Newslines has a very stripped down style that takes a little getting used to. We try to build up a timeline of a topic that is neutral and easy for the readers to understand.

Please don’t take editorial comments personally, they are intended to help you improve your post so that you can make make better posts. As you learn to make posts faster with less mistakes you can gain confidence in your abilities.

Timeline #

Remember that each post is part of a timeline

This happens when a writer submits a news summary that includes past information about a topic. For example:

Jay-Z, the grammy-award winning rapper from Brooklyn, was in a fight with Beyonce’s sister. The fight comes after the release of Beyonce’s new album. Jay-Z married Beyonce in 2008 and have one child, Ivy Blue.

Because each newsline post is inside a timeline we don’t need to mention things that have already been mentioned in the timeline. The post should be split into five separate events for Jay Z:

  • Sean Carter born in Brooklyn
  • Awarded Grammy
  • Jay-Z, Beyonce marry
  • Ivy Blue born in New York
  • Fights with Beyonce’s sister

Then the post about the fight should be expanded with more detail about that event only.

Do not use subject’s full name in title

If we had 20 posts about a person and their name was in every title it would be very tiring for the reader. We already know who the newsline is about from the title of the page.

Matt Damon releases new book => Releases book
Nintendo CEO cannot attend conference  => CEO cannot attend conference

Exception: When two people share an event: Gates sues Jobs. Kardashian, West marry

Do not use first names in the body

We don’t need to use their first name as we already know it from earlier posts. Use their last name and/or “the artist”, “the singer”, “the Company”, “the entrepreneur”, “the brothers”, “the rapper” etc

Never repeat information in the body text that appears earlier in the timeline, even if that information has not been written yet.

Very Bad: George Clooney, the Oscar-winning actor, is in a car crash.
Bad: George Clooney’s car crashes
Correct: Car crash

Even if no-one has written a post on Clooney’s newsline about him winning an Oscar, you must not add that information to any other post, except in a post about him winning a second Oscar.

The grammy-nominated singer  => the singer
The star  => The actor
The activist  => The actor

Exception 1:You must use a subject’s first name in the Birth record and the Birth record title

Exception 2: If there is confusion in the post about people with the same last name (eg Kardashian sisters, or when a father talks about a son).

Post types #

Movies, Books, Songs, Albums etc

All media posts must follow the same format

  1. Title: the title of the work
  2. Image: An image of the work (good for albums and books). If you have a video you do not need an image.
  3. A description of the work
  4. Mention collaborators/co-stars
  5. A quotation by the subject about the work
  6. A YouTube video of either a promo/trailer for the work, or an interview by the subject about the work.

Check Tom Hanks’ newsline for some good examples

Media titles in italics in the body text

The band records a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” => The band records a cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon


Newslines has different requirements for Birth records.

Title: [Name born in City, Star or Country)]

If the city is well-known  (London, New York etc) we don’t need to add the state or country.

In the Birth body text we use the full name of the person, then parent, and sibling info.

We also use the birth record for elementary school and early years, up to the next post. If the person is a child star this may not be long in time: See Justin Timberlake’s newsline as an example. For most people nothing happens until they go to college, which is in a separate post.

Add a reminiscence about their early life in the form of a quote, and a childhood picture.

Quotations #

Quote should be by subject

Quotes are are something the subject says about the event. If you can’t find a quote by the subject, use a quote by someone related to the work about the subject. Do not quote reviews or analyst comments.

No quote marks ” ” inside the blockquote

Use a colon : before start of the blockquote

Don’t need “(subject) says” before a blockquote

We don’t need “The (subject) says” if the post is about one person. It is usually obvious who is speaking from the rest of the post. If it’s not then clarify.

Sources #

All Newsline posts must have at least one link to a source article, usually to a newspaper article

No source or please add a source.

The source is missing

Please use a better source or Please try to find the original source for this report
This happens when a writer sources a report that is actually sourced from somewhere else. For example, when USA Today references a TMZ story. Link to the TMZ story first and if the USA Today story has more information than the TMZ story, add a link to USA Today also.

Do not use Wikipedia or as sources

1) they might be wrong. Wikipeida is famous for having incorrect information 2) they often do not have enough detail. Feel free to use Wikipedia or as starting points for your research. Our preference is to use newspaper articles, especially interviews, and links to the subject’s website.

Do not use list sites to compile posts or Rotten Tomatoes are not reliable sources.

Link the source from the verb

If you place your link on a person’s name then it will cause a conflict with Newslines automatic internal linking system. The link position is marked in red in these examples:

Cruise stars with Blunt in a sci-fi action film.

No need to attribute source in body text

We generally don’t need to say what the source is in the body text, unless it’s important to the story itself, or it’s an exclusive. We don’t need to say “News reports say…” or “The (subject) tells the New York Times that…”

Tense #

Use present tense

All newslines posts are in the present tense.

Starr was taken to hospital after his car crashed => Starr is taken to hospital after car crash => Starr hospitalized after crash
Lennon was shot by Chapman => Lennon is shot by Chapman

Use active verbs

Is going -> goes
Is mourning -> mourns

Categories #

Add category

Please add a category

Only add the active participants

Too many categories were added to the post. Say Actor 1 and Actor 2 are getting married and 100 famous actors come to the wedding. The category will only be Actor 1 and Actor 2 because they are the active participants

Shared categories

Because some posts are shared between two or more people (marriages, legal actions, fights) the shared posts have to be written in a way that makes them read correctly on both newslines.

Kardashian marries West => West, Kardashian marry

Images #

Image must be of event

The image attached to a post must be of the event itself. For example, lets say the post is about when John Lennon meets Paul McCartney, when they are kids. The only picture you can use is the actual image showing them meeting on the day of the event. Do not use any old picture of either McCartney or Lennon to illustrate the post.


  1. 1: If you cannot find a marriage photo of both people together it is ok to add the less-famous person’s photo to illustrate.
  2. It is ok to add a childhood photo of any age to a Birth record

No image, or wrong image size

Our images are always thumbnail size.

  1. Place the cursor at the very start of the post, before any text.
  2. Click Add Media then the Upload Files tab and drag your image onto page to upload.
  3. Go to the bottom right of the page in the “Attachment Display Settings”
  4. Set Alignment = Left and Size = Thumbnail 150p x 150px
  5. Click Insert into Post.


Pleas be sure that the images you upload are not copyrighted.

Book images should be 150 pixels wide

  1. Place cursor at the very start of the post
  2. click Add media
  3. Upload file
  4. Insert image into post
  5. Click on image
  6. Select custom size and change the width to 150 pixels


Please try to find a sqaure logo. If the logo doesn’t fit in the square well then upload the image as follows:

  1. Place cursor at the very start of the post
  2. click Add media
  3. Upload file
  4. Insert image into post
  5. Click on image
  6. Select custom size and change the width to 250 pixels

Titles/Headlines #

No need to repeat dates in the body text or title

The date of the post is set by the datepicker. You only need to add the date inside the post text when you don’t know the date for sure and it is necessary for the story.

Early in 2008…In late December….

Aggressively shorten titles.

Always try to remove these words from headlines: at, of, for, the, in, is, and, from, to

  • Posts first video on YouTube -> Posts first YouTube video
  • Fire in Sony warehouse =>Warehouse fire
  • Search resumes in Southern Ocean => Southern Ocean search resumes
  • Paparazzi hit by Bieber’s car => Car hits Paparazzi, or Paparazzi hit
  • Morgan taken to hospital => Morgan hospitalized

Do not repeat subject’s name in title

Matt Damon releases new book => Releases book
Nintendo CEO cannot attend conference  => CEO cannot attend conference

Exception: When two people share an event: Gates sues Jobs


[Subject’s full name] born in [City,State or Country]. If the city is well-known (London, Tokyo, New York) we don’t need the State or Country

Marriages, divorces, breakup titles

Because these are all between two people the titles are written like this:

Griffiths, Banderas divorce
Lopez, Affleck breakup
Clooney, Alamuddin marry

The post should also be written with consideration of it being read from either newsline.

Editorializing #


Remove any text that is not about the actual events in the source.

In a stunning twist the Mavericks win the cup => The Mavericks win the cup
Will Jennifer Aniston ever find a husband? => Aniston and Vaughn break up
It’s go! go! go! for the Rays this year with the signing of Longoria => The Rays sign Longoria

No judgments

We don’t make any judgement on the news. We just summarize what happened in the most neutral way possible,

The happy couple => The couple
The evil Koch brothers => The Koch brothers

Remove emotion #

Do not add emotion to posts unless the subject expresses it.

This angered the candidate => The candidate says “It made me angry”
Clooney was excited to receive an Oscar” -> Clooney receives an Oscar. “I am very excited”

Others #

Never use the word “new”

Every post is new at the time it happened.

50 Cent releases his new album, Animal Ambition => 50 Cent releases Animal Ambition

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