It's really very easy to get things in the paper... But you do need to remember some important things. Following are some instructions to help you.
First of all, know the DEADLINE ! Deadlines are necessary to assure there is enough time for the SIERRA STAR editorial staff to process your information. It takes time; the staff is small, there is a lot to process, including time spent out of the office working on stories. So, by all means, know the deadlines. We simply cannot "make an exception." We know your information is important to you, but we must have your cooperation and we must ask you to plan ahead to meet the deadlines.
You can also read about getting your information into the paper by lownloading our PDF booklet How to use the Local Paper
Web submissions - you can submit a news tip by using the form provided here
Here are some news categories, some basic instructions, and related deadlines:
FILE FORMATS We accept the following file formats:
- Photoshop (up to CS2), and the formats it will save, such as: PDF, EPS, TIF, JPG, BMP
- Illustrator (up to CS2)
- Microsoft Word FOR TEXT ONLY! Please send graphics individually, not placed within Word.
- Quark (up to 4.1)
- Multi-Ad Creator (up to 4.0.3)
For acceptable print quality files should be 170 dpi or better. For questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We invite non-profit organizations to submit brief reports on upcoming public events, such as pancake feeds, concerts, barbecues. Also included in this category is information about upcoming meetings and other special events that are open to the public.
Information must include date, time, location, cost to attend and one telephone number to call for further information. We also require the name and phone number of the person submitting the information.
DEADLINE: Thursday, 5p.m.
Churches are encouraged to submit information on the pastor's topic for the service that follows the Thursday of publication, in which MOUNTAIN CHURCHES appears. News about other special, public events may also be submitted.
Other information, such as regular public events may be included in "Other activities." Refer to the MOUNTAIN CHURCHES page for examples of the format used on this page.
We will not accept routine weekly activity lists for the news columns. That information can be included in the Church Directory- contact the Display Advertising Department for information.
DEADLINE: Thursday, 5p.m.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
We encourage readers to submit letters for publication in LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, a section of our weekly Commentary Page. Letters must be signed by the author and must include a daytime telephone number so we can contact the author for verification. Letters may not exceed 300 words, should discuss local issues and cannot be "open letters" to anyone. We do not accept letters submitted to other newspapers, we encourage you to also write to other papers, but expect a differently-worded letter for LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. Please use our online form to submit a letter to the editor.
The Commentary Page also includes guest columns and we welcome contributions of up to 500 words, also discussing local issues.
Families are encouraged to submit detailed information about the life of relatives who have died. A special form is available for this purpose or, when possible, discuss the life with a reporter. Of special interest is information concerning the activities, hobbies and personal achievements. Information must include the date and city of death, and of birth.
Generally, your funeral director prepares an obituary form that includes basic information but usually does not include as much detail as we prefer. Please note that we have a general format for such stories and we cannot always exactly follow text that is submitted. (There is no charge for an obituary, but paid advertising can be used to assure exact language preferred by the family.)
A face photograph can be used; the photo will be returned as soon as we have processed it for use in the paper. (Processing does not harm the original picture.)
DEADLINE: Monday 12pm. It helps to alert the editor as early as possible that obituary information is coming, and it is sometimes possible to submit portions of information past deadline.
DEADLINE: Friday, 5p.m.
ANNIVERSARIES, ENGAGEMENTS, WEDDINGS, BIRTHS & BIRTHDAYS
We are glad to help you submit news about events such as wedding anniversaries (25th, 50th and longer), engagements and weddings. Forms are available for engagements and weddings (at least one party must be a Mountain Area resident or recent former resident).
For anniversaries, consult a reporter so that we get information we need.
Information about a wedding must be submitted within 30 days following the ceremony so that it has news value.
BIRTHDAYS We will consider stories about special birthday events, where unusual circumstances are involved in the celebration. "Unusual" is a judgment of the reporter.
BIRTHS We accept information about births, but the information must reach us within 10 days following the birth. We have a form; we use limited information according to our format.
Yes, you can take pictures and submit them ... but be warned that photographs are very tricky. The quality needs to be good. Polaroid-type pictures are seldom of good quality for reproduction. Digital images work well, but must be of an acceptable quality for print.
Dont create a mob scene for the picture. Three or four people is the maximum; more than that and the chances of your picture being used diminishes.
The people need to be doing something. We will not use a picture of people passing a check as they smile, and shake hands. Such pictures, and closely similar setups, are known as grip and grin and simply are not as usable in the SIERRA STAR.
(If the point of a picture is presenting a donation, figure out something to show what the donation is being used for and make this the subject of the picture. For example, Kiwanis donates to the library to buy books. The picture should include a representative or two from Kiwanis at the library with someone from the library staff displaying a sample book purchased as the result of the donation.)
You can request the help of our news team, but appointments need to be scheduled well in advance, and we usually cant help on Mondays and Tuesdays, our busy production days for the newspaper. Evening appointments, and weekends, are doubtful; we need personal time and a life of our own, too.
You need to help us when the picture is being taken by providing names and other information. (Remember, spell those names right!) Identify people left to right and those in front, then those behind. If there is no particular order, provide us with other information such as tall man with glasses and older women with striped dress.
A technique we recommend is to ask people to remain in place, then pass a note pad among them asking them to PRINT their names as they prefer to see them in the paper.
If youve made an appointment for one of us to do the photograph, be certain everyone understands they need to be there at the appointed time. We cant wait! Have all the props aprons, pancake turners, etc., ready.
If youre submitting a photograph you hope we can use, be certain it is properly identified. Dont write on the picture with ink; dont use staples or cellophane tape.
Pictures can be submitted via e-mail email@example.com. When emailing large images keep in mind many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) limit the allowable sizes of emails. If your images are particularly large you may not be able to send them through your email. You may bring in your USB flash card to the SIERRA STAR.
Please be CERTAIN to date your contributions. Information that does not include your name and telephone number cannot be used.
Betty Linn / publisher 49165 Crane Valley Road  Mail: Post Office Box 305 Oakhurst, California 93644-0305
Telephone: (559) 683-4464 Fax: (559) 641-7680
editorial email - firstname.lastname@example.org