Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Style

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Signpost
Style guide


The following notes are intended to serve as a record of the Signpost's house style, to offer guidance and ensure a high standard of presentation and consistency in the newspaper's articles.

Wikipedia's Manual of Style (MoS for short) is the project's overarching primary style guide for encyclopaedia articles. The MoS is extensive and wide-ranging, and should generally be followed on issues this guide does not address. This page is specifically for Signpost writers, pointing out the most common stylistic issues, where the Signpost is typically written in a different style and formatting from WP's articles.

Terms of address[edit]

  • Entities: When referring to organisations, groups or other named entities please observe the following:
"the Signpost" (informal), not "The Signpost" or "the Wikipedia Signpost" (formal), capitalisation of first letter of sentence excepted.
"Wikimedia Foundation" at first mention, later "WMF" or "the Foundation", not "the foundation" or "Wikimedia".
"Wikimedia" should only be used in the context of "Wikimedia projects", the "Wikimedia community" or the "Wikimedia movement", never for the similarly-named Wikimedia Foundation and its Chapters.
Wikipedia Review or later WR, not "". Similarly for other websites, unless the domain address is part of the name, as in the case of
  • Article subjects: Subjects of articles are generally referred to by surname, following WP:LASTNAME.
Subjects being referred to primarily in their capacity as Wikimedia editors should generally be identified by username, unless the story being reported involves them in their off-wiki persona or they prefer to be identified by given name. The prefix User: should not be displayed unless it is necessary to clarify that a named individual has a registered account on a Wikimedia project. Rather than using [[User:Example|Example]] to identify editors, the Pipe trick [[User:Example|]] or {{u}} template may be used instead.
Use "Jimmy Wales" for the "In the news" report (written from an outside-movement perspective), "Jimbo Wales" elsewhere (in-movement perspective); the informal "Jimbo" is acceptable in subtitles/headings. Refer similarly to Wikimedia movement figures (e.g. "Sue Gardner"; "Sue" acceptable in subtitles/headings).


  • Lead stories: Lead stories use third-level headings and should be at least a full paragraph (five lines on a normal laptop screen) long.
  • "Brief notes"-style items are introduced with a boldfaced subtitle followed by a colon.
  • Bulleted lists: For screen reader users, make sure that there are no line breaks between bulleted list items, and that images imbedded in lists are placed so that the filename is not at the start of the line, something like this: "list item 1"<br/>[[file:Example.png]]". See MoS: Accessibility for lists.
  • Ellipsis point spacing: Ellipsis points within quotations need to be spaced on both sides. For instance, "... perhaps more than any other to promote public education in Norway ... and when they come after a full point, do it thus." See also MoS: Ellipses.


  • Cross-project links: The Signpost is formatted so that "plainlinks" is automatically enabled, removing the small box after external links that show readers they will be visiting a new site. This is a stylistic decision on our part because of the density of these links, especially in "News and notes" and "In the news", and makes url links, for instance [ example], acceptable. However, the Wikimedia software allows you to use certain keyed shortcuts instead; for instance, [[mw:Manual:Interwiki]] would link to the same page, in a neater format; these are preferred as standard. There are such shortcuts for all project spaces; see Manual:Interwiki for more information.
  • Mailing lists: When linking to URLs of Wikimedia mailing list entries, gossamer-threads is preferred as it shows the entire thread of discussion.


  • Signpost articles: When citing another article in the issue being written, use the formulation "(see Signpost coverage"). When referring to articles in previous editions, the format "(see previous Signpost coverage)" is preferred.
  • Anchors: Ideally, articles should not need revision after publication. However, often in writing a story it is helpful to link back to one from a previous issue. Since these may or may not have their own sections (i.e. an item in In brief), it is acceptable to retrospectively insert an anchor using {{anchor}}, and link to your newly created anchor.


  • Allowable typographical changes: Although the requirement of minimal change is strict, a few purely typographical elements of quoted text should conform with English Wikipedia's conventions without comment. This practice of conforming typographical styling to a publication's own "house style" is universal. See MoS: Allowable typographical changes.
  • Quotation marks: Direct quotations should be demarcated by standard (not ornate or curly) souble quotation marks: "like so". Paraphrases should be denoted using single quotation marks (apostrophe character): 'like so'.
  • Pull-quotes: lateral, in-article pull quotes should use Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Quote.



  • Technical jargon: Technical jargon is generally avoided in the Signpost, with the exception of the "Technology report" which maintains moderate levels of technical verbiage. Other reports who cover technical events can generally quote technical terms. On a more specific note, "developers" is the best baseline descriptor for Wikimedia "techies", since it encapsulates both volunteers and staff, and in any case is generally inoffensive in a way other terms can be. More specific job titles could also be used.