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Finding News: How to Fill Newsletters and Journals - FGS Wiki

Finding News: How to Fill Newsletters and Journals


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'''A Challenge'''
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==A Challenge==
  
 
Finding good material to publish is often a challenge for editors of newsletters and journals. The ideal content will be interesting, informative, useful, or original—preferably all of the above. Finding enough of this kind of news to fill issue after issue requires an editor to be resourceful, skillful and imaginative. The editor who is successful must:
 
Finding good material to publish is often a challenge for editors of newsletters and journals. The ideal content will be interesting, informative, useful, or original—preferably all of the above. Finding enough of this kind of news to fill issue after issue requires an editor to be resourceful, skillful and imaginative. The editor who is successful must:
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Above all, accuracy should be the trademark of any periodical. A goal of educating or enlightening a reader helps you to identify the type of material to include. To “entertain” simply means to present and format the material in a manner that appeals to readers.
 
Above all, accuracy should be the trademark of any periodical. A goal of educating or enlightening a reader helps you to identify the type of material to include. To “entertain” simply means to present and format the material in a manner that appeals to readers.
  
'''Finding Content'''
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==Finding Content==
  
 
Obtaining enough good content to publish is easy with a staff of dependable and skilled reporters. But few genealogy editors enjoy the use of a staff. Instead, the Busy-B Method of finding news may help you, as it has helped me generate news to fill 60-plus issues of FORUM.
 
Obtaining enough good content to publish is easy with a staff of dependable and skilled reporters. But few genealogy editors enjoy the use of a staff. Instead, the Busy-B Method of finding news may help you, as it has helped me generate news to fill 60-plus issues of FORUM.
  
'''The Busy-B Method'''
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==The Busy-B Method==
  
 
<ul><li>Band</li>
 
<ul><li>Band</li>
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<li>Borrow</li></ul>
 
<li>Borrow</li></ul>
  
'''Band'''
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==Band==
  
 
You may not supervise a staff but you can still lead a band. A volunteer band, that is. Gather together reporters, columnists, content acquisitions people, proofreaders, or content advisors. And don’t forget the production person who does the actual layout (under the editor’s guidance, of course) and a mail team.
 
You may not supervise a staff but you can still lead a band. A volunteer band, that is. Gather together reporters, columnists, content acquisitions people, proofreaders, or content advisors. And don’t forget the production person who does the actual layout (under the editor’s guidance, of course) and a mail team.
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Occasionally an FGS board member will recommend a writer or suggest the reprint of a particularly good article they read. In this case, the perk to the board member is a thank you note from the editor and a mention following the article that this was brought to the attention of FORUM by (name). It’s not much, but it is something.
 
Occasionally an FGS board member will recommend a writer or suggest the reprint of a particularly good article they read. In this case, the perk to the board member is a thank you note from the editor and a mention following the article that this was brought to the attention of FORUM by (name). It’s not much, but it is something.
  
'''Beg'''
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==Beg==
  
 
Begging is never beneath an editor’s dignity. Beg readers to submit ideas or clipped material,
 
Begging is never beneath an editor’s dignity. Beg readers to submit ideas or clipped material,
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Begging means to ask for an article, to follow up with a letter, e-mail, or phone call, and then to politely pester the writer until you receive the article. And all good begs include a request for an illustration.
 
Begging means to ask for an article, to follow up with a letter, e-mail, or phone call, and then to politely pester the writer until you receive the article. And all good begs include a request for an illustration.
  
'''Beat the Bushes'''
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==Beat the Bushes==
  
 
Beat the library, archives, and public records office bushes, that is. Scour your region for unusual records or news that is of interest to readers. Then, expand the content or create an article with a “twist,” a slightly different angle than what a reader might expect.
 
Beat the library, archives, and public records office bushes, that is. Scour your region for unusual records or news that is of interest to readers. Then, expand the content or create an article with a “twist,” a slightly different angle than what a reader might expect.
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<li>key: make contacts early enough to accommodate their schedules.</li></ul>
 
<li>key: make contacts early enough to accommodate their schedules.</li></ul>
  
'''Brainstorm'''
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==Brainstorm==
  
 
Keep an idea clipping file. It is very helpful when someone tells you they would write if only they knew what to write about. You promptly hand them a topic list that you carry at all times!
 
Keep an idea clipping file. It is very helpful when someone tells you they would write if only they knew what to write about. You promptly hand them a topic list that you carry at all times!
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Note: the operative word here is submit, not write. Directors may compose an article, but many elect to delegate the writing to a third party. Some of FORUM’s best articles were referrals by FGS directors.
 
Note: the operative word here is submit, not write. Directors may compose an article, but many elect to delegate the writing to a third party. Some of FORUM’s best articles were referrals by FGS directors.
  
'''Barter'''
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==Barter==
  
 
To barter means to “exchange in trade,” or to share skills. Editors have been known to write articles for sister publications in exchange for an article for their own magazine. Your area of expertise or research may not exactly fit the scope of your own periodical. But it fits some periodical. And that editor may be able to provide a story in return, or know of someone else who can.
 
To barter means to “exchange in trade,” or to share skills. Editors have been known to write articles for sister publications in exchange for an article for their own magazine. Your area of expertise or research may not exactly fit the scope of your own periodical. But it fits some periodical. And that editor may be able to provide a story in return, or know of someone else who can.
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View neighboring editors not as competitors, but colleagues. And barter your way into a good article.
 
View neighboring editors not as competitors, but colleagues. And barter your way into a good article.
  
'''Borrow'''
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==Borrow==
  
 
I hesitate to even mention “borrow” but reprinting material from other publications has become a way of life for many editors. And there’s really nothing wrong with borrowing as long as reprints do not fill 50% or more of the periodical and as long as you are using the material with caution.
 
I hesitate to even mention “borrow” but reprinting material from other publications has become a way of life for many editors. And there’s really nothing wrong with borrowing as long as reprints do not fill 50% or more of the periodical and as long as you are using the material with caution.
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And always, always: give credit to the publication from which you borrowed and cite the original source, if different.
 
And always, always: give credit to the publication from which you borrowed and cite the original source, if different.
  
'''Buff'''
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==Buff==
  
 
To buff means to polish—or shine—what has just been written. Sometimes it just needs a little energy added. Energized writing does not need to be cute or chatty. It does not mean annoying your readers with frequent underlining, boldfacing, or lots of exclamation marks.
 
To buff means to polish—or shine—what has just been written. Sometimes it just needs a little energy added. Energized writing does not need to be cute or chatty. It does not mean annoying your readers with frequent underlining, boldfacing, or lots of exclamation marks.
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Instead, energize by terse, even telegraphic writing, using the 15:5:5 theory:
 
Instead, energize by terse, even telegraphic writing, using the 15:5:5 theory:
  
<block>15: no sentence more than 15 words
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<ul><li>15: no sentence more than 15 words</li>
  
5: no paragraph more than 5 sentences
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<li>5: no paragraph more than 5 sentences</li>
  
5: no article more than 5 paragraphs</block>
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<li>5: no article more than 5 paragraphs</li></ul>
  
 
Buffing also means that, after writing, editing, energizing, and formatting, comes proof reading. It is critical. You cannot guarantee accuracy nor enlightenment, if an issue is filled with mistakes. Yes, you might entertain readers, but few of us want to see our hard work be turned to comedy because of grammatical or typographical errors that should have been eliminated.
 
Buffing also means that, after writing, editing, energizing, and formatting, comes proof reading. It is critical. You cannot guarantee accuracy nor enlightenment, if an issue is filled with mistakes. Yes, you might entertain readers, but few of us want to see our hard work be turned to comedy because of grammatical or typographical errors that should have been eliminated.
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One or more of these six “B’s” for finding content should help you to meet the challenge of filling your periodical.
 
One or more of these six “B’s” for finding content should help you to meet the challenge of filling your periodical.
  
[[Category:Strategies for Editors]][[Category:Luebking]]
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[[Category:Strategies for Editors]][[Category:Journals]][[Category:Luebking]][[Category:Newsletters]]

Latest revision as of 08:09, 30 August 2013

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