E-mailing news and photos 101

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In the past year and a half, the Cassville Democrat has experienced an explosion in the use of e-mail for submitting information to the newspaper. This change is one we've welcomed and encouraged, and we hope the technology has made it easier to submit information to us for our consideration.

But as with any change, certain problems and frustrations have cropped up. So this week we'd like to use this editorial space to offer some suggestions for e-mailing information to us. First of all, it's essential that you not just send an unidentified attachment. If we aren't familiar with your e-mail address, we won't open any attachments without some sort of explanation concerning their content. In the past certain attachments have caused havoc with our computers and we won't risk opening attachments we know nothing about. A concise explanation of what you're sending can be added to the message, or call us and let us know you're sending a certain attachment. In general, the best format for sending us information is to copy and paste the text into the body of the e-mail. That will help us avoid any communication problems between PCs and our Macintosh computers.

On another subject, we'd like to explain that we are unable to reprint everything you send to us by e-mail. From time to time, readers have sent us information that they'd like to see reprinted in the Cassville Democrat. We are prohibited by copyright law to print other people's work without their permission. If it's an opinion piece you find interesting, why not try writing your own thoughts on the matter and submitting them as a letter to the editor? We'd love to read your thoughts and consider it an honor to receive letters from our readers. Please remember to send your telephone number along with your letter so that we can confirm you as the letter-writer as per our written letters policy.

The increased use of digital cameras has also caused a sharp rise in the number of photos we are receiving via e-mail. Here is another area where trouble arises from time to time. Often the photos we receive by e-mail are of poor quality due to the way they are saved and sent to us. For the best results, put your camera on the best or maximum picture setting prior to taking the picture and send us the original JPGs. Don't try to resize the photo or change the resolution. We can do that on our end. If you have any questions about sending a photo, please call our office and ask to speak to one of our computer experts (Teresa or Veronica) and let them walk you through the process. This will ensure that we are able to use your photo and that the subjects in the photo come out looking clear and sharp in the paper.

On a final note, we need to make sure those who are submitting information realize that we often receive more items than we can possibly fit in one week's issue of the newspaper. As a result, we try to work the photos or news items in as quickly as possibly with time-dated material getting first priority. We ask for your patience and understanding in this matter. We love to hear from you and we hope these tips and suggestions will serve to make our e-mail communication stronger and more user-friendly. Have a great week and keep sending us your news.