Weekly newspaper

Weekly newspaper

A weekly newspaper is a publication that is published on a non-daily schedule - usually once a week, although twice-a-week papers are also common.

Such newspapers tend to have smaller circulations than daily newspapers, and are usually based in less-populous communities; often, they may cover a smaller territory, such as one or more smaller towns or an entire county. Frequently, weeklies engage in community journalism.

Most weekly newspapers follow a similar format as daily newspapers (i.e., news, sports, family news, obituaries, etc.). However, the primary focus is on news from the publication's coverage area. The publication date of weekly newspapers vary, but often they come out in the middle of the week (Wednesday or Thursday).

Some weekly newspapers focus exclusively on business news or sports.

Content

Many weekly newspapers follow a similar format:

News

Events such as a deadly car accident or house fire may be "colored," that is, include quotes from investigators and others affected. A reporter may include more information about an issue discussed at a city council or school board meeting in his/her story, especially if it is of great interest to readers.

Many weekly newspapers also employ correspondents (sometimes called stringers), who are usually paid on a per-story rate. Usually, they are assigned to cover general news and/or city council meetings and school board meetings from outlying towns in a newspaper's coverage area.

In the past, correspondents often submitted stories along the lines of "Mr. and Mrs. John Jones had company from out-of-town last week," although these types of stories – commonly called "Neighborhood News" or some similar name – are largely a thing of the past. In part this is because of waning interest, although many editors believe burglars and thieves use these stories to plan their crimes, especially if the story includes information about someone being on vacation.

ports

A weekly newspaper often covers sports teams from one or more area schools (mostly high schools), communities, or professional teams if any exist. Often, a sports reporter takes great ownership in a specific team and writes stories containing detailed accounts of games; several photographs of the game may accompany the story. Other stories preview games, usually between traditional rivals, to build interest.

Family news and obituaries

Family news pages are frequently the most read pages of a weekly newspaper. These pages include announcements of births, engagements, weddings, and landmark birthdays and anniversaries. Frequently, these stories are accompanied by photographs.

Also of interest to many readers are obituaries, or announcements of a person's death.

Editorial pages

Like daily newspapers, weekly newspapers often have an editorial page. While an editor or featured columnist may discuss issues of importance to readers, often they will write anecdotes, or first-person stories about humorous incidents.

Editorial pages also include letters to the editor, written by readers on a specific topic. Often, the letter is in response to an editorial or a story that appeared in a previous edition of the newspaper.

Sometimes, an editorial page will also include a column by a state legislator or other local elected representative from the newspaper's coverage area. These may also be called 'guest editorials'. The legislator will comment on issues and proposed bills being discussed at the state capitol or local council that local readers may be concerned about, and provide information on how to contact him/her if they want to discuss an issue.

Public record

The public record section usually includes summaries of police incident reports, fire department calls and court dispositions (or, the outcome of a criminal proceeding). Many newspapers also publish a list of building permits that have been issued in its circulation area.

Public notices

Public notices typically fall into one of two categories:

* Notices about hearings, advertisements for bids, financial reports, adoption of ordinances, planning applications, and other government activities which local governments are required to notify the public.

* Notices by the court system and/or law enforcement agencies. These can include such things as lawsuits, divorce settlements and foreclosures/property repossession.

Laws in many U.S. states dictate that a municipality or other government body must designate an official newspaper. The official newspaper is decided based on geographical area, and often more than one newspapers are given this designation. Official newspapers receive the government's public notices, and since they are considered advertising, it can be a source of revenue for newspapers.

Advertising

Weekly newspapers often have one or more advertising sales representatives whose job it is to sell display advertisements. Most advertisements are from local businesses (although some larger companies from outside the coverage area may advertise).

Other advertisements are called classifieds, which are placed by people who want to buy or sell something (such as a car or real estate), employers who have job openings, or property owners who have rental property available.

Along with paid subscriptions, a weekly newspaper receives most of its revenue from display and classified advertising.

Laying out the newspaper

Most weekly newspapers are laid out one or more days before the publication date. Sometimes, the layout of pages is staggered, to allow for multiple deadlines.

Like larger newspapers, most weekly newspapers these days are paginated (or laid out) using computer software, using programs such as Adobe PageMaker, Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress. Layout is the appearance of the page and includes photographs (along with cutlines, or captions identifying the photograph's content and people), copy (the text and its typefont), headlines and white space.

Copy is the main story on the layout, and is often typed and edited using a word processing program such as WordPerfect. The copy is saved to a hard drive or disk and later imported onto the pages. White space is the empty area between the other elements of the layout.

At many newspapers, reporters and editors use a digital camera to take photographs and download selected photographs using a card reader. Newspapers that still use 35-mm cameras often have a special negative scanner, which allows users to obtain more detail from a photograph than from a print. The photographs are cropped and edited using a program such as Adobe Photoshop.

After the copy and advertisements have been placed on the page, the editor will print out a proof and make any changes, if necessary; sometimes, he/she will consult with reporters on such things as double-checking facts, proofreading headlines and other copy, or writing cutlines for photographs. Once everyone is satisfied, a final proof is printed out and prepared for publication. The pages can either be placed on dummy sheets, burned to a CD-ROM or Zip disk, or sent to the printing press (either located at the newspaper office or an off-site publication plant) by e-mail or ftp site.

taff

Often, the staff of a weekly newspaper is smaller, with employees having several duties. For instance, a news editor may also sell advertising, while reporters could also be photographers.

The size of the news staff varies, depending on the size of the newspaper and its circulation area. Some papers have a staff of several reporters, with each reporter having a specific beat (much like a daily newspaper, with beats including schools, local government, business, police, etc.). Many smaller newspapers, however, may have as few as one reporter to cover the entire circulation area, meaning they are responsible for the entire content of the newspaper (e.g., government, business, schools, crime, features, etc.).

The experience of weekly newspaper reporters varies. Some may have years of experience (either they are satisfied where they are employed, and/or may be well-established in the community); others may be recent college graduates early in their career, and are trying to gain experience and/or clips.

Many newspapers have at least one news clerk, who is responsible for typing family news and obituaries, as well as news releases announcing upcoming events. A circulation manager keeps track of subscribers (this can range from only a couple hundred to tens of thousands of subscribers), and may also be in charge of classified advertising.

Family Owned and Chains

Many weekly newspapers started as family owned businesses, covering one or two communities and handling all editorial and business functions. Typically all business functions, along with the editor-in-chief would be family members, while non family members would assume reporting positions. As newspapers became more expensive to operate and family member declined to join the business, many weekly newspapers were purchased by larger chains of weeklies. Some family owned newspapers are operated as chains, with the family business operating weekly newspapers in multiple towns.

The chain newspapers can either be regional or national chains. Sometimes all advertising functions are combined, with a weekly newspaper containing both ads for local businesses and for businesses in the chains area. This larger circulation can assist in bringing in national advertising to weeklies. Weeklies in chains may also have a publisher overseeing several newspapers, with a specific editor for each newspaper.

ee also

* Alternative weekly
* Journalism
* Mass media
* Newspaper
* Community journalism


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