Policies

This is a live article that will grow over time.

Most print publications have general policies that govern what types of writing they will publish and how they label articles so that the reader knows whether the content is primarily fact-based or opinion-based.  Because this blog deals with politically controversial issues, I believe it’s important to be similarly transparent.

Types of Articles

This blog deals primarily with data-driven analysis of Alameda city policy and politics.  I separate my posts into five article categories:

  1. Factual Background: These are data-heavy posts that generally contain only graphs and data tables along with accompanying descriptive text.  These posts contain no opinions.  Most people will find these posts boring and they aren’t necessarily meant to be read beginning to end.  Rather, they are meant to set up a set of points for me to reference from “Analysis” and “Opinion” articles.
  2. Analysis:  These articles are intended to be thoroughly referenced arguments about a chosen topic.  While they will necessarily have a point of view, they are meant to provide an honest interpretation of a set of facts as I see them in the interest of furthering discourse.
  3. Opinion:  These articles are more free-form and are meant to provide my own perspectives on issues where I haven’t found enough information to produce solid analysis.  Or occasionally, I’ll just be off on a rant.
  4. Addendum:  These are articles group additional background, information and notes for an article or, more likely, an article series.  The main purpose is to allow me cross-reference a set of additional material that is too disparate for a Factual Background Article.  These also serve as a handy way to collect a bunch of reference points without making my Footnote sections longer than the article
  5. General: As the name suggests, this covers other general and miscellaneous articles.

Corrections and Updates

When a factual or contextual error is brought to my attention I will confirm the error and update the post accordingly:

  1. Corrections: where I have made a mistake of fact, I will change the affected text of the post and create a new footnote or parenthetical that describes the change.  Where a change is due to a legal requirement, I reserve the right to remove a post or substantially modify it with minimal notice.
  2. Updates: Where the facts were correct on posting but have change in the interim, I will update the body text and create a footnote noting the original text and the reason for the change.

Language Style Guide

The blog uses the following style guide for consistently formatting language:

Citing articles on the web

Follow the Chicago Style Guide:

Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Web Address (retrieved Date Accessed).

e.g:

Borenstein, Daniel. “Borenstein: Who runs Alameda, city manager … or the fire union?” CNN.com. https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/12/borenstein-who-runs-alameda-city-manager-or-the-fire-union/ (accessed January 13, 2020).

Proper Nouns

  • Nextdoor (nextdoor.com) — a social networking website that connects people with other people in their same neighborhood.
  • City Manager — the official job title of the person who is appointed by a city council to act as the chief executive of a city.