Write For Us
I want to write for the D.C. Mic Check…what do I do?
First of all, if you have an idea for a story, please contact us with an outline. Wherever possible, do not send us whole stories! We might have commissioned something similar, or have suggestions, contacts and leads to share–saving you a lot of work.
Email editor [@] dcmiccheck [dot] org, and an Editorial Collective member will get back to you within 4-5 days to develop the story from there.
What kind of story should I write?
The D.C. Mic Check is looking for news, analysis and opinion on economic and social injustices, and peoples’ struggles to overcome them. That could take many forms: an informative explanation of a local political issue; a reply to biased mainstream coverage; a profile of an important community group or organiser; a review of an exhibition, play, book or film; a personal reflection piece. Look at the stories on this website to get the best idea of what we cover.
My idea has been commissioned…what now?
Please, please, please read over these tips for writers. These are the guidelines we edit to, so following them from the start will save us all a lot of work!
1 – Keep it simple. Focus on one story, or on making one argument. Every paragraph should support that point in some way, even if secondary arguments are made along the way.
2 – Be explicit. There is little room for suspense in journalism. Let the reader know in the first paragraph what you are talking about and what your slant will be.
3 – Be concise. To remain accessible to a range of readers, present information clearly. Use short sentences wherever possible. This will help you organise and present ideas. Read over sentences aloud and ask: “could I say this more clearly?”
4 – Avoid jargon. Explain any and all specialized terms. Assume your reader is brand new to the conversation.
5 – Use evidence. Present a variety of quotes, statistics, references etc. to back up your argument. A single source is not usually good ground for a story, unless it is an interview. A little research can transform an article into a piece of layered and complex work. An argument based on assertion alone is useless.
6 – Use citations / provide sources. Attention to detail is important. If you cite a statistic, or non-original quote, for example, we cannot print it without knowing–and being able to prove–it is from a reliable source. Include references in your text, and link to sources. We will not publish all of these, but we must have them on file.
7 – Do not use slander. You may think that a person, corporation or group is murderous, evil, or corrupt. But we cannot simply print that, at risk of legal action. Any accusation must be backed up with reliable evidence. Compelling evidence does much more than name calling. It will make your argument stronger.