Drawing a fine line

Dear readers,

I love my job, I really do. Occasionally, however, it gets difficult. I’m not talking about the stories I report, though whenever I have to go to court or end up at the scene of a crash, those moments are hard. No, this week, I’m talking about the fine line between press releases, news and advertising.

It’s not always a fun topic.

My job is to report the news, which I do to the best of my ability. I try my hardest to be present all around Madison County – oftentimes that means figuring out how to be in both Twin Bridges and Sheridan at 6 p.m. on a given Tuesday. I wish I could be in two places at once, but I can’t. That’s why I rely on you guys. I appreciate your willingness to answer my phone calls and respond to my emails.

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand what is hard news, though. For instance, is the county remodeling one of our airports? If the answer is yes, that’s hard news, and you’ll find an article on it in the paper.

Caitlin and I try to make it to as many community events and gathering as possible, but we can’t make it to all of them. That’s why we always ask you to take a photo, write a quick caption and send it in to us. We’d love to get it in the newspaper.

An even trickier part of the news business to understand is the difference between news and advertising. Believe me when I say that we at The Madisonian want to get the word out about events and businesses. We do. Generally, we can advertise for events in our calendar section (or you can submit anything yourself on our free online event calendar, www.outpostevents.net) and – depending on space – we may be able to fit it in our Around the County section. But here’s the difficult catch. Information about upcoming events, sales, performances and things like that is not the kind of news we report. It’s advertising, and we’re more than happy to work with all of you to get rolling on that front. Just give Susanne a call at 682-7755.

Trust me when I say that we’re just a phone call away. If you ever have a question about the fine line between press releases, advertising and news, give us a call or email me (editor@madisoniannews.com).

And also take this to heart: We love hearing from all of you. We want to know what is important to you guys, and we want to work with you to make this a better paper for our communities every single week.



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