NEWS Guidelines

So you think you can write?

All that is required to qualify as a NEWS writer on The College Driver is having a completed profile, which means name, school, and a profile picture.

The College Driver is a community based website that seeks to give all people between 16 and 25, well thought out and useful car advice. This advice extends to our user submitted content submitted on the NEWS page. Here are a few requirements for NEWS articles.

General Guidelines

Under $25K for Drivers Under 25: Our site's focus is on people between the age of 16 and 25. Do not write about expensive Lamborghini's, Bentley's, and Armani suits as our target audience will not be able to afford them; there are many other sites that specialize in reviewing and drooling over those vehicles. Instead stick to the basics and stick to what you know, help out your fellow driver by telling them how to own a car and get the most enjoyment out of it. Tell them about the latest auto show or about the hottest ride you could find for $5000. Give them something wholesome, something tangible, something they can afford.

We do allow our writers to add stories about vehicles that our demographic may be able to afford, but that is only if you request permission. To post one of these articles please contact zeid@thecollegedriver.com

Be Factual: What will keep this site successful is sticking to the facts. Don't rush to complete a story, as you can always email zeid@thecollegedriver.com to claim a story. NEVER make up anything in a NEWS story, unless the title starts with "Speculation:" This will help our users easily identify when we are guessing; artist renderings also are considered speculation stories

Do not car bash: Car bashing is an activity that is popular on many car blogs and news sites but will not tolerated on The College Driver 'NEWS'. Bashing a car often involves making statements that exaggerate a particular vehicle's deficient qualities. Since most of these statements are of hyperbole, our users will not find much value when reading them after they click the link, and they may never come back. Avoid using polarized negative comments such as, worst, garbage, junk, crappy, etc when referring to a vehicle. We will start a list known as the 'Jalopy List' that includes cars that The College Driver has proven to be bad buys for everyone; users can consult this list for cars not to buy. Bashing a vehicle can also offend some of our users and cause 'flaming' and 'trolling'. Again we are a community that is only here to help.

Remain Neutral (Excludes Editorials): This is something that is very hard to do when reporting the news, your best bet is to just report the facts of a story AND report both sides even if you don't agree with one of them. Editorials are exempt from this guideline since their purpose is to pick a side of a story, and to get people thinking and commenting about your editorial

Avoid sounding like a press release: Also very difficult, but also very obvious. Press releases can be had by almost anyone so why just repeat it. Read the release and write down the issues that could affect people age 16 to 25. If you can't think of many reasons to relate the article or release to 16 to 25 year olds then they probably can't think of many reasons to continue reading your article. This guideline also prevents users from posting unrelated articles just for the sake of posting something.

You're not a comedian:Talking and writing about cars is fun, that is why we have worked (and are still working) to make this creative outlet for you. At times we all like to make jokes that refer to particular issues and memes in the automotive community, this is fine, but we encourage all NEWS writers to conduct themselves with a level seriousness and professionalism when writing their articles. Posting excessive articles in the NEWS section that are deemed to be 'not serious' will invalidate us as a viable automotive news site and could cause our NEWS Editors (moderators) change your classification back to 'passenger'.

Use of “TheCD”: Often you will notice we abbreviate The College Driver, as TheCD. If you choose to do this there are a couple of rules. Always italicize TheCD. Only capitalize the letters ‘T’, ‘C’, and ‘D’. To avoid confusion between The College Driver and “The Compact Disk”, write TheCD as ‘TheCD’ not ‘the CD’ or ‘The CD’.

Phrases to Avoid: “This car is perfect for college students….” or “a college student would…” are lines that other sites with writers old enough to be our parents would use. We are your peers not you parents, so write like it. Write as if you were giving advice or informing your closest friend, use slang or recurring memes. Be creative with your content and phrasing, as it represents you and what you know.

Things to Remember: Nearly 30% Of this sites traffic is comes from areas outside of the United States, this means to be respectful of all peoples’ countries and their underlying traditions. This also means that you should list units in English and put their metric equivalent in parentheses immediately after.

Length Requirements:

Bits: <150 words, relates to posted photos or renderings with limited background information. Purpose is to generate user comments.

NEWS Article/Press release: >150 words, relates to information found other auto sites/blogs and press releases. Purpose is to summarize the topic at hand. If you are writing about the press release, but are not summarizing it, please write your reaction first then copy and paste the press release. Please make sure that the press release text is italicized.

Editorials: >200 Words, relates to an issue that you have found that a college driver would relate to. Purpose, to inform of your review, as well as to create a dialogue between you and those who comment on the editorial.

If you have any other questions concerning the site contact zeid@thecollegedriver.com.