ORGZine is a online magazine brought about by the Open Rights Group (ORG). ORG campaigns to protect and preserve our civil rights in the digital age. (For more details please refer to ORG’s website.) The views expressed in ORGZine, however, are not necessarily those of ORG. ORGZine's primary goal is to make the global debates surrounding digital rights, including freedom of expression, privacy, innovation, consumer rights and creativity on the internet accessible to a wider audience through the publication of high quality and timely journalistic content. While carrying out this mission, we also hope to help develop a sense of community between the distinct but related activist groups working on digital rights at local, regional, national and international levels by providing a place for these groups to discuss trends and events, as well as promote involvement in each other's campaigns. ORGZine’s focus, therefore, should not just be on UK or ORG specific work, but on the work of other groups and important issues from across the globe.
My aim as editor is to make ORGZine as accessible, readable, interesting and far-reaching as possible, whilst always maintaining the high quality and standard of information that we deliver to the public. I would also like to take full advantage of all available media. The inclusion of video content, audio interviews and links, images etc is highly desirable and encouraged.
We welcome contributions and comments from other related groups and the general public, subject to editorial guidelines and policy.
Sections, sub-sections and recommended word limits
The main sections we accept submissions and commission articles for are:
News & Analysis
- Comment & opinion: 500-800
- (Editorial: 300-500)
- Leading features: 600-1000
- Interviews: 800-1,200
- “How To...” Guides
- There are no strict editorial guidelines for this section. Simply pitch us the idea, and we’ll get back to you with further details.
In addition to those, ORGZine also features the following sections:
Events & Calender
- If you are hosting an event which you feel may be of interest to ORGZine’s readership, do send it in for us to consider putting on our website
- Be sure to include: Description, Host, Time, Date, Venue & Directions, Pricing, Booking Details, accompanying image, and hyperlink to website
- Events will be added to the ORG events calendar: 
- Here ORG links to other articles or blogs that make for delectable reading
- Currently found at http://www.openrightsgroup.org/newsblog
- News and opinion straight from Open Rights Group
- Currently found at http://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog
Further details about content
Comment, Opinion and Editorials aim to offer informed and challenging opinions on recent news and developments, exploring their possible implications in the medium- and long-term while basing their conclusions on relevant evidence.
Features aim to set the news into a wider context, as well as providing the necessary background information for readers to understand the current state of affairs in the field.
Interviews provide a good opportunity to introduce activists who are working in various different areas with each other and with our members, further developing a sense of community. Targets for interviews would include: volunteers, staff members, policy makers (MPs and MEP's), lobbyists (EFF, ORG) independent campaigners (authors, film makers etc), technologists (developers, hardware hackers), creative workers (musicians, film makers, photographers), lawyers, academics, and librarians - essentially all interested parties. These can either take the form of Q&As or a feature.
Reviews not only publicise and recommend interesting books, but also critically assess the argument and content of new books and other media. Reviews can also include movies, music and live shows where they relate to alternative business models or take advantage of new opportunities presented by digital technologies.
“How To...” Guides provide readers with the tools they need to defend and make use of their digital rights. They should be presented in a plain, easy to understand style so that they’re accessible to the widest possible audience. Relevant topics would include both technological tools for defending your rights, such as Tor or PGP encryption, and less technical measures such as how to use Facebook’s privacy settings properly, as well as non-technical measures like understanding what the Data Protection Act is and how it relates to you. Screencasts and screenshots would be an extremely helpful tool in this section.
Information for Contributors
Deadlines and publication dates
ORGZine aims to have a fresh flow of content coming onto the site on a regular basis. For this to happen, we work to a strict production schedule. We therefore insist that contributors respect deadlines and adhere to our submission guidelines.
Copy must be submitted by 12pm of the due date. If there is a problem, always let us know in advance!
For our part, we promise that all content will be edited and published on the website within a maximum of two working days from submission, unless specified otherwise.
Submission guidelines for contributors
- proofread for errors
- adhering to word count (see below)
- formatted in accordance with ORGZine style guide
- must be relevant to article
- include caption
- include credit
- to other relevant or interesting articles
- to sources of information - surveys, polls, official reports etc.
- Information about the contributor (NB This does not apply to news)
- brief biography - no more than 20 words
- link to personal blog, website or twitter
ORGZine editorial guidelines
Comment & Opinion
- Whilst there is some flexibility in how you write this, maintain an air of objectivity – your reader will be more inclined to trust you.
- Build a case and demonstrate the point you are making through concrete examples, rather than making sweeping statements with little evidence to support your views.
- Include hyperlinks to your sources to back up your point.
- All that said, the aim of this section is to analyse and present an opinion.
- This is the place to be creative, witty, and entertaining; even so, make sure your facts and sources are accurate and reliable.
- Most importantly, keep it interesting and engaging!
ORGZine style guide
- No fullstops in acronyms
- Unless really well known, include full name on first mention with acronym following in brackets, and then only acronym for all mentions thereafter
- Proper nouns (names, places)
- Titles, but only in conjunction with a name: President Bush, and the president
- Titles of books, films, plays and music albums
- NB the internet/web is not capitalised
- Use them, but sparingly
- 8 February 2010
- Words in other languages
- The first time you refer to the person use their full name; thereafter only their surname
- Titles (Mr, Ms etc) are not necessary, but always be respectful
- Numbers from one to nine should be typed in full
- Numbers from 10 upwards should be written in digits
- Numbers greater that 1,000 should include commas with three digits afterwards
- Need to be short for ease of reading on screen
- Add liberally
- Em dashes (—) to be used for parenthesis
- En dashes (–) to be used to separate clauses of sentences
- Brackets can also be used for parenthesis when the clause is less relevant
- Double quotation marks for direct speech
- Single quotation marks for quotations within quotations
- Single quotations for titles of poems, chapters, articles and songs
- Sparingly use single quotation marks to express doubt or acknowledge a problematic word
- British English: realise, not realize; organisation, not organization; colour, not color
- Must include full name of writer
- Does not need full stop
For further details, consult the Economist style guide  which can be found online (for free!)
FIVE GOLDEN RULES:
- Please please please always check your facts are right!
- Avoid jargon, cliches, hyperbole, journalese and slang.
- Make sure your article has a central point.
- Keep the writing simple and accessible.
- Be professional: respect deadlines, word limits, style guide etc.
Creative Commons License: Through ORGZine we want to encourage creativity and debate, and as such we ask that authors give us permission to publish their work under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. You can find out more about this license here.
The Defamation Act (1996): This basically exists to ensure that a balance is struck between “the rights of individuals and organisations not to have their lives ruined by what is published in the media” and freedom of speech/freedom of press.
There are two kinds of defamation: slander and libel. Slander is the spoken word, and libel is written (or can in some way be kept in a tangible format). As an online publication, we will be at the risk of libel – defamation in a permanent form.
Statements tend to be defamatory in the following instances:
- When they expose an individual to hatred, ridicule or contempt.
- When they cause an individual to be shunned or avoided.
- When they lower an individual in the estimation of right-thinking members of society.
- When they disparage an individual in their workplace, office, profession or trade.
NOTE: Claimants don’t have to prove that any of these things have happened – only that the words used are defamatory.
There are several ways to avoid defamation cases:
- In the first instance, make sure your facts are correct and you have adequate evidence to support them.
- The Offer of Amends and Accord and Satisfaction basically means apologising, publishing corrections, clarifications and retractions.
- Comments and opinion must be honestly held, without malice and without imputing improper motives, and with the facts the opinion is based upon being true.
- The most important thing to remember is that facts and inferences must be proved – the burden of proof is on the journalist; claimants don’t have to prove a story is untrue.
NOTE: Every repetition of libel is a fresh libel.
Plagiarism: In the simplest of terms: don’t plagiarise. Ensure you credit sources and reference quotations accurately and responsibly.
ORGZine Editor: orgzine.editor at openrightsgroup.org
ORG Executive Director: Jim Killock jim at openrightsgroup.org