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Guidelines

How to submit your photos and videos

Submitting stories to Newzulu is easy. Simply go to our website and click the link to ‘Upload News’. You’ll be asked for some basic information about your upload: where and when it happened, who was involved, and why it’s relevant. Once you’ve become a regular contributor, we’ll keep track of the kind of material you’re interested in, and send you invitations and passes to events. We’ll also inform you on breaking stories that are happening around you.

Maximum size of photos or videos

We accept large files up to 200 Mb: there is no need for you to compress your photos. We encourage you to submit original, high resolution files.

Format for photos or videos

Photos should be formatted using JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIF or TIFF. Higher resolution images are preferred, i.e: 5 megapixels or 14MB memory per image. For videos, use MP4 (H264), MOV, WM, AVI etc with resolution preferably 640 x 480 or higher.

Images and Information

Once you upload a photo or video to Newzulu, you’ll be asked to provide the following information:

• Who is in the photo/video?
• What are they doing?
• Where does it take place?
• When did the event take place?
• Why is it newsworthy?

This will not only help us validate your submission, but also help buyers find your stories.

Use of Captions

Captions help to establish the context of your images. You want the caption to make a statement that is newsworthy even without the image.

Media buyers view only images and captions, without the main descriptive body, so make your captions relevant. The more information you provide, including keywords and context, the faster we can get it validated and into the marketplace. Remember: news stories can break very quickly, so you want to get all your information uploaded as fast as possible.

Keywords help media buyers to locate your work and increase your visibility. We translate your captions into all our supported languages, so please be attentive to every word. Use as many variations in the title as possible to allow your audience to find your work.

For example, if you have a photo showing Tom Cruise nude on a beach in Bermuda. Ask yourself: “What words or phrases would I enter to search for this picture?” And then enter keywords to reflect this: Tom Cruise, nude, naked, beach, sunbathing, Bermuda, celebrity, actor.

Include the maximum amount of details in the description. E.g. Tom Cruise, famous actor who starred in classics such as Top Gun, was spotted sunbathing at a beach in Bermuda on 23 March.

HOW TO TAKE A NEWZULU PHOTO

For your photos to have meaning and value, it is essential to place them in their context (eg: show the geographical location, the weather, the time). Remember that ALL YOUR PHOTOS NEED CAPTIONS.

Take sharp photos, use light well and check your images before leaving the scene. Take as many photos of the event as you can to give you a better selection later.

Variety is the key. Take shots of people from different angles (vertical, horizontal), different framing (large wide-angle shots, portrait shots for emotion, close ups for details) and vary the number of people shown (eg: crowds, small isolated groups, a single person).

Camera date settings are important as another way to verify pictures, so ensure you check your camera settings before starting out. And please be aware we do not allow timestamps on images, as they are unable to be removed before publishing.

Most scoops consist of three to 10 photos, with a 20 photo maximum for one series of images. Sending in a series of shots with your best image first will help to attract a buyer. It also helps showcase your contribution on Newzulu Australia. By putting your images into a series you raise the value of your scoop by presenting it exclusively to one publisher.

PLEASE NOTE: If you send us only one image, or part of a series, and you sell the other images to another media outlet, the image you sent us is no longer a scoop. If we sell your images to a client who has purchased the images on the basis that they are exclusive, you will be in breach of our Terms and Conditions and may be asked to return any funds you receive from that client’s purchase.

Here are some qualifications for what makes a good Newzulu photo:

• It is of interest to a wide audience: that could mean your community, your city, your country or the world.
• It could be of a news event: like a bus accident, a protest, a fire, fans of a winning team celebrating. Or, untraditionally, it could be of a very interesting moment that has impact or is new, that not many people have seen before: like a new gadget your neighbor invented or a dog that can perform magic tricks.
• Think before you shoot. Does this photo tell a story? Can I know where it is, who is in the photo, what is happening?
• Be creative. Think outside the box and don’t go for the same angle that everyone else is shooting from. A good rule of thumb is to NOT shoot from eye level. Give people a perspective they have never seen before.
• Send it quickly. Many photos lose their value very fast. The quicker you send it in (using, for example, the Newzulu app), the more likely it is that your photo will be of interest to media outlets, who are updating their homepages every minute.
• Be smart. No photo is worth getting hurt over or hurting someone else in the process. Be smart and know the limitations and boundaries you should respect.

HOW TO SHOOT A NEWZULU VIDEO

The most important thing is to film all the action and nothing else. If necessary you can cut scenes when you edit to make things coherent. And remember, staying still while filming enhances your video. This means anticipating the action and positioning yourself as close as possible for the best shot.

The typical types of shots are Close-up (entire face), Mid-shot (from the waist up to give presence to the character), Full length (person is completely in the frame), Wide angle (establishing the scene), Panoramic left to right or down up (an informative shot showing something to the viewer, e.g. the size of a basketball player), Tracking (if you're moving with the action try to be as stable as possible, and keep the shot no longer than 10-20 seconds).

Remember that wide shots set the scene. If you need to zoom, stop the video, zoom, and then restart. And always look through the viewfinder when filming, not at the scene.

While you are shooting video, you can remain static (the action moves around you) or move with the event (i.e. walking backwards while filming a demonstration).

Let’s give you an example of a protest: (1) An establishing shot – shoot the march from far away to give an idea of the size; (2) A wide shot – film the beginning of the march showing banners, protestors etc. (3) Closer shot – showing several protesters framed above the waist, singing and (4) end with a close-up showing an individual’s face for emotion. You can also reverse the order, and intrigue the viewer with the very first shot of the subject’s emotions.

And remember: always shoot with the light behind you so that it is illuminating your subject.

Interviews

Before you start your interview, ask yourself what is interesting about the interviewee. Write a set of questions to help you before you start your interview. Ask questions related to what the person saw, heard or did according to their role (e.g: a witness to a fire, the fire chief about the number of firefighters involved, an insurer about preventing such accidents).

Remember to ask both sides of the story (e.g: talk to both the employer and the union about a strike).

Make sure to write down and confirm the spelling of the first and last name of a person and their role at the beginning of the interview. Phrase your questions so that they are open-ended, which allows the interviewee to provide more detail.

• Example of a closed question:
Q. Are you unhappy with the outcome?
A.Yes.
• Instead, use an open question:
Q. Tell me how you feel about the outcome and why.
A. I feel a confused and disappointed because...

Try to get the interviewee to talk as much as possible and never cut them off when they are speaking.

Think about the context of the event in terms of who, what, where, when, why and how. Ideally the interview should take place in the environment of the interviewee (e.g: a mechanic in a garage) to give context and make the story more interesting and informative. The person should look you in the eyes and not at the camera. Film them slightly off-centre in both pictures and videos to ensure the strength lines of the image.

Lighting is important so place the interviewee next to a window if they are indoors, or use the light on your camera. If there is a lamp nearby ensure the light comes from behind you to give their face more light.

When interviewing make sure you can hear the person being interviewed clearly, and avoid places that are too noisy. If possible isolate the person away from the action to be able to hear them better. Make sure there are no barking dogs, crying babies, traffic noises, etc, which will distract your viewers. Sound quality is often more crucial to the viewer than image quality.

HOW TO WRITE A NEWZULU ARTICLE

The best way to learn how to write is to read your favourite material and pay close attention to the structure, language, and the types of articles that catch the attention of you and your friends.

Writing an introduction

All quality news stories have a have a catchy headline and a strong introduction. Your introduction should contain enough information to arouse interest by revealing the most important elements of the story, but not the whole story. It should show the most newsworthy aspect of the story, be direct and attention-grabbing and should entice the reader to learn more.

It should be no longer than 250 characters using short, simple words and clear grammar. The golden rule for writing a good introduction is to keep it short and simple.

Writing the body of the article

Finding the key points of a story is what makes it newsworthy. News values include being new, unusual, interesting or significant, or about people. Position the key points in order of their importance, starting with the most crucial information and then adding details and other interesting details or observations.

Ensure the language used is appropriate to the story (e.g: a serious story requires a serious intro; colour stories can be lighter). Use technical terms appropriate for the subject, but be aware of your audience and explain any complex terms or abbreviations. If you are writing about a topic you know well, pretend you are explaining the topic to an alien and fill in all the necessary background detail.

Format Requirements

Articles can be as short as 200 words, but make sure you have provided all the information available. Short, punchy articles that introduce new information will always be more valuable than long, rambling articles that repeat old news. Limit yourself to a maximum of 1200 words, which is the length of an average newspaper column. If you feel your article needs to be longer, first submit a 1200 word article that covers the most important information and then write a follow-up article.

Please remember that all articles must be accompanied by at least one image of your authorship.

For information on how to best capture your subject, please see How to Take A Newzulu Photo. Do not repeat your introduction or media summary in your photo captions. This looks lazy and is considered unprofessional.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Please read over your article and check the spelling and grammar before submission. Triple check the spelling of all names and places, and key details such as dates and times. This will ensure your article can be verified and made available for sale as fast as possible. If you’re able to, please include links to your sources or event/other websites that can help us verify the information in your article.

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