November 6, 2013

Details are important when submitting news items

I’ve been around the Press-Republican for quite a long time — 1977, to be exact — and I am grateful to the many editors who have taught me a variety of newspaper tasks.

While my favorite pastime is writing this column, I also love sharing the stories of people in the North Country.

I also have the opportunity to help out with weekly news chores, including the Community Calendar.

Just one look at the calendar, which runs on Fridays, tells you the newspaper receives many submissions, some just in the nick of time, others four months ahead of time. They can add up to hundreds a week. Having the complete information for each listing is vitally important.

Please allow me to make some suggestions, in a helpful manner, not a critical one:

Every submission should answer the the five W’s of basic journalism: who, what, when, where and why, plus how.

Who is sponsoring the event? What is the event? When will it begin and end and on what day? Where is it being held, including street number, name, town, special room, if applicable? What is the purpose of the event? Then, how will all of these details be brought to fruition. 

To break it down further, let’s say a spaghetti supper is planned at the American Legion in Lyon Mountain. If you are new to the area, you might not know specifically where the American Legion is.

In addition, summertime in the North Country is a big draw for tourists. A lot of people carry a GPS in their car and would have to punch in the exact address, 3958 Route 374, in order to find the American Legion in Lyon Mountain.

Details on what is going to happen at the event are important. Families with small children probably wouldn’t want to attend a turkey shoot or a nighttime tour through the catacombs of Fort Ticonderoga.

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