Tips, Photos, Letters - All So Easy to Submit
Send your news tips, your photos and your letters to the editors to us at thepilot.com. All three options are just a mouse click away.
Let's get to the news tips. A graphic has now been added to the website and sits over there on the right side about halfway down the home page. It's orange and blue and blares out "News Tip," practically begging the user to send in information that might lead to a solid story.
Many times in the comment section under a particular item, users leave details about a story, or they might suggest that something isn't quite kosher about a certain story. Or they might even veer off course from the discussion taking place and say, "Why hasn't (fill in the blank) been reported?" You are the eyes and ears of this community, and you can provide a valuable service by tipping us off to important developments.
Now, this doesn't necessarily mean a story will be forthcoming. There is still the question of manpower and newsworthiness of a tip. Editorial decisions will be made. Some tips will justify a follow-up story, while others may not. Or we may already have done a story you missed.
Staff reporter John Chappell, commenting on a story he wrote, had a good take on this subject. "Help us out, folks," he said. "Anytime you hear about some newsworthy event, call your local paper. ... We're all interested to hear anything new."
A telephone call is good - great, even. But if you're not really the telephone type, then feel free to accomplish the same goal by going to the website and clicking on that "News Tip" button. News organizations will readily admit that tips are where some good stories originate. Anonymous postings on our website have already led to some great story ideas right here at The Pilot.
That brings us back to ...
Comments: Ah, comments - the glory of the website and sometimes the bane of the same.
Things can get pretty spirited in the comment section, if not downright nasty. Part of the fascination with the comments section is the anonymity. Let's compare it to the ability of legislative bodies to go into closed-door sessions. The justification for that is that people are apt to be more candid if they can speak freely on the discussion taking place.
Well, on the comment section that surely takes place: speaking freely without worrying about what is said, because no one really knows who is saying it except the person posting - though there are notable exceptions, users who identify themselves and do not hide behind an alias
Which provides a good segue into ...
Letters: Letters to the editor are a different beast from the comment section. That is when individual readers take ownership of their thoughts and opinions, clearly stating who they are and where they live. Letters are checked to confirm authorship.
Letters to the editor are welcome and encouraged. Once again, the ability to send a letter to the editor is just a click away. With that one click, it lands in the newsroom of The Pilot, where it can be authenticated and then prepared to appear in the newspaper.
Whether the ability to post an anonymous opinion on the Web is -cutting down on print letters is hard to tell. Truth be told, a person who wants to make an impact or to be part of building a community is usually someone who wouldn't run from attaching his or her name to his or her thoughts.
It is easy to go to thepilot.com to submit your letter. Once on the home page, scroll over the brown bar until you get to "Your News." Then, in the drop-down menu, click on "Submit a Letter" and follow the instructions.
Photographs: Now, photos are another way a person can share with a community, and summer and photos just seem to go together. People are out and about, going on vacation, handling visits from grandchildren, working in their gardens, all kinds of activities taking place. We want to create a gallery to showcase user-submitted photos dedicated to the summer. All that is needed is the pictures.
Send in a photo the same way you submit a letter. Same routine. Scroll over the brown bar, stop at "Your News" and once the drop-down enu appears, click on "Submit a Photo." Follow the instructions.
We look forward to hearing from you, whether it be a news tip, a photo or a letter to the editor. It's all just a click away.
Contact Hunter Chase at email@example.com.
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