We encourage articles to focus on organizing strategy rather than current events, policy, or theory. Time-sensitive articles and photos can be posted on the blog. The Partisan aims to offer interviews with organizers, especially those in Philadelphia, to show how people build collective power and fight for change over time. These articles remain valuable for future organizers well beyond the short-term-focused corporate media cycle.
Articles should not support any establishment political party or nonprofits that are not dedicated to challenging structural inequality. Approach what politicians, nonprofits, businesses, and other influential people or institutions say cautiously by fact-checking them. When covering people affected by policies, we assume a stance of trust, then verify.
Theory writing must be rooted in practice and provide examples, from Philly or elsewhere, from the past or present. Are there groups that have tested these ideas in practice? Can they be interviewed about how well the ideas have worked and what might need to be changed?
When stating a fact in an article, link back to its source. Make sure facts are precise and accurate, and say where the info comes from. Check each fact with two reliable sources. Get a sense of what the field is saying. Are a lot of sources saying the opposite of what you’re saying? Data can be used to back up opposing arguments. Statistics can be confusing, so you need to be sure you understand them. It’s important to avoid believing statements of fact just because they support your argument.
Use people-first language such as “people living in poverty,” “people who use drugs” or “people in prison.”
Don’t assume gender pronouns. Default to “they/them” if not explicitly stated or asked. Use “they” for an abstract person, not “he or she.” When interviewing someone, ask which pronouns they use.
The Partisan editorial collective reserves the right to edit for length and clarity, and keeping with the Partisan’s stated purpose.
Articles for the Partisan are typically around 1000-1300 words and a significant diversion from this format should be discussed with an editor in advance. Article length is stricter for the print version to ensure that we can present the articles equitably within limited space.
We encourage using quotes from at least two sources for each article, whether by doing interviews or by borrowing from other publications (“so-and-so told the Inquirer”).
Remember that you are writing for the average Philadelphian, not an academic audience. The average American reads at an 8th grade level. Here are some tips for writing for low literacy readers. You can check the readability of your article here.
If you are citing a secondary source, such as a newspaper, blog, or media organization, hyperlink and italicize the title of the publication when referencing it: “According to the NY Daily News, Carroll sustained a swollen ankle as well as back and leg injuries as a result of the violent incident.”
If you are citing an original source, such as an interview you conducted, describe how you obtained the quote by, for example, indicating it was either an interview over the phone or a statement over email: “According to organizer longtime friend of the Carroll family Pat Albright in a phone interview with The Philadelphia Partisan, ‘They didn’t find any money or drugs on him. And one of the officers who arrested him was one of the ones who beat him.’”
Art and design style guidelines
We prefer art and photos in color, especially for the print edition. We are paying a lot of money for full color printing, because it is more likely to catch the eye of a potential reader. We are seeking to engage readers who are not necessarily in activist circles, people who might not normally pick up a political magazine.
Please make sure any art or photos you submit are not under copyright to someone else. We could get sued if this happens. Thanks!
Images should reflect the values of the Partisan, stated above. Any discrepancies will be discussed between the author and editor(s).
- full page 7.7” x 10.2”
- half-page horizontal 7.7” x 5.2”
- half-page vertical 3.85” x 10.2”
- 1-column 2.4” x 10.2”
- top bar 7.7” x 3.2”
- bottom bar 7.7” x 2”
- 2-column square 5” x 5.1”2-column quarter 5” x 2.55”
Last edited 10/20/20