USC Annenberg Media Resources

How do I create a story in CMS?

View the full document, with handy images,  here.

Creating a Story:

  1. Login to the WordPress:
  2. Your username is the same as the beginning of your USC email, so if your email is [email protected], your username is “ann.”
  3. The first time you login, your password is “annenbergmedia.” Make sure you change it after you login for the first time (You can change it under profile in the left sidebar menu) and write down your new password info. If it’s not working, email [email protected]
  4. Do NOT copy and paste straight from Medium or another site. The coding will mess with our current coding and the story will not show up.
  5. Once you login, to create a story, go to the left sidebar menu and click “Posts” and then “Add New Post.”

Create Your Profile:

  1. When you sign in, hover over your name in the top righthand corner and click “edit your profile.”
  2. Be sure to add your first and last name.
  3. Change your “Display Name Publically As” to your full name.
  4. Email your picture to [email protected] and we will add it for you.
  5. There is also a space for a bio — write about yourself! 
    1. The picture and bio will show up with your name on the article page. 
  6. Hit “update profile”

Every story needs:

Every story needs a headline and an excerpt/teaser. The excerpt/teaser is what is seen on the homepage under the headline. Teasers should be one or two sentences and should not repeat the headline or the lead (first sentence of your article).

Pull the reader in, but do not sensationalize.

A. All headlines are to be written in title case. That means that the first word — and all other main words [proper nouns]– are capitalized. Articles, conjunctions and prepositions are NOT capitalized unless they begin a sentence.

e.g “In Compromise, Mayor Agrees to Limit Carriage Horses in Central Park.”

B. Acronyms in headlines will not have periods in between each letter.

e.g., ICYMI: The fourth GOP debate

C. Numbers are to be spelled out in all circumstances.

e.g., CNBC moderators lose third GOP debate

Top ten reasons to vote for Donald Trump

One hundred men eat ninety-nine pies

E. When using a quote in a headline, even if it is just one commonly used word in a quote, it is to be surrounded by single quotes or apostrophes.

Eg. CSULB memorial: Friends and teachers remember ‘successful’ student

Reporter Details

A. All reporters are “Staff Reporters”

B. At the end of the article every reporter must write:

Reach [Staff Title] [First Name Last Name] here. Follow [him or her] on Twitter here.

e.g., Reach Staff Reporter Homer Simpson here. Follow him on Twitter here.

The first “here” is to be hyperlinked to an email address, and the second “here” to be hyperlinked to his or her Twitter profile page.

C. Editors and all other editorial staff members shall be referred to with their formal title.

D. If an alumnus, alumna or alumni publish a story, he, she or they shall be referred to as “Alumna” and, instead of the contact line, there shall be an italicized line that reads

[First Name Last Name], of the class of [####], submitted this story for publication, and USC Annenberg Media decided to publish it after editorial review.

E. If a member of the faculty is submitting an opinion story, he or she is to be referred to as “Faculty Contributor,” and, instead of the contact line, there shall be an italicized line that reads

[First Name Last Name] is a [insert title here of insert academic field here] in the USC [insert academic school here]. USC Annenberg Media decided to publish this article after editorial review, and he or she does not have any jurisdiction over the editor of this article.

Tags & SEO

A. Tags for internal direction on the website. Tag the story with the section, such as “news” or “entertainment” – do not just put a ton of searchable words. Over time, the site will build a pool of relevant tags that students can choose from.
— If it is part of a series or continuing coverage, make sure you use a tag

B. Do not just put proper nouns in the tags. That is only for the SEO keywords. Under SEO keywords, put all words you think someone might Google.


A. Every story needs at least two roadblocks that link back to Annenberg Media stories.

B. Roadblocks should always be “SEE ALSO:, WATCH ALSO: or HEAR ALSO: Hyperlinked Headline.” It will vary by the medium of the story, and the headline should be written as is. Everything before the colon and the colon itself are to be bolded.

C. Always hit “Open in new tab” when adding links

Links Throughout Stories

A. Go through your story and pick out words that can be hyperlinked to other websites for more information, i.e., stories from other news sources, websites of groups, etc.

B. Always make your links open in a separate window so people don’t navigate away from your story.

When you’re done:

Hit the blue “Submit for Review” button. Here’s where you can view the posted story: Note: This is not what the new site will look like. It’s just a basic WordPress template that will then pull into the new site.

Once you upload your story, PLEASE TELL AN EDITOR. Even if you hit “Submit for Review,” the editor will not get a notification, so please tell them that you are ready. You can use Slack and Trello or walk up to them at the desk to let them know. 

Some things to remember:

  1. All stories must have both sides represented.
  2. Clear and objective storyline — DO NOT interject your opinion or even something that could be interpreted as opinion into your story unless it is in the opinion section. Avoid words like “unfortunately” and other loaded adjectives and adverbs.
  3. Must include AT LEAST three different sources.
  4. Stories should hyperlink out for facts and references. Go through your story and pick out words that can be hyperlinked to other websites for more information,  i.e., stories from other news sources, websites of groups, etc.
  5. For breaking news, put BREAKING NEWS in the headline and put this line at the bottom:

We will continue to update this story as more details come in.

Then, as you update the story, add:

This story was originally posted at 1:28 p.m. PT on 12/2/15, and was last updated at 9:10 a.m. PT on 12/3/15.


About This Site

This is a resource hub to help student reporters at the Annenberg Media Center.

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Contact the Media Center

General inquiries:

News / TV inquiries:
213 740 3847
213 821 8477
213 821 8888

Radio inquiries:
213 740 1079
213 740 8008

For equipment-related issues:
213 740 5739