This blog post about our NewsTrust Baltimore local news experiment was written by community manager Gin Ferrara and originally published on our Baltimore blog on March 1, 2011. It is republished here for the benefit of our national community.
You've likely read and reviewed a few stories on our site, but the next step is to post stories yourself. We do what we can to post stories from a wide range of sources. But there may be a story that slips through the cracks, or a new blog that is especially insightful. We need your help to find those hidden gems and to share them with your fellow members. In doing so, you are building your skills as a critical news consumer -- think of it as honing your Jedi powers.
Posting is a pretty simple process, with a few special tricks.
- Click on the yellow "Post A Story" button on the top right of any NewsTrust Baltimore page.
- Past the URL of the story you wish to add to the site.
- A new page will open that shows the story and either a frame or a second window for editing the information about the story.
- Select "Full Edit Form" from the drop-down menu on the top right.
Now you're ready to fill out the story's info. Follow these tips for mastery!
- Fill out the title of the story -- it may have auto-filled, but the automation is not always correct. It should match what is on the story's original page. You also should remove any extraneous source information -- we just want the headline, not the name of the news organization or blog.
- Add a subtitle, if there is one, by clicking on the blue "Is there a subtitle?" link just below the title.
- Fill in the author, using a comma between writers if there is more than one. If there is no author listed, leave this line blank.
- Select the type of story, either news or opinion -- bonus points for being even more specific, like marking it "news analysis" or "editorial." (If you are not sure, sometimes the news source will note the type above the headline.)
- For the content field, choose the media of the story. The most commonly used are article, blog post, video, and audio-streaming.
- The source of the story is the name of the news source, not the URL. (Sometimes the Associated Press is the actual source, though it is listed on a local news site. In that case, enter "Associated Press.")
- Add the following topic tags to the story, pressing "enter" after each one: Baltimore, Local and Community, if appropriate. (Adding "Baltimore" and "Local" will ensure the story shows up on NewsTrust Baltimore, so these are the two most important!)
- Add any other topic tags that are relevant (e.g., Transportation, Maryland Legislature, Judaism). Many tags will auto-fill once you have typed part of a word -- those are our main topic areas.
- Select "local" as the story scope to ensure the story shows up on the NewsTrust Baltimore site.
- Make sure you select the date of the story to be the date of publication, not today's date. Otherwise a 2-year-old story about a heat wave could become one of today's top stories!
To read more about posting stories, check out our FAQ.
This is a great week to try posting a story. Share an article about your neighborhood, an opinion about your culture or a report on your interests. Review the article you've posted, and see what other folks recommend. You have become one with the news!