Posting a news article

These are the basic mechanics about posting news articles on WordPress.

Posts menu

Jeremy Steele / MSU School of Journalism

Use the Posts menu to view existing news articles or create a new one.

Post news articles as POSTS, not PAGES

Select “Add New” from the Posts sidebar menu, or select “+ New Post” from the top menu of the Dashboard.

Each article is a new and separate post.

Don’t write your story inside WordPress

We strongly advise that you write the text of your article outside WordPress, then copy and paste it into a new post.

We recommend using Google Docs for writing posts, as text formatting applied there transfers over to WordPress seamlessly in most cases. Microsoft Word is a reasonable choice for composing text, although it may add extra line breaks and sometimes odd formatting when pasted into WordPress.

Avoid pasting text directly from other websites. That can bring over funky formatting that will make parts of your article look funky (and not good funky).

‘Save draft’ — not publish

When your work is ready to be reviewed by an editor or your instructor, don’t use the Publish button. Instead:

  1. Set the Extended Post Status (under Document in the right column) to “Send to …” for the appropriate person.
  2. Save it as a draft.

Welcome to Gutenberg

Starting in fall 2019, Spartan Newsroom has adopted the new Gutenberg editor for WordPress. Posts/articles are constructed of “blocks” — which are like puzzle pieces of an article that you can rearrange. Each piece of content — a text paragraph, chart, photo or video — gets its own block.

Fields you should complete when creating an article:


Capitalize only the first word and proper nouns in a headline. Use a good verb. We don’t want a simple label like “School board meeting.” (Dull.)


The website system will automatically format your byline based on the user name of the person who created the article. Look for the Authors module (usually below the text of your article). You can add additional authors to the byline or customize its appearance.  See Creating or Changing a Byline

Add Media

You can add visual media, such as photos or videos, in a variety of ways. We recommend you also upload photos directly to the Media Library and never upload photos from the post. See Adding Media to follow the step-by-step guide.

Featured Media

Ideally, all news articles will have a photo as featured media. You can also use a video. The Featured Media automatically appears at the top of the article and as a thumbnail image with article previews on the Spartan Newsroom homepage or landing pages See Adding Media


Excerpts are hand-crafted summaries of your content that are used by the website to create a preview of an article on the homepage or landing pages for categories, tags or series. We recommend all articles have excerpts.

The best excerpts often are not the lede of a story, but might be a revised version of the nut graph and a quote.

If you do not create an excerpt, the website automatically will grab the first few sentences of an article as the preview.

Categories & Tags

Categories and tags are the main taxonomies by which viewers find information on our website.

All articles must be assigned to at least one category. Most articles will be assigned to several categories. Articles may or may not include tags, which should be limited to key people, places and organizations appearing in an article. See Categories & Tags


The Series module is used to attach an article to a series of similar stories so that they can be shown together. We use this feature for special projects and for special classes, like Focal Point and Capital News Service. These options should be left unchecked unless you know that you are working on one of the listed projects.

Post Types

Post Types is another way to help sort content to help our audience find what they may be looking for. Check the appropriate post type for your content:

  • Article: A story told primarily via written text.
  • Audio: A story told primarily via audio.
  • Photo Gallery: A story told primarily via a gallery of photographs
  • Video: A story told primarily via video.