News Stories

News stories are a powerful tool to capturing your audience’s attention and directing them towards specific calls to action.

News stories are a Content Hub content type that can be syndicated across Content Hub connected sites. This means that an article you create could be shared on a variety of other websites, such as the core page, other colleges, or specific topic-based news feeds. Because news stories are such a great way to spread the word about what any Mason office, department, or program is doing, we want to make sure that word of those activities can be shared widely. However, because of this, we want to make sure we are bringing the best quality we can to any news stories, so that the content really shines.

View of the Center for the Performing Arts building and nearby buildings from across Mason Pond, taken when the sun is low in the sky on a fall day.

Everything, from the text of your article to the images you pair with it, contributes to how your article appears to others. Taking the time to make sure your article looks good can bring great returns in the long run.

Planning Your Article

When gathering content for your News Story, we advise you have:

  • a headline that captures the reader’s attention
  • a square thumbnail image that will be good for social media
  • a one-to-two sentence summary of your article for social media
  • an edited, proofread, and unformatted article

You may also want to consider the following:

  • a strong intro text statement to highlight a key point and make the reader want to stick around
  • section headings to divide your article into readable sections
  • one or two related images to embed in the article
  • a key quote or fact to highlight

Making Your News Story

News stories can be created within Content Hub. Unlike when creating a landing page or basic page, you will not be using the “Customize Page” tab for most of your content. Instead, you will be using the “Edit Settings” tab. There, you will use the given fields to complete all core elements of your article. By utilizing a standardized form like this, it better protects the article’s content from potential data loss. This form is also set up to optimize your news story for social media and SEO ranking. Taking the time to meet all the standards for making a news story will help not only you, but the SiteMasonry community at large.

A Note on Events

News stories are not the best place to showcase events that are coming up or that have happened. Ideally, we want to you to put those first and foremost into 25Live. 25Live holds Mason’s master calendar. While it is often used to request event spaces on campus, it is also used for advertising events that are generally planned, including virtually. Visit the events scheduling page to find out more about getting access to this system.

Once you have a 25Live account, OUB’s team can help you get a calendar events feed onto your website. That is the #1 way to advertise your event as it goes into the university calendar.

If you want to write a news item regarding your event, we recommend you make that a secondary feature of the article. Focus your article on the reason the event is being held. This means that, even after the event has passed, the article holds value to readers.

All Tutorials on News Items

  • May 8, 2023
    The SiteMasonry's distributed content library, Content Hub, allows editors to add and share stories, profiles, and program descriptions to SiteMasonry sites.
  • March 23, 2023
    You may be used to thinking of content from a top-down view. However, content is not just a tree you navigate to reach the fruit. Content forms webs, networks that are forged by in-page links and other such connections.
  • February 6, 2023
    Some older articles are using a content block setup no longer compatible with the current system. Here's how to fix those.
  • January 24, 2023
    Making a top-notch news story requires thinking from a multitude of angles. To stand out, it really needs to be an appealing and good experience for all readers, regardless of platform, format, and engagement style.
  • November 18, 2022
    If you want to make your article more appealing, you can add elements to your article on that page to better attract people to your content.
  • November 18, 2022
    A highly-engaging news story with optimized formatting increases human readability, accessibility, and searchability. Learn how to make a news story within SiteMasonry.
  • July 26, 2022
    The summary text is a news item's 'elevator speech'. It is a one-sentence highlight of the article which displays both as the search engine snippet and intro text on a social media share.
  • April 28, 2022
    Social media shares increase Mason’s digital impact by connecting with potential new visitors and improving a news item’s search engine ranking.  Even if you have no distribution plans of your own, web content is highly shareable, and one can’t predict which stories will be shared by your readers.
  • April 8, 2022
    Blockquote styling is the unsung, and versatile, hero of a reader-friendly page or news item.
  • March 10, 2022
    News Items with the same Topic Tag will appear together in a news item filter list and are grouped into a taxonomy list. News Items shared with a site will export to the designated subscribing site.