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Bellingcat Article Submission Guidelines
Submissions can be sent to email@example.com
We are happy to take volunteer article submissions on our site, and many of our favorite investigations we’ve published come to us this way. Here are general guidelines and suggestions we have, if you are interested in submitting an article to us.
Please do not send us unsolicited attachments with your initial email.
Digital, Online Focus
We publish articles on a large spectrum of themes and geographic locations, but the unifying theme of Bellingcat is that we focus on online materials. We strive to have as much transparency as possible with the digital evidence we use in our investigations, and require the same in our article submissions. We are not a traditional news or research site, in the sense that we do not publish “breaking news” or much big-picture, geopolitical analysis — instead, we focus on granular, online details around stories.
What is a piece we would love to publish, and what isn’t? Here are some stories that may be published on a “traditional” news site, and the angle we may focus on instead:
Them: Large Demonstrations Surge Throughout London
Us: How did civil activists use social networks to organize a series of protests in London?
Them: Hurricane Rips Through Houston
Us: What can a comparison of satellite imagery tell us about the damage from a hurricane in Houston?
Them: Airstrike in Yemen Kills 18, Local Group Reports
Us: Find, verify, and analyze visual materials from the site of an airstrike in Yemen, and compare varius casualty reports from local reports and activists.
Them: Alexander Dugin Is A Dangerous Ideologue — an op-ed
Us: How does Alexander Dugin’s message get amplified online and who are the people who follow him? Here are specific online communities, social media profiles, and the overlapping spheres of interest his supporters have, as per their online activities.
This is not a requirement for an article, but we would encourage our submissions to include an element of crowdsourcing or audience participation to further the progress of an investigation. Some of our most important investigations have made progress due to resources added by our readers, or through larger crowdsourcing efforts. If there are any loose threads to your research, don’t hesitate in asking your readers to lend a hand!
Stress the Evidence, Minimize the Editorial
It is sometimes impossible to divorce the ideological or political baggage from many topics — the spelling one uses for many cities alone carries much historical and political weight, for example. Nevertheless, we encourage our writers to focus as much as possible on presenting open, transparent evidence, and let our readers judge for themselves what the larger conclusions are.
Making a complaint
We can look into complaints about items we have published which are in our control. We adhere to the Standards Code adopted by IMPRESS and can only deal with complaints which relate to an alleged breach of the standards set out in this Code. http://www.impress.press/standards/.
We can only deal with your complaint if you are:
- personally and directly affected by an alleged breach of the Code
- a representative group affected by an alleged breach of the Code, where there is public interest in your complaint
- a third party seeking to ensure accuracy of published information
We are also regulated by IMPRESS, but initial complaints must be made to Bellingcat in writing at the following address, with the words “IMPRESS Complaint” in the email:
We will acknowledge your complaint by e-mail or in writing within 7 calendar days and will normally respond to your complaint with a final decision letter within 21 calendar days. If we uphold your complaint, we will tell you the remedial actions we have taken.
If you are not satisfied with the final response to your complaint, or if you do not hear from us within 21 calendar days of submitting your complaint, then you can refer your complaint to our Independent regulator IMPRESS at the following address:
IMPRESS: The Independent Monitor for the Press CIC
16-18 New Bridge Street