We, at the The Hoosier United Methodist Together, are always looking for news stories. We rely on our readers to alert us to potential news stories. If you have a story idea, check it against the following questions. If it still seems appropriate, contact Editor Dan Gangler at 317-924-1321 (toll-free 877-781-6706) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Is your story of interest to a large number of Hoosier United Methodists? Or is it relevant to a local church alone? News space is very limited, and with more than 1,200 United Methodist congregations in the Indiana Conference, we need to prioritize information with a broader range of interest. Good local stories are usually most appropriate for the church or district newsletter – possibilities too often overlooked. Sometimes a congregational story also will be of interest to the community weekly or daily newspaper as well. The Hoosier United Methodists Together regularly publishes:
- Milestones – major church anniversaries, groundbreakings, first-ever major events and other such milestones in local church life;
- Names in the news – church lay and clergy leaders who have made news recently.
- Is it timely? If it happened one or two months ago, it’s old news; timely stories take priority. Please keep our deadline in mind: it’s the 15th of the month prior to publication, but the sooner we get the information, the more likely we’ll be able to follow up on it.
- Has there been a similar story in Together recently? If so, chances are small that we’ll be able to follow up on your idea. With so much news and so many good stories to tell, we usually won’t do a story similar to one we’ve done within the past year.
Could you write it yourself?
If your story idea passes the first three criteria and is accepted, please consider writing it yourself. Some of our best stories have come to us in this way. With staffing and time limited, we’re always glad to welcome “volunteer reporters” once we’re sold on the story idea. There are many excellent writers among Hoosier UMs and we like to hear from them. A note of caution: Please query the editor (Dan Gangler) on the idea first. He’d like to discuss it with you and help you plan it. As with all information published in Together, submitted stories are edited for clarity and length.
Could it be told with a photo?
Some stories are best told by a photo alone. Most stories are enhanced by a good, compelling picture or two to help illustrate the copy. Talk with the editor for some tips, but try to do it before you begin to shoot.
Basic guideline include: Get action, get close, get it in focus and – please – get the names spelled right. We accept high-resolution digital images at 300dpi and good quality photo prints. If you are not sure which photo to send, pick two or three.