News guidelines

Got a story our audience should know about? Use these guidelines to submit items for the education.nsw.gov.au news hub that appears on the homepage or The Buzz (staff only).

Homepage news

The education.nsw news hub is the best way for the public to stay up to date with the department. Our vision is for the hub to be the source of truth for our key external audiences:

  • current parents
  • future parents
  • other government agencies
  • journalists
  • the wider community.

The Communication and Engagement team manages the news hub. To request a news item, email content@detcorpcomms.zendesk.com with your submission, keeping in mind the guidelines here.

Screenshot of news hub preview on the homepage.
Image: News hub displayed on the education.nsw homepage.
Screenshot of education.nsw.gov.au news hub.
Image: education.nsw news hub landing page.

News categories

The news hub is launching with four categories:

  • Latest news
    • news or features
    • good news stories celebrating our wins
    • event highlights (after an event has occurred)
    • campaign updates
  • Announcements
    • program launches
    • event announcements (for upcoming events)
    • Executive appointments
    • presentations of department or NSW Government awards
  • Media releases
    • from the Ministers or the department
  • Secretary's update
    • Mark Scott's thought leadership pieces
  • Student voices
    • content written by students, for students.

Headline and summary guidelines

Every news item must have:

  • a headline of up to 50 characters including spaces
    • sentence case
  • a summary of up to 140 characters including spaces (which stands alone from the article)
  • 3 to 10 keywords.

See also Writing for search.

Image guidelines

Images are only mandatory if the item is going to be featured on the news hub or education.nsw homepage.

The news hub can feature up to 4 items at a time, which could be from any category. The homepage will display the first 3 of those.

All images must be 1094 x 638 pixels (that is, landscape or horizontal orientation).

Images must not be illustrations or include text.

When sourcing your images, aim for high resolution. We can always scale down. It's not so easy to scale up from a tiny starting image.

Portrait images really won't work with this design, so get creative with cropping if you need to.

All images must have:

  • a max file size of 100KB to ensure the page loads in reasonable time
  • alternative text describing the image to someone who can't see it
  • a caption giving context to the image, in the form of a full sentence.

See also Image guidelines.

Article guidelines

Make sure you use the Content style guide, keeping in mind the unique cases for news articles in print and online. Also keep in mind the department's Accessibility basics. We've called out some common areas of confusion here.

See also How to write great content.

Length

Your article should be 100 to 400 words for standard news, or up to 800 words for an in-depth feature.

Headings

If you need to use headings in your article, start with H2. Then use H3, H4 and so on.

Links

If you're using links in your content, hyperlink the keywords as described in the Linking guidelines, don't list out the full URL.

Lists

If you need to use a bulleted list that's a run-on sentence, keep in mind:

  • colon to introduce
  • no initial caps
  • no punctuation at the end of each point
  • full stop at the end of the final point.

If you need to use a bulleted or numerical list that consists of sentences, keep these rules in mind:

  • Introduce the list with a colon.
  • Use initial caps for each point.
  • Use a full stop at the end of each point.

Tables

If you use a table keep these rules in mind.

Always do this Never do this
Use a header row and/or column Use tables for layout
Include a summary - similar to alt text for an image Merge cells
Include a caption at the top Leave cells blank

Videos

If you're embedding a video, make sure it has closed captions and an audio description. Link to the video transcript.

See also Video guidelines.

The Buzz (internal news)

Please follow these submission guidelines to have your item featured in The Buzz (staff only).

Email content@detcorpcomms.zendesk.com with your request. Attach a Word document that includes:

  • a heading less than 8 words
  • a short description of less than 20 words
  • the article content between 100 and 300 words using headings to break it up (see an example)
  • date of publication.

Staff portal news feed

If you would like your item featured as a square tile in the news feed on the staff portal, please mention this in your request and include:

  • a heading of up to 15 characters including spaces
  • the URL you would like the heading to link to
  • a blurb of up to 50 characters including spaces
  • date of publication and date of removal
  • a 100x100 pixels image.
Staff portal news tile presents with thumbnail picture, heading and short blurb.
Image: The Buzz news tile via staff portal.
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