Other Common Story Forms

General points

  • In addition to the ALERT, URGENT, UPDATE, WRAPUP formats discussed in the Breaking News Drill section, Reuters uses a variety of other formats for text reporting.
  • Headlines on all types of stories Reuters stories filed from Lynx Editor software should be no more than about 64 characters including the headline tags, as some Thomson Reuters products cannot handle longer headlines. Lynx Editor software will turn characters red after the 64th character as a warning that your headline may be too long.
  • ALL stories except Alerts, Briefs, Buzz items must have a slug slug.
  • ALL stories, including Tables, Factboxes etc should be filed in one page (or “take”) except in cases of extreme length (e.g. a TEXT item or Diary) where there are system limitations.

Contents

ANALYSIS

Headline tag: ANALYSIS

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (ANALYSIS)

Topic Code: ANV

An informative, analytical look at a development or trend may take the ANALYSIS tag. In explaining the impact of the subject matter, an ANALYSIS should be built on new information or thinking that advances the story or gives readers a smart or fresh interpretation of events. It should usually have a spot news hook, or at least be topical.

An ANALYSIS stems from the writer’s authority and expertise in the subject area and it needs to be reported. It needs to pursue an angle or line of argument that is supported by facts or data and quotes from named authoritative sources.

An ANALYSIS should acknowledge both sides of an argument, but usually should come down on one side to make a point (rather than conclude the outcome is mixed or unclear). When focused on investment issues, an ANALYSIS should use financial metrics such as valuation measures and historical performance, in addition to quoting experts. An ANALYSIS, which should run at no more than 800 words, should not be written without prior approval from a specialist editor or bureau chief.

BACKSTORY

A "backstory" is a piece explaining how a particular Reuters story was reported. It is meant to increase transparency about Reuters reporting methodology and ethical standards. It can be published to media clients and Eikon clients after clearance by senior editors.

BLOGGING

Blogging is an informal approach to content creation that has evolved in response to Web users' need for a simple publishing tool giving maximum engagement with readers. Blogging is by nature a flexible format and there are few rules governing its use. Reuters journalists blog to trigger discussions on topical issues, point to the most interesting material on a subject elsewhere on the Web, take readers behind the scenes of our news-gathering, solicit questions for interviews, and to add color, anecdote and angles that don’t make it into our other story types. In addition, blogging is the easiest way we have of handling multimedia story-telling and some Reuters journalists produce video blogs, also known as ‘vlogs’.

A Reuters blog should:

  • Be interesting.
  • Be conversational: raise questions, invite contributions, discuss what’s happening on other blogs, and respond to comments made by readers.
  • Link to external sites with relevant information
  • Monitor other blogs in the same space and attempt to build reciprocal links with them.
  • Tag posts so that they are easy for search engines to find.
  • Inject some personality into the post and include observation and anecdote.
  • Make use of multimedia whenever possible and think about a post’s layout.
  • Credit the original source of all content embedded in posts.
  • Make sure posts are seen by a second pair of eyes before publication.
  • Ask desks to place a link to their blog/post on relevant stories.

A Reuters blog should NOT:

  • Be one-sided opinion. You are free to make observations, ask questions and make an argument, but blogging in Reuters is not a license to vent partisan views or invective. You are still bound by the Trust Principles of fairness and balance.
  • Respond in anger to comments that appear on posts.
  • End each post with the line, ‘tell us what you think’. If you have a specific question for readers then ask it, otherwise let the comments box do the work for you.
  • Knowingly link to material that infringes copyright.
  • Have the color and personality subbed out of the post.
  • Take an idea or insight from another blog or site without acknowledgement.

Reuters use of blogging is constantly evolving and up-to-date guidance on how blogs are being used is available on the blogging wiki at http://wiki.ime.reuters.com/index.php/Blogging

BRIGHTS, ODDS

SLUG: XXX-XXX/ (ODD)

Topic Code: ODD

A “bright” or “odd” is a story that we report above all because it is funny, quirky or bizarre. A “bright” may also be poignant or sad and invariably involves people. It is the sort of story we would not bother covering if the details were not so unusual. Such stories lighten our file, are fun to write and are welcomed by clients. They should carry the ODD slug and topic code.

“Brights” must be properly sourced and must be tasteful. Before writing your “bright”, ask yourself whether it will interest a foreign reader. Some offbeat stories only work in a given culture or language.

COLUMN

Headline tag: COLUMN- unless there is a product name.

Slug: XXX-YYYY/ (COLUMN)

Topic Code: CLM

A Reuters column is a showcase for the expertise and insight of seasoned journalists who use the format to bring fresh perspectives and novel thinking to their area of specialist coverage. Columns offer extra value to our audiences by challenging assumptions, bringing clarity where there is confusion or by casting doubt on comfortable orthodoxies.

A column is OPINION and is distinct from the rest of the news file in that the author is licensed to express a point of view. Each must carry a disclaimer at the top, above the byline, making clear the views they contain are not those of Reuters.

They should contain a strong argument that is properly reasoned and backed up with evidence. They should also be fair, acknowledging the existence of other arguments or viewpoints. They should not be politically or ideologically partisan, nor should they contain invective. The column’s argument should be such that if challenged it can be defended robustly by the author.

Once appointed to cover a sector or topic columnists are free to decide their own subject matter, but close collaboration and consultation with a senior supervising editor is essential. Since columns are the work of an individual, variations between them in tone and style are welcome. Columns should only be written by dedicated columnists. The appointment of a columnist needs the approval of the Editor-in-Chief.

Material that is in the nature of opinion/editorial but written in a blog style, sometimes called "service journalism" that offers readers recommendations about personal finance or other matters (e.g. "What you need to know about....." or "You might consider these options etc" ) should also carry the slug XXXX-YYYY/ (COLUMN) or XXX-YYY (PERSONAL FINANCE) and the topic code CLM to enable software used by media clients to distinguish this material from hard news.


CHRONOLOGY

See Timeline.

Headline Tag: CHRONOLOGY

Slug: XXX-YYY/ZZZ (TIMELINE)

Topic Code: TMLN

A Chronology is a form of TIMELINE listing in chronological order events related to a major news story. Keep entries to the essentials, usually no more than 10 key dates with a line or two on each. Customers want information they can use, not the history of the world. Start with the oldest information first.

A chronology does not carry a dateline but begins e.g. May 6 (Reuters) – The name of the person who compiled it and the location must be in the signoff line at the bottom of the item.


DEALTALK

Headline tag: DEALTALK

Slug: XXX-YYY/DEALTALK

Topic Code: DLTK

Named Item Code: DEALTALK/

DEALTALK is an news analysis story format that provides details and insight on capital raisings, such as initial public offerings, or secondary equity issues, or mergers and acquisitions.

DEALTALK can also be an outlet for stories about developments in an ongoing transaction. It should be well-sourced additional information about the real story behind a deal.

We should write DEALTALK in a bright tone, noting views and counter views. Named sources are sometimes difficult to find during mergers and acquisitions but, even if sources are unnamed, these stories need to be defensible by being based on multiple authoritative sources as single unnamed sources can be unreliable. Deal makers have agendas and vested interests also so we need to be wary of banker spin.

All DEALTALKs should use the DEALTALK named item code, and include a line at the top: ((For more Reuters DEALTALKs, click [DEALTALK/] )).

DEALTALK should also be used in place of the old and rarely used IPOVIEW headline tag and related Named Item Code IPOVIEW/ given clients are often unaware of IPOVIEW.

DIARIES

Headline tag: DIARY

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (DIARY)

Topic Code: DIARY

The Diaries Desk (now part of StreetEvents) assembles general, political, central bank and corporate diaries from both its own sources and also bureau diaries and Lynx NewsPlanner calendars into subject-matter diaries.

The Diaries desk manages the following diaries with the Named Item Codes listed below:

General/ political news events diaries: POL/DIARY, M/DIARY, EMRG/DIARY, D/DIARY, KEY/DIARY, CEN/DIARY, CEN/EMRG, EURO/BIZ, EUR/DIARY, VOTE/DIARY

Corporate events diaries: WEU/EQUITY, GB/EQUITY, EURO/DJSTX, CH/EQUITY, CEE/EQUITY, EASTERN/SP, NSP500/WK, RESF/US, US/CCALLM, US/MEETM

All queries to Diaries Desk should be sent to diaries@thomsonreuters.com

EXCLUSIVE

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (EXCLUSIVE)

Headline tag: EXCLUSIVE -

Topic Code: EXCLSV

The EXCLUSIVE tag should be reserved for significant scoops, and not just applied to every story when we are first. Before marking a story EXCLUSIVE, please check that:

• We are truly first with the news. This means a real scoop, based on information that is not readily available in the public domain. This means being first everywhere, not just first among major media outlets. Most EXCLUSIVEs should be newsworthy enough to warrant snap(s), which also need to be tagged EXCLUSIVE.

• The news is important. Consider the likely impact of the story: Will it alter the view of a company, institution, market or important person? Or influence investment or trading decisions? Potentially lead to policy changes? Is the news of great interest to media clients? Will our competitors be forced to cite Reuters or scramble to match our story? Most EXCLUSIVEs will have a clear nut graph explaining why the story is important. If the significance is not obvious and cannot be explained in a simple paragraph, do not use the tag.

Reporters should seek approval from a specialist editor, bureau chief or Desk EIC before putting the EXCLUSIVE tag on a story. Please send the alert(s) and story in one document to the editing desk so they can be handled together. Do not direct-inject EXCLUSIVE-tagged snaps.

If we are updating an EXCLUSIVE and the news is no longer ours alone, we should remove the tag - we may add a line that the news was first reported by Reuters.

EXPLAINER

Headline tag: EXPLAINER

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (EXPLAINER)

Topic Code: EXPLN

The EXPLAINER tag goes on stories that explain the background to big regional and global stories that emerge suddenly and require explanation for a broad readership. We do not want reporters to exclude essential explanatory context from trunk stories. Still, there will be times when the trunk has no space for detailed background knowledge of interest to clients.

EXPLAINERs can be used in any part of the file, including politics, general news, markets, economics and companies. An EXPLAINER may be formatted as a traditional text story of up to 600 words, in bullet points, Q&A, or graphics with accompanying text. We should file EXPLAINERS swiftly after the story hits world headlines, rather than wait a couple of days.

We retain the FACTBOX format to break out factual detail that is too much to include in the narrative trunk. We hope over time to build a library of EXPLAINERs that can be updated and reissued as necessary. Media clients tell us they like this sort of story because they can be reissued on websites even if we do not update them.


FACTBOX

Headline Tag: FACTBOX

Slug: XXX-YYY/ZZZ (FACTBOX) Slug: XXX-YYY/ZZZ (FACTBOX, UPDATE N)

As a sidebar to a trunk story or update series a FACTBOX will need a third slug or wild slug.

If a FACTBOX is updated, use the Lynx Editor Update function to keep track of the numbers as usual, and leave the update number in the slugline in brackets as usual, but in accordance with the policy of using only one headline tag, strip the UPDATE tag from the headline and leave only FACTBOX as the headline tag.

Topic Code: FBOX

A Factbox offers a way to present information clearly and comparatively. The format may vary according to the subject matter but the essential issue is that they should be short, written primarily in bullet point form and easy on the eye.

Basic general news background factboxes on people, countries and issues can normally run at a maximum of five key facts. Other factboxes, for example on a corporate boardroom battle or complex political procedure, may need to be done in a Q&A (Question and Answer) format.

Economic and financial news lends itself to a tabular format in the factbox, listing such issues as market capitalisation, interest rate progression and various comparatives.

A factbox does not have location in the dateline but begins e.g. May 6 (Reuters) –

The name of the person who compiled it and the location must be in the signoff line at the bottom

FEATURE

Headline tag: FEATURE

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (FEATURE)

Topic Code: FEA

A story that takes the FEATURE tag is an insight into a trend or an issue or personality. It must be accompanied by illustrative material such as a picture, graphic, video or factbox. It uses specific examples to illustrate that trend or issue and puts them in a broad framework that allows the social, economic, corporate, or political implications to shine through, whether national or global. A feature is essentially cross-sectoral i.e. it should appeal to anyone in a global audience of politically and financially aware readers.

A Feature gives a correspondent the chance to report in depth and against a more relaxed deadline. Features must be well sourced, accurate and fair like any Reuters story. Readability is the key and usually involves adding color by means of telling details, vignettes, quotes and context, rather than heavy use of adjectives and adverbs.

A feature may benefit from the use of an intro/lede using an anecdote, scene setter, exemplar, question, or even a quote.

A feature should be no more than about 800 words. .

Feature writers MUST ensure that they have approval for an outline of the story from a regional or specialist editor before proceeding. Editors should help arrange visual or other material to enrich a feature in ways that make it particularly valuable to web based clients.

The word FEATURE is the headline tag. The slugline should carry an addition in brackets categorizing the type of Feature by the most appropriate subject, e.g.:

  • (SCIENCE FEATURE, PICTURE)
  • (POLITICAL FEATURE, PICTURE)
  • (BUSINESS FEATURE, PICTURE)
  • (SPORTS FEATURE, PICTURE)
  • (ENVIRONMENT FEATURE, PICTURE) etc

FOCUS

Headline Tag: FOCUS

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (FOCUS)

Topic Code: CFOCUS

The Companies FOCUS tag is reserved for stories that take readers inside a company, revealing something about its strategy, management, products, missteps, capital structure or any other matter important enough to potentially prompt an investment decision.

A FOCUS must contain new material facts or data about the company. It must include a nut graph saying why the development is important. It should include broader industry context, providing our clients with reporting beyond the press release, conference call or analyst note.

The subject of these 600 to 700 word stories is usually one company, but can be about more than one company if there is a consistent theme. Sometimes these stories can be about an external development – e.g. possible regulatory action – that could have an impact on the value of a company or sector, though again the material will need to be fresh rather than a rehash of what is out there.

A FOCUS is narrower than an INSIGHT; as it needs fewer voices and depth. However, the FOCUS could be seen as a building block to an INSIGHT.

GRAPHIC

SLUG: XXXX-YYYY/ (GRAPHIC)

HEADLINE TAG: GRAPHIC

TOPIC CODE: MTGFX

A graphic story is a multimedia story built around a graphic, in the same way an extended photocaption or story supports a Wider Image photo essay.

Links to Reuters graphics or other internal URLs should be placed in the Related Content box, reached via Lynx Editor menu bar.

For guidance on insertion of in-line graphics on Eikon platform, please consult your regional editing desk.

Third party source document URLs meant to be visible to both Eikon and media clients can be inserted in the body of the text inside SINGLE ROUND BRACKETS (or PARENTHESES) as follows: ( http://xxxxxxxx )

HIGHLIGHTS

Headline tag: HIGHLIGHTS

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (HIGHLIGHTS)

Topic Code: HLGT

The Highlights format is an effective way to get key quotes and facts to clients during a fast-moving news event, such as the unveiling of a government budget, a monetary policy news conference or international policy events such as the G7/IMF meetings. Instead of filing urgents after alerts, the alerts are covered with an XREF line which directs clients to the HIGHLIGHTS box which is updated several times.

PRODUCTION:

  • Use the HIGHLIGHTS headline tag only and give the item a slug with (HIGHLIGHTS, UPDATE X) in brackets.
  • Publish updates by using the Lynx Editor function CREATE COPY WITH SAME USN..
  • Insert new information at the top, saying "LATEST QUOTES" or whatever.
  • Capitalise sub heads; the shorter the better.

INSIGHT

Headline tag: INSIGHT

Slug: XXX-YYY (INSIGHT)

Topic Code: INSGHT

The INSIGHT tag goes on a deeply-reported story containing a smart, unexpected perspective on a coverage area, issue, news event or trend. It gives new information or a fresh idea, providing evidence through a combination of unreported data, source-based facts, documents, inside-the-room detail or interviews.

An INSIGHT should have a theme sentence that clearly lays out the revelation of fact or scoop. It must have a nut graph explaining why the revelation matters. Ideally, every INSIGHT should have a visual component – graphic, photo or video – to best showcase our story telling ability.

An INSIGHT should have the potential to impact a market, industry, policy or regulation. If aimed at investors, it should offer information and/or ideas that could influence investment decisions and that aren't available from financial analysts or other media. If aimed more generally, it should add fresh information or ideas – or a fresh take – in order to strengthen a reader's understanding of an event, issue or trend.

An INSIGHT should not be a roundup of news combined with a survey of experts, nor can it be based on unsourced speculation or personal opinion.

All INSIGHTs should be pitched to Top News. They should run between 900 and 1000 words, rising to 1200 when really compelling (and there have been some great ones at 750 words as well).

INSTANT VIEW, ANALYST VIEW

Headline tag: INSTANT VIEW or ANALYSTS VIEW

Slug: XXX-XXX/ (INSTANT VIEW)

Topic Code: INVU

Named Item Code: Some regular INSTANTS take a named item code.

INSTANT VIEWS or ANALYSTS VIEWS are designed to provide clients with rapid reaction from analysts and major decision makers to a significant political or financial breaking news story or expected event such as a major economic indicator release in a bullet point format.

They should carry the headline tag INSTANT VIEW or ANALYST VIEW and must carry a slug (e.g. AUSTRALIA-BUDGET/VIEW (INSTANT VIEW)).

They usually begin with a dateline and short note describing the event or data being analysed. This is followed by a series of direct quotes from analysts or decision makers in reaction to the event or economic or corporate data just published.

Write the NAME, TITLE, ORGANISATION and GEOGRAPHIC LOCATOR of each commentator in UPPER CASE per case ABOVE his/her quote, separated by commas.

INSTANT VIEWS can be updated, as a normal story would be, but without the UPDATE tag, as each new entry is added.

INTERVIEW

Headline tag: INTERVIEW

Slug: XXX-XXX/ (INTERVIEW)

Topic Code: INTER

We are phasing out the INTERVIEW tag, as it is among the least read items of our file. If an INTERVIEW generates news, we should break out an EXCLUSIVE or a news story. Ideally, interviews will provide fodder for INSIGHT, FOCUS and ANALYSIS stories.


MOVES

Headline tag: MOVES

Slug: XXX-YYY/

Named Item Code: MOVE/

Topic Codes: INVB

Short items about move of key people between banks and brokerages.

NEWSMAKER, OBITUARY

Headline tag: NEWSMAKER

Slug: XXX-YYY/ZZZ (NEWSMAKER)

Topic Code: NMKR

Headline tag: OBITUARY

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (OBITUARY)

Topic Code: OBIT

A profile of a newsmaker is often written as a sidebar to a topical news peg. We use the tag NEWSMAKER in the headline and in brackets in the slugline. Aim for no more than 400 words, making clear high up why this person is in the news. An OBITUARY is in effect a Newsmaker written when the subject has died.

The Newsmaker/Obituary needs to be a self-contained portrait. Subjects may be leading figures in politics, business, sport, arts and entertainment, science and other fields. Aim for comprehensiveness. Personal details are essential, as are precise dates. The top half of a profile should contain a concise summary of the main points of the subject’s claim to fame, with a minimum of biographical detail. The rest of the profile should review his or her career chronologically. Think color and description.

Bureaux should keep Newsmaker profiles and Obituaries on prominent personalities on file and with the regional desk. They are often needed quickly. Keeping the store regularly up to date helps when the pressure is on.

POLL

Headline tag: POLL

Slug: XXX-YYY (POLL)

Topic Code: RPOLL

Polling is a growth industry across the media, playing to the desire to know what others are thinking. Reuters polls are popular with our clients, helping to strengthen the Reuters brand. Only stories on Reuters polls should have the POLL tag and the word in brackets after the slug.

Every poll story we run is an exclusive. Reuters produces polls on a variety of subjects but often they cover financial market expectations. When we report that an economic indicator or a company result was above, below or in line with expectations, how do we know? As often as not it is because a Reuters poll established the consensus view beforehand.

Polls linked to a set event in the future - announcement of company results, publication of economic data, country election etc - should carry a PRE topic code as well as RPOLL. Polls on company earnings should take an EARNINGS POLL tag in the headline and in brackets after the slug.

How to poll:

  • Chose a subject. It can be short term, such as economic data due next week, or long term, such as where analysts expect a stock index to end the year. It does not have to be a pure numbers game. You could, for instance, ask analysts to rate the performance of your central bank governor or finance minister.
  • Set your questions. They must be clear, unambiguous and fair. Leading questions, aimed at getting a pre-ordained answer, have no place in Reuters polls.
  • Find respondents. Make sure they are bona fide, know what they’re talking about and are willing to take part.
  • Collect responses. This can be done by phone, e-mail or fax. You can usually get responses out of analysts relatively easily but polling decision makers or celebrities is much harder and time consuming.
  • Analyse the responses. Bring the numbers to life with stories. Get people to justify their forecasts or views. Establishing the consensus view, if there is one, should be the target. That can be done in many ways such as calculating a mean average or median forecast for next month’s inflation rate. The median, the middle forecast if you line them all up in a row, is usually preferable to the mean because it is generally less liable to distortion by forecasts which are way out of line. You should also publish the highest and lowest forecasts and the number of forecasts. Another option is the mode, which is the most frequently cited response. Microsoft Excel can calculate all this for you.
  • Don’t ignore the mavericks. This month’s minority view can become next month’s conventional wisdom. Watch out for changes in expectations; why do economists now expect an interest rate cut soon whereas last month they ruled one out?
  • Publish. Say when your poll was conducted as timing can influence views. Was your interest rate survey taken before or after the shock rise in inflation? The faster you publish, the less likely you’ll be overtaken by events. Run individual responses when possible as transparency is vital to the credibility of our polls.

PRODUCTION NOTES: There should be a data link in the first bullet point taking clients to the Eikon app, which has all the poll’s details. The link comes first – it turns into a hyperlinked Open when filed to Eikon – followed by text telling the client what they are opening, for example “poll data”. So you get on screen: Open poll data.

These stories should also have a named item code, which attaches them to the relevant app on Eikon. (You can easily find these apps off the POLLS directory page on Eikon or by typing ECOP, CBP in Eikon search.)

Finally, stories written specifically on Reuters Poll results about central bank policy decisions take the POLL tag in the headline.

Also, for competitive reasons, please remember that whenever policy stories or market reports refer to our exclusive numbers, the Reuters poll should be cited by name, with a story link, not just referring to “economists” or “analysts.”

If you need any help in conducting or covering polls, give the Polling Unit a call on + 44 20 7542 5223, or e-mail polling.unit@reuters.com

Covering other organisations’ polls:

Public opinion polls are often produced by reputable organisations with no axe to grind but care still needs to be taken in reporting them. Different pollsters use different methods yielding different results.

  • Beware of the spin doctors: A lobby group may commission a poll from a respected organisation but then present the results selectively to support its cause.
  • Voodoo polls: Beware of surveys in which participants select themselves such as in phone-in TV polls and Internet surveys. At best one side of an argument may feel more passionately about an issue than the other, meaning more of them take part. At worst, organised interest groups may rig the result.
  • Watch out for commercially-motivated polls. A survey showing that all men fear going bald by 40 may be sponsored by the makers of a miracle hair restorer. We need to beware against free plugs for the sponsors in such cases.

PREVIEWS, CURTAINRAISERS, OVERNIGHTERS

Headline tag: PREVIEW

Slug: XXX-XXX (PREVIEW)

Topic Code: PRE

Curtainraisers or previews are written ahead of set-piece events – meetings, visits, elections, trials, earnings, speeches etc. They may carry the PREVIEW tag in the headline and (PREVIEW) after the slug. In addition to relevant topic codes for screen clients, they can also filed with a PRE story format topic code.

Previews give readers a head start and give you a basis on which to build your story when the news happens and get it published faster.

A preview should usually be filed 2-3 days or at least overnight before the event and tell the story in no more than about 400 words.

Q&A

Headline tag: FACTBOX or INTERVIEW

Slug: XXX-YYY/ZZZ (FACTBOX) or (INTERVIEW) Topic Code: FBOX or INTER

A Q&A format is a form of factbox used to explain complicated issues or used for interview transcripts. It is a means of highlighting our depth of understanding on newsworthy themes. Factbox format in question and answer style.

SCENARIO

Headline tag: FACTBOX

Slug: XXX-YYYY/ZZZ (FACTBOX)

Topic Code: FBOX

A scenario format is a form of actbox used to throw a story forward by describing what our correspondents think are the possible outcomes of a crisis or situation. Where possible they should give some guidance on the probability of each scenario.

They are:

  • written in bullet points
  • can be bylined and datelined but do not need to be.

Example:

THAI-CRISIS/SCENARIO (FACTBOX) FACTBOX - Scenarios for how the Thai political crisis might unfold

BANGKOK, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters have been occupying Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej’s official compound since Aug. 26, vowing to remain until he and his elected government fall. Following are some scenarios for what might happen next:

SIDEBAR

SLUG: XXX-XXX/YYY (wild slug)

A Sidebar is a spot story that is filed as a companion piece to a running “trunk” story or series of updates on breaking news. It may be a related Alert and Newsbreak or a basic spot news story. It may cover reaction or some other development linked with a major running story. It may be a color story, or a historical or scene piece. Format and writing are the same as for the basic spot news story except that it may be possible only to sketch in the context and background. Any Sidebar should use the slug of the trunk story plus an additional identifier e.g. CAESAR-SENATE/BRUTUS

The tabular format or bullet points may also be considered as an option when you are planning sidebar treatment of a story. Sidebars are not usually updated.

SPECIAL REPORTS

Headline Tag: SPECIAL REPORT

Slug: XXXX-YYYY/ (SPECIALREPORT)

Topic Codes: SREP

Named Item Code: SPECIAL/

Special Reports are examples of enterprise journalism that involve deep reporting which otherwise would never come to light. They usually involve accountability or watchdog reporting, or the real story behind the story, or scoops of trend-spotting. Some enterprise stories are quick-hit pieces that take just a day or two to pull off. Some can take months of investigation.

Enterprise stories vary in length but may run to magazine length of about 2,000 words.

How do you get an enterprise story published? First, talk over your idea with your bureau chief or editor-in-charge. If you both agree you have a good idea, send the Enterprise Editor a story pitch.

Send pitches to the email distribution list called Enterprise Pitches (EnterprisePitches@thomsonreuters.com).

CC other reporters and editors who should know about the project.

STOCKS BUZZ

Headline tag: STOCKS BUZZ

Slug: No slug

Topic code: STXBZ

STOCKS BUZZ is a short-form bullet-point format to explain moves in the value of a company stock. Stocks Buzz that stem from big news about a company should headline and lead on the stock move, not the original news that caused the move.

We can contextualize and add value to BUZZ items by: reporting the status of the move (biggest move since, highest/lowest since, volume vs the norm); the valuation (price/earnings ratio, stretched or compressed); how the consensus view has changed; market technicals.

Earnings may provide big news and moves that need Buzzing. We should BUZZ earnings to preview the quarterly results of big, newsworthy companies. With these, we should focus on what is likely to make news.

In addition, STREET VIEW Buzz roundups capture the immediate aftermath of analysts’ reaction to earnings for big companies. We also buzz leading research that recommends investors buy, sell or hold a stock. Finally we buzz capital markets activity on corporate actions like IPOs, secondary stock offerings or major debt offerings where there is an impact on equity value.

TABLE

Headline Tag: TABLE

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (TABLE)

No story type topic code.

Tabular presentation after an Alert, whether of corporate results, economic indicators, bond issues or commodities data, is often the quickest way to supply a specialist market the key numbers it needs.

A text Newsbreak is often essential after the Table is filed when a story is particularly newsworthy as media clients usually don't get the table. The same applies to the automated BRIEF format, consisting of bullet points, often used by Company News teams to cover corporate earnings. Some Alerts of strictly specialist interest may be covered by a Table and not require textual treatment, i.e. not every Alert needs to be covered by a full text Newsbreak. Like all stories, the Table requires a slug.

The results of elections may also be filed as a Table either once at the end of the count or regularly updated throughout the count depending on how important the vote is.

Guidelines for Tables:

  • Clearly label tables. Use the TABLE headline tag.
  • In Lynx Editor, click on the Format tab in the header field and use the Add Table button.
  • In Lynx Editor, place the cursor where you want the table to go and click on the “Add Table” button. Format the table using the dialog box.
  • Organise Tables logically and neatly.
  • An opening paragraph may define the contents and can sometimes shift words out of the tabular section and avoid clutter e.g. “OPEC monthly oil output (in millions of barrels per day).”

TEXT

Headline tag: TEXT or TRANSCRIPT

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (TEXT)

Topic Code: TXT

Clients often want to read the text of a major announcement or speech. We should say in the lead paragraph whether it is a full or a partial text. Use TEXT (not FULL TEXT) as a headline tag.

If the original is in a language other than English, say so, and whether this is an official or Reuters translation.

Strong interviews of major importance may additionally be reported after the story has been written as a TEXT of Q&A excerpts. This item must repeat all the quotes, with questions, used in the main story and must also carry additional questions and answers, which may be edited. The questions and answers should be written in order.

TIMELINE

Headline Tag: TIMELINE or CHRONOLOGY

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (TIMELINE)

Topic Code: TMLN

A Timeline is a form of sidebar listing in chronological order events related to a major news story. Keep entries to the essentials, usually no more than 10 key dates with a line or two on each. Customers want information they can use, not the history of the world. Start with the oldest information first.

A timeline has no dateline and begins with the date e.g. May 6 (Reuters) –

The name of the person who compiled it and the location must be in the signoff line at the bottom of the item.

TOP NEWS

Headline Tag: *TOP NEWS*

Topic Code: TOPNP

Top News pages are the “front page” for many of our desktop products such as Eikon, ThomsonOne. They are among the most retrieved items and offer a chance for us to highlight the main stories, help clients with navigation and promote other parts of the service.

Expert news judgment is required when choosing headlines and arranging the running order. Aim for no more than 12 stories.

All cross-references should work and take users to the intended instrument or directory. Stories must be carefully selected and categorised clearly and sensibly, usually with the most significant story first if not the latest. An Analysis section should be used. Coding protocols must be observed.

Top News Pages and Glances are usually compiled using Lynx Packager software.


WIDER IMAGE

Wider Image multimedia packages are multi-media stories that highlight Reuters photography in various parts of the world.

Wider Image packages are published as multimedia stories on reuter.com at https://widerimage.reuters.com/ to showcase the work, and are also published on Eikon and to media media clients.

Wider Image packages combine photos and text. The text for a Wider Image package can take different forms, ranging from a traditional news feature to a first person narrative by the photographer, or a behind-the-scenes look at how the photo became the story.

THE PRODUCTION PROCESS

Wider Image stories are pitched to the Wider Image editors or a regional chief photographer.

Once approved, the photographer should alert text reporters to write the caption or photo essay. The photographer and reporter are responsible for adding an entry to newsplanner.

The photographer/reporter should then coordinate the Wider Image project with a multi-media editor or reuters.com editor.

When the text is ready for editing, the reporter/photographer should:

  • Contact a regional desk editor
  • Copy the desk editor on the relevant email chain with information on the package,
  • Provide an INTERNAL URL to the photos so the desk editor can see the photos and edit the text to accompany the photos.

Once the regional editing desk has finalized the text, it must be sent to the Wider Image editor for final approval.

The Wider Image editor will then provide the regional editing desk with a PUBLICATION URL for the Wider Image package to be added to the text

The Wider Image team aims to publish at 1100 GMT/ but because of the multistep process for creating these, the text should be filed to the desk the day before.

FORMATTING WIDER IMAGE STORIES IN LYNX EDITOR

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (PIX) Headline tag: WIDER IMAGE-Xxxxx

The WIDER IMAGE headline tag is programmed into Lynx Editor and will pop up when you type it in the headline tag field. That will also add PIX to the slug field in brackets, add the product codes G for Eikon and YDB for media clients to the Lynx header field and add MTPIX and PXP to the topic code field.

The PUBLICATION URL should be inserted in the text by the desk editor in the following three places:

  • Related Content tab in Lynx Editor
  • Bullet point at the top of the story: ( Photo essay at http://xxxxxxx )
  • At the end of the story, add: ( Click on http://xxxxxxx to see a related photo essay )

The regional editing desk then publishes the Wider Image package.

To get a link to the photo story, or if you have other questions about Wider Image projects, please email London-Widerimage-Editors


WITNESS

Headline tag: WITNESS

Slug: XXX-YYY/ (WITNESS)

No special topic code.

A Witness story is a first-person account by a Reuters journalist of an event or experience or an event with which he/she has been closely associated, usually as an eye-witness. Many of our staff experience extraordinary and unusual things in the course of their reporting. Their work gives them unique perspectives on other human beings and their behavior. These things are all the stuff of Witness stories. They are individual accounts of experiences and are an opportunity for the writer to express personality, feeling and engagement. They are not vehicles for prejudice or partisanship though. Reuters standards of accuracy and fairness apply. Reuters journalists working for text, picture, video and online services have all written Witness pieces. They are slugged WITNESS-XXX/, start with the headline tag WITNESS, and are accompanied by an Advisory giving some background on the author and his or her story. They should be illustrated by an image of the author and ideally by pictures appropriate to the subject matter. All Witness stories should be discussed with regional editors, who will supervise their production.

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