Become a Fair Observer
Become a Fair Observer
Share your thought and send us articles, photo features, presentations, inforgraphics and even cartoons. Email us at email@example.com and we will get back to you within a week. Please click for our contributor guidelines and our contributor profile form or you can read them below.
Guidance for Contributors
We are delighted to have you involved with Fair Observer and thank you for your participation. We want your voice to shine through, as we strive to create a 360-degree view with thought-provoking articles and other multimedia content from around the world.
Length and style guidelines for our articles are set out below while guidelines for photo features can be found at the end of this document.
I. Context Pieces 500 word context explaining background and relevance of a key issue
II. Analytical Articles 750-1,500* word analysis of a particular issue
III. Human Perspectives 750-1,500* word perspective on an issue’s effect on individual lives
I. Context Pieces
a) The context pieces should be 500* words, with the following subheadings:
II. Why is (the issue) relevant?
b) The context is the centerpiece of our 360 degree analysis. It is supplemented by analyses of the issue. The context is objective while analyses are from different perspectives.
c) The context should offer a succinct, clear explanation of the issue to a reader with minimal knowledge of the subject matter.
Some examples of context pieces are as follows:
II. Analytical Articles
a) Analytical articles should offer a clear perspective and new insights. Please use the extra word limit to develop arguments and adduce evidence.
b) Analytical articles should have:
● A reference to historical, economic or social context as applicable. (e.g., It is clear that the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan is influenced by the partition of British India in 1947.)
● A “big picture” perspective: remember not to get buried in minutiae or technical detail. Evidence and statistics are important to present a point and not important by themselves. The best in-depth reports make connections between seemingly disparate elements and offer explanations that are highly insightful. (e.g., one can see that similar budget crises occurred in (19xx) in (Country X), and were resolved by…)
● An anticipation, if possible, of what is likely to happen in the near future. (e.g., it is expected that policy makers will continue to attempt to…)
c) Articles should be dedicated to issues, events, and trends of significance. (e.g., an analysis of immigration, the state of the world economy, the Arab uprisings,technological innovation or something of similar importance)
d) Opinion is welcome, but should not overwhelm the presentation of the context and facts of the issue.
e) Please send us a 1 or 2 sentence summary of the article.
III. Human Perspectives
a) It is critical to maintain a narrative voice while covering these issues. These articles should draw heavily on direct quotes (Michael Smith declared in an interview that “the recent regulations…”).
b) These submissions are most effective when the contributor is close to the subject and “on the ground.” (e.g., my recent interactions with Ahmad in Tunisia reveal his fear…)
c) Please include a 1 or 2 sentence summary of the article.
General style guidelines:
● Please avoid lazy, coffee-house rhetoric (e.g., “and don’t even get me started on his speech.”)
● Please avoid endless fact-writing without flow or structure. If people wanted to learn about the Iraq War in complete detail, they could simply find it on Wikipedia.
● Remember, Fair Observer is an analytical publication. Your opinion/argument should be organized and carefully constructed.
● Facts should be stated clearly. If you make an inference based on a fact, it should follow directly after the fact.
● Remember, readers will not have the same knowledge of the issue as you do. So please be clear, simple and accessible.
● Certain facts that may appear obvious to you will be unknown to readers. So explanations and transitions are critical.
● Please include the source of citations and facts in brackets within the same sentence in which the citation or fact appears or in hyperlinks within the article. We do not publish footnotes, or sources, at the end of the article.
*Anything above the specified word limit will be published at the discretion of the editors. The word limits are to act as indicators. Remember that the most important criterion is the quality of your writing, and that good writing is marked by an economy of expression and a richness of insight.
● Be thrifty. Make every word count. If you can use fewer words to make your point, do it.
● Be clear. Watch out for long sentences – you will lose your reader this way. If a sentence is more than two lines long, try to restructure it. If you cannot shorten your sentences, your argument is probably not tight enough.
● Avoid clichés. Metaphors lose their impact if they are too familiar. Be inventive.
● Please limit the use of rhetorical questions.
● Please remember that the content is read by an international audience.
Grammar and punctuation:
● Use quote marks, not inverted commas.
● Use one space after a full stop.
● Capitalize organizations, institutions and definite geographical places.
● Italicize foreign words, newspapers and publications.
● Dashes: Use the en dash with spaces either side (e.g. “Things have changed a lot in the last year – mainly for the better.”). Do not use more than one dash, or a pair of dashes, in a sentence. Once in a paragraph is enough. "A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses."
● Use a semi-colon instead of a full stop if you want to link ideas.
Articles will be edited for:
● adherence to our House Style
We get more articles than we can publish, so please be patient. By contributing an article you cede to us the right to edit it, have the final say on edits, and in some cases, not to publish the article.
You agree to:
● Be available to our editors to answer any questions, requests for clarification, requests for sources, or fact checks about your article. We will try our best to do this in a timely manner.
● Abide by the editors’ decisions. We may amend headlines and create sub-headings, so that the article is compliant with Fair Observer’s style.
We request that:
● Your article should preferably not have been published before.
● You name your sources, so that your assertions can be verified as accuracy is essential.
Requirements and Guidelines for Photo Features
a) Every photo feature should have catchy title and tell a compelling story.
b) Ideally, photo features should have 10 to 15 photos. This is the optimal length for the Internet.
c) Every photo should have a one or two line description to place it in context and tell a story.
d) The photos should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org uploaded into Dropbox. If you upload into Dropbox, please share your folder with the email above. If you do not use Dropbox but would like to, please send us an email and we will send you a Dropbox invitation.
e) Photographs should be under 2MB and around 610 x 426 pixels.
Rights to your work
All articles, multimedia content and other materials, creations, works of authorship and inventions submitted by you will be your sole property, but you grant us a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide right and license to use, copy, reproduce, adapt, publish, and distribute the content in any form. Full details are available in our Contributor Agreement.
If you are under risk for expressing certain views under your real name, please write to us at email@example.com and state that you wish to write under a pseudonym or an alias and provide an explanation of your particular personal situation. Your information will not be disclosed to a third party without your prior consent unless we are legally required to do so.
Sample Contributor Profile
Please fill this in and return along with a recent photograph
McKinsey & Company
Areas of Expertise
Global Security, Middle East, Finance & Economics
New York, NY, USA
(email and daytime phone number)
Education, experience, and qualifications
(please write in the third person)
Peter Cameron completed his Master’s in International Relations at the University of California. He has over ten years of experience in national security, economics of terrorist networks, and is considered an expert on the energy sector of Middle East countries. He serves as an advisor to the Dutch Integration Society.
Optional: Web links to be included with your profile (such as your blog, organization, books written)
Please provide a digital photograph of yourself (either paste it into this document or attach it in your email)