Always remember that What Is?’s content must, under all circumstances, be
– Consistent and
-Clear and concise
Always be politically correct. Our readers may have certain expectations and more people will be offended by political incorrectness than the inverse. Sexist, racist remarks or religiously offensive remarks, as well as lines promoting any kind of political ideology, regionalism or munity-based generalization, should be avoided at all costs.
• It’s never a good idea to defame any person, team, place, community, region, country or sport. Hatred and personal bias against anything or anybody should always be avoided.
• Avoid long sentences and unnecessarily long words. Alternate longer sentences with shorter ones.
• Don’t repeat the same word too many times in the same paragraph. The beauty of English is that we have more words than any other language in the world, so we can usually choose from plenty of synonyms. On the other hand, too many obscure synonyms start to draw attention to themselves and start to distort meaning.
• Use short paragraphs, headings and bullet points to break up text, especially when the content is voluminous and/or technical. A single paragraph should ideally contain a maximum of three lines.
• Active constructions are far more powerful than passive ones.
• What Is? is a platform for publishing content on internet FAQs. Fictional articles (except those written with humorous intent) and personal stories on amateur, unrecognized sporting events should be avoided.
• The importance of research can never be understated. Articles on generic subjects need to be backed up with authentic facts and numbers that help create a compelling argument.
• What Is? has been created with a view to improve user access and provide all relevant information in one place, but never to promote a product in particular. Articles promoting any brand or corporate entity, i.e. marketing or advertising articles, will not be published unless they are part of a paid arrangement, and the reader is made aware of it.
There are no English-language regulators. Usage defines what is correct, and the language is in constant flux, not to mention subject to many international variations. It’s more important to adopt universally accepted linguistic standards than to follow any particular rules. But factual errors of any kind are a strict no-no.
Fact Checking Policy
All What Is? writers must be accurate with their content, including but not limited to text, pictures, titles and URLs. Every piece of information in every What Is? article should necessarily be 100% true, and must be backed by verified sources.
The writers and editors understand the power of words as well as visuals, and take it as their responsibility to maintain error-free copy at all times. What Is? articles go through a fact-checking process before publishing, with the editors exercising their judgment on the extent of scrutiny to be carried out.
Writers as well as editors are expected to follow the ethics policy while disseminating any fact or information in an article.
Ethics and Factual Policy
Every word in every What Is? article must be 100% factually correct. Care must be taken to ensure that no part of any story is mis-stated, misconstrued or otherwise misrepresented in such a way that it affects the interpretation of the content.
Names, numerical figures, dates and other similar information must always be reproduced to the letter, with no room for manipulation of any kind.
For news obtained exclusively by a What Is? writer, the same must be clearly disclosed with a phrase such as ‘as revealed to What Is?’ or ‘in an exclusive interview with What Is?’.
For news obtained from a secondary source, the website that originally reported the story must necessarily be hyperlinked over the relevant text. In case of news sourced from a publication that doesn’t have an online presence, the name of the publication needs to be mentioned as the source.
An anonymous source can be used only with prior approval from the Managing Editor or the Content Head. In such cases, care must be taken that the source is fully reliable and capable of being summoned upon inquiry or investigation.
An article can be published on What Is? only after a thorough editorial review process. The review needs to be carried out by the dedicated editorial team, checking for factual accuracy, language, visual aids, external embeds and any other relevant aspect.
What Is? has a zero tolerance policy towards plagiarism. Any story that is found to contain any part of it plagiarized, will be taken down immediately. The guilty writer in all such cases will face immediate and permanent expulsion.
Any quote used in any What Is? article needs to be correctly attributed to the primary source. A quote must be reproduced in its exact form, with no change of any kind other than punctuation or spelling corrections if required.
What Is? looks to ensure that all errors in its content are corrected quickly and with full disclosure. What Is? also invites its readers to notify the editorial team for any errors they spot in any of the articles.
Any article that has a typo, spelling or grammatical error, shall be updated by a member of the staff. There is no requirement to add a correction note in such cases; the article would contain a line at the top saying it was modified at the particular date and time.
If an article has a material error with respect to any of the facts, numbers or quotes mentioned therein, the correction shall be done by a member of the staff followed by the addition of a correction note at the end of the article. The correction note should read thus: “An earlier version of the article erroneously stated that ___. The same has been corrected on <date, time>.”
What Is? believes in the principle of equality, and seeks to ensure that that is reflected in all of its content. No part of any What Is? article shall discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, religion, sex, caste, nationality, orientation, political leaning or any other individualistic quality.
Any What Is? article that is found to promote inequality or hatred of any kind will be taken down, with appropriate sanctions for the writer.
Inappropriate language or visuals
What Is? seeks to ensure that its content is consumable by people of all ages and backgrounds. Inappropriate or disturbing language, images or videos are to be avoided unless absolutely necessary for the depiction of the story. If at all such language or visuals are used, a suitable warning must be given to the reader in advance.
Sponsored or promotional content
No What Is? article shall promote any external agency, organization or website (by way of links, mentions or any other manner) unless specifically authorized by the organisation. All such cases of promotional or sponsored content must be explicitly labeled as such.
All of What Is?’s social media handles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) must necessarily adhere to the company’s policies and content guidelines. No social media post by What Is? shall contain information or visuals that are in any way inaccurate, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable.
What Is? is against click-bait of any kind. Any published post deemed as such will be taken down immediately, with appropriate sanctions for the post-maker.
Editorial staff responsibility
What Is?’s editorial staff is expected to uphold the highest journalistic standards at all times, both in a professional and a personal capacity.
All content published on the website or the social media handles must be fair and just, with all sides of the story being given due consideration. The responsibility of ensuring that What Is?’s content is error-free and bias-free lies with its editorial staff.
The members of the editorial team are also expected to adhere to the values of the organization in their unofficial dealings, including but not limited to their business interests, social media presence and public appearances.
What Is? looks to ensure that all errors in its content are corrected quickly and with full disclosure. What Is? also invites its readers to notify the editorial team of any errors they spot in any of the articles.
Any article that is found to have a typo, spelling or grammatical error, shall be promptly modified by a member of the staff. There is no requirement to add a correction note in such cases; the article would instead contain an auto-generated line at the top saying it was modified at the particular date and time.
If an article has a material error with respect to any of the facts, numbers or quotes mentioned therein, it shall be promptly corrected by a member of the staff followed by the addition of a correction note at the end of the article. The correction note should read thus: “An earlier version of the article erroneously stated that ___. The same has been corrected on <date, time>.”
Ownership and funding information
What Is? is owned by The SamWeb Organisation. Samir Satam is the Director and Founder of What Is? And Saman Waris is the co-founder and content manager.