Guidelines for Contributors and Editors

Guidelines for Contributors

We publish high quality content with a progressive impact and encourage contributions from volunteers. Please consider the following points when selecting and crafting content for Pierce Progressives Online.

  • As our name suggests, articles should have a connection to Pierce County and a progressive perspective. We welcome not only local news, but also state and federal news, as long as its impact on Pierce County people is made clear.
  • Topics include government, politics, business, economy, environment, health care, food, education, religion, entertainment, art, and music.
  • We emphasize news that is not well covered by other news sources.
  • Material should be timely and significant.
  • We encourage articles that can make a positive difference in people’s lives, support social and economic justice, or encourage cultural harmony.
  • We like articles that tell readers where they can learn more and how they can get involved in local progressive action.
  • We publish articles based on research using web-links to information on a focused topic; a link based article should be clear independently of the links; we discourage cut-and-paste; the article should be in the author's words; a link should link to the story page, not to the front page, which will change often.
  • We publish informative, interesting interviews with people who are doing important work.
  • We also welcome photos, videos, poetry, and art that support our focus.
  • Submissions must be well-researched and factually sound. Statements need to be supported by convincing evidence from a variety of sources: public documents, for instance, writings of well-informed people, photos, or personal interviews.
  • We want fair, in-depth reporting that explores various sides of a story.
  • We do not publish articles with derisive language.
  • We like direct and indirect quotations by named sources, used with permission and clear attributions.
  • We look for logical, well-structured arguments and clean, clear style.
Submission Process
  • Send your submission to:
  • You will receive an automated response to let you know that we have received it.
  • Your submission will be routed to an editor who will contact you promptly to let you know if your submission meets our criteria.
  • If it does, your editor will coordinate the editing process.
  • Once your submission is accepted, it will be forwarded to our webmaster for prompt publication.
Guidelines for Editors

Editors should consider making the following kinds of suggestions for changes, including

  • Appropriateness to the mission of The Pierce Progressive: The article should ideally make clear the relevance to Pierce County and progressive thinking and action. Suggest links to organizations in Pierce County relevant to the article.
  • Facts: If the editor is aware of factual errors she/he should point them out to the author. However, the editor should check her/his own facts before challenging the author’s.
  • Grammar: The editor may suggest grammatical corrections. The article should follow the grammatical rules of Standard English, unless it is important to the impact of the article to use dialect.
  • Sentence Clarity: Make sure each sentence expresses an idea clearly. If you have difficulty understanding a sentence, others will also.
  • Logic: Expect arguments to follow a clear logic. Tell the author where you have difficulty following the argument.
  • Paragraph Organization: There should be a teaser paragraph which provides an overview of the article. There should be a clear connection between paragraphs, e.g., following the temporal order of the events reported or expanding on a topic in a previous paragraph.
  • Civility: Discourage abusiveness and intolerance of others.
  • Background links: Encourage providing background links that inform the reader.
  • Opportunities for getting involved: Encourage links or other ways for the reader of an article to find out how to connect with others and act on an issue.
  • Timeliness: Timeliness of publication is important and editors must respond quickly to a story proposal and make the editing interaction as efficient as possible, but always with an eye to producing a quality story. When dealing with an upcoming event with a short fuse, try to expedite the process. Action Alerts can sometimes compensate by announcing an event as an Action Alert first and then allowing more time for a more in-depth story.
  • Punctuation: Correct spelling and punctuation errors.
  • The Associated Press Guidelines: Follow The Associated Press Stylebook for spelling and punctuation. See AP Guidelines Brief Version.
  • Voice: Respect creative style and authentic voice. Does the originality have a point, for example, spelling ‘Amerika’ with a ‘k?’ If something appears to suggest poor editing, insert a disclaimer which allows the author to explain his/her point.
  • Flexibility: It is difficult to anticipate all the ways contributors will find to be creative. You need to ask whether it works.
  • Edits are suggestions. The author can choose not to follow any edits that she/he finds unacceptable. However, the decision whether to publish will be based on the author’s final revision.