Adding media (photos, galleries, video and audio) to a story

Add Media and Featured Media Buttons

Jeremy Steele / MSU School of Journalism

Use the Add Media or Featured Media buttons above the body text area to add images to a post.

You can easily add visual media — including photos, videos, audio files and graphics — to any article or page. You can place images, audio, video, and photo galleries in the body text, add captions and credits, resize and make text wrap left or right around any image or other media item.

But first things first: We can use only content we create ourselves or that we have permission to use. Safe places are the public domain; Creative Commons (Flickr has a lot) with proper crediting and the link; some government photos and logos, and items that people expressly give us permission to use IF they have the right to do that. (Example: Authors cannot give us permission to use their photo unless it is also OK with the photographer and, perhaps, the publisher.) Images from Twitter and Faceboook and other social media are not automatically OK. Just because someone puts something on social media does not strip away its copyright protections. The Wiki people have written a detailed description of Creative Commons rules. Our bottom line, though is that as journalists we CREATE media. We do not simply find it. So, for images to contribute to your grade or career, they should be your own.

Add photos

The “Add Media” button above the body text area allows you to upload and insert photos and other graphics of various sizes anywhere in an article (post). Video and Audio should be embedded, as detailed under Adding Video & Audio below.

  • Place the cursor where you want an image to appear in the text.
  • Click the Add Media button, and either select from the existing Media Library or upload a new image.
  • After you upload an image or other media in the Insert Media screen, you can add a Caption, Description, Credit, Credit URL, Organization, and Alt Text. Alt Text is very important for meeting accessibility requirements and serving visually impaired users. See “Caption Fields” below.
  • Also in the Insert Media screen, you can set the image alignment, add a link to the image, and set the image to full-size, medium, or thumbnail.
  • Then click the Insert into post button to see the results in the post edit screen.

Caption fields

When uploading a photo, fill out these fields as directed (required fields are bolded):

  • Title: A word or two to describe what the photo is. By default, when an image is imported, this field is the file name.
  • Caption. See also: Writing Great Captions The best captions:
    1. Explain the action.
    2. Name the key people in a photo.
    3. Tell why we’re running the photo (give context).
    4. Note the important details in the photo. Write captions in present tense. Include the when and where of the photo.
  • Alt Text: Text gives viewers a short description of the nature or contents of an image. By writing effective alt text you insure that our news website is accessible to people with visual disabilities.
  • Credit: This is the name of the photographer or creator of the visual element. In most cases, it will automatically appear with the image.
  • Credit URL: If a URL to an outside link is required, you can create that URL here.
  • Organization: The group or entity that provided the photo or for which the photographer or creator works.
  • Can distribute? Leave this box unchecked.

Optimizing photos for the web

Taking a few simple steps with your images before uploading them to the website can help improve website performance and the speed at which our viewers can access content. See this article from the Institute for Nonprofit News for tips.

Add a photo gallery

Small photo sets may show up as galleries, larger ones as slide shows.

Small photo sets may show up as galleries, larger ones as slide shows.

Photos are a very powerful way to tell stories, provided you have some good ones that show a progression through space or time. Add photos and complete the fields, just as described above.

  • Go into your post.
  • Place the cursor where you want your gallery.
  • Click add media. This will take you to the library.
  • Click on the first photo you want in your slideshow. Click on all the others.
  • Click on “Create Gallery.”

Add a featured image

Featured Image Examples

Jeremy Steele / MSU School of Journalism

These articles all have featured images, which appear with excerpt text from the article on the homepage and landing pages for categories, tags and series.

Ideally, all news articles will have a photo as a featured image. At this time, we do not use other types of media (videos, infographics) as the featured media.

For best visual results use a landscape-shaped image with a width of 1170px.

The featured image is used on the website home page, as well as landing pages for categories, tags and series, along with the headline and excerpt text of a news article. The website will automatically crop featured images to the correct size on these pages.

The featured image also automatically is placed at full size under the headline at the top of the story. That setting can be overridden (so that the featured image is only used on the homepage and landing pages and NOT on the article itself) by checking the box next to “Override display of feature image for this post?” at the bottom of the Featured Image Window, below the thumbnails of media library photos.

Override Featured Image Checkbox

Jeremy Steele / MSU School of Journalism

By checking this box, a user can prevent a featured image from appearing at full size at the top of a news article.

Featured media

 Adding video & audio

Because of the size of video and audio files, we strongly recommend those files be uploaded to a file service such as YouTube or Vimeo (for video) or SoundCloud (for audio). Talk to your instructor. Your class may have a central account for all students to post content (as opposed to using your own personal YouTube or SoundCloud account.)

You then can embed that content into your article. Simply find the share URL and paste it into your post. WordPress will do the rest – no need to copy the full embed code.