Submission Guidelines

Insurance Journal welcomes submissions of story ideas and bylined articles. Below you will find a basic guideline on how to submit a story idea or bylined article to an Insurance Journal editor. If you have any questions, please contact: Andrea Ortega-Wells at awells@insurancejournal.com or call (619) 584-1100 x152.

  1. Please submit a short pitch letter or e-mail that briefly describes the bylined article’s focus, why our readers need to know about it, and what they’ll learn by reading it. Include a basic outline of the article listing critical topic points. Contributed articles should focus on business trends and analysis, industry commentary, and education that are of interest to independent insurance agent and broker readers. Visit the Insurance Journal Editorial Calendar for more information on upcoming issues.
  2. Send your story idea outline to: awells@insurancejournal.com. Indicate whether the author is requesting publication in a specific regional edition of Insurance Journal, or nationally. Regional editions include: East, Midwest, Southeast, South Central and West.
  3. Feature articles should be approximately 1,000 to 1,500 words in length. Length of the article should be discussed and approved by an IJ editor in advance. Any accompanying sidebars should be no more than 500 words. Commentary articles for IJ’s “Closing Quote” column should be no more than 700 words in length.
  4. Insurance Journal will not publish articles that promote a particular product or service. Authors may not mention their company name or product in the bylined article under any circumstance. The article should be information-based and should not contain advertorial content or third-party attributions. Bylined articles should be written in third-person, unless the submission is an opinion piece approved by the editor.
  5. Contributors are welcome to provide any accompanying photos or artwork to complement the article. Accompanying charts, tables or graphs are encouraged and should be sent in Excel or high-resolution PDF formats. Color is preferable, but black and white is acceptable. We prefer electronic images of 5×7, 300 dpi, Mac EPS, TIFF or high-quality JPEG formats.
  6. Style should be consistent with the Associated Press Stylebook.
  7. Please include a short biography of the author, including name, title, position and office location. The bio should be no more than 50 words. You may also submit a digital headshot photo (300 dpi) of the author.
  8. Bylined articles should be exclusive to Insurance Journal. Insurance Journal reserves copyright for articles.

Editorial Code of Ethics

Source: American Business Media, March 2005


I General editorial code of ethics:

Editors, reporters and writers employed by Insurance Journal adhere to the highest standards of journalistic practice. In doing so, they pledge to:

  1. Maintain honesty, integrity, accuracy, thoroughness and fairness in the reporting and editing of articles, headlines, and graphics.
  2. Avoid all conflicts of interest as well as any appearances of such conflicts.
  3. Maintain an appropriate professional distance from the direct preparation of special advertising sections or other advertisements.
  4. Show the distinction between news stories and editorials, columns and other opinion pieces.
  5. Accept as their primary responsibility the selection of editorial content based on readers’ needs and interests.

II Guide to Preferred Practices:


Conflicts of Interest

  1. Editors should not invest in companies and/or industries they personally cover (this does not preclude investments in mutual funds, pensions or 401(k) plans that hold shares in a manner not directly controlled by the editor). Their spouses and other immediate family members should also avoid personal investments that might reflect unfavorably upon the editor. Investing on the basis of “insider information” is, of course, a violation of securities laws.
  2. If a conflict arises in an investment held by an editor before his/her employment, or because of a merger or acquisition, he/she should immediately bring the conflict to the attention of editorial management.

Gifts

  1. Editors should not accept any gifts or favors, except those of nominal value, from companies or associations they cover, their public relations representatives or any other person or organization related to companies they cover.
  2. Editors may accept occasional meals and refreshments in the course of business dealings.

Outside Activities

  1. Editors should not accept freelance work from companies, associations or any other entity they cover.
  2. Because editors are expected to speak as authorities within their markets, they may accept invitations to appear on television, radio and other electronic media and may accept payment upon approval of editorial management.
  3. Editors should not accept payment of any kind for making speeches at functions held by companies or associations they cover.
  4. Reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred in connection with such speeches may be accepted.
  5. Editors may also accept speaker gifts of nominal value for participating in such events.

Travel

  1. Editors should not accept payment of travel and hotel expenses incurred in the course of performing editorial duties from any source other than their employers.
  2. In cases of group press affairs, presentations and other events involving representatives from several publications, editors should reimburse information sources for these expenses.

Relationship with Advertisers

  1. Selection of editorial topics, treatment of issues, interpretation and other editorial decisions must not be determined by advertisers, advertising agencies or the advertising departments of publications.
  2. Editors must never permit advertisers to review articles prior to publication.
  3. Advertisers and potential advertisers must never receive favorable editorial treatment because of their economic value to the publication. Similarly, nonadvertisers should not receive unfavorable editorial treatment or be excluded from articles because they do not advertise. This provision applies not only to stories and articles but to all products of the editorial group, including lists, rankings, product or company of the year awards and other such special features and events.
  4. Editors must have the right to review, prior to publication, all sponsored content and other advertiser-supplied content.

Separation of Advertising and Editorial

  1. Editors must make a clear distinction between editorial and advertising. Editors have an obligation to readers to make clear which content has been paid for, which is sponsored and which is independent editorial material. All paid content that may be confused with independent editorial material must be labeled as advertiser-sponsored.
  2. With respect to special advertising supplements or advertorials: The words advertising, advertisement, special advertising supplement or similar labeling must appear horizontally at or near the center of the top of every page of such sections containing text, in type at least equal in size and weight to the publication’s standard body typeface [adapted from American Society of Magazine Editors Editorial Guidelines, Nov. 2004].
  3. The layout, design, typeface and style of special advertising sections or custom publishing products must be distinctly different from those of the publication [adapted from ASME, Nov. 2004].
  4. Special advertising sections must not be slugged in the publication’s cover (including stickers) nor included in the table of contents. In general, the publication’s name or logo may not appear as any part of the headlines or text of such sections, except in connection with the magazine’s own products or services [adapted from ASME Nov. 2004].
  5. Editorial staff members and freelancers used by editorial should not participate in the preparation of custom publishing or advertising sections, except that the chief editor may review contents of such sections before they appear.