Guidelines for Herald Style

Toodyay Herald style guide

NB: Always switch on “show all’ in paragraph toolbox when editing

We have included these notes to assist, however if your submitted article doesn’t comply with these guidelines, you can be assured that our skilled proof readers and sub-editors will make any necessary corrections, so please don’t stress too much about complying with all of the notes below.



FIRST word of all stories in upper case (capitals) with no indent. If a story begins with a word of three or less letters, capitalise the second word too. Eg: TOODYAY fire-fighters were called to 25 fires last month or THE TOODYAY shire had 25 fires last month.

Paragraphs: Indent all new sentences to form separate paragraphs. Ensure paragraphs correctly formatted – not just extra spaces. Two very short sentences can be joined but avoid long, complex ones. Long sentences of more than six full lines should be broken into two new indented paragraphs:

SO-CALLED ‘irresponsible owners’ are now threatened with punitive measures (ie: heavy fines) but I argue there aren’t actually many irresponsible owners at fault – it is the dumpers that are causing the problem.


Spelling, punctuation and grammar

Full stops: use immediately after a sentence (no space between).

New sentence: One space between end of sentence full stop and start of next sentence. Like this.

Commas: use sparingly. Usually unnecessary after ‘and’ except in complex lists, eg: “the shopping basket contained frozen fish, dried figs, fresh fruit and vegetables, and soap.

Colon: Can be used to attribute lists, comments, etc. but generally try to avoid except sparingly in headlines.

Semi-colon; Use sparingly to separate complex lists of things – eg: two bowls of bread and butter pudding; five kilos of strawberry jam; an electric food processor; four black and white kittens; and a very large box.. In most cases, commas will suffice.

Hyphens: use between joined words – eg: fixed-wing, but not for adverbs – eg: not closely-related.

En dash: Use sparingly to separate clauses – where needed – in sentences, with one space either side. Don’t use hyphens for this purpose.

Quotes (direct speech): Insert double quotation marks (“) at the start of each new sentence quote. The first sentence must always end with an attribution – “More people need to vote,” Mr Turnbull said. All following sentence quotes in the same sequence start with double quotes and end with a full stop (but no closing quotes) except for the final sentence quote, which ends with a full stop followed by double closing quotation marks (”). Check that opening (“) and closing (”) quotation marks appear correctly.

Quotes (inside indirect speech): Full stop follows the double quotation mark – eg: Mr Turnbull said higher taxes were “good for the country”.

Exclamation marks: are BANNED!!! – let strong words speak for themselves.

Ampersand (&): Always change to ‘and’ unless part of trading name or official title – eg: Black & Decker Corporation, Black & White Cabs.

Australian/UK spelling: Use throughout – eg: specialised (not specialized) – unless different in official titles or names.

Program: (not programme)

Comprise/consist: ‘Comprise’ and ‘consist’ are not interchangeable – many comprise the whole but the whole consists of many – Eleven players comprise a cricket team. A cricket team consists of 11 players.

Only: be careful with placement – Walk across the road only when it is safe to do so, not only walk (ie: not hop, skip or jump) across the road when it is safe to do so.

Split infinitives: generally OK in modern usage unless reads clumsily – Star Trek’s opening line To boldly (adverb) go (verb) where no man has gone before is generally OK.

Etc.: – always followed by full stop – eg: four, five, six, etc. and more. Two full stops to end a sentence – eg: eight, nine, 10, etc..

Eg: and ie: Use sparingly, followed by a colon. Eg: means for example, such as, ie: means that is. The two are not interchangeable. Many farmers grow cereal crops, eg: wheat, rye and barley. Toodyay’s three pubs, ie: the Freemasons, Vic and Tavern, are heritage-listed. Never EG: or IE:

Such as and like: ‘Such as’ means for example. ‘Like’ means similar to – eg: Mammals, such as humans and chimpanzees, are warm-blooded. Humans, like chimpanzees and baboons, are mammals. The two are not interchangeable.



Numerals: Spell out whole numbers one to nine in words, and use numerals thereafter – eg: One in 10 people wear glasses. Where a number is a fraction, use numerals– 9.5cm (but nine centimetres – see Measurements). Always spell out if starting a sentence with a number – eg: Twelve Apostles were at The Last Supper, or re-phrase to There were 12 Apostles at The Last Supper.

Decimals: Where a number is less than one, insert ‘0’ before the decimal point – eg: 0.2, 0.8, etc.

Fractions: Use symbols – eg: ½ (not 1/2) – eg: The baby is 8½ months old.



Dates: Use 17 December 2016. If no year reference, use December 17 or Monday December 17 – eg: William was born on 29 February 1960 and will celebrate his birthday on Tuesday February 28. Don’t use 28th or 21st. If an event happened the previous month, the time, day and month are usually irrelevant eg: a meeting was held at 10.15am on Tuesday January 2 at which a new president was elected should read a new president was elected at last month’s meeting. Similarly with events the previous year, eg: Last year’s Moondyne Festival attracted a record crowd.

Times: 7pm Monday December 17 or 7pm on 17 December 2016 (place time before day or date).

Hours: 7.30pm – not half past seven.

Midday or noon: – not 12 noon or 12 o’clock midday

Midnight: – not 12 o’clock at night.

Early morning, early evening, etc.: – not early hours of the morning, etc.



Metric: Speed: km/h; Area: 25ha, 15sqm, Distance: 25km, 34m, 15cm, 25mm, Weight: 25 tonnes, 25g, 32mg. Where a measurement is a whole number less than 10 (see Numbers), spell out – eg: five kilometres (but 9.5km), six milligrams (but 6.1mg).

Imperial: Always convert to metric except in cooking for teaspoon (tspn), tablespoon (tbspn) and cup – but convert pints, ounces, etc to litres, grams, etc.



Titles: Toodyay Shire CEO Stan Scott said no commas were needed in his title, or the CEO of the Shire of Toodyay, Mr Stan Scott, said his title did need commas – both are correct but use different constructions (NB: honorific dropped in the first form).

Honorifics: Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, Cr, Sgt (no full stop) but Const. if an abbreviation doesn’t end on the last letter of the expanded title.

Politicians, etc: Don’t use Honourable, The Hon., etc. – use Wheatbelt MP Shane Love, local Nationals MP Paul Brown, WA Premier Colin Barnett, State Opposition Leader Mark McGowan, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, WA Governor Malcolm McCusker, WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin, etc.. Always use christian and surnames at first reference. PhD doctors should be given correct titles – eg: former WA Premier Dr Geoff Gallop, former Labor Leader Dr Carmen Lawrence, etc.

Clergy: – Reverend Peter Brown, Pastor Paul Smith, Father Luke Flanagan, Bishop Paul Heaney, Cardinal David Waters, etc. – Always include christian name and surname at first reference (except Pope Francis, The Dalai Lama, etc.). At second reference, some titles can be abbreviated, eg – Fr Brown, Rev. Smith, etc. Where an abbreviation ends on the last letter of the title (eg: Fr Brown), no full stop is required. Don’t use The Rev. Brown.

Titles (films, books, etc.): Italicise – eg: A Tale of Two Cities.

The Toodyay Herald: Always italicise – The Toodyay Herald, The Herald, The Herald’s. Always include The.

Bendigo Bank: Correct full title at first reference (except in headlines): Toodyay and Districts Bendigo Community Bank, and thereafter the bank.