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 VALUE text goes here PUBLIC INTEREST 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:
Analysis ⁄ Community & society
Exeter City Council has yet to confirm whether it will use any of the £2.15m Rough Sleeping Initiative funding it has received since 2018 to keep housing rough sleepers when government emergency accommodation funding runs out.
News ⁄ Climate & environment
Chief Executive warns that resourcing the plan is "problematic" given COVID-19 financial challenges and that lack of resources limits the council's capacity for immediate practical action.
News ⁄ Transport & mobility
Deadline for action on social distancing for safe travel set by county cabinet member passes despite Devon receiving £1.7 million share of government emergency fund.