Most organizations and clubs want news of their activities published in the newspaper to make the community aware of worthwhile things they are doing. Many individuals also have story ideas or information they want printed in the Times West Virginian. Not everyone, however, knows the best way to arrange for publication. We hope this page will help you.
Usually organizations are interested in two types of stories. The first is short announcements of meetings and events that appear in listings of community, church or entertainment events. These items are easy to get into print. Here's how to do it:
Put it in writing. A postcard will do. Give yourself plenty of time. It may take a couple of days for mail delivery. Give some indication -- and leeway -- of when you want the information published. For example, ask that the news item appear during the week of March 21. You can mail the information, fax it or drop it off in the Times West Virginian newsroom.
The Times West Virginian, 300 Quincy St., Fairmont, WV 26555
Fax information to (304) 367-2565
Send e-mail to email@example.com
We will make every effort to get your information printed as soon as possible. List a name and phone number of someone who can be reached during working hours in case there are any questions. Remember that because of the number of organizations and space limitations, your announcement will be published free only one time.
The events you want publicized should be open to the public and not organizational matters, such as committee meetings and private parties.
Often groups have a special project or program that they believe merits a longer story. Perhaps a special speaker is coming to town or an organization is celebrating an anniversary. And individuals may know of people or events that they believe would make an interesting story. Here are some hints on how to get a feature story published. Call and check with an editor about your idea well in advance of the event. It is better to call the newsroom in late morning or early afternoon when editors and writers are not on deadline. Write down the name of the editor or reporter to whom you are speaking. If you need to talk with an editor or reporter in person, it is best to set up an appointment. Newspaper people work irregular hours and are frequently out of the newsroom.
For club news, it is a good idea to follow up your phone conversation by sending a short note or news release to the person you spoke with. Your note may remind the editor of your feature idea and a reporter may be assigned to do a feature story. If not, at least the information in your release will probably be published.