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Uploading Tips (Editorial)

Headlines

  • Can often be the subhead, but not always
  • May need to be more specific (if they simply say “town supervisor” without specifying the town for example) or may need to be less specific (if they cite the name of person or business who isn’t widely known- in that case, better to use their title)
  • Should sum up story on their own
  • Need a verb
  • Should be no longer than 12-15 words
  • Should be interesting

Excerpt

  • Should sum up the story.
  • Can be a paragraph from the story, usually near the beginning, or some combination of sentences. Or you may need to sum it up yourself.
  • If you’re stumped, just use the first paragraph.

Image

  • Best image from the story for featured image
  • Use multiple images in post if they’re available, especially if it’s a longer paywalled story
  • Watch out about giving the wrong idea- people react to images without reading the story. Examples: (1) A pre-pandemic file photo of a crowd that could be interpreted as present day; (2) A photo of a person or place from an obviously different season; (3) A stock photo from an obviously non-Hudson Valley place in an article about a specific Hudson Valley place.
  • Make sure featured image doesn’t crop out heads on Facebook- crop down to a 600×380 ratio with head-room
  • Do your best to not use copyrighted images. When using something from Flickr or Wikipedia, link to the source in the caption.

Category

Use one category; two at most

Paywall

  • The strategy as of summer 2020 is to upload roughly half of the non-blog, non-press release posts as paid, half as free.
  • The basic idea is that we are charging for things people can’t anywhere else (scarcity) and not charging for things that are freely available elsewhere (many of which are likely to attract a lot of visitors, which lets us maintain most of our pre-paywall traffic).
  • Basic rules for a free post: If it’s a story other papers are likely to have or have already run, and ours is not significantly better, and it’s likely to be very popular. Examples include crime, emergencies of any kind, breaking news, re-written press releases, election results. Usually relatively short.
  • Basic rules for a paid post: The inverse. A story other papers aren’t likely to have, like pretty much any long feature or super-specific news story about an ongoing issue in one of the towns (like a development of some kind or a wide-ranging discussion over an issue like pedestrian safety or policing). Long features, specific news coverage, local community coverage.

Situation: Editor sends you press release to post

Solution: Remove PR language, sum things up, break into quotes. A fast way to do this is to sum it up, like an excerpt, then paste the rest in as “blockquote.”