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Tired of all the spin, misinformation and opinion online? Join citizenJoe's team of writers and editors who are volunteering to help clear the politico-cyber air

We're always looking for more writers/editors to contribute to our semi-wiki-fied citizenJoe. Whatever end of the ideological spectrum you're from, if you're willing to set aside your personal views to give Americans the clear, straight story on the issues, you're our kind of Joe/Jane.

If you like the idea of being a volunteer editor, send us an email! There are two tiers of editors; please let us know which one you're interested in and include the writing samples and info requested below.

Joe Editors

Joe Editors can make edits and updates to any of the content on citizenJoe. Those edits will go into a "moderation queue" and will be approved (or not approved) by one of cJ's Senior Editors. To become a Joe editor, please email us:

  • a writing sample that best shows your writing style (at least two paragraphs), and

  • your results on the "where do you land in the political spectrum" test (be sure to include both your social and economic numbers). The test takes about 10 minutes - but we're guessing you'll love every second of it.

Senior Editors

Senior editors can make edits and updates to any of cJ's content. Those edits will automatically appear on the site. To become an editor, please email us:

We'll review writing samples on an ongoing basis and invite folks that mesh to join as volunteers, starting with a one month trial basis that we hope builds into a lasting partnership.

Transparency and balance

We ask all editors to take the policy test so we can be transparent about the potential political bias of our corps of editors - even though each editor vows to put their views to the side, we know that prejudices have a way of seeping in.

Along those lines, by sending us a writing sample we assume you're saying you're willing to put aside your politics to commit to making citizenJoe accurate, accessible and balanced - and to write by the Joe Credo. If you've read this far, that's probably a given.

Writing sample guidelines are below. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send us an email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

- teamJoe

Writing Sample Guidelines - If you want 'em

In a nutshell

Show us that you can lay out a complex policy issue in a clear, concise and balanced way. A little flair is nice, but - really - only a little. Facts are even better - and should always come with a link to a reputable source.

A four paragraph sample

Pick a policy issue that's currently being debated either in Congress or in the national media, preferably one that cJ doesn't already have an issue guide on (not so we can steal it from you, but so you can start from scratch).

  • What's Up. In one paragraph, tell a reader what all the fuss is about; why is this issue being debated, how is it at all relevant to our lives, what is at the heart of the debate and what's going on now. Essentially in four to eight sentences, you want to give a reader a grasp of the issue.

  • Pro/Con. In two paragraphs lay out the core arguments on both sides of the debate.

  • Explainer. In one paragraph, pick any part of the issue that may be complex or not widely understood and flesh it out for the reader. (Eg. what exactly is a stem cell, or how does the Social Security fund work.)

Facts

For any fact, include a web link. If the fact is from one of the nonpartisan governmental sources (CBO, GAO, Census or CRS - see our links page), one citation is enough. If, however, you don't have a reputable nonpartisan source, please include two sources that balance each other out.

Style

  • Assume your readers are intelligent.

  • Assume they know nothing - at least on the topic you’re writing about.

  • Steer clear from language that is academic, wonky, legalese-y.

  • Be straight, simple, clear but don’t be afraid to use your voice.

Balance

In the end, the writing sample should be so balanced that a reader wouldn't be able to guess the political views of the writer. We've found the trick to this is to really look for the sensible and valuable arguments on both sides. If you're thinking that's not possible, just give it a whirl anyway - you could be surprised.