The Three Questions Every Community Newspaper Editor Asks

When an editor of a community newspaper receives your news release, he or she is going to ask three questions to determine if they’ll either publish it or discard it.

The first question they’ll ask is: Is the topic of this news release really news? An editor defines “News” as something that is:
• Actually new;
• Unusual;
• Unexpected; or,
• Has a big impact (affects a large number of people). In fact, the larger number of people affected by an event or an announcement, the more interested editor will be.

The second question the editor will ask: Is there any kind of tie to the local area my paper covers?
You might have the most incredible news story ever, but if it does not have some type of connection to the specific community the paper services, then the editor of that paper there will not publish it.

And in the case of special interest publications, such as a business journal, a sports magazine or an ethnic newspaper, an editor will ask a third question: Is this story of interest to my specific readers?

You wouldn’t send a sports-related story, for instance, to a Hispanic publication unless there is some sort of tie to the Hispanic community. And you wouldn’t send a Hispanic-related story to a sports publication unless there is a sports angle to the topic.

So when you are thinking about writing a news release, ask yourself the same questions:
1) Is this really news?
2) If so, which papers should I target in which communities?
3) And, are there any special interest publications that might also be interested in this story?

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