Story Template Checklist

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PLEASE SEE ATTACHED VISUAL GUIDE: Please see the attached visual guide as a checklist to fill out all the boxes when writing an article for JacksonJournal.News & ESTEEMStream.News. 

Use the attached visual guide image while you’re writing as a checklist, and review these written instructions for more details when needed.

UNIQUE STORY: When you write a story for ESTEEMStream.News & JacksonJournal.News it must be a unique story that has not already been written in either JacksonJournal.News or ESTEEMStream.News. The way to see if someone has, or is, writing about the story you want to do, go to Stories on the left-hand menu, then choose all stories, then search for keywords in all stories to see what other stories have been written on the same subject.

UNIQUE ANGLE ON A STORY: If someone has done a story on the same subject you would like to write about, you will need to choose a unique angle on the story no one has done before in either ESTEEMStream.News or JacksonJournal.News. What do I mean by “Angle on the story?” According to, “The angle of a news or feature story is the story’s point or theme, most often expressed in the lede of the article. It’s the lens through which the writer filters the information they have gathered and focuses it to make it meaningful to viewers or readers.” So you could do tips and tricks for this game if no one else had written about them yet in the ESTEEMStream.News or JacksonJournal.News.

PLAGIARISM: All writing must be your own words. No cutting and pasting. You can use the words of some other writer by formatting like this–

According to Mary Belweather at Wired Magazine, “blah blah blah.”

This is the way we give attribution in a news article. There is no use of footnotes, nor are there citations in the way we do in a formal paper. If you are regurgitating what is in 10 or more articles on the subject–known and established facts–no attribution is needed other than the links to all those stories in the “RELATED STORIES:” which you will type at the end of your story.

RELATED STORIES: Add RELATED STORIES: at the end of your story in the main writing box by typing “RELATED STORIES:” (without the quotes) and below that paste, a list of the URLs of any stories you used for research or stories you believe will help your readers get more information or be able to do something as a result of your story (places to volunteer or donate)—simple links, nothing fancy. Create the RELATED STORIES: first, before anything else, use them as a reference while writing your article. Make sure the RELATED STORIES list of URLs includes actual links. To turn them into links, highlight each one individually, press the chain link icon in the editing menu, and press enter. Your URL will change color and be underlined. When you preview your story, the URL will be a “hot” link that your readers can click.


1) Capitalize the first letter of every word in the headline of a newspaper article.

2) Capitalize the first letter in people’s names.

3) Capitalize the first letter in the first word of a sentence and put a period at the end.

4) Capitalize the first letter in someone’s title, including yours in the “Writer’s job title” box.

HEADLINE BOX: The Headline should be a short declarative sentence. Note: A declarative sentence is a sentence that makes a statement, provides a fact, offers an explanation, or conveys information. These types of sentences are also known as declarative statements. A declarative sentence is the most common type of sentence in the English language. Avoid questions or statements with no meaning, e.g., “Have you ever wanted to fly?”

FEATURED IMAGE BOX: Please get your images from cc search.  Getty Images sells images for a living and guards their images throughout the internet, and brings lawsuits against those who use them without paying.  If you use a Getty Image off a Google Search,  and you put in the source a link in the caption box that said it was from Getty Images, it would be kind of like shoplifting and then posting what you stole and where you stole it from on social media (kind of, exactly).  Instead, go to CC SEARCH (google it), and find the image you want to use.  Press the yellow button to copy the licensing information to your computer’s clipboard.  Press the green button and go to the website where the image lives, and using the download button (usually a downward arrow in the bottom right of your screen), download a high-resolution copy of the image to your desktop. Usually, size medium (around 400 to 500 pixels) works best.  Come back to your story and press set featured image in the featured image box, and upload the image from your desktop.  Before using the set featured image in the dialog box, look on the right side for the “Caption Box” and paste the copyright information on your computer’s clipboard into the caption box.  Then hit the blue set featured image button in the lower right of the dialog box.  Along with images on CC Search, NASA and other government agencies allow using their images with attribution. If you are reviewing a product, you may use images from the manufacturer (not the store selling it, but the manufacturer) by attributing the image to the manufacturer’s website in what is called in the law “Fair Use”

FEATURED IMAGE LOCATION BOX: The default “Beside Story” is the best option. You don’t want the “Featured Image Location” box and the “Video Location” box to be displayed in the same place. Both don’t look good if they are both “Above Story,” nor does it look good if both are “Beside Story.” And clearly, if you select “Do Not Display,” the image or video won’t show up.

CUSTOM EXCERPT BOX: The “Custom excerpt” box should have the two most compelling sentences from your article that make readers want to read your story. The “Custom excerpt,” “Featured Image,” and “Headline” of your article are displayed whenever your story shows up in a list throughout the newspaper. It looks like a list of Action Movies on Netflix: There’s a picture of the movie, the movie’s title, and a blurb that allows viewers to decide if they want to click on the option. The same thing happens throughout the newspaper. Wherever your story appears, it will display the Featured Image, Headline & Custom Excerpt.

VIDEO EMBED CODE BOX: If you are writing an article for the news site of the newspaper, a video is required for each story. Find an appropriate video on and place the URL from the unique page the video is located in YouTube.Com in the Video Embed Code Box of your story template. You do not need to use the actual “Embed Code” from unless you would like to select certain features like no ads or starting the video at a certain point other than the beginning.

If you are writing for the Literary Magazine, a video may or may not be required.

VIDEO CREDIT LINE BOX: If your video is from, please type this into the Video Credit Line Box. You will see the shown in the popup dropdown menu when you start typing Please select it from the popup dropdown menu, so you do not misspell it.

VIDEO LOCATION BOX: This changes where the video you loaded into the “Video Embed Code” box displays. “Above Story” is the best option. You don’t want the “Featured Image Location” box and the “Video Location” box to be displayed in the same place. Both don’t look good if they are both “Above Story,” nor does it look good if both are “Beside Story.” And clearly, if you select “Do Not Display,” the image or video won’t show up.

ADDING ADDITIONAL VIDEOS IN THE BODY OF YOUR STORY: Additional videos can be added in the test of your article by simply pasting the URL of the video from on a separate line from any other text. It will automatically embed.

ADD MEDIA BUTTON (ADDING PHOTOS, AUDIO PLAYLISTS & VIDEO PLAYLISTS TO THE BODY OF YOUR STORY): In addition to the mandatory “Featured Image” in the FEATURED IMAGE BOX for all posts, you can add additional photos to the body of your article by placing the cursor where you want the image and then press the “ADD MEDIA” BUTTON. You must use copyright-free images in the body of your story, just like one does in the featured image.  One must also paste the copyright licensing information into the caption box of photos used in the body of the story. There are images on CC Search.  NASA and other government agencies allow using any of their images with attribution. If you are reviewing a product, you may use images from the manufacturer (not the store selling it, but the manufacturer) by attributing the image to the manufacturer’s website in what is called in the law “Fair Use”

WRITER’S NAME BOX: Type your full name into the “Writer’s name” box. The first time you do this, a red ribbon will come up asking you to create a “Writer’s Profile.” Say YES. Thereafter, your name will pop up in a dropdown menu, which appears when you start typing your name. Choose your name from the popup dropdown menu of names.

WRITER’S JOB TITLE BOX: If you are writing for the news site of the ESTEEMStream.News or JacksonJournal.News, your job title is “Journalist” without the quotes and with a capital “J.”  When writing for the literary magazine of the JacksonJournal.News your job title is “Writer” without the quotes and with a capital “W.”

CATEGORIES BOX: Categories correspond to the dropdown tab menus the reader uses to navigate through the ESTEEMStream.News. If you choose the category “Robotics,” your story will appear in the Robotics section of the newspaper. You want to choose only one category where your story will appear. Even if it fits in multiple categories, pick the most appropriate single category. After you have selected the category corresponding to the newspaper section in which your article will appear, remove the checkmark from the default category of “Uncategorized” because you just “categorized” your story. 

TAGS BOX: You should enter two tags minimum. Do not enter a tag that is the same as the category. Tags are keywords that link your story with other similar stories in the category you chose. For example, if your story is about Drones, you would put it in the “Flight Category” and then further identify it with other similar stories in the “Flight Category” by adding tags like #Drone, #Quadcopter, #UAV, etc. These are keywords, so the type of hashtag one uses in social media like “#G.O.A.T” or “#Old Stuff” or “Expensive!” should be avoided. Each tag starts with a “#” symbol, and when you start typing, a popup dropdown menu of tags that have been entered by others displays. Choose from the popup dropdown menu if appropriate because you know you will be linking to another story similar to yours. Enter each Tag ONE AT A Time. Each tag you enter will display in the Tag box of your story and have a separate blue X button next to it so you can delete each one individually. If your multiple tags display as (#Drone #Quadcopter # UAV), you have only entered one tag with three different words with hashtags as the single tag. Delete it and start over and enter each separately, one at a time.

PUBLISH BOX: The “Publish” box has three buttons. The “Save Draft” button should be used repeatedly when editing a story. Your story automatically saves every minute or so, but you can make many changes in 59 seconds and lose them with one click—press “Save Draft” when you add something important like a paragraph, image, or video. The “Preview” button displays how your article will look to a reader in a new tab. Please take a look at your article from time to time to make sure it looks good. The “Submit For Review” button should only be pressed when you want me to look at it. DO NOT press that button until you are ready for a grade. If you press it by mistake, you can correct this by clicking on the “Edit” link to the right of the word “Status” in the “Publish Box” and use the pulldown menu to choose Draft, click OK, and then the “Save Draft” button putting your story back in drafts.

EDITOR’S PUBLISHING NOTES: If it is missing parts or needs work, EDITOR’S NOTES will be added to the headline and place the story back in your queue in “Draft Status.”  Make the changes in your article and resubmit for review.