Can we talk?
I knew we could, so I have decided to chat today with anyone and everyone who would like to see their news in The Coast News Group’s papers. Show of hands? Very nice.
As your community news editor, I am obsessively interested in the news right in our backyards. This includes cities, neighborhoods, schools, clubs, sports, play groups, book clubs, local businesses or even just groups of friends. If you know of something you think is moving, odd, funny, important or interesting, there’s a good chance we would too, and that makes it news that needs to be shared with the community. More importantly, if it is something you know you will never see on television or something that rarely, if ever, gets into the other newspapers, that’s where we come in. We have a spot for it all.
Did I mention we just love pictures? We love pictures of your youngsters, your school teachers, your coffee group, your PTA, your sports team (even when they don’t win!) or someone special who deserves recognition, or just you. And remember we have to have names for everyone in a photo in order to run it — first and last names.
So, how do you go from taking photos of your adorable first-grader (of course, they are adorable!) performing in the class play or your planning of the annual fundraiser, to seeing it on a page in one of The Coast News Group’s publications? It’s really easier than you might think.
You do not … let me repeat that … you do not have to write a Pulitzer-prize winning story. All we need are the facts put in sentences. Who or what is newsworthy, what happened, who made it happen, when and where it happened or what is going to happen and just a bit about why it is special and newsworthy. Our job is to take the information and turn it into a news item — and we do just that every day.
Then — and I am on my hands and knees here —you just need to e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s my e-mail folder. I scrutinize everything that comes into it and will even let you know when your item will run, if you ask me to. Which brings us to deadlines … (insert dramatic music here)
With The Coast News Group, you really rather need to think ahead a bit. I realize that I am personally hard-pressed to plan anything for the day after tomorrow, so I do sympathize. But here in the newsroom, we absolutely, positively have to have the information and/or photo at least 10 days (eight working days) before the date you want to see it in the paper. Yep. Ten long days. I can’t help it and I can’t change it.
If you ever want a detailed description of why it takes so long to get from e-mail to newspage I will be happy to explain, but there isn’t room here. All you have to remember is that on Fridays, I have already finished work on the next Friday’s paper and have begun work on the following week’s issue. (Yes, it makes me a little dizzy, too.) So anything you want in weekly Friday papers must be in my e-mail box by Thursday a week before, by noon at the absolute latest. Sooner is better.
I hope this has been helpful and not at all scary. If I have spooked anyone, please call me and I will apologize profusely. My intent was to simplify, simplify, simplify.
To review, e-mail everything to my community e-mail address at least a week and a half before you expect to see it in print. If you have no access to a computer, mail your item to P.O. Box 232550, Encinitas 92023.
If you send it, we will run it, because that is, after all, what we are here for. Community news is news. In fact, it may be the only news that really matters.
Think globally, read locally.
Can we talk?