Learn how to contribute
to The Oakland Press
How will this help you
Have you ever wondered how to get information in the newspaper? Are you a business owner, public relations professional or volunteer who wants to get events/business information featured in the newspaper? Do you regularly come across things you think are newsworthy and then, never see it in The Oakland Press? Do you have a son or daughter who has accomplished something in school, won an award or is in an organization, such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, that you wish would be recognized in the paper? Do you ever pass by a car accident and wonder what happened? Are you looking to get into the journalism field and want experience?
This workshop will teach you what to do!
How this helps us
• We need you to be the eyes and • •
ears of Oakland County After a focus group, we learned that several readers wish there was more "happy news" in the paper. When you hear of story ideas in your community, tell us! We do not have enough staff here at The Oakland Press to give all local communities the coverage they deserve.
How to submit a calendar item
Who: Pontiac Kiwanis Club What: Chicken barbecue Where: Pontiac Lake Park When: 5 p.m. June 26 Why: Fundraiser Example: The Pontiac Kiwanis Club will hold a chicken barbecue fundraiser 5 p.m. June 26 at Pontiac Lake Park, 7800 Gale Road, in Waterford. Call 248-666-1020.
Online calendar submission
•Visit http://theoaklandpress.com/calendar/submit/ and fill out our online form. Need date, time and description.
Print calendar submission
•Email print submission to firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance of event. Items are not guaranteed to get printed due to space constraints, so make sure to submit online, as well.
Eventful (coming soon)
•A new interactive online calendar that allows you to upload images along with your event news. •Readers can purchase tickets with a click of the button. •Readers can share links to events on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and email. •Easy to search for events by venue, near you or by category.
Events home page
Event detail page
How to submit a press release or story
If your press release is written like a newspaper article, it is more likely to be printed. Do not give your opinion in the press release. And do not say how "wonderful" your organization is...unless, of course, you are using a quote. Also NEVER send a press release in a pdf. Editors and reporters hate this. o With pdfs, we can't copy and paste a story. And, when we have other press releases ready to print as it is, we are more likely to use those. After sending a press release, call the editor or reporter to follow-up. o I have about 2,000 emails in my inbox. So, when I get a call about a press release, I won't overlook it. Send a photograph with your press release if possible. And MAKE SURE to include the names of the people who are in the picture
Examples of community contributed stories
Writing a lede
•Lede = the first sentence of your story •Lede should be direct, to the point •Use short sentences in story and eliminate unnecessary words (no flowery language, this is not a novel).
• Who, what, where and why • Tells or summarizes the facts of the story; the most • • • •
important information Used most often with stories written in inverted pyramid style Create interest and indicate importance of story Give information quickly Helpful to audience who skims
Why is the lede so important?
• Readers have a short attention span. If your first sentence isn't interesting, they won't continue reading. • Put MOST IMPORTANT early on. Readers should not have to hunt for the news!
What information is most important?
• Police chief John Jones discussed the city’s crime
problem with interested townspeople at a meeting Monday night. • Jones agreed to meet with residents who have grown increasingly concerned about the safety of their neighborhoods. • The chief said more serious crimes were reported here in the last 12 months than during any year in the city’s history.
Try to write a summary lede
• • • • •
Utica Boosters Club gave annual awards at banquet Friday night Jose Flores, president of club, presided Charles Becker, former mayor, named “Man of the Year” For work with the club’s youth program Sam Smith, owner of Smith’s Grocery at 1100 S. Main, received “Best Booster” award for attending all meetings of the year
The Utica Boosters Club named former mayor Charles Becker its “Man of the Year” at its annual awards dinner on Friday. The Utica Boosters Club honored former Mayor Charles Becker as its “Man of the Year” for his work with the club’s youth during its awards dinner on Friday.
ALWAYS USE THIRD PERSON
NEVER EVER USE FIRST PERSON!
Larry Norman, vice president for enrollment services, said enrollment at our school increased in 2005. Correct: Larry Brown, vice president for enrollment services, said enrollment at Rochester College increased in 2005.
Never put in your opinion
• Community contributors are no different than journalists when sharing news. • A journalist's job is to give people all the facts and every side of the story, and let people decide for themselves! • Journalists needs to be in the middle!
• • •
Use quotes — whenever you want to use opinion ATTRIBUTE to someone within your organization "Said" is a neutral word — use repeatedly Never write, "she exclaimed," "he cried," "she whispered" Can said "he said with tears in his eyes" Put quotes when writing word-for-word what someone said.
Don't begin a lede with a date (slows down reader) • Do not include day in first sentence unless it happened 24 hours ago or less or if it's in the future • An announcement is almost always more important than the person making it. Put the info first.
o Incorrect: Palace President Tom Wilson announced that parking will be free at all Palace events for the remainder of January. o Correct: Parking at all events held at the Palace of Auburn Hills will be free for the rest of January, said President Tom Wilson.
Who to send it to
• To send press releases about
events, nonprofits or announcements, email Community Engagement Editor Monica Drake at email@example.com or call at 248-745-4687. Send business news to editorial assistant Kathy Blake at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 248-745-4666.
Sports and entertainment PR
To send a press release about a high school sports game, a student's sports accomplishments, etc. email Sports Editor Jeff Kuehn at email@example.com or call him at 248-725-4682. Send entertainment press releases, such as information about upcoming play, concert, restaurant opening, art exhibit, to Entertainment Editor Nicole Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 248-745-4542.
•The Oakland Press welcomes letters to the editor and guest columns. •Keep a letter under 250 words. •Guest editorials should be under 650 words with an accompanying mug shot of the writer. •Include your name, address, telephone number and email address for verification purposes. •Email email@example.com
Letters and guest opinions should offer commentary on issues in the news whether they be local or national; an exception is when an organization reaches out to raise awareness of a cause or event that has a substantial impact on the community. Letters can be written from the heart while lengthier guest opinions are typically more fact-based.
To send breaking news
• • •
If you see an accident while driving, you pass by a fire, you hear about a theft, etc. call our news tip line at 248-745-4699 Add this phone number into your contacts If you don't get through on the tip line, email Local News Editor Julie Jacobson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Online Editor Steve Frye at email@example.com.
Another way to send breaking news
Make a Twitter account Compose a new Tweet (140 characters) telling about the breaking news (i.e. car accident and where). At the end of your tweet, add @theoaklandpress. This will get sent directly to us. You can also add a photo that you took to the tweet for us to use by clicking Tweet sports photos to @miprepzone.
Examples of breaking news
• • • • • •
Car accident Fire Theft (or anything police related) School evacuations Missing person Missing animal
Send a feature story idea
Do you have an idea for a feature story? Examples of feature stories: o Important item at city/township/school board meeting o Fundraiser for child with cancer o Oakland County resident lands role in movie o Construction projects Email Local News Editor Julie Jacobson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 248-745-4632.
Who covers each community
DUSTIN BLITCHOK email@example.com — Pontiac, Brandon, Ortonville, Holly, Springfield, Groveland CHARLIE CRUMM firstname.lastname@example.org — Politics DIANA DILLABER-MURRAY email@example.com — Education, health MONICA DRAKE firstname.lastname@example.org — Suburban Life; Community Media Editor, Clarkston RYAN FELTON email@example.com — Rochester/Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, transportation, technology CAROL HOPKINS firstname.lastname@example.org — Waterford, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Twp and Hills, White Lake, Highland ANDREW KIDD email@example.com — Automation Alley, Auburn Hills, Lake Orion/Orion Township, Oxford, Opinion Page DAVE PHILLIPS firstname.lastname@example.org — Courts, general assignment MEGAN SEMERAZ email@example.com — Troy; Southeast Oakland JOHN TURK firstname.lastname@example.org — Police, Oakland County Commission
Take a photo
Rule #1: Be safe. Don't take a photo while driving.
If you see an accident or fire and your phone is on you, snap a photo Email the photo with a caption to email@example.com or Tweet the photo If there are people in the picture, make sure to include their names and the community where they reside Include your name so we can give you credit for the picture
Submitting a community photo
• • •
Focus photos (make sure they aren't blurry) You can also send community photos to be featured A couple times each month, we have a full-page "Corkboard" in the paper. This features community submitted photos, such as check presentations, schools events, awards, etc. For these, make sure people are in the picture!
Community photos (cont.)
• • •
During playoffs for each sports team, we print photos of community members dresses in their Tigers, Red Wings or Lions gear. Also, during the holiday season, we print selected photos. Again, make sure people are in the photo and make sure to include a caption (with names and community) Submit your community photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us on Tout
•15-second videos •120-character limit •Write your caption like a Tweet with @mentions and #hashtags (add @TheOaklandPress at end of each Tout) •Film in landscape mode
•Record in the field or from your desktop
•Promote your event, share breaking news or slice of life •Retout, share on Twitter, share on Facebook, via text or email.
Easy to get started
Create a video, upload it to your YouTube channel and share the embed code or link with us. A video can complement your preview story of an event or complement your coverage or ours.
Getting a YouTube video link
It's as simple as copy and pasting the YouTube's video link. Email to email@example.com
It’s easy to livestream video of a presentation, organization’s meeting, government meeting, interview or event. All you need is an Internet connection and a webcam. On uStream, your video can be recorded after the livestream and archived on your channel. You can share the embed code or video URL with us.
Community Media Lab on uStream
Community Media Lab’s uStream channel: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/heritage-community-media-lab
Introducing Southeast Michigan Media Lab
What is a community media lab
The idea behind the lab is to bring the audience in the newsroom and train community contributors in digital media. We attract people from across the region to our free workshops and for individual training. We provide a learningbased and collaborative environment, as well as a vehicle for the community to document and chronicle the important events that will shape its history, using our newspapers and websites as the vehicle to share that info.
Check us out on YouTube
Follow the lab on social media
Emerging Social Media New Hive
Emerging Social Media Tools On NewHive http://newhive.com/digitaljrn/welcome-to-the-southeast-michigan-medialab?q=%40digitaljrn On RebelMouse https://www.rebelmouse.com/CommunityMediaL/
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How we have helped Helped the Washtenaw Democrats, Saline Area Chamber of Commerce and individuals set up Twitter accounts Helped owner of Lavin Lift Strap set up a YouTube account to share their product demonstration videos Helped local senior citizens set up personal Facebook page and Craig’s List account Helped local comedian edit video for her blog Helped local business owners and nonprofits write news releases Helped local residents, business professionals and nonprofits set up blogs and linked them on our news websites
The lab offers free workshops to the community Google Drive Blogging Social media tools: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ Marketing Photography and video Editing audio Freedom of Information Act and citizen journalism Online safety Visual interesting storytelling tools News writing Column writing Photo editing Creating a wiki
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Find out about our workshops
We’re on Meetup.com http://www.meetup.com/Southeast-Michigan-Media-Lab-in-Ypsilanti-atSPARK-East/ And Facebook/Events https://www.facebook.com/CommunityMediaLab/events?ref=ts
For more information
Contact Michelle Rogers
Director of Community Engagement and Editorial Training Twitter: @DigitalJRN Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 267-229-6037
Contact Monica Drake
Oakland Press Community Engagement Editor Twitter: @monica_adele Email: email@example.com Phone: 248-996-2824