those themes, alternating between a “brick” of facts and data followed by a “balloon” of elaboration (usually quotes.) Below is a handy diagram that helps illustrate typical story structure. Pay attention to the last graf, or the kicker, which usually restates the theme laid out in the lede or nut graf in a clever way.