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FAQ

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 News Conusmer/Blogger account or a Journalist account. You must register for one or the other. Both account types can buy and sell content.

News Consumer/Blogger account holders don't have to sell content and you will never appear in the member search unless you choose to sell blogging 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 includes specific rules and practices that are among the strictest in journalism and are taught in the world's finest newsrooms. The Watchdog City code embodies the tenets of the Society of Professional Journalists. Watchdog City's Code of Ethics sets forth 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. Where secondary employment is unavoidable it must be disclosed in the work history and profile area and not conflict with coverage areas.

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 seven days.

If you are a journalist and wish to sell, you should not sign up as a News Consumer/Blogger. 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 credentialing@watchdogcity.com.

REGISTER now for a Watchdog City Journalist Account 

How do I sign up for a News Consumer/Blogger account? (back)

To register as a News Consumer/Blogger, users must agree to the site's terms of service, which include prohibitions against plagiarism  and copyright infringement. The register button is located in the orange login box on the left side of the home page.

Do I have to participate in the Credibility Rating system? (back)

Yes. If you sell content, buyers will have the opportunity to rate you.

Are the rating systems the same for selling Journalists and Bloggers? (back)

No. Journalists have a set of in-depth rating criteria that is different from bloggers. (Bloggers sign-up for the News Consumer/ Blogger account type and are considered Bloggers when they sell content.) 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 the Watchdog City Journalist Code of Ethics. Blogger ratings primarily involve credibility, civility, quality and avoiding plagiarism or copyright violations. 

View the oaths and credibility rating criteria for Journalists

View the oaths and rating criteria for Bloggers 

As a seller, can I rebut negative ratings? (back)

Yes. You have the opportunity to provide a short answer to negative reviews in the rating system. However we encourage you to respond in a way that doesn't dissaude participation. Don't be too defensive. 

Can I post content or comments anonymously on Watchdog City? (back)

No. Traditionally, journalists and op-ed writers, writers of letters to the editor and those who commented on published works or issues of the day have 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 City 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.

Commenters have a limited degree of privacy. First and last letters of names are used in public areas. First and last letters of names are also used in the public area for credibility ratings. However, sellers can see the user IDs of those posting credibility ratings.

If users don't post content for sale on Watchdog City, their level of participation will not be apparent to the public. 

Names and a contact email will be published only for sellers. Addresses and phone numbers remain private unless the account holder chooses to publish them in the profile area, or in a piece of content or a comment. Please note that we take your privacy very seriously at Watchdog City and use the highest level of encryption currently available  to protect it. Watchdog City will not resell or otherwise use your private information contrary to the terms explained in more detail in our Privacy Policy.

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 purchase or post content.

How do I post content for sale? (back)

Once you have registered for either a Journalist or News Consumer/Blogger account, you can post content for sale by visiting the "My Account" page and choosing from the orange menu on the left side of the screen. NOTE: Before selling you must enter your valid PayPal account email address in your profile under the My Account, "View Profile" area. You can't sell until you've done this step. Then, 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 and — they are solely responsible for their content and what it contains. 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 or that the copyright holder has made it available in the public domain. 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, there are two ways to buy and access stories on Watchdog City.

Single Stories: For a single story that you wish to read, view or hear, you can simply click the "Buy it Now" button. You then pay using your PayPal account or a major credit card and then you click to return to Watchdogcity.com where you will be able to view or hear the content under the "Buying" tab and "Paid Stories" link of the orange "My Account" navigation area. Please see our tutorial on this topic.

By Subscription: Sellers may create News Hubs, which are multimedia publications with video or audio, and provide access to all the stories in that News Hub for a single subscription price, which might be billed weekly, monthly or yearly. If you see a story that says "Subscribe" then that story is part of a News Hub and requires a subscription for access. Once you click the "Subscribe" button, you will be asked to check out via PayPal using your PayPal account or a major credit card.   You'll then click the "Return" button and you will be returned to the "My Subscriptions" area of your Watchdog City account located under the orange "My Newsstand" tab on the left side. Click the name of the News Hub you subscribed to and then navigate to the stories you want to access.

For your protection, the system won't allow you to subscribe to the same News Hub more than once. You can cancel anytime in the My subscriptions area of Watchdog City.  

Paid stories are viewable in a secured access location. 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 typically 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 profit in the marketplace for their work.

What kind of PayPal account do I need? (back)

If you are buying, no special type of PayPal account is needed. For single stories you can check-out with PayPal or a major credit card. For subscriptions, you can use your PayPal account or you can fill in your credit card information and with one click a PayPal account will be created for you tied to the email address you designate at checkout. Watchdog City uses PayPal because it provides you with the highest level of safety and encrypted security for your financial information. For your protection as a buyer, your subscription will expire automatically in a year if you choose not to renew.

If you are selling content on Watchdog City, you should set up your PayPal account for micropayments. This will allow you to have reduced PayPal fees. You can get this account type by calling PayPal.

Does Watchdog City allow other payment systems like Google checkout? (back)

Watchdog City currently works with PayPal because of its broad base of use and security features. However we are working on implementing additional payment gateways to allow more choices for buyers and sellers participating in the Watchdog City marketplace.

What is a Newsstand? (back)

As part of your Watchdog City account, you get a personalized Newsstand, which is a holding area for all your subscriptions to News Hubs on Watchdog City. Your personal Newsstand is located in the leftside orange navigation bar under the tab called "My Newsstand."

What is a News Hub?

A News Hub is a subscription-based multimedia publication or show that can have any combination of digital print, video or audio content. Buyers can access all the story content in a News Hub for one subscription price which is set by the selling Journalist or Blogger. Subscriptions can be either weekly, monthly or yearly. Journalists or Bloggers can create a News Hub of their own by clicking on the "My Newsstand" orange navigation tab on the left side and then by selecting "Create/Manage News Hub."

How do I post events in the City Calendar? (back)

All account holders may post to the Day Book Calendar and search for free. Once a user has logged in, he or she simply clicks on "Events" and in the left-side orange menu and then selects "Post an Event." Please see our tutorial on this topic.

The City 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 credibility 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 credibility rating 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.