Friday, December 13, 2013

Providing Basic Information in News Release Makes it More Appealing to Local Editors

Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A news story must contain certain basic information to be appealing to a local editor or reporter.

According to David Burton, a civic communication specialist with University of Missouri Extension, media releases need to contain facts about who, what, where, when, why and how in order to make the information appealing.

“The first few paragraphs need to tell who the article is about or who said it, what happened, where it happened, when it happened and why it is important,” said Burton. “Don’t forget to also share who it happened to or how your bit of news is unusual.”

This basic information needs to be at the very start of a short media release, typically 200 words but no more than 400 words.

“If the editor or reporter wants more information for the story they will contact you. So save yourself and the editor some time and keep the release simple and put your contact information at the top of the release,” said Burton.

For more information about writing media releases that will get used, purchase a copy of the book: “Newswriting for Non-journalists.” The book is now available for purchase on or at the Greene County Extension Center. Direct to book on Amazon.

“It is a great tool for any community leader of volunteer that works with the news media or seeks to publicize community events,” said Burton, who edited and contributed to the book.

More information is available at or by calling the MU Extension office in Greene County at (417) 881-8909.


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