Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions we get asked about NowPublic. If you can't find what you're looking for Contact Us and we'll get back to you.
A: NowPublic is a place where you can make, break, shape, and share the news that matters to you — as it happens. We are the largest and fastest-growing participatory news network in the world, with thousands of contributing members from over 140 countries.
Unlike traditional news organizations, NowPublic is an open community that enables everyone to participate in the newsmaking process. Whether you're interested in being an eyewitness "on the scene" reporter, a newshound that seeks out stories about topics that interest you, or any combination of editor, writer, blogger, photographer, videographer, avid commenter, or even a general news enthusiast — NowPublic lets you define the news agenda.
In collaboration with staff editors, guest editors, news wranglers, and other site members, NowPublic harnesses the power and wisdom of the 'crowd' to offer uniquely personalized reporting and a human perspective on the events that define our world.
To learn more about NowPublic please visit our blog.
A: Anyone can make a comment on a story, but you must create an account with us in order to share and collaborate on stories, or add your photos and videos. We do this so that we can see who has powered a story and who is helping to make the news. Sign up for an account.
A: At NowPublic, one of our founders offered a simple way of defining news: "Tell me something new about something I care about."
News should be current, and it must mean something to people in order to be newsworthy. A story about a storm in your neighbourhood, or a story about the opening of a blockbuster movie, can both be newsworthy but, each needs to be put into context in order to be meaningful.
As NowPublic is a global site, we are interested in news that is happening around the world. We provide coverage of major news events, but we're particularly interested in discovering and reporting on stories that the mainstream media has overlooked, whether those are local, national, or international stories.
Make your story newsworthy by bringing a personal perspective to it that will help to inform and provide context on the story for NowPublic readers.
A: NowPublic's news community is made up of staff editors, guest editors, news wranglers, and an international roster of contributing members.
- Staff Editors: Rockin' the gold crowns, Staff Editors are members of NowPublic's staff. Their job is to be the leaders and ambassadors of the community. They're here to promote the best content on the site and to make your experience better. Find one on the site and send them a message if you have any questions.
- Guest Editors: Sportin' the silver crowns, NowPublic’s Guest Editors are volunteers that have been chosen by Staff Editors to help keep the site shiny and clean. Their job is to work with Staff Editors and the NowPublic community to help make sure that the best content gets promoted and that everyone is treated as they should be. Want to be an Editor? First you have to be a News Wrangler, and an active one. Please get in touch with a Staff Editor if you'd like to get involved.
- News Wranglers: Wearin' the cowboy hats, NowPublic's News Wranglers are members that have made great contributions to the site and have taken their involvement one step further. As "power users" of the site, their job is to discover, post, and share fascinating stories and they're given a few extra site tools to help get the word out.
- Contributing Members: Anyone can join NowPublic and participate in making news. Want to become a member of the community? It's easy, and free: sign-up for an account.
A: You may have noticed that some of the members of our community have that little bit of extra bling, those small "trophy" icons beside their names. You could get one, or more of them yourself by getting more involved with the site.
Want to know how to improve your ranking? Click here to learn more about how rankings are calculated.
A: NowPublic occasionally moderates stories and comments that are published on our site, however, we never censor content based on political or ideological point of view.
We only delete stories or comments that violate our Code of Conduct or include the following transgressions:
• are abusive, off-topic, use excessive foul language
• contain racist, sexist, homophobic and other slurs
• are solicitations and/or advertising for personal blogs and websites
• are posted with the explicit intention of provoking other site members or the staff at NowPublic
A: Every hour of every day, something is happening around the world that people want to know about. These stories are the heart of the 'show me something new about something I care about' journalism credo that NowPublic lives by. They're the original stories that capture our attention, make us chuckle or a picture that shocks us. This is our Good Stuff.
On NowPublic, you can recommend stories, photos, videos, and comments that you think deserve to be promoted.
When you "Recommend" something on the site, it adds value to it and gives it a better chance of being placed on the front page. It's also a nice way of letting the author know that someone liked their contribution.
To improve your chances of having your content "Recommended", your stories should:
- Cite any source material and link back to it
- Explain why it matters
- Have an original contribution - don't just copy and paste from another site
- Include original material Highlighted from your own blog or website
- Include relevant photos and video where appropriate
Content that is "Recommended" shouldn't be:
- Only a quoted article or Highlight
For information please check out NowPublic's Flagging Guide
A: Not every story lives up to our expectations; a story will be flagged as needing improvement if it:
- is incomplete (perhaps you included a headline but forgot to write a story?)
- offers an interesting perspective but isn't relevant to a current or recent story
- explicitly plagiarizes or copies from someone else's work without citing it, or highlighting it
- presents a highly editorialized (op-ed) story that has not been labelled as "Opinion" (in the story's headline, body, and tags)
- is libellous or contains abusive content (as per our Moderation Policy above)
- contains formatting or structural errors that make it unreadable
- appears to contain a conflict of interest between the content and the contributor
- presents untrue or highly exaggerated claims
A: Spam is content that promotes a product or service, regardless of the product or service that is being offered. This includes posts that link directly to external commercial websites, and commercial press releases.
Content that is identified as having a commercial purpose will be flagged as Spam and deleted from the site for violating NowPublic's Code of Conduct. Members who consistently post spam risk having their accounts blocked without warning.
A: NowPublic has a fresh set of content channels to make it easier for you to read and share stories, and make your way around the site.
Got a story but not sure what channel would be the best fit? Here's a quick breakdown that will give you a good idea of what goes where: NowPublic Channel Guide.
A: The best way to quote from external news sources is to use our Highlight tool. Highlight is a web browser add-on that allows you to publish news to NowPublic that you've discovered elsewhere on the web.
Highlight is a great way to start a conversation about a news story and it should be used to select an excerpt from a story that you find interesting, rather than to re-publish an entire article verbatim. We ask that you don't simply cut and paste stories from other sites.
NowPublic encourages members to add their own original content to a highlighted story, such as a written introduction, in order to personalize it and provide context for NowPublic readers.
Use Highlight to select a few sentences that will give your readers the most complete sense of what you found important. When you click the QUOTE button, it will import the excerpt into the story box. This is the essence of Highlighting. It's "getting the essential bits."
Stories that simply copy and paste from another article, and do not include any original content, will not be flagged as Good Stuff (learn more about our [link] flagging policy) on NowPublic.
For more information on Highlight and other reporting tools please check out our Tools section.
A: If things don't appear to be working as they should be, have a look in the Forums to see if anyone else is experiencing the same issue, it might already be resolved.
If you're still having trouble, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the NowPublic staff will get back to you.