Your default setting should be on small letter, you will make less mistakes. Words like tennis, football, vice-captain, captain are not spelled with a capital.
There has to be consistency throughout the story. Do not write: The Football World Cup, then the football World Cup and then the football world Cup.
HAS to be 880 x 280 in size (not 880 x 220). It does not need a photo credit or a photo caption.
Keep your language simple, try to avoid clichés, be careful of using the wrong tense. Quite often people use lead instead of led or led instead of lead, for instance.
Your story is supposed to have a link to an audio or video piece that you have produced.
The story has to follow a news style, ie. The main news point at first.
The rule about numbers is:
One, two, three…nine are written out
10, 11, 12…are numerical.
Do not begin a paragraph with a number
Avoid opinion, do not give your opinion and do not present something as a fact if it is, in fact your opinion. An example would be: Roger Federer is the best tennis player of all times.
Paragraphs should have one sentence, in a very few cases they can have two.
Do not personalise your articles – do not write ‘we’, ‘I’ etc.
The story is supposed to have at least two photos PLUS the featured image.
Photos HAVE to have credits, without them, I have no idea knowing whether they are ‘stolen’ or not. They should have captions, though there are times were you don’t need a caption, for instance if it is a generic photograph of a logo, trophy, sports equipment etc.
The correct way to credit the photo is:
Photo: Wikipedia (or wherever the photo comes from)
If all the photos are from the same source, say you have taken them, then you just put it on once and instead of saying Photo, you write Photos:
Photos: Joe Bloggs
Note: Google images is not a photo credit. Google has no images, they only refer you to sites with images, so you would need to have something like Wikipedia, flick, or something similar
The story needs quotes from the interviews you did for audio or video or an interview you did for the story.
Quotation marks are at the beginning of a quote and at the end. If the quote continues over into a second paragraph, you do not have quotation marks at the end of the first paragraph, but you do begin the next one with paragraphs.
READ OUT ALOUD:
Read your story out aloud once you have finished it. You will pick up mistakes, that you might miss otherwise.
ROUNDING OFF A STORY:
It is not necessary to find a ‘nice’ rounding off to your story. You do not need to ‘bring’ it back to the beginning. You can end your story at any point when you have covered your main news points.
Avoid silly avoidable mistakes, like no full stops etc.
STYLE OF STORY:
The story is meant to be a news story and as such has to follow the news style. That means the main news points are at the top.
TAGS AND CATEGORIES:
Your stories HAVE to have tags and categories (for SEO purposes). You HAVE to have the world tag to ensure if goes onto the front page and you have to have categories. If none seem to fit, then chose sport.
Your stories should have some sort of timing to them. Avoid words like yesterday, later this month, as you do not know when the story will be read. But do say something along the lines of: Joe Bloggs said Saturday that he was looking forward to beginning the new season with the Solent second team.