(Cartoon by Nina Paley via commons.wikimedia.org.)
Contribute to Independent Australia
Would you like to contribute to Independent Australia and get paid for it?
Independent Australia is one of Australia’s most popular news websites, with thousands of people reading IA stories every day.
Contributing is easy. Read the guidelines below and simply email your article to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions should be sent in Word format Word-compatible file. Please do not use a PDF file due to formatting problems.
New technology and online media mean more people are getting involved in journalism – in more ways – than ever before.
Independent Australia is one of the few online magazines to support a range of voices through citizen journalism. If you have an important story to tell, our trained staff want to help you bring your article up to a publishable standard.
'If it is possible to cut a word out, always do'
Tips for writing for the digital media
Unlike print media, writing for online media requires a different approach. Readers tend to "scan" rather than read every word, so keep these basic tips in mind:
- Make the start of your story an attention grabber outlining your case in the first couple of sentences. Then unpack your argument from there. Readers tend to click off if you don’t hook them from the start.
- Use active rather than passive tense.
- Use powerful verbs rather than depending on adjectives and adverbs (For example, He cannoned down the street, rather than, He shot down the street like a cannonball.
- Mix longer sentences with shorter, snappier ones.
- Think about signing up for Twitter. With a 280 character limit, you’ll quickly learn to write bite-sized, information-packed morsels.
- Read George Orwell! Orwell spent hours going over every sentence extracting all superfluous words. His basic rules:
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always do.
- Never use a long word when a short one will do.
- For further tips on writing for the digital media, check out these sites:
Your pieces will be looked on much more favourably if they conform to IA style.
You can find the latest version of the Independent Australia style guide Here.
Title and summary
Important not just for you, the writer, to stay focused but the provision of these is the best way to pitch your story to us. (Note: titles supplied by you are working titles and will usually not be used as the title of the piece if published.)
We publish on every topic and all our stories have an underlying thread — a desire to right wrongs and right injustices, and to make the world a better place.
Our main editorial focus is on Federal politics, democracy, the environment, Australian identity, Indigenous issues, economics, finance, health, law and the justice system.
Please note that we do not accept unpaid native advertising dressed up as news.
IA’s preferred article length is between 700 and 1,200 words — with 700 being more preferred than 1,200.
In very exceptional circumstances, we will consider longer pieces if the topic has strong public appeal and is capable of retaining the reader's attention.
The minimum length we will accept is 350 words.
Try to keep your sentences short and choose shorter words. If you’re unsure, run your article through a readability index tool (like this one).
Please note: if articles over 1,200 words are accepted for publication, they may be edited at our discretion to comply with IA's requirements.
Pique our interest with original content or a fresh slant on a current issue. Look for issues the mainstream media isn’t reporting, or take a different angle than the mainstream media. We are looking for new ideas, not the same old spin.
We receive a large number of submissions, so contributors who provide clean copy will not only save us time but will receive priority for publication.
Image via Pixabay.
Grammar & punctuation
Always provide links and references (preferably to primary sources or credible institutes) to back up any claims as well as quotes. We'd also appreciate it if you could link any names not easily recognised by our readers.
In this new era of so-called "fake news" and "post-truth", IA is proud of the fact that our readers can check all claims and quotes, and satisfy themselves that our sources are credible.
To add a hyperlink:
- Select the text you want to link to. If it is a quote, don't highlight the whole quote, just the vehicle for the quote, such as "report", "he/she said", "article" and so on. Copy the URL link then click "Insert", select "Hyperlink". In the "Link to" box, paste in the URL link, then click "OK".
Graphics, photos, images
Try to include as many images, graphics and video content with your story as possible and provide the URL link. Be careful about using images and graphs from other news sites as this may violate the MEAA Code of Ethics. Tweets also welcomed!
As an online magazine, we publish fewer articles than many comparable online publications but focus on making those we do use more comprehensive and colourful. Please also attribute the sources of your multimedia and licence details.
'Never use a long word when a short one will do'
Key words or tags
Please provide a list of key words, terms, phrases, real names, places, etc. These will help "tune" your article for search engines' algorithms - known as Search Engine Optimisation. This helps direct traffic to your article from search engines like Google. The more "unique" page visits, the more $ for you! (See 'Payment' below).
Code of Ethics
Independent Australia complies with the MEAA’s Code of Ethics. We recommend you familiarise yourself with it before submitting your piece. IA is also a member of the Australian Press Council, which enforces ethics and standards in Australia's print media.
Has your piece been published elsewhere?
Please make sure you let us know if your piece has been published previously elsewhere as we preference previously unpublished work.
If you are a new contributor, you will also need to contribute a short bio, written in the third person, and a profile picture.
For a list of IA contributors and their bios, click HERE.
If your article receives 5,000 unique page views (that is, views from different IP addresses) as determined by Google Analytics, we will pay you $125 for that contribution.
Each subsequent 5,000 “uniques” the article receives, will earn a further $125.
(The maximum payout is $1,500 for each article and earnings cease accruing one year after publication in IA.)
All the best!
David Donovan | Managing Editor