Feb. 23, 2010 — It’s hard to keep up with the newest innovations of technology. The latest is the new smartphones that not only can send and receive phone calls (an old-fashioned way of communicating, or so it seems), send text messages, e-mails and photos almost instantaneously to almost anyone in the world.
These smartphones have opened a new door to the world of newsgathering and while the news staff still believes in sending out reporters and working the beat angle, we are recognizing people can’t be everywhere at once. We need to rely on what is being coined the citizen journalist — the people who call us about breaking news or e-mail us news stories and photos. The news staff takes that information and checks the facts for accuracy. The editor then decides if the story is legitimate and the staff goes from there to generate online news items and stories for our weekly editions.
The biggest hurdle is getting those breaking news items when the office is closed — namely weeknights and weekends. The question had always been how to solve that issue without increasing manpower. The Lassen County Times has implemented a new e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you see something happening, send us a quick note with the basic who, what, where, when, why and how to the new e-mail address along with a picture, if you have that capability. Also send us your name and how to contact you. Without contact information, we probably won’t even look twice at your e-mail.
Our goal is to get on the story as quickly as possible and get something up on our Web site alerting our readers of the news, if we determine it is true.
The new e-mail and its logistics are in its infancy so bear with us. As with anything, it is only as good as the people who use it.
Therefore, we are asking our readers for information on traffic accidents that close roads, area fires, unique stories or events and anything that is urgent.
Remember the e-mail is email@example.com. Put it in your smartphone or address book on your computer. Of course, not everything submitted may get published.
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