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Northwest News Network Style Guide

The purpose of this document is to guide how N3 and Northwest stations translate their radio stories for the web. Consistency and clarity make stories more effective. The aim is to streamline the process of "webifying" our stories across the region. An example of an N3 style script is at the bottom of this document.

'What's our style on...?'

• N3 style first, please.

• N3 style draws on many sources: Associated Press style, NPR style, dictionaries and other reference works. Special exceptions are noted. In some cases, N3 overrides industry-standard styles to reflect local preferences. Defer to N3 style first, even in cases where other style guides disagree.

• If N3 style doesn't cover it, defer to the "AP Stylebook."

• If the "AP Stylebook" doesn't cover it, defer to "Webster's New World College Dictionary" (fourth edition).

• If Webster's doesn't cover it, defer to the sources listed on Page IX-X of the "AP tylebook"(42nd edition, 2007).

• Deviating from N3 style occasionally may be appropriate. Each deviation must be approved by the N3 regional editor or station news director or editor.

Here are some general pointers for formatting scripts to make them web friendly:

• Please transcribe the entire script, including full quotes exactly as they are heard on the radio. Feel free to leave out excessive 'ums' and 'ers', as long as it does not change the meaning of the quote. It's also acceptable to create fully "webified" text versions of stories, rather than transcripts of radio pieces.

• Use lower case. NARRATION IN ALL CAPS is hard for webmasters to undo if they don’t like it. It also looks like you’re shouting.

• Spell out the full name of the speaker and then use quotes when you transcribe a soundbite. No need for the speaker's titles or honorifics. Ex: Chris Gregoire: "This is the best damned state I've ever governed."

• Try to match the slug in the filename to the slug on the N3 Daybook, to the extent that brevity allows.

• Remove mixing directions and soundbite timings from the script that you post. Notations of sound effects that are relevant to the story flow are okay to keep in, ex. Sound: (car honking)

• Include a photo caption and weblinks when possible.

• Close each script with your employer’s copyright. Please use the HTML entity for the copyright symbol: ©