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Writing:Breaking news

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The "Breaking News" template on Ballotpedia is a way for Ballotpedia writers, editors, content contributors and users to tag an article as one that includes current, breaking news.

If you are working on an article about which there is breaking news, the way to alert other Ballotpedia readers and writers about that fact is to type:


somewhere on the page. When you do that, the article automatically goes into the Breaking News category on this encyclopedia. This allows editors, sysops and admins to see the news and include it on the front page.

Additionally, the page on which you typed {{news}} will display a bar that looks like this:

Breaking News

in the part of the article where you inserted that tag.

What counts as breaking news?

Events that count as breaking news include:

  • Signatures are filed on a petition, or it is announced that an initiative has qualified for the ballot;
  • A lawsuit has been filed, or a judge has issued a ruling on a lawsuit;
  • A ballot title challenge has been filed administratively (not yet a lawsuit);
  • A court case involving some legally significant event has been resolved;
  • A legislature votes to legislatively refer a ballot measure to the ballot;
  • A recall has been announced, or a significant event has occurred on a recall.

Obviously, your editorial judgement and discretion is involved in deciding whether an event is significant enough to include it in "breaking news." Our recommendation is that you err on the side of including more events, rather than fewer, events as breaking news, because another editor can always easily remove the "breaking news" tag from an article if, overall, based on the other events happening that week, it is less important.

How long should I leave the "breaking news" tag on an article?

About a week. If you see an article with the "breaking news" tag and the news is now clearly old, please remove the tag from the article. Ballotpedia editors will also routinely maintain the Breaking News category to remove old tags.