Some tips for getting news published
Published 5:00 am Friday, April 16, 2004
Two years ago in this space I wrote about how to go aboutgetting items and photographs printed in The DAILY LEADER.
A couple of telephone calls I’ve received this week — fromfolks requesting photographers on very short notice — prompted meto do the same today.
I want to stress again — we want your news information and yourphotographs. The DAILY LEADER takes pride in being a communitynewspaper, and we couldn’t do that without local news and photos.Our whole business is built around scheduling and deadlines. We doneed at least 24 hours notice for non-breaking events.
While our news and sports staffs stay busying covering lots ofevents in the area, we can’t fill every request for coverage. Thatdoes not mean we don’t want or won’t use your photo or information.Sometimes we just need a little help.
Didn’t know you could submit articles and photos to us? Sure youcan — and it’s probably easier for you if you don’t have to workaround our schedule. Think you can’t write a news release? Ofcourse you can. Here are a few guides to follow:
* The five Ws of journalism are Who, What, Where, When and Why.Make sure you answer each question in news articles.
* Make sure you have the correct spelling of names. Is it Kathyor Cathy?
* Be brief and to the point — that just saves time foreverybody, including you.
* Don’t be disappointed or surprised if your article isrewritten a little bit. We have specific styles that we follow, andwe try to make everything comply to them.
* Be sure to include your name and telephone number. We probablywon’t publish them, but we need to know the source of theinformation and a contact in case we have a question.
See, that’s easy. And it’s free; won’t cost you a dime to haveyour article published.
Here are a few more tips:
* We can’t promise to print a specific story on a specific day.Breaking news always gets priority.
* Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to get yourinformation to us.
We are an afternoon newspaper, so our mornings are reserved forwhat we call “live” pages: page one, page three, sports and atleast one page for national and international news. Our press runis scheduled for 11:30 a.m., which means the last page goes to ourproduction department at 11 a.m. Mornings are very busy for us.
Other pages, like the editorial page, the community page and thebusiness page, are done a day ahead of time. The Friday Faith &Values section is put together early in the week and printed onThursday. The Sunday Lifestyles section is actually put togetherover several days during the week and printed on Friday.
The DAILY LEADER news and advertising departments are separate,but that doesn’t mean businesses shouldn’t submit articles andphotos, too. Opening a new business in town? Fill out one of ourforms, and we’ll do the rest. A long-time employee retiring? Sendus the information. Let us know if you’re honoring a long-timeemployee for service or promoting one for a job well-done.
Here are a few things to remember about photographs:
* We encourage you to provide a photo, and you don’t have to bea professional photographer to do so.
* The picture doesn’t have to be black-and-white. Those days arelong gone, thanks to modern technology. Color photos work justfine, and we also accept digital images.
* Be sure your subjects are properly lighted. Don’t put part ofa group in the shade and part in the sunshine.
* Make sure your subjects are in focus.
* Get as close to your subject as possible.
* Limit the number of people in group shots to about five. Takemore than one photo if necessary. We want to be able to seeeverybody’s face.
* If the picture doesn’t look good to you, chances are it’s notgoing to look good in print either.
* While a photo is worth a 1,000 words, words are important topictures, too. We call them cutlines. Be sure to identify thesubjects by name and give a general description of what’s happeningin the picture. Cutlines should also answer Who, What, Where, Whenand Why.
There’s a favor I’d like to ask of you.
* Don’t assume the newspaper already knows what you know. Someof the best local news stories and photos may be missed because wewere never contacted.
Thanks again for your help.
Write to Nanette Laster at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to email@example.com.