This is a self-service FAQ and policy for contributors who write news submissions via Yahoo Contributor Network for Yahoo News or Yahoo Voices only. This is not necessarily policy for other Yahoo websites.
Other News policies: General news policy, common errors and style| Sourcing and attribution policy | Factbox policy and format examples | Commentary policy
What are factbox submissions? We highly recommend you read these examples so that you’re familiar with the format and sourcing guidelines.
Before we get to the examples, however, we must stress a few things:
You should use several and varied sources, especially primary sources (i.e., non-media sources) when readily available. You are not allowed to take others’ work and rewrite it and restructure it into a factbox. We ask you to use primary sources because they are a rich and straightforward reservoir of information. If you’re covering a specific beat, we encourage you to compile a list of websites to visit often. Sign up for email alerts and newsletters. Subscribe to blogs. This will get you up-to-date information and provide you with a great list of sources.
What are examples of primary sources?
– Government or candidates’ websites and blogs.
– Organizations’ and companies’ websites and blogs.
– Medical and scientific studies.
– News releases. (These should used in concert with other sources and not as your only source of information.)
– Newsworthy Facebook posts and Twitter messages that are specifically related to your topic. (These should also be used as supplementary sources, and the social media you cite should be from someone or something in your story — not just someone commenting on the topic.)
You need to abide by our sourcing guidelines. They answer when it’s appropriate to attribute a source and when it’s not.
Please read and understand our sourcing requirements here.
Be careful with evergreen information
Factboxes that are tied to a timely news event can have evergreen elements, but those elements must be narrow and specific to the timely information — not just overly general and random facts about the topic.
A bulleted or traditional factbox
This format presents salient, easily digestible factoids in a quick-hit fashion around a timely news story. Each factoid is short, stands alone and is rich with facts, figures, quotes and other details. They’re usually delineated with asterisks or dashes at the start of each. Importantly, you should not merely write a narrative and then just put asterisks or bullet points at the start of paragraphs. That is not a factbox because each “fact” follows a certain order and is reliant on the paragraphs that come before or after. Some examples of good bulleted factboxes:
– Researchers Find Musicians Retain Hearing Longer (http://news.yahoo.com/researchers-musicians-retain-hearing-longer-174215751.html)
– What Contributed to Romney’s Florida Primary Win? (http://news.yahoo.com/contributed-romneys-florida-primary-win-173800049.html)
An extended Q&A factbox
These are similar to traditional factboxes, but generally include fewer sections that are more developed and in-depth. Often, these include bolded subheads that introduce new, pertinent and need-to-know details. (You cannot, however, add just a couple bolded subheads in what’s otherwise a narrative and call it a factbox.) Some examples:
– Presidential Politics Upsets: a History (http://news.yahoo.com/presidential-politics-upsets-history-173800030.html)
– What to Do on Martha’s Vineyard — When You Are not the President (http://news.yahoo.com/marthas-vineyard-not-president-151400902.html)
– The Kindle and Nook — Good for More Than Just E-Books (http://news.yahoo.com/kindle-nook-good-more-just-e-books-174200232.html )
A “by the numbers” factbox
These are very similar to traditional factboxes, but they are predicated on numbers. These factboxes are a good approach to stories that are full of interesting numbers and figures. Some examples:
– South Carolina Primary Results, by the Numbers (http://news.yahoo.com/south-carolina-primary-results-numbers-065200664.html)
– America’s Rich vs. America’s Poor (http://news.yahoo.com/americas-rich-vs-americas-poor-study-numbers-004000455.html)
– Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns, by the Numbers (http://news.yahoo.com/mitt-romneys-tax-returns-numbers-192800138.html)
These factbox-like articles tell readers about major events in the history of a story. They’re useful when we’ve reached a milestone point in a story. They present information similar to a “by the numbers” piece, but it’s centered on dates, not figures. Some examples:
– Timeline: John Edwards’ Scandal (http://news.yahoo.com/timeline-john-edwards-shame-160900128.html)
– Gov. Chris Christie Timeline (http://news.yahoo.com/gov-chris-christie-timeline-215200513.html)