goleader.com is the
Internet arm of The Westfield Leader and The Scotch Plains -
Fanwood Times and became live on the Internet on December 31,
1996. With the growth of
Internet communications, goleader.com now receives hundreds of
thousands of visitors from around the country and over the world.
The preponderance of our visitors are residents and businesses
from the region, repeat users, our newspaper subscribers, those in
New Jersey, those previously from New Jersey and those directed to
our site from the search engines.
for Stringers and Submissions:
Newspaper: The newspaper,
which is usually between 20 and 22 pages, is divided into the
front and back section. The front and jump (where long front page
stories continue) focus on breaking news stories, government
meetings and important town occurrences - stories that are
specially written for the paper and contain bylines. The jump
contains the police blotter. Page four is the editorial page,
which contains editorials and letters to the editor. The remainder
of the front section includes wedding announcements, birth
announcements, obituaries, educational news, community news,
religious news and columns by area clergy members. Press releases
make up part of the paper, along with some more in-depth features.
The back section is headlined by "The Week in Sports",
which contains coverage of Union County games and statistics. The
"Arts & Entertainment" pages are typically last and
are made up of entertainment-related features; reviews of theatre,
books and local events; and the weekly "Popcorn" movie
review column. The back section also includes classified ads, real
estate news, legal advertising and extra community news.
of articles: A large part
of our articles pertain to meeting coverage. Covering a meeting
includes full attendance of the meeting, applicable post meeting
interviews and photography of some of the issues relating to the
meeting’s events. Some possible meetings and events that could
be covered are Town Council meetings, Board of Education meetings
(Westfield, Mountainside, Scotch Plains, Garwood, Fanwood), Board
of Adjustment meetings and Planning Board meetings. At
times we do investigative journalism which may include long-term
probes of issues related to towns, their officials, etc.
Conducting an interview requires thorough knowledge of the subject
matter and the individuals involved in the story. Be sure, whether
using a pen and paper or a tape recorder, to get all quotes
accurately and to attribute them correctly to those involved.
Sports articles require that the event be attended, stats provided
and photos and applicable interviews conducted. Critiquing a
theatrical production or music concert also requires attendance
and commitment to staying throughout the event and interviewing
those involved in order to supplement the story. Book reviews will
be handled separately. Although we occasionally accept columns, we
do not pay for the submission. Suggestions and ideas are always
welcome. All assignments are made by the assignment editor, Paul
Policy: Editorials are
generally written by one staff-member and revised/edited by other
editors. In-house copy-editors and senior editors review the
stories emailed to us from stringers and check for reliability of
the facts, proper grammar, clarity and language usage. Our
in-house staff generally edits all stories for style, conformance
and space considerations. It is ensured that each story has
a correct lead paragraph. If questions arise during the editing
process, stringers may be contacted for further information
in order to clear up any discrepancies. Please be sure that you
have supplied the in-house staff with a number and/or alternate
telephone numbers where you may be reached.
Style: The Westfield
Leader and The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Times draw some
aspects of style from The New York Times; referring to a Times
style manual, which is available in the office, can eliminate some
errors. More importantly, it is helpful to refer to well-written
pieces in our newspapers. When writing a story, especially a news
story, use the inverted-style, putting the most important
information in the lead and working your way to the less important
information in the story.
Elements to remember:
Don't write in first person (not, I did this and I said that).
Report objectively; while more colorful adjective and verbs can be
used in sports, entertainment and feature stories, hard news
stories should be completely objective and not suggest the
Headline: Suggest a headline for your article; it is
subject to change.
Numbers: Write out numbers one through nine (one, two,
etc.) For all others, use the number (12, 146, etc.).
Write out the word; do not use the % symbol (or other keyboard
symbols). When using a percent, always write out the number, even
if it is 1 through 9.
Mr., Mrs. or Ms.: When first mentioning a person in an
article, use his/her full name without a title. Then, replace the
first name of individual upon the second mention of the person in
title of Dr. is used only for medical doctors - those with PhDs or
doctorates will not be referred to in this way.
Time of day: Morning or afternoon, are written as a.m. and
p.m. in small letters with periods. (not AM or not PM).
Dates: Write without subscripts or superscripts. Example:
September 14 should NOT be written as September 14th.
Subscripts or superscripts: Don't use them (caution: Word
sometimes does this automatically). Spell out first grade, second
Capitalization: Only for proper names of organizations.
(Westfield Town Council); Use small letters for the borough, the
council, the town, the board, etc.
List Commas: Do not put a comma before 'and' of a list.
Ex.: Boy, girl and frog.
Spelling: Spell Check all documents with Word - do not have
any red highlights shown.
Grammar: Grammar check all documents with Word - do not
have any green highlights of grammar or punctuation.
Double Spaces: Eliminate all double spaces between
sentences; sentences should be single spaced. The Replace function
Underlining: Never underline, or use all caps unless it is
the proper title for a magazine. Put in italics: movies,
albums, operas, plays, magazines, newspapers Put in quotation
marks: television shows, songs, books
Names: Use full name only once and provide the abbreviation
in parentheses; for example: Westfield Board of Education (BOE);
afterwards use only BOE.
Sentences: Keep them short, and avoid run-on sentences;
limit use of compound sentences.
Background: Reader may be reading about this subject for
the first time. Provide brief references; don’t assume they know
everything about the story.
Lead/Introduction: In the first Paragraph, list important
happenings. Write about important items first, not what happened
The author’s name is written in all caps: By PAUL J. PEYTON
Byline2: Reads: Specially Written for The Westfield
Leader and The Times
Before the Lead: Include the town in which the
story takes place in all caps: WESTFIELD – If the story spans
several towns, write AREA –
Press Releases: When
writing press releases, try to include concise information that
quickly and efficiently tells the reader what is happening. If
you're announcing or reporting on a certain event, it is good to
include when and where the event occurred and some brief detail
that gives the reader the general idea. Make prominent in the
press release information that shows the local importance of the
subject of the release. Including a few quotes is also an option.
Also helpful is adding, at the end of the press release, a phone
number, email address or street address that can be contacted for
more information. When announcing a student's graduation from high
school or college, selection for a Dean's List, etc., include when
the student graduated, what degree he/she obtained, any honors or
distinctions he/she achieved, and perhaps plans for the future,
along with their parents' names and the high school from which
they graduated. In the case of election to a Dean's, President's,
etc. list, include the eligibility guidelines for this honor.
Joanna Richardson, daughter of Philip Richardson and Diana Edkins
of Westfield, received the Bachelor of Arts degree at the one
hundred and seventy eighth commencement of Kenyon College, located
in Gambier, Ohio, on Saturday, May 20.
senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) presented the commencement address.
Joanna graduated with a
double major in international studies and Spanish.
photographs are a key component to layout of any newspaper or
publication. We expect out staff to use digital cameras, the
photos can than be brought to the office and downloaded or
e-mailed to the appropriate editor. Photos should be at least 200
dpi resolution, JPEG format and in color. If you are attending a
concert, board meeting or election night activity, always have a
camera handy to capture a photograph to accompany your story. If
you do not have a digital camera, speak to your editor about he
availability of one of the in-house cameras. Most digital cameras
today produce resolutions high enough for publishing in the
newspaper (do not use low resolution, 72 dpi). Do not crop the
photo. We will do this and make final contrast and color
adjustments. The photo caption should provide the 5 W's -
who, what, why, where and when.
and Submission of Stories: All
stories should be e-mailed by a cut and paste format into the text
box of your email. Only photos should be sent as attachments. This
is to ensure that viruses do not invade or disrupt our computer
system. Articles should be e-mailed to the appropriate category:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not know which category the
article should be sent to please send it to email@example.com.
Your stories should be submitted as early as possible in order to
give our editors enough "lead time" to review them
before publication. Check with your editor for due dates and
times. If your meeting has been canceled at the last minute, your
computer broke down or you are having trouble meeting your
deadline, please call the office immediately at (908)232-4407, and
speak with the publisher or assignment editor. If it is after
business hours and no one is in the office, call Horace Corbin at
Policy: A stringer shall
not work for or submit stories and photographs to another
newspaper or publications that is in direct competition with The
Westfield Leader and The Times. Violation of this
provision will result in dismissal of services. All
articles, submittals and photos are the property of The
Westfield Leader and The Times.