• Give the most important information first. Answer the questions, Who? What? When?
Where? Why? and How? within the first two paragraphs. In the body of the story expand
on the first two paragraphs.
• Make it interesting to the whole union, not just your local area. Ask yourself, “What
would someone who was not here want to know about this?”
• Stick with the facts. Do not sermonize, editorialize or use your story to thank people.
• Use action words. Write in active voice rather than passive voice. Example: rather than
writing “the church was painted by the members,” write “the members painted the
• Adjectives and adverbs should be used sparingly.
• Identify every person by first and last name in the first mention. Last names are used in
further mentions (unless two names with the same family name are used). Mrs., Dr. and
Pastor are NOT first names!
• In all Recorder stories, social and professional titles are not used (Dr., Mr., Mrs., Prof.,
Eld., etc.). Identify the role or title of each person you’ve identified to show their
connection to the story. The name comes first, then the institution/organization they’re
connected with, followed by their title within that organization. Examples: “Simon
Liversidge, senior pastor at The Place, led a group…”; “Ted Wilson, General Conference
president, participated in the jog-a-thon…”
• Be brief. Limit news stories to 400 words or less. To save space, dates and states are
abbreviated following the Associated Press Stylebook style—not the two-letter postal
• Identify the story’s author. Place contact information at the end of each story. Provide the
author’s name as it should appear in print, the e-mail/mailing address and a daytime
phone number the editor can call when clarification is needed.