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FAQ - News Discussion
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From the top your news post ought to be about game development related news, lately there have been a lot of posts that could belong better in other forums, such as the lounge. That aside, these guidelines should be observed:

1. Fact checking and verification
As in all good news journalism, a reasonable degree of fact checking and verification should be employed when placing a news item or news story up for editorial review for inclusion in published news on gamedev.net

Reliable sources, reliable bylines, e-mail verification, phone calls, press credentials -- these are all good tools to employ when verifying facts and sources. Try to be sure as possible and have expended due diligence and reasonable care in fact checking stories and items, and verifying sources and quotes.

2. Attribution
Placing news items in a post referring to other sources should include reference attribution to the source and time and date of the publication news story or item your are reporting. Links are minimally required, names of the original byline of the reporter that got the scoop is valuable also, and a professional courtesy. This is good form in publishing, and can grow news sources.

An example of this would be, "Tiffany Smith, News Editor of Gamedev.net reported at 12:45 GMT on 10-25-2004 the..."

Also, now that Google is being sued by Agence France Presse (AFP) for linking subscription content from a free search page, it behooves every news content poster to be certain you give credit (down to the byline if found, remember due diligence and reasonable care are mandatory when giving attribution) where credit for the story is due.

3. Headlines/Subject Lines
Good headlines draw in the reader to the story. A really good headline is rewritten at least three or four times. News is so easily misiterpreted, this cannot be glossed over.

4. New content
When posting a news item, please ensure that the news summary text area is not the only data field you enter news into. The "Full Story" section should be filled in as well for the news to be visible to the forum. Even if you are posting a short blurb and a link, copy and paste the Summary Section into the Full Story section so it can be processed by the gamedev.net news gathering application and output viewable content.

5. Know your reader
Look for stories of interest to them that contribute community and industry value. There are several sections of interest defined in the posting interface, so these section heads are useful to select for the proper balance of publication across the spectrum of community and industry interest.

6. Spelling and grammar
This would go without saying if it weren't so critical to journalistic credibility. You don't have to have the Chicago Manual of style committed to memory, but rereading and rewriting (if it is your story you are breaking) is considered without exception in the journalism business. Consider who you are representing. Rewriting a story before sending it in can prevent the submission from being sent back to you to rewrite again. The words polish and copy are practically synonymous in the journalism business.

7. Permissions
A lot of times you can cite examples from other people's work, but there are limitations to how much of what other people have authored and published you can make. Familiarize yourself with these limitations, and should you exceed them, employ permissions journalistic diligence.

8. Objectivity
It's painfully obvious when you are writing a press release for your own company and trying to publish it as news here. The sad fact is, it ain't always news, it's advertising, and shameless self promotion is not news. Learn the difference, and what credibility gaps is can cause if you don't employ the difference diligently.

The more objectivity you put into your story, the more credibility your story has, and the larger your audience will grow. Readership can be a very powerful, loyal tool if you serve that process professionally.

9. Editorial Review
All news items and stories posted on Gamedev.net LLC are subject to editorial review and determination whether to publish or kill the story. That's the news business. If you believe your story deserves a second chance, and wish the Editorial Review Board to review it again, contact the Editor-In-Chief at the address he provides for secondary review after a story is killed. The Editor-In-Chief has final say over reviews of killed stories. A total of three appeals of a submission are permitted by Editorial Standards & Policies.

10. The Wires
Once in awhile, the community itself is a source of news, and this is good PR and brand marketing for Gamedev.net LLC and you. If you are going to post a press release about your development or development company, make sure that the material is not more appropriately suited for the Announcements forum first. If you are certain you've got a good press release, then I am going to cite some of the things that you can do to ensure that the major news wire services pick up the story and run it on the wires for publications all over the world to pick it up and give you all the press bang for your buck you can get.

Here are some of the formatting suggestions I have for your posts in order to make it easier for the wires to grab them and give you your due coverage in the global press. These suggestions are from the Associated Press stylebook, Copyright 2000. This is good reading for those of you who need some refreshing on media law and the rights of the press.

A. Bylines: Write your name, if you are the author of the press item in ALL CAPS. If you are posting news useful to the community from another source, see 'Attribution' above.

B. Non-transmitting symbols: With respect to the Associated Press, the following symbols are not to be used in your post, because different news computer systems around the world may choke on them, or worse, not get the entire story from the wire transmission service because the symbol may represent a control character to a particular system. Yes, this is the case even today with more modern computer networks. I'll update as the AP stylebook updates. Remember, follow these suggestions if you want your press release to be formatted to go out on the major international and national news wire services.

Here are the following list of symbols:

* accent marks - they cause garbled copy in some newspaper computers.

* asterisk - rarely translates and in many cases cannot be sent by AP computers or recieved by newspaper computers. No substitution is available.

* @ - does not exist. Spell out as in some e-mail addresses: heyyou(at)thismailbox.com If you are stringing it direct to the wire because you are a registered wire corresepondent, put an editors note at the top of the story explaining the symbol cannot be transmitted on the wire.

* Brackets "[]" - Rarely translates. Sometimes does not transmit or is recieved, use parenthesis () instead.

* Bullets - Can cause transmission problems - use dashes instead.

* Cents - The cent symbol doesn't exist. Spell it out.

* Equal sign "=" - This is a wire service control character for centering. Spell it out.

* Percent "%" - Sometimes cannot be sent or recieved on some newspaper computers. Spell it out.

* Pound sign (either the english currency symbol or the hash mark "#") - Frequently a control character. Spell it out (e.g.: British Pounds Sterling or Pounds net weight.

* Slash "/" or "\" - Can translate into characters or intepreted as a control symbol.

* Tilde "~" - Write it out and put in in a parenthesis like (tilde). Write a note to the editor at the top of the story explaining it is a nontransmitting character.

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