Share Your News

Ideas and suggestions to help you and your organization, church, club, school or family get your news to “The Freeman’s Journal,” “Hometown Oneonta” and (reprinted from our pamphlet, “Sharing Your News”):

A. What Is News?
B. Where Does News Come From?
C. Writing a Press Release
D. What about Photographs?
E. E-mailing is Best
F. Meeting Our Deadlines
G. Ensuring Your News Is Covered
H. We’re Working Hard for Our Community

A. What Is News?

“News” is any event or story judged to be of interest to our local readers—items about, or of concern to, those of us here in Otsego County.

News items can either be “hard news” or “features.” The former refers to timely events, including elections, meetings, sporting events, and much more.

Features, also known as human interest stories, cover a wide spectrum of possibilities. Neighbors who excel at certain crafts, hobbies or sports; family members recognized for their accomplishments, a new and exciting business venture—all are examples of feature stories. Features do not necessarily have to be timely to be considered publishable.

B. Where Does News Come From?

Some of our news comes from the hard work of our dedicated reporters nosing out a story, but another large portion comes from items submitted by individuals and groups. Our news briefs sections and the calendar of events are comprised largely of items sent to us—whether through the mail, fax, e-mail or by telephone. The best way to let us know about your story is in the form of a “press release.”

C. Writing a Press Release

A press release is the best way to get information to us. When preparing a release, be sure it is legible, accurate and complete. Hard-copy press releases should be either typed or printed on letterhead or plain, white paper. Electronic press releases sent to are the quickest and easiest way to get your information to us.

Begin by typing “Press Release” in the upper left-hand corner of your document. Below that, type “Contact:” followed by your name and telephone number. This information is essential, in case we need to ask you questions about your news. Also include a release date (the day you would like us to begin publishing your news).

In the event that we cannot print your information in its entirety—something that we find occurring more and more often as people send us more news to include in our publications—organize your material so that the most important information is first in your release, then the next most important, and so on.

Be sure your release is complete—we can’t help people get to your club’s event, for instance, if we don’t know when and where it will be held. Stick to the facts, use simple and clear writing, and be sure that all names, organizations, places, etc., are properly spelled and are properly identified. And please double-check any dates.

D. What About Photographs?

We are more than happy to publish photographs sent in by readers. They should be clear, sharp, and in focus enough to reproduce well in both newsprint and online. Beware of heavy shadows in the photos you submit, as newsprint tends to be about 30 percent darker than your photo, and we want to be able to see those beautiful faces!

Relevant information should accompany the photo, clearly identifying those pictured and telling us what they are doing, and when and where they did it. Do not write on the back of any hard-copy photos—this usually makes an indentation visible from the front.

If you mail the photo to our office, protect it with heavy cardboard and write “Photograph—Do Not Bend” on the outside of the envelope.

Should you wish to have a photo returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, or arrange a time to stop by our office and pick it up.

E. E-mailing Is Best

The wonders of technology have allowed us all to be in closer communication, and that’s no different here at our office. We welcome submissions of press releases, photos, letters to the editor, calendar items and more via e-mail. In fact, we prefer to receive your news in this way.

Be sure to follow the above guidelines when submitting your material online, but also keep in mind the following items: To be sure our computers can translate your files, please copy and paste your information into the body of an e-mail and also attach it as a text (.txt) document. Include the words “Press Release” in the subject line. Attach photos as .jpg or .jpeg files. Be sure the photos are crisp, and be sure they people, places and things in them are identified.

F. Meeting Our Deadlines

In order to produce quality, timely publications for you, our readers, we must set deadlines for submissions. We print a great volume of news for free as a community service each week, as space permits. To ensure the best chance of your news making it into our publications, the information should be in our office by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

For example: Your church group is having a bake sale on Saturday, July 15. “The Freeman’s Journal” is published each Thursday—July 13, in this case. Therefore, in order for your news release to be included in that week’s edition of the paper, the information needs to be in the editor’s hands no later than Sunday, July 9. This includes calendar items as well.

G. Ensuring Your News Is Covered

Both “The Freeman’s Journal” and “Hometown Oneonta” have limited news holes. Please keep this in mind as you decide whether or not to run an advertisement in addition to sending your news release.

We cannot guarantee all news will be covered, but we can guarantee all paid newspaper advertisements will appear in both newspapers AND on the website. We also offer web advertisements with premium placement options, to help get your information to our online audience.

H. We’re Working Hard for Our Community

We know that you value the information you receive each time you read “The Freeman’s Journal” and “Hometown Oneonta.” The best newspapers serve as a critical part of their communities. “The Freeman’s Journal” has been doing just that for 215 years. That’s why we take our responsibilities very seriously.

We welcome your news releases and photographs. We take great pride in printing the information about your high school and college graduates, just as we are proud to cover the latest resolutions of town and village governments.

The readership of “The Freeman’s Journal,” “Hometown Oneonta” and is on the rise, and we want to make sure your news is in the mix. We look forward to printing your news in the future and, what’s more, we appreciate you taking the time to send it to us. “The Freeman’s Journal,” “Hometown Oneonta” and are not ours—they’re yours. Without your input, we’d have nothing to say. So, thank you. Thank you for making “The Freeman’s Journal” Otsego County’s newspaper since 1808 and for enabling us to bring “Hometown Oneonta” and into the fold.

Putting the Community Back Into the Newspaper

Special Subscription Offer

Now through September 30, new annual subscribers to “The Freeman’s Journal” and have an opportunity to help their choice of one of four Otsego County Charitable organizations.

$5.00 of your subscription will be donated to the nonprofit of your choice:

Community Arts Network of Oneonta, Cooperstown Art Association, Helios Care or Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.