Air Force Medicine

Elements of News

Timeliness
Journalists stress current information - stories occurring today or yesterday, not several weeks ago. News story submissions should generally be no more than a week old.

Impact
Stress the important information that impacts the audience - Airmen and family members, and members of the general public, when appropriate. Don't overlook the "me factor" that your audience craves. Broad appeal is important.

Prominence
News stories about prominent people tend to generate more interest than those about ordinary people. Readers are especially interested in what our leaders have to say about important issues and events. That's not to say that we should exclude articles about ordinary people, but that we appreciate the importance of prominence.

Proximity
This element can occur here at AFMS - or geographical, Airmen interested in the lives of other Airmen around the globe. On one hand, the Air Force community is local and on the other hand, it's global.

Singularity
Deviations from the normal - unexpected or unusual events, drama or change - are more newsworthy than the commonplace. In the Air Force community, most stories with this characteristic will deal with change: budget, manpower, infrastructure, processes, etc.

Conflict or Controversy
Conflict is also another common thread in Air Force news stories: overcoming hardships, balancing career and family, and war. Conflict is also present in organizational and service rivalries, sports news and features, and self-improvement. In each of these stories, the conflict can be positive.
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While the focus of the AFMS Public Affairs office is typically on Mission, People and Innovation articles, writers can submit other types of articles as long as there is a clear military relationship demonstrated in the writing. These other articles include:
- Sports
- Travel features
- Self-improvement articles
- 'How-to' articles
- Hobby features
- Personality features
- Historical features
- Editorials/commentaries

Editorial Policy & Submission Guidelines

Air Force Medicine's Editorial Policy & Submission Guidelines

This website, http://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil, is the only official, publicly accessible website for AFMS.

This website is a means for the installation commander to keep Airmen and members of the general public informed of news and information affecting the installation.

Only information cleared for public release in accordance with Defense Department Web Policy and Air Force Instructions 35-107 and 33-129 will be posted to this public website. The guidelines on this page are intended to help members of the AFMS community to submit appropriate information for publication on this site.For more information, usaf.pentagon.af-sg.mbx.af-sg-public-affairs@mail.mil email the AFMS.

Editorial Policy

The AFMS public website is the commander's primary communication tool to transmit information to the base community. The following editorial policy guidelines apply to achieve this goal:

1. The public website provides the commander a primary means of communicating mission-essential information to members of the organization. The commander normally defers all decisions on news propriety, story placement, publication date and use of photography to the Public Affairs officer.

2. News and feature stories on people and organizations provide recognition of excellence in performance and help set forth norms for mission accomplishment.

3. News coverage and content will conform to policies of the Air Force and the commander. News reporting will be factual and objective. News coverage will avoid morbid, sensational or alarming details not necessary to factual news reporting. News writing will distinguish between fact and opinion. When an opinion is expressed, the source will be identified. This public website will not publish commercial news or editorials.

4. This public website will keep Airmen and members of the general public accurately informed about military matters affecting their futures. This will assist the commander in improving morale and quelling rumors.

5. News and editorial content will provide information to all members of the AFMS community to improve the quality of their lives and thereby the effectiveness of the work force. This includes officers, enlisted members, civilian employees, family members, retirees, reservists and Guardsmen.

6. This website will de-glamorize the use of alcohol and tobacco products. Articles concerning the club, unit, or other activities may mention these products as long as the emphasis is on the activities and not the products.

7. This public website will not display commercial advertising.

8. Event announcements published on this website must be made available to all readers without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other non-merit factor.

9. The contents of this website will conform to applicable regulations and laws relating to libel and copyright, the Air Force Privacy Act Program and Standards of Conduct, as well as U.S. Government printing and postal regulations.

10. Locally originated articles will reflect the policies of the commander and be in the interest of the Air Force. Editorials should help readers understand Air Force policies and programs. They must not imply criticism of other government agencies, nor advocate or dispute specific political, diplomatic, or legislative matters. Statements or articles on legislative matters by people or agencies outside of the DOD, including officials or candidates for public office, will not be used.

Publication Guidelines

Deadline: All elements of this website are updated daily, as time and mission requirement permit. In order to ensure adequate coverage or advertising of an event, information should be submitted no later than one week prior to the event. If submitting self-written material, please send to public affairs no later than close of business on Friday of the desired week you'd like to see it run.

Rewrite: All copy submitted will be rewritten as needed to ensure it conforms to Air Force journalism guidelines for news writing. This includes conforming to the guidelines in the Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law and appropriate story length. 

Prominence: The location and manner in which an item is presented on this website will be determined by the Public Affairs officer. 

Recurring Columns: Recurring columns from base agencies are normally discouraged because of the time and commitment required to keep the Web pages up to date. Units requesting dedicated space on this website must designate a content manager, and prepare and submit six months of content prior to page publication. The public affairs officer will determine if a request for a recurring column has merit. 

Award Winners: Stories and/or photos of award winners are limited to group-level and higher. Awards below wing level may be mentioned in a regular (news or spotlight) column and published on a space-available basis. 

Change of Command: Stories and/or photos are limited to group-level or major tenant organizations. Squadron-level change of command announcements may be published in the "news briefs" column. 

Photos: Photos normally accepted for publication include on-the-job action photos. Photos containing photos containing classified information, alcoholic beverages or cigarettes, dress and personal appearance violations, safety violation or which compromise force protection measures will not be published. Photos should be accompanied by a brief description of the action pictured, the date of the photo, the ranks, names and units of people featured in the photo, and the rank and name of the photographer. 

Fund Drives: Coverage will be limited to those campaigns authorized by Air Force regulations, namely the Combined Federal Campaign and the Air Force Assistance Fund. 

Coordination: Articles published on this site will be coordinated with affected agencies as deemed appropriate by the Public Affairs officer. Controversial or "sensitive" articles will be coordinated with the commander, and higher headquarters, when necessary, before publication. Changes to style or news writing will only be made when directed by the Public Affairs officer.