- Word Count: 200 - 800 words
- Image Usage: Recommended
- Your images must be under one of the following licenses: CC0, CC1, Public Domain, Apache2, or MIT.
- Brand Images and Screenshots of said application can be used if the developer has made such usage public domain.
Breaking News and Recaps
Breaking News and Recap articles are not meant to be published in the DevBlog. Therefore, these guidelines are mostly for YarsaTech writers covering the latest breaking tech news and weekly recaps of events that happened over the week.
These articles differ significantly from other tech articles as they require a strong sense of journalism rather than tech writing prowess. The core of any news-type article is the actual event covered and has much less to do with the written content.
Another key feature of a news article is that timing matters a lot more. Getting the breaking news out is more important than covering every single aspect relating to the event. This means that word counts should not be enforced, and shorter articles that give the basic details of any event should be prioritized (given that they are written quickly).
All in all, News and Recap articles are a niche and difficult to write effectively. The shorter word count might make them appealing as being easy to write, but finding the appropriate thing to report on – and to do it under a time limit – is where the difficulty lies.
These articles don't have a concrete formatting guide, but here are a few things to consider when writing such articles.
For Breaking News Articles
- Do not waste your time with elaborate setups and sentences. News must be direct, simple to read and understand, and efficient with word space. Longer sentences will distract the reader from the key point of your article.
- Find a proper headline. Sufficient time must be spent on finding the title of your article, as it is the hook that will separate it from the other sites covering the same event. Remember, the headline is the first thing a reader will see and, therefore, the most important.
- Your article should immediately begin without a setup. Everything relevant about the event being reported must be in the first sentence. The first sentence is the second thing your readers will see after the headline, so it should give a short description without delay.
- The rest of the article should then detail what was left out for efficiency in the headline and first sentence. Describe every party involved briefly, and discuss the event while providing accurate details.
- Don't make stuff up! Sensationalism hurts our reputation and wastes the reader's time. News articles are more similar to journalism than tech writing, thus must follow proper journalistic ethics. Seek truth and report it. Nothing more.
- Do not add opinions to Breaking News articles.
- You can be a bit more verbose with recaps. The point still remains; you have to be efficient with word usage.
- Recaps don't need to go into detail, just like news articles. Rather than deep connections, it is best to state facts and group news based on fringe similarities.
- Opinions are okay in recaps. Predictions, criticism, and reactions to news information are acceptable. Still, remember that your article's purpose is to recap the news, not to speculate wildly about a possible future.
- Most other guidelines for breaking news articles also apply to recaps. It is a good idea to format each event in a recap as a breaking news article on its own as a start point.
Headings and Callout Boxes
News articles don't need a lot of formatting regarding Headings and Callout boxes. It is recommended you do not use callout boxes at all and only use headings for separating different news events in a weekly recap.
After you are done writing your article, don't forget to check it using the guidelines provided by Tech Writing 201: Content Standardization and Fluency. In essence:
- Check your content in the Hemingway App and make sure it scores as low as possible on the readability test.
- Check your content in Grammarly to find grammatical errors and fix the ones you think are relevant.
- Check your content for Plagiarism in Grammarly and make sure it does not score more than a 5% plagiarism score.
Finally, submit your article to your editor for publication once everything is done. Breaking news! Local man submits well-written news article!