I often get requests (usually email) to cover the stories of specific people, or to carry narrow interpretations of some particular public policy issue.
I am opening up this blog to outside contributions.
First, let’s go over what is most welcome. That material would include lesser reported issues, where the major media outlets have tended to overlook the seriousness of some particular problem. These cover a range of topics. I’ll name a few: filial responsibility laws and eldercare, security for the power grids, downstream liability issues in Internet services (like Section 230 and DMCA Safe Harbor), and the way different cultures develop their own notions of personal “moral values” (faith-based or not).
I tend to stay away from focusing on “group victimization” or joining a particular “cause” or “movement” even when the news stories give that group a compelling case. What would be most welcome on any controversial topic would be some objectivity and fact finding and looking at “both sides”.
It’s OK to mention a commercial service or produce that is for sale and to give the website or social media reference. But it should be an article with real news value. Yes, I can see that a “doomsday prepper” would want to sell a solar home power system and advertise it. That’s fine. But the article should go into its material with some factual depth. Or, for example, I can see someone wanting to offer a site selling gold or silver. But it the writer believes a real financial collapse is coming, he or she should back the claim up with facts. I can imagine good postings along this line on cybersecurity tips.
A video (vimeo or youtube) would be fine. But it is important to come to the point quickly and not waste the viewer’s time by “leading on” and promising a payoff (like a spoiler for a movie) that never comes.
Right now, I don’t pay for submissions, nor to I host “paid content”. I have not placed ads on the blog yet, but may do so later.
I also don’t yet have the ability to let other users sign on as additional bloggers. Because of the effectiveness of social media (especially Facebook) that practice is not as popular as it was ten years ago,
At this time, there are two ways to make a submission.
(1): Submit the article as a comment (preferred). Comments are ,monitored (by Akismet). At the end of the comment, state that you would like to have it published as an article (that is, as an individual posting, credited to the author) instead of as a comment.
(2) Submit two emails. The first should have the article in the body of the email, without attachments. The second email can have the article and any photos as attachments. All attachments will be separately downloaded and scanned for malware separately before being opened. Emails go to JBoushka at aol.com.
Sometimes I get “press releases” from groups about certain issues without a web reference, as if the group wanted me to publish the release. If the release really fits the guidelines for a posting, please tell me that is what you want and give copyright permission.
Foreign language submissions are OK as long as the text can be translated by Google or is accompanies by English translation.
I sometimes receive press releases from various advocacy groups (especially for LGBTQ). In most cases, it’s better for the group to put the text on its own website and give me a link. I can discuss interrelated releases in one post. Releases of unusual complexity or importance might merit posting here. I did that with the matter of a Pride parade in Uganda (and there was an unfortunate follow-up almost immediately). I can put smaller press releases on my regular Facebook news feed.
(Published: Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 12:30 PM EDT)