Mekong Commons Author Guidelines

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If you have a story to share on the Mekong region,
we would like to hear from you!

“Mekong Commons” is an independent website created for sharing and debating critical perspectives on current issues of development, ecology and society in the Mekong region.

The website is intended to provide a space for people to post their own original stories, pictures and short films as well as read and respond to others’ reporting and perspectives. Through interviews, analysis articles, and case studies, we give particular importance to the details of development which are not readily seen.

We very much welcome contributions from authors living or working in the region. To discuss your proposed story, please write to We especially invite young writers, filmmakers and artists to contribute, and for accepted articles the editors will support the preparation of your contribution.

Your proposed story should address one of the five themes of the Mekong Commons website:

• In “deconstructing development,” we explore how development is explained and justified, and how knowledge is used or misused and contested in shaping public decisions on development plans and projects. Subthemes include: development paradigms; markets and investment; regional and global institutions; and science and ecology

• In “environmental justice,” we consider, how in the name of “development” injustices result to people, their livelihoods, and nature, including who wins and who loses and why. Subthemes include: people and ecosystems; energy and climate change; cities and hinterlands; waste and pollution; and disaster and response

• In “better ways”, we share practices, activities, organizations and individuals working on alternative modes of and visions for development that can inspire. Subthemes include: protecting biodiversity; ethical energy; livable cities; food we eat; and good health

• The “Voice of the Next Generation” provides a space where young people can share and debate their visions, critical perspectives, experiences, aspirations and inspirations related to development.

• “Women in the Mekong” features both the everyday and the unusual struggles of women as they seek to exert influence and redefine their role in often male-dominated arenas of decision-making.

We accept the following types of submissions:

• Written “in-depth commentary articles” of between 1,000 and 1,500 words
• Written “analysis” articles of 6,000-10,000 words
• Short films of approximately 3 minutes length
• Photo essays of approximately 10 images

We are open to receiving a range of types of articles, including:

• Articles about a particular issue or case study;
• Interview format articles;
• Profiles of organisations or individuals and their work or life.

Written articles are to be submitted in English. A brief style guide and spelling guide can be download here. For citations in your article, please use footnotes (not in-text citations).

For all content types, please prepare the following:

• Article title
• 2-3 sentences explaining the main message of the article
• An author name (we are willing to accept pennames for those who wish not to reveal their identity due to sensitive political contexts.)
• An author biography of 1-2 sentences, and a small image to appear alongside your name
• 2-3 photographs, with one sentence captions and the photograph credit

Guidelines for videos and multimedia

We welcome short documentary films, documentary footage or still pictures.

1. Short films: 1. The preferred final edited length is 2-4 mins. If you have an edited short film, please send us the file in .mov, .mp4 or avhcd format.

2. For all short films, subtitles in English are required.

3. Please insert at the end of the film all the credits for producer, camera, etc as required or any other affiliations as necessary.

4. We will insert our website logo in front of the film before it is uploaded to the website.

5. If any editorial revisions are necessary, we will contact and discuss with the contributor or filmmaker.

2. Video footage: If you have raw footage that includes clips (such as dams, rivers, floods, livelihood practices) or interviews, we can help you with some basic editing. If you need such editing support, please discuss with us first.

We encourage you to submit your footage as much as possible with the following specifications (essentially this ensures the use of “Full HD” cameras):

• Your video needs to be in .mov format (or .mp4 or avhcd).
• 25 FPS
• 48KHz Audio
• 1920×1080 (or SD)
• 50 Mb/s Bitrate (25 Mb/s is acceptable in some cases. If so, pls inform us)

We want the website to be able to handle all kinds of multimedia footage taken by our contributors ranging from handheld phones to tablets and handycams. However, the website editorial group reserves the right to review the footage and the topic before making the final decision.

3. Still pictures: We welcome still pictures preferably with detailed captions (and if necessary, photogapher credit).

Please contact us with thumbnails or samples and we will inform you of the best way to send us the files (since this depends on your location and the file sizes/resolution). Please do not directly email us your picture files.

To discuss your proposed story or video and multimedia, or for any other queries relating to these guidelines, please write to

We look forward to hearing from you!!

Mekong Commons