, Gloucester, MA


July 20, 2013

Why Did My Newspaper Do That? Getting your items into the Times

Of all the questions I often get here at the Times, the most common one is one of the most basic: “How do I get something into the paper?”

My basic answer is equally as simplistic. I tell the person that he or she just needs to send it in.

But how? To whom? And what kind of information do we or don’t we need?

There are actually many answers to all of those questions, but here are at least some general answers – and some dos and don’ts, whether folks are looking to send in listings for their or their organization’s upcoming community, photos and items for our weekly Friends & Neighbors page, letters to the editor, sports signups and other such items, or news tips.

What’s the best way to send us information. First and by far the best is via email. I know some folks don’t have or aren’t fluent in computers — and don’t be discouraged; we still welcome those readers who bring items to our office right here at 36 Wittemore St., or who sometimes still submit various items by fax.

But think of it this way: when you send in an item to me or to one of our other editors or coordinators via email, we can simply create a file in our own editorial system, call up your submission, drop it into the new file, and, after reviewing and some editing, send it on its way. In the case of items brought or faxed to the office, our staffers here have to take the submission and retype it into a new file in our system, and that’s frankly how mistakes can happen, especially in the case of a lengthy letter to the editor or other community item.

We’ll also get occasional calls from folks whose GoingsOn or Calendar event is coming up within the next few days, they’ll ask if they can just give us the info over the phone, and our answer is virtually always the same: No.

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