Frequently Asked Questions
How can I join the Watchdog City community? (back)
To buy or sell written content, audio and video works at Watchdog CityTM, you must first register for a Journalist account or Blogger/Reader account. You must register for one or the other. Both account types can buy and sell content.
Content for sale that is produced by Watchdog City journalist account holders receives the Watchdog City PressTM icon and their content is displayed "Above the Fold" in search results. Content for sale that is produced by bloggers receives the Blogger icon and their content is displayed in the "Blogosphere" in search results.
How do I sign up for a Journalist Account? (back)
Reporters, editors, producers and photojournalists who sign up for a Journalist Account with Watchdog City agree to the Watchdog City PressTM voluntary credentialing terms and conditions and swear to or affirm a series of oaths about upholding ethical guidelines in their journalism. These are included as part of the Journalist Account registration process.
Watchdog City journalists promise to uphold the Watchdog City Journalists Code of Ethics, which is based on the tenets of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. The code embodies practices taught in newsrooms around the globe. These are the standards by which journalists hold themselves accountable to the public. They practice these standards to earn the public's trust.
These standards require journalists to make tangible sacrifices -including avoiding conflicts of interest - that can affect a journalist's livelihood.
To hold a Journalist Account, journalists agree to additional terms which include:
- an identity verification process,
- an agreement to avoid conflicts of interest, refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment and avoid secondary employment, political involvement (including making campaign donations of any kind), public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
Any misrepresentations or material omissions on the Journalist Account registration and Watchdog City Press credentialing application is cause for account suspension and or termination and is at the sole discretion of Watchdog City.
Users holding Journalist Accounts must wait for approval by the Watchdog CityTM team before they can post stories in "Above the Fold," Watchdog City's area for items produced by professional journalists practicing standards-based journalism. Certification can take up to 72 hours.
If you are a journalist, you should not sign up as a blogger/reader. Watchdog City members must be one or the other. If you have questions about your Journalist Account registration and Watchdog City Press application, please contact email@example.com.
REGISTER now for a Watchdog City Journalist Account
How do I sign up for a Blogger/Reader account? (back)
To register as a Blogger/Reader, users must agree to the site's terms of service, which include prohibitions against plagiarism and copyright infringement.
Do I have to participate in the Feedback and credibility system? (back)
Yes. If you sell content, buyers will have the opportunity to rate you.
Are the rating systems the same for Journalists and Blogger/Readers? (back)
No. Journalists have a set of in-depth rating criteria that is different from bloggers. The journalist ratings deal primarily with how well the journalist is maintaining journalistic integrity, credibility, best practices and abiding by the oaths for Watchdog City journalists and Watchdog City Journalist Code of Ethics. Blogger/Reader ratings primarily involve credibility, civility, quality and avoiding plagiarism or copyright violations.
View the oaths and rating criteria for Journalists
View the oaths and rating criteria for bloggers
As a seller, can I rebut negative feedback? (back)
Yes. You have the opportunity to provide a short answer to negative feedback in the rating system.
Can I post content or comments anonymously on Watchdog City? (back)
No. Under old media standards, journalists and op-ed writers, writers of letters to the editor and those who commented on published works or issues of the day have traditionally been required to use their real names to publish. Anonymous attacks and innuendo undermine credibility and civility. We believe such attacks and innuendo threaten transparency and the self-regulating market of the Watchdog City community. Watchdog CityTM encourages vibrant participation and debate. However, because Watchdog City's business model does not rely on advertising, we can hold to this standard. Watchdog City does not rely on the clicks and page view metrics - which are bolstered by anonymous comments and participation -- that advertising-driven sites need to support themselves.
How do I find content on Watchdog City? (back)
You can search Watchdog CityTM by keyword in the search bar or by location, or City Desk, and topic, or beat or by author. Please see our tutorial on this topic.
A City Desk is the old school name in newsrooms for the group of reporters and editors who produce metro or local content. Simply select a state if you want only items from that state. You can also specify a city you want to search, and only items posted for that city will show up in your search. Users can further sort stories by beat or topic by clicking on one of the beats listed on the left side of the screen or by putting a search term in the search box. We suggest you make some trial searches to get a feel for the kind of searching that will best serve your interests.
Note: Non-registered users are able to search the site but are unable to post or purchase content.
How do I post content for sale? (back)
Once you have registered for either a Journalist or Blogger/Reader account, you can post content for sale by visiting the "My Account" page and choosing from the menu on the left side of the screen. Under "Selling," click on the "Post a New Story" button and follows the prompts. Please see our tutorial on this topic.
Sellers specify how much they want to charge for their own content. Sellers provide a story description - which functions like a teaser or promo to attract buyers - then sellers upload their original content. Sellers can upload their original stories, photos, videos or audio podcasts. As part of the selling process, sellers certify that they are the original producer and copyright holder of the content they are offering for sale. For more on copyright violations and abuse, see the Copyright Abuse & Patrol page. Please see our tutorial for posting content.
How do I purchase content? (back)
Once you are registered and have linked a PayPal account, you can simply click the "Buy it Now" button for a piece of content that you wish to view or hear. You then pay using your PayPal account and then you click to return to Watchdogcity.com where you will be able to view or hear the content in the "Paid Stories" of the "My Account" area. Please see our tutorial on this topic.
Paid stories are viewable in a secured access location. A print option will soon be added to the site, but all other means of copying the content will be unavailable and against the rules of conduct for Watchdog City. Piracy, plagiarism and stealing and redistributing paid content are strictly forbidden and are grounds for account termination. We ask all members of the Watchdog City community to report abuse violations to Watchdog City's Copyright & Abuse Patrol. We do this to protect the rights of the content producers, who, until now, have been afforded little security for their creative works and intellectual property posted on the Internet. We hope our users understand that this is the road to the highest quality content for the Web, and that it also allows the producers of the content - journalist or blogger -- to earn a living.
What kind of PayPal account do I need? (back)
If you are primarily selling content on Watchdog City, you should set up your PayPal account for micropayments. This will allow you to have reduced PayPal fees.
Does Watchdog City allow other payment systems like Google checkout? (back)
Watchdog City currently works with PayPal because of its broad base of use. However we are working on implementing additional payment gateways to allow more choices for buyers and seller participating in the Watchdog City marketplace.
What is a Newsstand? (back)
Journalists and Bloggers will have an opportunity to subscribe to a newsstand that will function as a sort of storefront for them to show a portfolio of available work. Newsstands come in various levels that reflect the number of items that can be listed and topics covered.
How do I post events in the Day Book Calendar? (back)
All account holders may post to the Day Book Calendar for 99 cents per event and search for free. Once a user has logged in, he or she simply clicks on "Events" and in the drop down menu selects "Post an Event." Please see our tutorial on this topic.
The Calendar is searchable by state or by state and city. It allows you to post in the most effective way and find events near you or in cities you plan to visit. The calendar includes civic events, cultural events, club gatherings, concerts, events for children and even events like garage sales and real estate open houses.
How do content providers get their ratings? (back)
Each time a user purchases content on Watchdog City, he or she has the opportunity to rate the content based on whether the user feedback is positive or negative. The ratings system also allows for more in-depth measures, based on different standards for Journalists and Bloggers. Journalists must abide by the Watchdog City Journalists Code of Ethics, and Bloggers must also maintain minimum standards of conduct that promote a fair and honest information marketplace. Content providers - journalists and bloggers -- who do good work will gain a reputation over time that will grow their buyer audience, whether they produce news or how to videos. Journalists and Bloggers will also have opportunities to answer praise and criticism from users who buy their content. This Internet meritocracy will allow the best journalists and bloggers to thrive and prosper, and those doing less satisfactory work to either do better or fail.