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Guidelines for LabourStart correspondents

Revised 26 April 2014

Espaņol / Italiano

You might wish to add this page to your Favorites or print it out. It contains useful information for all correspondents.

You can add stories and modify or delete the stories you've added, but you cannot delete or modify stories others have added. Stories you add must exist on the web somewhere. If not, post them to your website and link to that. If you don't have a website, create one at one of the free website or blog providers (such as Blogger). Alternately, you can write up a story (but don't use one which appeared on a copyrighted site) on your blog on UnionBook or elsewhere.

Don't change the date nor the priority of a story you've posted. If you feel the story is really important and should be boosted to the top of the page, send me a note - [email protected] .

Give a good descriptive title, e.g., Train drivers strike against privatization. Keep the title as brief as possible. (Only the first 99 characters are picked up by our Labour News Wire, so we don't want titles being cut off.) Shorten government to gov't and use acronyms where these are easily understood, such as well known acronyms for unions (e.g., TUC, AFL-CIO).

Don't repeat the name of the country in the title. If the story is about a general strike in Fredonia, don't make the headline: "General strike in Fredonia". On LabourStart, that would appear as "Fredonia: General strike in Fredonia". Use instead something like "General strike breaks out", and in the country field insert "Fredonia".

In English language stories, we spell "labour" the British way, but everything else tends to be spelt the American way. You choose.

Where possible, shorten the name of the source. For example, don't write "Associated Press". Write "AP". If registration is required to see the item, as in the New York Times, indicate this by clicking on the appropriate button.

When using the various press release services, such as PR Newswire, indicate the source as coming from the union which issued the press release, and not PR Newswire itself.

Make sure not to use publications which are on trade union boycott lists, including newspapers currently on strike.

Use the full web address, e.g., http://www.cnn.com/article1.html including the http://

Check to make sure that this link works before adding it to the database.

Also, if you've logged on to some site in order to see the news story, the URL might be special to your session. Be careful about this.

If the site you're linking to uses frames, try to link only to the frame with the relevant news story.

When more than one country is involved, add a second country. But you can't do this for more than two countries; in those cases, use "Global" or regional names (names of continents and regions like Caribbean). Remember that country name is important because this is the way the site delivers up news through Labour NewsWire and on the national pages. For now, we are using only the standard English names of countries though it is possible that in the future we will move over to using the names by which countries are called locally, e.g., Deutschland, Italia, and so on.

When in doubt, see LabourStart -- http://www.labourstart.org -- for examples of how the links should work. Consistency of style is a good thing.

Please keep focussed on workers in your country, their unions and their struggles (strikes, etc.).

Avoid stories about political groups or stories merely exposing how bad capitalism is. There are loads of places on the web to talk about environmental issues, for example. Use LabourStart to publish labour news and nothing else.

Where possible, link to trade union sources. Otherwise, use mainstream media sources that appear to be objective. Never link to stories that simply bash unions from a right-wing point of view -- those people have enough places on the net and off to spread their poison around.

I will add your name and email address to our Correspondents page -- see
http://www.labourstart.org/correspondents.shtml If you would like to add more details (such as a brief biography and your website address) please send these to me.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Also -- please email me the first time you add a link.

Thanks very much. Looking forward to working with you.