Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. New Contributors
  3. Quality Standards
  4. Images/Multimedia
  5. Editorial Prerogative
  6. Cessation of Editorial Duties

Introduction
This Guidebook should serve as a set of basic guidelines for acting as a Contributing Editor for the It’s Getting Hot in Here Online Community. It is not a rulebook, but a set of goals that Contributing Editors should seek to adhere to, in order to hold It’s Getting Hot in Here to the highest standards and to maintain its position as the premier community media project for the global youth climate movement.

New Contributors
Editors are encouraged to recruit new writers for the online community, focusing on a diversity of perspective. However, the It’s Getting Hot in Here Content Management System and the basic requirements for IGHIH posts sometimes takes a while for new contributors to get used to. So all new writers, with certain exceptions, should be added to the user list as Contributors rather than Authors, until they are proven comfortable with the interface, usually around their fourth post.

Quality Standards
Posts to It’s Getting Hot in Here should follow certain basic standards of writing quality, to represent the community properly to the diverse audience of readers. Students, professors, and journalists all are regular readers of IGHIH and nothing undermines the standing of the youth community than basic misspellings, grammatical mistakes, or sloppy formatting. Journalists love to present young activists as impassioned but mistaken or foolish and we should avoid that at all costs. While most of our audience are youth climate activists and informal writing is great, we should avoid misspelled words, improper grammar, uncategorized posts, and misformatted images and paragraphs. IGHIH doesn’t have a policy on profanity, as long as racial, homophobic, or bigoted epithets aren’t used. Posts should not display nudity, but a link to a nude image, with it fully labeled as such, if topical, can be acceptable.

Images/Multimedia
Images and multimedia, like music or videos, are strongly recommended to improve the look and feel of It’s Getting Hot in Here. However, images can take up considerable bandwidth and slow the site down. Images should only be posted if a reasonable size, no more than 400 pixels in either width or height. Larger images can always be linked to, but should not be posted directly on the front page. Also, images should be optimized for viewing and should not exceed 40kb in size. Central staff can assist with technical assistance or the wordpress thumbnail feature can be used. Videos and music can be embedded, but music should not be set to autoplay or download.

Editorial Prerogative
Editors are empowered by the wordpress system to add new users, promote users to the levels of Author or Editor, edit others’ posts or comments, and publish contributors’ drafts. With these abilities there should be a few guidelines, namely that they follow the guidelines in the handbook. However, the editorial prerogative regarding others posts and comments should be that Editors can edit to improve spelling, grammar, or format but should not alter the content of the post. Headlines can be edited to promote visual impact, as this is the primary display in the IGHIH widget and draws many visitors. Offensive content can be unpublished, due to ad hominem attacks, inciting flame wars, or conspiracy theory. If offenses are repeated, editors may demote an author to contributor, but should contact central staff instead of banning or removing a user account.

Cessation of Editorial Duties
Contributing Editors are volunteers, but they are essential for the operation of It’s Getting Hot in Here. Therefore, if Editors will have an interruption in their ability to serve in that capacity, they should inform central staff and the other Editors, so that an interim replacement can be found. If an Editor chooses to leave their position, they should stay until they can recruit a replacement.


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