We at The Davis Enterprise are dedicated to promoting activities that will enrich our community. But as we strive to help publicize events offered by local organizations, we have a responsibility to all of our readers to provide news that is balanced, timely and newsworthy.
Thus, the basic criteria for deciding what will be printed in a newspaper are two: newsworthiness and reader interest.
Keeping that in mind, here are some tips on how to submit news releases:
Preparing a release
Do not feel that you must be an accomplished writer. It is up to the reporter or editor to revise your copy for newspaper style; your task is to be well organized and present complete information so that it can be easily read and understood.
The news release that will most quickly and favorably catch an editor’s eye will:
• Be sent as simple email text or a Microsoft Word attachment. Email is preferred by editors because it can be downloaded without additional typing or scanning. If you are sending an attachment, be sure to
explain the item in the text so we don’t think it’s a virus. If your message bounces back, please phone us at 756-0800 and we will add your email address to our white list.
• Or, be a neatly typed release with double spacing on one side of a clean, letter-sized sheet of paper. This is if you are mailing the item or submitting it in person.
• Be written in standard upper case/lower case format — It’s often difficult to tell whether something would be capitalized when written in all capital letters.
• Have a lead paragraph that clearly states the facts of the story: WHO are the important people involved with the event; WHAT is to be going on; WHEN it is happening, with specific reference to dates and times, including advance reservation dates if appropriate; WHERE the event will happen, with a specific and complete address; and WHY the story is being written. Often you’ll want to say HOW the event is happening, i.e., the guest speaker is in town to receive an award for his or her achievements.
• State a reservation deadline at the top
of the story, not the bottom where it may be overlooked by a hurried editor.
• Have words that are all spelled correctly — especially the names. A small check in pencil above a name with an unusual spelling will tell the editor the spelling has been checked and is correct. If the submission is by email, please put (sic) for “spelling is correct” next to unusual spellings for names.
This is one of the reasons news writers usually will not take news releases over the phone. The danger of misunderstanding the spelling of names or other information is too great. The other reason, of course, is that reporters simply don’t have time to take information that way.
• Not have acronyms. Spell out the name of your organization or association, at least in the first reference. And in case the editor may have questions about the information in the release, put your name and daytime phone number at the top. Please also include a phone number readers can call if they have questions or need to make reservations.
• Be complete with correct times and places.
• Be submitted two weeks ahead of the date of the event or the deadline for registration.
We also welcome photo submissions. To be eligible to run in the paper, they must be sharp and of good contrast. We accept color or black-and-white prints, slides, or digital files via email. Emailed photos must be scanned at full-size, at least 200 dpi and sent in a .jpg format. No Web shots or Polaroids, please. And make sure to include caption information explaining the photo and identifying everyone pictured.
Our main office phone number is (530) 756-0800; our fax number is (530) 756-1668. The office is at 315 G St. in downtown Davis. General news email is: [email protected] General sports email is: [email protected]