Publication Guidelines

Publication Guidelines
Adviser: Prof. Scott Brinton Email: 

Below are the Guidelines for Publication. They begin with the General Section, which applies to all story forms, including articles, photo essays, and video and audio packages. Specific guidelines for each genre follow.


1. Publication on the Long Island Advocate is an honor. Each submission should reflect a student’s best effort.

2. Each package must be signed off on by a professor before it is submitted.

3. Each story should be on a topic or issue of interest to a Long Island community, in particular one of the many hamlets, villages and towns surrounding Hofstra University.

4. All stories must be free of grammatical errors and written in Associated Press style.

5. All reporting and copy must be the student’s original work, including all quotes.

6. All stories should include three tags and three hyperlinks to increase search engine optimization (SEO).

7. All stories should be streamed via social media after publication.


1. No first drafts of written stories should be submitted.

2. All articles must include a minimum of three named sources.

3. The basic story length is 500 words, though students could go to 750 to 1,200 words when conducting more extensive investigations. Stories longer than 500 words should include two subheads. Any story above 1,000 words must be divided into two parts.

4. Headlines should clearly reflect the story and include the community name where the action takes place.

5. Headlines should be written in simple-declarative sentence format — subject, verb, object. Vague feature headlines are not allowed. They do nothing for SEO.

6. Students should include a minimum of two captioned photos with their written stories and are encouraged to include one- to two-minute videos with them.

7. Action photos are preferred. Grip-and-grins and head-and-shoulders shots are strongly discouraged.

Photo Essays

1. Each photo essay should include an array of four to eight shots: dominant, establishing, medium and close-up. All images must be the student’s original work. Photos are not to be taken from other copyrighted publications or even public domain sites such as Wikimedia Commons.

2. Each essay should address a single story topic — no arrays full of disconnected images.

3. Each package should include a three- to four-paragraph explanation of the story.

4. Each photo must include a photo credit and caption identifying all subjects by name and title. The only exception is larger group photos of seven or more people, in which case each subject need not be identified. Big group photos, though, are strongly discouraged.

5. Cropping extraneous details from photos is encouraged. However, no image should be digitally altered — that is, no pixels should be removed from or added to the image using editing software. (No adding or erasing of a Coca-Cola can in the center of the photo.)

6. All images must be compressed to 300KB.

Video Stories

1. Video stories should be one to two minutes long, with voiceover. All videos must be original. Videos can and should be cropped, but not altered using editing software.

2. Students are strongly encouraged to storyboard their packages before final editing.

3. Each video should include a title card and any necessary end credits, and each interviewee should be identified by name and title in the lower-thirds.

4. Background music is not allowed.

5. All video must be the original work of the student, without clips taken from the internet, including clips taken from public domain sites.

6. Videos should be uploaded to YouTube for embedding onto the LIA site. Simply email the link.

7. All video packages should be accompanied by a story or, at minimum, a two- to three-paragraph brief explaining the video content, as well as at least one to two original or public domain photos. 

Audio/Radio Features and Podcasts

1. No first editions of feature stories should be submitted — projects must have been completed in a specific audio/radio journalism class or have been broadcast on WRHU.

2. All narrative features must include audio from a minimum of three named sources whom the student journalist has interviewed.

3. Audio features should include ambient sound when relevant to the story, recorded originally by the student journalist.

4. Audio packages should be uploaded to SoundCloud for embedding onto the LIA site. Simply email the link.

5. Each audio package should be accompanied by a story or, at minimum, a two- to three-paragraph brief explaining the audio content, as well as at least one to two original or public domain photos.

6. Students are encouraged to submit their radio scripts with their packages. Scripts, when appropriate, will be published with packages.

The Long Island Advocate accepts opinion pieces from community nonprofit organizations, activists and elected leaders. Op-eds can be up to 750 words and should include a headshot and two- to three-sentence biography of the writer. Submission is not a guarantee of publication. Email submissions to