How to...Create a News Item


A highly-engaging News Item with optimized formatting increases human readability, accessibility, and searchability. Reader-friendly News Items rank higher in search engine returns, promote social sharing, and show statistically higher engagement rates in analytics reports. 


Every News Item needs

  • A Headline that prompts the reader ‘stop, stay, and scroll down
  • A Thumbnail image for social share-ability 
  • An article Summary. The summary is the ‘meta description’ used by search engines to find, crawl and rank content
  • An edited, proofread, unformatted article

Pro Tip:
Use a meta tag previewer to see how your News Item appears in search engine results and on social media platforms. 


For an SEO and reader-optimized news story, add additional elements


Pro Tip:
Headings - H2, H3, H4, H5 - help people and search engines find, read, and organize the information on a page. Correctly formatted headers will improve a page's accessibility, usability, and SEO. 


Login to Content Hub

  • Go to the Content Hub login screen
  • Click ‘Login with your Mason Credentials’
Screenshot of Content Hub login screen
  • Enter your NetID and password at the Mason central login screen 


Screenshot of Mason CAS login screen


You are now logged in to Content Hub


Open a new ‘Create a News Story’ screen

  • In the top admin/editor bar, click on the ’Content’ navigation item
    Screenshot of the SiteMasonry admin bar
  • Screenshot of the SiteMasonry admin bar


  • From the content list screen, click the blue ‘Add content’ button
    Screenshot of SiteMasonry Add Content screen
  • From the ‘Add content’ screen, select the ’News Story’ option



The 'Create a News Item' Screen: Build and Format

Pro Tip:
Prefer video tutorials? Watch the News Item video playlist.


Headline, Author, and Date

  • Add the headline to the ‘Headline’ field
  • Option - Select an Author or Byline using the lookup field
  • Option - Display Date. Typically, the Display Date shouldn’t be changed unless working with custom list displays.


Summary and Thumbnail: Search Engine Optimization and Social Sharing Field

The Summary text and Thumbnail image combine to become the page's search result snippet and social media preview card. 


Placing and Formatting the Article

Copy unformatted text into the ‘Body’ text area. Use the WYSIWYG formatting buttons to:


Pro Tip:
To generate unformatted copy, use a Word ‘Clean Up’ tool  OR compose the News Item in the Grammarly app, then copy in the clean, ready-to-format text.


Sharing, Connecting a Profile, and Topic Tagging

Topic tags categorize news items, allowing news items to be found in related searches or displayed together with other same-tagged items in filtered news list.


Ready to Publish? First, Preview

  • Preview - Use the ‘Preview’ button to check your work before saving. The preview function will not create a draft or published version of the news item. To exit the Preview screen, click the ‘Back to Content’ link on the upper left side of the header space
  • In Review - Select and Save if you aren't ready to publish the News Item for export to the subscribing site.
  • Published - To publish the page for distribution to a subscribing site, the 'Save as’ selector, choose ‘Publish’ and click ‘Save’.


VIP - Very Important Point:
After publishing, the News Item is queued for export to the selected subscribing site. The News Item is viewable by the public within 15 minutes, after exporting to the subscribing site.

Complex formatting, multiple images, or long export queues during busy creation times may cause export slightly longer export times. 


 Additional Publication States

SiteMasonry's versioning workflow allows content to be modified in an un-published Draft state without changing the publically viewable (Published) version of the News Item.  

  • Draft - The Draft state allows an editor to make changes to a page without modifying currently published content. When a page is in Draft mode, the last published version of the page is viewable by site visitors. Once the page is re-published from Draft mode, a new version of the page is created. The new, published version of the page is 'live' and viewable to site visitors.
  • Archive - The Archive state ‘un-publishes’ the content item; blocking the item from being exported again to a subscribing site. To remove a news item from a subscribing site, put the news item in ‘archived’ mode, then submit a support ticket request to ask for the page to be removed on the subscribing site.


Congratulations on your newly published News Item!