Interested in contributing to IranWire?

We’re here to providing a platform for Iranian citizens and journalists with the goal to empower change in Iran. If you have writing or video content you’d like to share with our audience please follow the guidelines below.

writing guidelines

  • If you’ve not worked with IranWire before, get in touch before you start! We can tell you if your pitch or idea is something we’ll be able to publish, and we might have suggestions as to how you can make it stronger. If you’re just starting out, we can also give you some guidance on journalistic best practice, to help keep you and others safe. Your safety and security is our main priority.
  • Please don’t send articles or blogs that are longer than 1500 words. Whether it’s a news item, an explainer, an opinion piece or a personal anecdote, keep your objective in mind and write as clearly and tightly as you can. Don’t waste words and arrange your text in a natural, coherent order.
  • Imagine you’re a reader coming to the subject for the first time: they should be able to understand straight away what the story’s about and why it’s important. Foreground this with a brief introduction, at or near the beginning.
  • Even opinion needs to have a sound basis in facts. Save or bookmark all the information you rely on while you’re writing. If you’re quoting from or referring to an external source, like a social media post, a journal article or an online news item, add hyperlinks to them in the text so readers know where the information came from originally. And if you’re citing any facts or statistics, make sure they come from a reputable source.
  • Don’t forget, our readers (and even our editors!) might not know as much about the subject as you. If an event, person or concept in your story won’t be familiar to everyone, make sure you include some explanation.
  • Be detailed and precise. If you’re talking about a specific event or incident, tell us exactly where and when it happened, and lay out the events in chronological order. Human subjects should always have their full names, ages and occupations given as a minimum.
    If you need to protect someone’s identity for safety reasons, please give some alternative information so the reader can safely get to know the character. If it’s a source for an important or sensitive subject, you can give them a pseudonym, but one of editors may need to know their real identity.
  • If you’re conducting an interview, you must get an accurate record of the conversation and reproduce that faithfully. You don’t have to use everything a person said, but represent the subject’s position fairly and never add words they didn’t say. You can record audio or video interviews on your phone or device (make sure you ask the subject first) or take notes if you’re confident in your ability to do so accurately and at pace. Crucially if you’re planning to interview someone, let us know who it is first.
  • Everything you send us must be your own work, in your own words. Plagiarised submissions or large amounts of copy lifted from elsewhere won’t be accepted and your email will be blocked by the system.
  • Bring the story alive. If you’re reporting on something you’ve witnessed, describe the scene using several of your senses: What was the person’s facial expression? How did their voice sound? What kind of state is the building in, what does it smell like?
  • If you’re in Iran and can do so safely, we also really appreciate you sending your own photos of places, meaningful objects and people to complement the text.

Video guidelines

  • When recording video or audio, the most important thing is to keep yourself safe. Don’t put yourself in a more dangerous or vulnerable position than you would otherwise be. Your safety and security is our main priority.
  • Read the writing guidelines above. Lots of this guidance can help you work out how to frame and lay out your work.
  • Tell a clear story in your videos. We need to know what the content is about, and when and where it was shot: the date, time, and location or street name.
  • If you interview someone, take a note of who they are and keep your questions to the point: if you’re in a shop and want to talk about rising prices, for example, just ask people about this topic and how they feel about it. Don’t ask about the weather or political prisoners.
  • It’s your right to film in public spaces. But in sensitive settings where people expect privacy, like a doctor’s surgery, cemetery, or someone’s house, make sure you get permission first and be considerate toward your subjects.
  • Hold your camera horizontally if you can. Most monitors show videos horizontally, so it’s best to film that way as well. Avoid shaking the camera (it’s best to hold it with both hands) and avoid zooming in and out if it’s not necessary.
  • Try to make sure your sound is clear by avoiding background noise, and ask anyone talking behind the camera to be quiet.
  • Turn off music in the background in you can. It can be distracting if you’re interviewing someone, and YouTube and other platforms are very sensitive to copyrighted material.
  • It’s nearly always better to keep the sun or any light source behind you, so the light shines on your subject. If you’re filming next to a window, try to have your back to the window.
  • Make sure your images are in focus. We can’t use out-of-focus footage.
  • Try to make sure that you have basic footage of the location: a long or establishing shot of the place, a few medium shots of the character or different parts of the location, and some meaningful close-up details like their hands, a picture on the wall, or a pot of tea. If you have the time, take lots more footage than you think you’ll need. Taking different shot sizes can help you and us in editing. It’s nice to have some unusual angles too, like shooting from above, through a fish tank or in a window’s reflection.
  • Of course, the above-mentioned guidance is for those occasions when you have enough time to prepare. If you’re in a hurry and have to film something or someone in a few seconds or minutes, just film as much as you can, in a manner that is safe and be careful.
  • Your safety and security is our main priority. We’ve said it three times. We mean it.

COMMITMENTS

By sending us content, you agree:

  • What you’ve sent us adheres to these guidelines, and you give unconditional permission for us to use it on IranWire’s websites and social media channels in line with our mission.
  • That you’re the copyright holder. If it’s a written article, that means you wrote it and haven’t lifted copy from elsewhere, and if it’s video footage, that means you shot it yourself.
  • You understand the content may be translated into other languages, and that articles and footage are likely to be edited for clarity, tone and brevity in the different languages.

Our promise to you:

  • We’ll provide you with any in-house editorial support you need to make your submission as strong as it can be, and to help you develop your skills as a journalist.
  • We’ll protect your identity. We need to know who you are, public-facing attribution will be at your discretion and we’ll clean the metadata from any video footage before publication. Article bylines and video credits can be your full name, or a pseudonym or website/social media handle, if you need to stay anonymous.
  • We’ll keep you updated on any content sent to us by you that’s published on IranWire’s platforms and social media channels.
Send your work to: [email protected]

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