How to contact the Times West Virginian
Times West Virginian
P.O. Box 2530
Fairmont, WV 26554
Publisher: Titus Workman
Editorial: Eric Cravey, editor
Circulation: Jerry Ferguson, director of audience developent
Advertising: Cathy Morrison, advertising consultant
Information Technology: Jon Petersen, IT manager
Guidelines and deadlines
Some of the guidelines and deadlines for regular columns in the Times West Virginian are given below. Email is always the preferred method for items to be submitted.
The Community Calendar lists community events and is published daily. Meetings, bake sales and other events open to the public are announced in this column. Information must be submitted in writing or by e-mail to email@example.com. The deadline for Community Calendar is 3 p.m. Wednesday the week before publication.
News items about church activities are published on Saturdays. Announcements must be in writing and received before noon Wednesday. Submit items to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News items about job promotions and changes are published on Sundays in the business section. Items must be received in writing by noon Wednesday. Submit items to email@example.com.
This column lists arts and entertainment events. It is published weekly on Thursdays. Items must be received in writing by noon, Monday to appear this week. Feel free to submit photographs of bands, artists, etc. with your release. Put a return address on the back of the photo if you want it back. Art groups that would like a feature story on their shows or plays or exhibits should call several weeks in advance. Contact the newsroom at (304) 367-2540, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Engagements, Weddings, Birthdays and Anniversaries
These items are published on Sundays. The deadline is 5 p.m. on the Friday (10 days) before publication. Call 304-367-2540 or email to email@example.com for information. Please put what type of announcement it is in the email subject line (i.e. Birthday, Anniversary).
The deadline is 5 p.m. To submit an obituary, visit http://obituaries.timeswv.com, click "Create an obituary," and follow the instructions. If you have any questions, call 304-367-2507 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's what we call our letters-to-the-editor department. The Times West Virginian welcomes letters and publishes them as soon after we receive them as possible. The letters are subject to being edited for accuracy, length, grammar and libel concerns, and letters must be 500 words or less (about 50 typed lines). Writers must sign their name and give their complete address. We must have, but don't publish, a daytime phone number. Contributors who write frequently are limited to one letter a month. We don't use "open" letters (those addressed to another person), form letters, or letters that have appeared in another paper. Letters can be sent via e-mail to email@example.com.
Contact an editor
It's the job of editors decide whether a story should go in the newspaper. Newspapers have editors in charge of various departments such as news, sports, lifestyles, arts and entertainment and photography. If you're unsure of which section you want to deal with, contact the managing editor.
Editors whom you may want to contact at the Times West Virginian are:
Editor Eric Cravey, (304) 367-2523
News Editor Austin Weiford, (304) 367-2543
Sports Editor/Assistant News Editor Stephanie Panny, (304) 367-2544
Getting into the Times West Virginian
Most organizations and clubs want news of their activities published in the newspaper to make the community aware of worthwhile things they are doing. Many individuals also have story ideas or information they want printed in the Times West Virginian. Not everyone, however, knows the best way to arrange for publication. We hope this page will help you.
Usually organizations are interested in two types of stories. The first is short announcements of meetings and events that appear in listings of community, church or entertainment events. These items are easy to get into print. Here's how to do it:
Put it in writing. Email is preferred. If you are mailing something, give yourself plenty of time. It may take a couple of days for mail delivery. Give some indication -- and leeway -- of when you want the information published. For example, ask that the news item appear during the week of March 21. You can email the information, mail it, fax it or drop it off in the Times West Virginian newsroom.
The Times West Virginian, 300 Quincy St., Fairmont, WV 26555
Fax information to (304) 367-2565
Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will make every effort to get your information printed as soon as possible. List a name and phone number of someone who can be reached during working hours in case there are any questions. Remember that because of the number of organizations and space limitations, your announcement will be published free only one time.
The events you want publicized should be open to the public and not organizational matters, such as committee meetings and private parties.
Often groups have a special project or program that they believe merits a longer story. Perhaps a special speaker is coming to town or an organization is celebrating an anniversary. And individuals may know of people or events that they believe would make an interesting story. Here are some hints on how to get a feature story published. Call and check with an editor about your idea well in advance of the event. It is better to call the newsroom in late morning or early afternoon when editors and writers are not on deadline. Write down the name of the editor or reporter to whom you are speaking. If you need to talk with an editor or reporter in person, it is best to set up an appointment. Newspaper people work irregular hours and are frequently out of the newsroom.
For club news, it is a good idea to follow up your phone conversation by sending a short note or news release to the person you spoke with. Your note may remind the editor of your feature idea and a reporter may be assigned to do a feature story. If not, at least the information in your release will probably be published.
News release guidelines
All news releases should have a name and telephone number of the person submitting the information. A release date -- when you would like the information to be published -- is also helpful. Many news releases simply say "For immediate release."
News releases should answer "The Five W's:" Who? What? When? Where? and Why?
Who -- Who's sponsoring the program? Who will speak? Please usethe full name of the organization. Not everyone knows what abbreviations or acronyms (such as DAR, NAACP, WV-COGS) stand for.
What -- What's the purpose of the news item? To publicize a project? To recruit members or volunteers? To announce a visiting speaker?
When -- Be exact. Not just Tuesday afternoon, but 2 p.m. Jan. 25. Always use dates.
Where -- Again, be exact. Include room and street numbers if applicable.
Why -- This generally isn't needed in routine club announcements.
However, if a special meeting is being called, then your release should say why it is being held.
When you submit an announcement or a news release, you are acting as a reporter. We assume you have provided accurate information. Please double check times, dates and phone numbers. Above all, make sure the names in your release are spelled correctly. If the name has an unusual spelling, use the symbol (OK) after the name so we know that the spelling is correct.
Also, please let us know if a meeting has been canceled or its location changed so we can make a correction before your news item appears in print. Please type or print your news releases. Illegible handwriting is a major cause of mistakes.
The newspaper business differs from many others in that it must meet specific deadlines. If you don't meet a deadline, your item may not be published. Deadlines vary for different departments. When in doubt, call the newsroom at 367-2540.
The Times West Virginian relies on its photographer when possible to take photographs for news stories. However, submitted photos can sometimes be used. Photos promoting a coming event must be meaningful and visually attractive. Requests for staff photos should be made well in advance of the event.
If you submit a photograph with your news release, please put the name and address of where it should be returned on the back of the photo. In the publishing process, the story and photograph are separated. Without a name on the back of the photograph we have no idea to whom it belongs. And please don't submit a photograph that has a lot of sentimental value to you. There's always a chance that the one photograph we lose will be the one that's irreplaceable to you.
Have a news tip?
The Times West Virginian is part of the community and wants to report news that would be of interest to our readers. Don't feel intimidated about contacting us. We won't be able to do stories on every idea or news tip that we receive. But we won't know about any of them unless you tell us. Call (304) 367-2540.