We all have rules - even the newspaper


One thing I really enjoy about The Ogle County Life is that it is a community newspaper – a real community newspaper.

Now, I have spent my entire journalism career working at community newspapers – with one stint at corporate of a large newspaper company. I love smaller papers that serve communities by providing them with information that affects their daily lives.

But here, you – the readers – are a much bigger part of the paper. You submit much of the content to me for the paper. I take it, edit it and get it ready for publication.

And it usually works well.

Usually.

But there are times that I need to remind people of a few things. I am glad to run information provided by the public in the paper. It’s what this paper is all about. But we do have some guidelines that need to be followed. So here are some reminders.

* Deadline is 3 p.m. Wednesday. Firm. Not 8 p.m. Wednesday. Not 6 a.m. Thursday. Sure, there are occasions that deadline is changed due to a holiday, but that is rare. For new people submitting things, I try to be flexible. But deadlines are deadlines, folks.

* I can’t run everything you send me. Sure, it might be important to you, but I often have to decide what will and won’t run. It is nothing personal, but some things simply might not make the cut. Deciding what does and what doesn’t is my job, after all.

* Please, please, please send me submissions in the form of a press release. Please don’t just drop your flyer off here and expect it to magically be turned into a story. I don’t always have the time to do that. I’m sure you can find a basic press release form on the Internet. Please use it – it makes for a better news item.

* I get that fax machines were all the rage in the 1980s, but this is 2019. We prefer that news items be emailed. Even if you mail a letter, it has to be typed into the system. We are a small editorial operation (yes, just me), so email is critical to me being able to gather content for the paper. Please email me at [email protected] You can send all of your photos here as well.

* Please proof read what you send. Surprisingly, I sometimes get things that just don’t make much sense. And if you mail something to me with no phone number, I can’t reach out with questions. Reading something over doesn’t take much time, but can ensure your item gets in the paper.

* I love getting letters to the editor. I want to publish your opinions. But they must be signed, must have a city and must have a contact number. And please remember, letters to the editor – like all content – are subject to editing. And they generally run in the order they are sent.

* I understand that sometimes people want things to run in a certain issue, with very specific wording that they don’t want touched and want the item to run multiple times. We can certainly do that, but I will forward those to our advertising people. Just an FYI.

Again, I love this paper and the communities we serve. I have a great group of regular contributors and am thankful for all of them. If you have an item about a community event, please send it in. I will do my best to get it into The Life.

And please, send me your story ideas. There are many stories to be told, and I want to tell them.

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