Women eNews Kenya Writers Guidelines

Content Guidelines

  • Include as many organization names as possible in stories. There are at any given time hundreds or even thousands of agencies and companies in the gender and women empowerment sector who are trialing or subscribing to the newsletter, and they like to see their own names as well as learning who else is active in the sector. Also, we are particularly interested in running pieces focused on women and girl child and government and private-sector activities in the various regions, so keep a look out or those types of items.
  • Content should be current ¾ 400-word stories
  • Make calls to organizations, companies or government offices mentioned in stories for quotes or clarifications. If you need to contact someone in another country, you can ask the editorial staff to make the long-distance call for you. Upon request, we will provide a letter of engagement, stating that you are contributing for Women eNews Kenya, if that makes it easier to get people to talk to you about a story.
  • Particularly for 400-word stories, we want to have a “newsy” lede, rather than an anecdotal one.  We want to be sure to introduce new information early in the story, and include older news as background information further down in the story.
  • Give specific dates for all events, quotes and reports or documents cited. It’s OK to give a less specific timeframe (e.g., “last week,” or “earlier this month”) earlier in the story, especially if the news item is a week or so old. But we would like to put the actual date into the story somewhere.
  • Give the dollar (or available currency) amount for all projects and programs, whenever possible.  If no amount is available, be sure to specify that.
  • Use complete company names for any businesses mentioned in a story. If the companies involved in a project are local, or not very well-known, please mention where the company is based.
  • If you use a newspaper or other media source in a story, please be sure to cite it, especially if you are using any quotes from an individual interviewed by that source.
  • Paraphrase, rather than copy, and clearly cite any news sources you use — we will not publish plagiarized content.
  • Avoid “loaded” (excessively opinionated or controversial) words and be careful of superlatives — e.g., “the largest,” “the most,” “the first-ever.”
  • Avoid jargon and highly technical language — if you use a very technical term, offer a brief definition. If possible, use a more commonly understood term.

Style Guidelines:

  • Women eNews Kenya uses Associated Press style. Making copy conform to that style is something we will do in the final editorial process, but if you are familiar with it, go ahead and use it.
  • We use U.S. English spelling conventions.
  • We give monetary amounts in Kenya Shillings. We will do the conversion from other currencies into Kshs here during final edits, but if you get the amount in Kshs please leave it in Kshs. Always specify what currency you are using.
  • On first reference, we give an individual’s title (if applicable) and full (first and last) name. On subsequent references, use the last name only (no title), for both men and women.
  • Limit the use of acronyms in stories to those that are widely used and recognized — UN, UNIFEM, UNICEF, FIDA, etc. Most organization names, government departments, and technical terms should not be referred to by an acronym. After the first reference, you can refer to “organization,” “the ministry,” “the agency,” etc. Please always provide the full name on first reference, even for commonly recognized acronyms.
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