Story development

All UH News stories should answer these questions

  • Why is this a story? What makes it interesting? Why would anyone want to read/view this story? This is the most important question.
  • Who is the story about (name, title, official UH affiliation including department and campus)?
  • What is that person/group/organization doing?
  • When will this occur or when did this occur?
  • How is it being done and by what means, sources of funding, costs, possible collaborators/partners, etc.?

Story forms

UH News stories can take many forms, including:

Note: Statements and multimedia content would typically require one to two paragraphs introductory/clarifying paragraphs.

Tips for writing a UH News story

Headline

  • Short, catchy headlines work best
  • Try and front load important key words first (e.g. “Marine shells on display at Sinclair Library” is better than “Sinclair Library features display of marine shells”)
  • Avoid acronyms (e.g. “Smith appointed to national nursing board” is better than “Smith appointed to ABCD board”)

Story

  • Larger blocks of text make reading on screens difficult—keep paragraphs and sentences short
  • Story should be written for the general public not media
  • Don’t bury the lead
  • Use subheadings and bullets to break up text
  • You don’t have to include everything in the story (link to the news release, or other websites for more information)
  • Include important links

Images, photos and videos

Photos and images

  • Great photos or illustrations make a story
  • Remember caption information
  • Include links if there are more photos available online (e.g. Flickr or Facebook albums)
  • UH News photo sizes: Full width story images are 620 pixels wide, headshots 200 pixels to 300 pixels wide

Smartphone photo tips

  • Set your resolution high–You will get better quality photos and more cropping options whenever you can’t get close enough to your subject(s).
  • Turn digital zoom off—Try to get as close as possible to the subject rather than zooming in when you take a shot. Digital zooms are a software trick that can make photos look blurry or pixelated. You will get better quality photos cropped, than zoomed in.
  • Turn the phone sideways—Use the “landscape” orientation when taking photos to get more in, especially when shooting group shots or if you want to capture the background, too.
  • Take more photos—Someone blinked. The angle didn’t work. The more photos you take, the better chance you have to find a winner. Where you’d take one, try taking five.
  • Hold your phone steady—Ever hold your camera at arm’s length to get a shot? You’re asking for trouble. To get a good, sharp image, turn yourself into a human tripod. Hold the camera with both hands and pull your arms into your chest or stomach. You’re instantly sturdier and so are your photos. Or use a nearby wall, railing or any sturdy object to brace yourself and/or your camera.

Vidoes

Include videos and/or video links related to your story (videos can be embedded into stories)

UH Style Guide

Remember the UH Style Guide, available online.

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Last modified: August 5, 2017