Every article should:
- Feature a relevant featured image. This should be a relevant image to the story that is credited appropriately.
- Carry an excerpt, inserted in the relevant space on the writing page. This is the text that will show on the homepage under the title of your article. It should be less than 100 words, and should attempt to grab the interest of the reader.
- The articles should follow the inverted pyramid style: the most important information at the beginning with additional information as the article progresses. News articles should be concise and relevant with a reporting tone as opposed to a discursive one.
Abbreviations and Acronyms
- Use capitals (BBC).
- Use full title with abbreviation for first mention (“Brighton and Hove City Council”). Subsequent mentions can be, e.g., ‘the council’. Exceptions should be made for those rarely referred to in full (ITV, BBC), or when the abbreviation is commonly used as a word (PETA, NATO).
Date & Time
- Do not refer to ‘last week’ or ‘last month’ unless in a News article.
- Dates should be written as day, date, month. (Tuesday 22nd February). Use your judgement when deciding whether to include the year. Annual events (such as festivals or awards ceremonies) should always include the year.
- Do not abbreviate months or weekdays.
- Use a 12 hour clock, with a full stop between hours and minutes (1.30pm, 3am).
Formatting Your Text:
- Titles of show names, films, plays, etc should be written in italics.
- Referenced people should be hyperlinked to if possible.
- The first word of the title of your article should be the only word in the title capitalised, unless later in the title there are proper nouns. Other than that, the rest of the words following the initial one should all be lowercase.
- Use first and last names on first reference, and then only surname in further references (i.e. “Magnus Volk was a British inventor and pioneering electrical engineer. Volk is most well known for building Volk’s Electric Railway).
- Write one to nine as text.
- Write 10 and above as figures.
- Write the numbers as text if beginning a sentence, but try to avoid this (Sixty people attended the protest).
- Write ages as figures.
- If you’re able to provide images to which you have the rights to accompany the article, please do, if not we’re happy to source some appropriate images.
- Quotes can be broken down into multiple paragraphs if they are too long.
- Features for The Brighton Seagull should be written in a professional and understandable tone. Some of our other content (e.g. the Monday Briefing) has a less formal character.
- Writing style should remain formal without using overly complicated vocabulary.
- Avoid use of the first person (‘I think’, ‘We saw’, etc.) in general.
- Articles should not be written as essays - but do consider structure, with opening and closing paragraphs.
- Generally acceptable in context.
- Do not use in news articles unless part of a quote.
- Use is at the writer’s discretion, so try and consider context and audience.
- Do not use asterisks - either go ahead and use the swear word, or find another way of phrasing it.
- Other words which may be problematic (racist, homophobic, prejudiced) should only be included as relevant quotes.
If your content is a review, you may wish to give a star rating. Make sure these fit in with the opinion in the article, and think carefully about what rating you give. Here’s some guidance on what ratings translate as:
★☆☆☆☆ - Poor. Few, if any redeeming characteristics.
★★☆☆☆ - Average. It’s alright but overall it’s slightly disappointing.
★★★☆☆ - Good, but maybe not to everyone’s taste.
★★★★☆ - Excellent! Satisfaction is guaranteed, a great piece of work.
★★★★★ - Classic! Brilliant in every way, no failings at all.