Help with publishing - how to add your news to Indymedia
This information is available HERE as a downloadable PDF or as a printable booklet.
The Pre-Publish page
The 'PUBLISH YOUR NEWS' link on any UK Indymedia site takes you to the Pre-Publish page. There, you have 3 choices:
- If your article is text-only, then click the button for the Simple Publish Page
- If you have pictures, video and/or audio files to include with your article, enter the number of files in the Upload With The Article section. (However, large files are best uploaded beforehand via FTP; see next item)
- If you have already uploaded your pictures or other media files via FTP, enter the number of files in the Use FTP section.
When you have clicked the relevant button the Publish Form will appear.
The Publish formDon't worry, it's not as complicated as it might seem at first - a lot of it is self-explanatory. The form is made up of the following sections (the links lead to more information about each section)
- Your Details
- Your Article
- Selecting Regions & Topics
- Select Media Items or Select Items Uploaded by FTP (this step won't appear in the Simple Publish Page)
Afterwards - don't panic!
There will always be a delay before your article appears - don't worry, it will appear eventually. Don't hang around waiting to see your article, and don't try to re-submit it. Go off & do something else instead and check back for it later.
It can take a long time for the article to get through the publish process. Additionally, there are several Indymedia 'mirror' servers and it can take a long time for your article to appear on all of them.
More information about Publish Form sections
Author: you must enter an author name for the article but you do not have to put your real name - made-up nonsense names or just 'anon' are fine.
Contact information is optional - be aware that if you enter your email address here it will be publicly visible on the Indymedia website.
Title: this will be the link text in the newswire for your article as well as the headline, so while it needs to be short, it also needs to be informative and descriptive, to give a good idea of what the article is about. Please don't use all capital letters - it does not look good on the start page.
Abstract: a paragraph that will appear at the top of the article, just below the headline. This should be a summary of the article or an introduction, containing all the essential information - who, where, what, when, why. Please don't repeat it in the main article.
Article: Enter the main text of your article.
Currently you cannot format your article text in any way and any HTML will be removed automatically. (The system is not yet able to check HTML to filter out potentially harmful code, so all code is stripped out. Admin volunteers are able to include HTML in articles.) This means that your article will appear in plain text only; you cannot, for example, make text bold or italic. Paragraphs will display exactly as you entered them, but you cannot do anything more advanced with the layout. (Some ways around this: capitalise sub-headings within the article to make them easy to see at a glance; use dashes or asterisks to simulate bullet points).
Website addresses or email addresses that you include in the article will automatically appear as clickable links. (Website addresses need to start http:// for this to happen)
It's worth taking time and care over writing your article. You don't need to be a professional writer to write something that is effective, clear, and will be taken seriously. Look at your article from a reader's point of view, as if you had never seen it before: is it easy to read? For example, readers will be put off by a long piece of text that runs all together with no breaks; instead, lay it out in separate paragraphs.
Some more tips:
- Anything that you most want readers to see needs to be in the first paragraph, because most of them won't read any further! Journalists have long used the 'inverted pyramid' model when writing reports: start with the conclusion, followed by the important supporting evidence, and finish with the background material.
- Write & save your article in advance, using your word processor. Then you can simply copy and paste it into the form, and if anything goes wrong, you won't have lost the original version.
- If you copy and paste an article from email or other text-wrapped source you will probably have line-breaks in unexpected places, which will also make the web-page longer than it needs to be - remove these so that the layout looks tidier.
This part of the form consist of sets of checkboxes that you can tick/untick to select where your article will appear on the various UK Indymedia websites or website topic pages. UK or your region may be already ticked, depending on whether you came to the publish page from UK Indymedia or a regional site.
- UK: tick if your article is for the newswire for the main Indymedia UK website.
- Region: you can tick up to 2 regions and your article will appear on their newswires.
- Topic & Actions: tick any of these that are relevant to your news item.
Please only tick those regions or topics that are really relevant to your article. If you tick irrelevant selections, then Indymedia volunteers will almost certainly untick them later. (If you are not in the UK, remember that there are Indymedia websites all over the world. Would your article be more effective on your local Indymedia instead of UK Indymedia?)
This section of the form is for uploading picture, sound or video files that you want to include in your article. For each media file, type in a meaningful title and then click the Browse button; this opens up a window where you can select from the files on your computer; when you find the file you want, click on it to highlight it and click Open and the window will close.
Photographs should be no more than 500 pixels in width or they will be too big for many peoples' screens. If you need help, or a free application to resize your pictures please click here
This section of the form is for linking picture, sound or video files that you have previously uploaded by ftp to indymedia to your article. For each file, type in a meaningful title and then select your file from the drop-down menu.
Indymedia, 21.04.2006 18:11