You Are The News
You are the news! We want your news! Everyone likes to read about the activities of their neighbors and local organizations in the community newspaper and on the locally operated Web site. You may be planning a benefit or other social event that needs the support of your local newspaper. Perhaps you would like to express your views or respond to the views of others. We offer this guide in the interest of working together to keep our communities informed.
This guide will answer questions and give you the basics of how news makes it to print, how to contact your newspaper and how to present your story so that you can get your story out in the fastest, simplest way. Some of the newspaper material is on our Web site. All Web material is driven by newspaper deadlines.
Editors choose their news according to the importance of an event to their communities. Breaking news and the actions of governmental bodies are important, but so is the award a club gave last week. Club elections, new projects, unusual actions, social events, personal milestones, awards, benefits that need public support, and community member participation in local, national or world events are all of interest to our newspaper editors. The information you give us is an important part of your community newspaper each week. Indeed, you are the news!
- Select one person from an organization to be in touch with the newspaper.
- Write for accuracy. Write everything down, check the spelling of names, and never trust your memory.
- Get your story to the newspaper as soon as possible.
- Know the newspapers deadlines.
- Let the newspaper know about an event before it takes place whenever possible.
- Use creativity. If you have an idea for a feature story, suggest it. Newspaper editors appreciate fresh ideas.
- Never try to obtain publicity from the newspaper by pressure of friendship or business connections.
We live in a world awash with information. The newspaper editor must make quick decisions regarding the newsworthiness of material submitted. So, when preparing your information, please keep the format simple, and give the most important details first.
Be sure to have what we call the 5 Ws in the text of your material.
- Who - First and last names, correctly spelled, of the people involved. Include appropriate personal and background information.
- What - a full, succinct and factual description of the activity, event or situation.
- When - the date and day of the week (make sure they match) and time. Include details on any upcoming deadlines such as registration or notification.
- Where - proper name of and full directions to the venue where the event or activity will take place.
- Why - reason(s) for the event or activity such as a benefit, anniversary, or special celebration.
Pictures are an important part of our newspapers and Web site. Sometimes it is possible to have a staff member take a picture.
If you think your press release merits a photo, talk to the editor about it. If a newspaper photographer cannot attend your event, take a photo yourself and include it with your story or release.
In some circumstances, we can give you a disposable camera to take your own pictures.
Always try for action, rather than posed, pictures. Write the description of the photo on a separate piece of paper rather than on the back of the photo, and list names left to right. Give credit by naming the photographer.
What We Do Not Want
- Personal opinions. If you want to persuade readers to attend an event, dont write that it is hilarious or brilliantour editors will delete opinions. Opinions belong in the letters and guest columns on the editorial page.
- Fancy formatting. Every newspaper has its own style, on matters as tiny as serial commas, so keep it simple and let the editors worry about it. Putting words in capital letters or italics just makes life more difficult for the editors.
- Impressive language. If readers will need a dictionary to understand your release, we will use the dictionary ourselves and substitute simpler words.
- Unnecessary modifiers. Since space is often an issue, we tend to cut qualifying adjectives, adverbs and any other terms that arent essential.
Getting News Published
Chances are, if you follow deadlines and concentrate on accuracy, your organization will make the news and your information will make it out to the community.
From week to week, editors never know how much space will be available for their use. Consequently, if space is restricted, stories and photos of events in which timing is not critical may be held for use in a subsequent edition.
Events and activities which might be of interest outside the immediate area will be considered for publication in the Compass section. Please note deadlines below.
Coming Events: Free listing for the two weeks prior to the event. Send separate information marked clearly. Follow format in listings or use the coupon form in the paper or on our Web site.
News of pre-planned events should always reach the editors desk well before the last-minute deadline rush. Learn your newspapers deadlines and keep as far ahead of them as possible. It is always best to stop by or call the newspaper office after the last issue has been published, rather than just before deadlines. Click here for our deadlines.
How To Reach Us
You can bring in material or mail it to any of our offices. Click here for our contact information. We receive faxes and welcome e-mail. Here are the details.
Castine Patriot 326-4383
Island Ad-Vantages 367-6397
The Weekly Packet 374-2343
__Accepted formats - Please send text in the body of the email or in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx). If you have any technical questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 367-2200.
__Digital photos must have at least 150 pixels per inch (300 ppi preferred), be at least 5 inches across (7 inches preferred), and must be in TIFF, JPEG, EPS, Photoshop or PDF format. Color is preferred. All JPEG compression should be "high quality."
Penobscot Bay Press does not take images off Web sites for any of our information products.