Variations in email clients, webmail applications and word processing software often cause formatting problems when text is exported to other platforms.
Using a single communications platform can mitigate these issues and facilitate production while also increasing privacy and security.
Exeter Observer uses Signal for its communications.
It is open source software, which means its code can be audited by privacy experts to confirm its authenticity, among other things.
There is also a desktop client for Windows, Mac and Linux that runs in parallel with a mobile device installation.
A guide to best-practice use is here.
Signal uses phone numbers to verify the identity of correspondents, so both ends must have the other’s number in their contacts for the communication to be trusted.
Exeter Observer’s number is
Please submit story drafts and other text via Signal as a text message and NOT as an attached document, Word or otherwise.
All formatting will be removed when you paste text into the Signal edit window, so please ensure that each paragraph is separated by a line break.
Hyperlinks will also be removed: please use Markdown link syntax to retain them. It looks like this:
This also greatly facilitates production.
You can indicate the position of photos or graphics, or leave notes for the editor using square brackets:
[photo goes here] [infographic at https://flourish.studio/examples/ goes here] [quote from source TBC after interview]
Any typographic elements such as bold or italic text will be determined during editing.
And no double spaces, please!
If you would like to submit a news brief or feature outline, please simply use line breaks to separate each subhead from the text that follows:
HOOK text goes here HEADLINE text goes here STANDFIRST text goes here etc.
Story drafts will be edited for style, clarity and length, and you may be given feedback including an invitation to further develop the piece.
Submission does not guarantee publication. Editorial priorities, legal considerations and other factors may all contribute to publishing decisions.
Please also take a look at our other contributor guides:
Opinion / Climate & environment
A surge of activity about action to combat climate change is taking place in Exeter, including the publication of a carbon neutral blueprint pending a "mobilisation summit", but detail and evidence is still missing and community engagement is falling short of debate.
News / Climate & environment
Protestors form human chain around County Hall to highlight Devon County Council's role as key regional climate policy decision-maker after Exeter City Council confiscates banners promoting carbon neutral blueprint policies.
Analysis / Planning & place
The unexpected discovery of Roman remains on Exeter's bus station redevelopment site suggests significant risks may also exist for the adjacent Citypoint regeneration scheme.
News / Community & society
A crowdfunding appeal has successfully raised £1000 to repair Exeter Central library's popular rocking horse, Jubilee Beauty.
Analysis / Planning & place
Exeter City Council is taking exploratory steps from talking about a zero carbon future to delivering one with a pilot housing project in Wonford.