by Ray Small
Why does the Gazette need community journalists?
Two reasons: to survive (that’s a biggie) and to provide better coverage of your town (also very important). Like many local weekly newspapers, the Gazette needs to change its business model – or close. Volunteer journalists can do a great job covering events in their towns. Our experience in Greensboro and Craftsbury has proven that this approach can work. Really well.
Do I need experience in journalism?
Nope. The most important attribute you need is a desire to share what’s happening in your town with your neighbors. The Gazette will edit, format, and publish your article. A news article should answer some (or all) of the following: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
What topics can I write about?
Pretty much anything that you think folks in your town should know about: select board meetings, school board meetings, school and community events, what’s happening at the library or historical society or church or care center or general store or community organization, or something interesting that someone in town has done. Or something I didn’t put on this list.
How about photos?
When does the Community Journalism program start?
Our first issue will be published on Wednesday, January 12. The holidays are coming up, but it’s not too early to think about what you might write about. Our deadline is Mondays at noon, but we love to get submissions early. Ridiculously early is not too early.
How many articles does the Gazette need?
For larger towns, like Hardwick, two or three articles a week. For smaller towns, an article every week or so will do the trick. Of course, we’d be happy to get more than that, but we don’t need a huge number of articles for this effort to succeed.
What if not enough people submit content?
Sadly, and reluctantly, the Gazette will be shut down.
What if I have questions or need advice?
An easy first step is to look at articles published in the Gazette: What do they cover? How are they written? If that doesn’t do the trick, send your question(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to help out via email, over the phone, or over a cup of coffee (COVID permitting).