Friday, January 03, 2014

Extension Survey Gathers Submission Tips From Editors

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The best way to get your articles, releases, events and news stories in print is to do everything possible to make life easier for the local editor or reporter.

“That means well-written, concise submissions that emphasize a local connection and news copy that does not need a lot of editing,” said David Burton, civic communication specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

According to a survey that Burton conducted in 2002 with newspaper editors and reporters in southwest Missouri, the second most important thing to do is to meet deadlines.

“If you represent an organization or business that will be making regular submissions to a media outlet, meet with the editor or beat reporter to ask about deadlines. It is also a good idea to ask about personal preferences regarding submissions and delivery methods,” said Burton.

It is always best to submit typed articles. If a community volunteer has to submit something that is hand-written make sure it is legible. The editor must be able to read it in order to use it.

“In this extension survey, editors also suggested letting the local newspaper know at least a week in advance if something notable will be happening. It is also a good idea to find out what topics interest your local editor and to respect the editor’s local news judgment,” said Burton.

Burton says it is also a good idea to stay in touch with the local editor and don't call only when a favor is needed or a complaint needs to be shared. At the same time, remember editors have other stories to work on.

Five other suggestions from local editors: use statistics when possible, provide strong local content, use "bullets" to attract interest, list sources and alternative sources for follow-up, and consider doing follow-up stories on events.

“Especially with weekly newspapers, Monday is typically the busiest day of the week. Avoid going by or delivering information on Monday if at all possible,” said Burton


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

“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.

Since 1914, Greene County residents have sought help from Extension in areas related to agriculture, gardening, 4-H youth, nutrition, families, business and community development. Members of “Friends of Greene County Extension” contribute financially to make it possible for Extension to continue having a positive impact on the quality of life in Greene County, Mo. To learn how you can help go online to or call the Greene County Extension Center at (417) 881-8909.


Post a Comment

Let us know how you have been helped by this article or what you have learned from this story.

<< Home