George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

News Stories

​News stories allow Mason to tell the world about our amazing students, faculty, and staff, and what they're accomplishing. We want to share those stories as widely as possible, and having them live in shared content lets us do that. 

To create a new story in shared content, log in to with your Mason network credentials. Hover over the word Content, and a drop-down menu will appear. Hover over Add Content, and a second menu will appear. Select News Story.

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This will open a page on the back end of the Mason Drupal Platform with areas for you to input information. The Headline field is marked with a red asterisk, indicating it must be filled in or the file can't be saved. You will also need to fill in the story byline here (if it has one; some items, such as a brief press release, don't require bylines).

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News Type determines the widest category that applies to your story. If none applies, leave it at the default position, which is None. Otherwise, select the arrow on the side of the box, and choose your category from the drop-down menu.

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If you have a story that's embargoed, and you want to set it up to publish at a certain time, scroll down to Scheduling Options. You can select the date and time of publication, as well as a time you want the story to come down, if needed.

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Select the second tab at the top, Content, to take you to the field for adding a teaser thumbnail/news promo image (280 by 188 pixels), if you have one; they are not required. You can also write a sentence of teaser text to appear in the list of news stories, if you like. If you don't want to, only the headline will appear, which is fine. You can also choose to put your content in at this time. However, if you're using a photo or video with your story, you might want to wait to place the content on the front of the page instead.

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Select the third tab at the top, Additional, to take you to the Tag and Topic fields. You can assign preset tags to your stories by selecting the plus symbol next to the word, and a drop-down menu of choices will appear. You can select more than one.

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You might also want to assign topics to your stories, which establish a link to other related items in the shared content system. For example, if your story is about a research discovery, one of the words you might enter would be research. Every topic with that word that has already been entered into the system will appear in a drop-down list. If you see a number appear next to your topic label, that indicates the number of stories labeled with the same topic. If no number appears next to your entry, you are the first to use that label.

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When you've filled out the information on the back end, you're ready to save your story and work on the public-facing page. Select Save in the upper right corner or at the bottom of the page; either will work. As soon as you save, you'll be taken to a page to claim ownership of the story. If you have the authority, you can claim ownership for more than one site. For example, a story can be owned by both Volgenau and the Department of Statics. Or the story that appears on Volgenau can be shared with Statistics.

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If you have a photo or video, or want to add a block quote, it's often easier and more efficient to place these items on the front of the page. Once you claim ownership, it should take you to the front of the page, which is what the public will see. You'll notice the page does not have a top banner or footer, as this is the shared content version. Once it appears on your site (or any other site), the header, footer, and other features will auto-populate. This page can now be built just as any other content page is handled. Create a body text box for your story, add photos and videos, etc.

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Stories can also be shared on any other site in the Mason Drupal Platform system, but only those authorized to add content to a particular site can choose to share a story there. For example, Honors College and Military Services might want to use a story that appears on the Volgenau site. However, only those who work on those sites can place the Volgenau story there. To add a story to your site, hover over Content, and a drop-down menu will appear. Hover over Content Sharing, and a second menu will appear to the right. Select News Items.

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This will open a Content Sharing page. There are a number of parameters you can use to narrow your search. For example, if you know of a unique word in the headline (Amazon, in this example), type it into the Title box, and all stories with that word in the headline will appear. If the list is not too long, you should be able to spot the story you want to use on the site.

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To share the story on your site, check the box next to it (or them; you can share more than one), and select the arrow to the right of Choose an Operation. A drop-down menu will appear. Select Use Item(s) on My Site(s). Select Execute.

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Select your site(s) from the list. To choose more than one, hold down the Control/Command key on your keyboard to highlight more than one site. When you've chosen all the sites on which you want the story to appear, select Next.

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You'll get a page asking you to confirm your choices. The story or stories you've selected to save will appear in a list. Once you've confirmed your choices, they will appear on your site's news page. Be advised that due to caching issues, it might take up to six hours for the stories to appear.

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