We gladly print your news items and photos. We only ask that your items involve Branchburg or Readington in some way. Examples would be upcoming events; citizens’ achievements; news about hometown businesses, clubs, churches and schools; friendly neighborhood gossip; etc. Look through our current online issues and you’ll get the idea. Our tone is friendly, non-political and enthusiastically pro-hometown.
Items involving Branchburg should go to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Items involving Readington should go to: email@example.com
We specify our deadline for news items and photos for each paper as the 15th of the month previous. This means if you want something in the January issue, please submit it by December 15. Items received after the 15th of the month become iffy — sometimes they get in the next issue, sometimes not. We aim for our printed issues to be delivered to mailboxes right around the first of the month. The internet issues are posted on the web about the same time.
Emailed text is best, as simple as possible. Beware of “Word” and PDFs
The best way to submit news and photos is by email. The best format is just plain text in an email message, just as if you were writing to a friend. Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, Acrobat PDFs and other attachments are often time-consuming for us to pull text from. If you have a news item in Word, Acrobat or a similar program, it’s best to just copy and paste that text into your email message. It will only take you a second or two to do this, and then we don’t have to figure out and convert the many word processing versions out there. We can just merrily copy and paste your text into our system. Thanks!
Remember the “Five Ws” in your news items
No matter how short your news items, it’s always best when they include the old, classic “Five Ws of Journalism.” Yes folks, the old “What, Who, Why, When, Where,” as in:
1. What happened?
2. Who was there?
3. Why did it happen?
4. When did it happen?
5. Where did it happen?
If your items include the answers to these questions, you’ll earn an “A” in Branchburg journalism. (Of course, if you’re writing about future events, just answer the same questions from the standpoint of “What will happen?, etc.”)
Send photos as simple JPG attachments
Most digital cameras and scanners save photos in the JPG format. That’s just how we like them! Please attach photos to your email message just as they came out of the camera or scanner. There is no need for cropping or resizing on your end or turning them into black and white. “Raw” photos are best. If you’re sending photos from a mobile device, again, just email them as taken.
A photo taken in normal horizontal format is easier for us to work with than a photo taken with the camera turned 90 degrees to create a vertical format. (In layout, it’s easier for us to turn horizontals into verticals than vice versa.)
Usually it’s best to send us just one photo per news item. Just pick the best one. If we need more than one, we’ll contact you.
When taking or choosing photos for the paper, please remember to consider how the “lighting” looks. If the sun or a bright light is behind your subject, the subject will often appear dark, especially the facial features. We try to fix photos like this, but sometimes it’s difficult.
Please don’t send photos that have been inserted into Word documents or other programs. Those photos just turn to dots when we process them.
Why didn’t your news item get in?
The most common reason is a “space problem.” One of the little secrets of printing our papers is that we can’t just add or subtract one, two or three pages if we receive too much or too little news material for a particular month. Based on the ad layout, we add or subtract pages in multiples of four — that’s how the printing press works. Things don’t always add up, so sometimes we have to make tough decisions on making the paper bigger or smaller. We try to base those decisions on timeliness of your material. Please don’t take it personally if your stuff doesn’t get in a particular month — it’ll probably be in the next month! And of course, we try to be perfect, but sometimes we lose or misfile stuff.
About “negative” articles and letters to the editor
Our newspapers run very few negative opinion items. As monthly publishers, we can’t provide timely opportunity for rebuttals. But we’re glad to hear your opinions — sometimes we can turn opinions into articles that wouldn’t require rebuttals.
Don’t have email capability? Use regular mail or fax
Again, email is best, but you can send news items and glossy photo prints by regular mail to:
The Branchburg News or The Readington News at PO Box 5351, Branchburg, NJ 08876
News items can also be faxed to 1-800-530-3046. Of course, faxed photos can’t be used in the papers.