Getting Started

Newslines writers build up timelines about people, products, companies and news events by adding 50-150 word news summaries. It usually takes our writers 5-10 posts to get used to our style. Once you get the hang of the basics you can crank out posts out on any topic, and there are literally millions of subjects you can choose from.

Check out existing newslines

The first thing you should do is check our existing newslines and see how they work. You will see that they follow a specific format. For example, on the newsline for Rosamund Pike you will see that we have posts for her interviews, film appearances, magazine covers and life events. Our posts have a short summary of the event, a quote from the actress about the event, and some have images or YouTube videos.

If you can write the first paragraph, then you can write for Newslines

Easy post creation

To create the post above all you need to do is find the source article, scan it for the news, write the first paragraph (30 words), copy and paste the quote (the part in blue), and upload the image. It takes less than five minutes for most posts.

Every post is part of a timeline

The most important thing to remember is that because each post is part of a timeline, we have to format posts in a particular way:

  • All our posts are in the present tense
    This is different from most news stories you’ll see in a newspaper, which are in the past tense. We do this because each newsline can be read in two ways: from latest news going back in time, and from the oldest news going forward.
  • We don’t repeat text between posts
    Each post is only about the current event and has no background. This is very different from a normal newspaper article where it’s good to add all kinds of background to give context. On newslines the context is created from the other posts on the timeline. So we would never write, “Rosamund Pike, the English star of Gone Girl appears on the cover of Vogue” because we already know from other posts on the newslines that she’s in Gone Girl, and that she’s English. So we just write, “Pike appears in Vogue”
  • Neutral language
    We strip out any kind of emotional language. For example, “Pike is excited about her gorgeous Armani Oscar dress” becomes, “Pike wears an Armani dress”.

The easiest way to get started is to read the basics and jump in and try a post. We want you to get good at it, so we provide feedback on your posts, and you can always contact us on the chat or by email for more help.

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