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GHS Newsroom
  • News Cube: Community partner journalism profiles

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  • What CPJ profile options are there? Here is a list of the templates available:
    1. Teacher or professor profile
    What is it? A template to profile teachers, college professors and other educators.
    Why should we do this? Parents are interested to learn about their child’s current teachers and those who could educate them in the future.
    How do we use it? Send a letter to principals or public relations directors seeking their involvement in the feature. In the letter, ask to have the form filled out and mailed or e-mailed back to the newspaper by a certain date with a photo. Include a PDF of the prototype included on this page so the official understands what the feature looks like.
    The content:
    • Biographical information: Name, age, hometown, education, background, family, interests and
    hobbies.
    Q&A: Here are five questions to ask and run the best three responses.
    • How they ended up being an educator and why.
    • A teacher or professor who inspired them and how.
    ­­• Someone in history or current events who inspires them and why.
    • The greatest challenges in education today.
    • Advice for someone who wants to go into education.
    2. Public safety official profile
    What is it? A template to profile police officers, firefighters and other public safety officials.
    Why should we do this? This format allows readers to learn more about those who serve and protect the community.
    How do we use it? Send a letter to police and fire department chiefs or any other public safety department in your community. In the letter, ask the organization to be part of your  public safety weekly feature. In the letter ask the chief to fill out the form. Request that the chief send a photo of the employee and return the form as soon as possible. Include a PDF of the prototype included on this page so the chief understands what the feature looks like.
    The content:
    • Biographical information including: Name, age, hometown, education, background, family, interests and hobbies.
    Q&A: Here are five questions to ask and run the best three responses.
    • In several sentences explain how the person being profiled ended up in public safety and why.
    • Someone who inspired them and why.
    • Greatest challenges in their field.
    • Advice for someone who wants to become an officer or firefighter.
    • Something about the line of work that most people don't know.
    3. Student profile
    What is it? A template to profile high school and college students.
    Page 2 of 8 - Why should we do this feature? Many schools provide newspapers information on students of the week or month information, but often the information is buried on a community or education page and looks like any other submitted piece of content. Finding an anchored place for this kind of content to live and having it appear on a regular and consistent basis will create more participation for this kind of content.
    How do we use it and manage it? Based on the number of schools you have in your area, create a rotation for this feature. Send a letter to each principal and explain the feature and seek their participation. Provide a date when you would like to have the form and photo submitted each week or month.
    The content:
    • Biographical information: Student's name, age, hometown, grade, GPA, background, family, interests and hobbies.
    Q&A: Here are five questions to ask and run the best three responses.
    • Favorite courses of study and why.
    • A teacher or professor who inspires the student and how.
    • History or current events that inspires them and why.
    • Greatest challenges balancing academics, home life, social life and other activities.
    • Plans beyond school.
    4. Athlete profile
    What is it? A template to be used to profile high school and college athletes.
    Why should we do this feature? Sports content is extremely popular in all GateHouse Media communities. Finding avenues to include more local faces in the paper in a consistent format will help increase local news and capture the excited base of high school sports fans.
    How do we use it and manage it? Work with athletic directors, principals and public information directors to select candidates and distribute and collect the Q&A forms and photos of the athletes. Send a letter to each athletic director, principal or public information director, to explain the feature and your expectation. Set up a date when the forms are due. If you have numerous high schools in your coverage area, consider creating a rotation of high schools, providing each school with a date when their Q&A is due each month.
    Are we picking an athlete of the week? Since some newspapers may have concerns about singling out specific athletes each week, you could call the feature Sports Spotlight.
    The content: Bio information, including: Name, age, team, hometown, education, background, family, interests and hobbies and a variety of favorites.
    Q&A: Here are five questions to ask and run the best three responses.
    • In three sentences, what do you enjoy most about your sport and athletics?
    • What two memories from your time in sports stick with you most?
    Page 3 of 8 - • Tell us about someone who inspires you in sports and why.
    • What are the greatest challenges balancing academics and sports?
    • What are your plans beyond school?
    5. Coach profile
    What is it? A template to be used to profile high school, college and youth league coaches.
    Why should we do this feature? Coaches — at all levels — are major personalities and figures in communities. Learning about their background and their coaching style is of interest to a wide range of readers.
    How do we use it and manage it? Send a letter to athletic directors that would request they work with their coaches to have the forms filled out and returned with a photo. Send the request two weeks before the start of the season and request they are all sent back within a reasonable timeframe.
    The content:
    • Biographical information including: Coach's name, age, team, occupation, hometown, education, background, family, interests and hobbies.
    Q&A: Here are four questions to ask and run the best three responses.
    • Three sentences explaining his or her coaching philosophy.
    • Two memories that stick out the most from their coaching career.
    • Three pieces of advice for staying fit.
    • The three greatest challenges in coaching.
    6. Church profile
    What is it? A template to be used to profile churches.
    Why should we do this feature? Faith is a big part of many communities, and readers will be interested to see their church featured and read about other churches in their community.
    How do we use it? Send a letter to local churches asking them to be part of your new “church of the week” feature. In the letter, ask the church leader to fill out the form (see form example on next page). Request that the church send a photo of the outside of the building and return the form as soon as possible. Include a PDF of the prototype included on this page so the church understands what the feature looks like.
    The content:
    • A breakout box should include the following information:
        Church name
        Denomination
        Address
        Number of members
        Days and times of services
    • Information on the following:
        Church history
        Church activities
        How to get involved
        Volunteer opportunities and how to get involved
        Fundraisers
    7. Religious leader profile
    What is it? A template to be used to profile religious leaders.
    Why should we do this? In many communities, church leaders are significant public figures, but they aren’t featured prominently enough in local newspapers. This feature would raise their profile and also allow readers to learn more about these leaders.
    Page 4 of 8 - How do we use it? Send a letter to local churches asking them to be part of your new “church leaders of the week” feature. In the letter, ask the church leader to fill out the form. Request that the church leader send a photo of himself or herself to the newspaper.
    The content:
    • Biographical information: Name, faith/denomination, church/synagogue/other, age, hometown, education, background, family, interests and hobbies.
    Q&A: Here are four questions to ask and run the best three responses.
    • What do you like most about your work, and what do you like least?
    • What two memories from your work stick with you most?
    • What motivated you to get into this line of work?
    • Tell us something about your work most people may not be aware of.
    8. Health care worker profile
    What is it? A template to be used to profile health care workers, including doctors, nurses, administrators and pharmacists.
    Why should we do it? Health services and changes in technology impact readers of all ages, and finding avenues to introduce those in the health care field provides useful and relevant information to readers.
    How do we use it? Contact your hospital or private practices through a letter asking them to fill out a form profiling one of their employees.
    What kind of guidelines should we establish? Encourage the hospital to select employees who are tied to something newsworthy at the hospital, such as someone who is leading a new health class. This is a good avenue to get news like that in the paper without just running a press release on the new class. Make sure the hospital understands that this not an ad for the hospital but a way for the community to learn about services and the people who make the hospital tick. The same guidelines should be followed if you seek those who run private practices.
    The content:
    • Biographical information: Name, occupation, age, hometown, education, background, family, interests and hobbies.
    Q&A: Here are four questions to ask and run the best three responses.
    • What they like most about their work, and least.
    • Two memories from their career that stick with them the most.
    • Three pieces of advice for living a healthy life.
    • Three pieces of advice for someone considering a career in the field.
    9. Businessperson profile
    What is it? A template to be used to profile businesspeople from Main Street business owners and entrepreneurs to movers and shakers in locally based companies.
    Why should we do this feature? Local business is the heartbeat of communities, and showcasing how businesses started, and what makes them tick and the services they offer is relevant local content.
    Page 5 of 8 - How do we use it? Contact local or regional chambers of commerce, public relations offices of local companies and contact Main Street business owners directly. If you work through the local chamber or a public relations office, provide them a form that you would like them to fill out for all profiles (see form example in this section). Request a mug shot of the business owner or a photo of the outside of the business.
    What kind of guidelines should we establish? Since this is business content, it’s important to make sure the chamber understands the mission of the feature: to meet local businesses and understand their history and industry. This format is not a place for advertorial content.
    The content:
    • Biographical information on the business and the owner.
    • Three sentences that explain how the business owner ended up in the line of work.
    • What the business owner likes most and least about their work.
    • Two memories from their work experience that stick with them most.
    10. Meet your neighbor profile
    What is it? A generic profile template to be used for features that do not fit into any of the other set categories and highlight average residents.
    Why should we do this? The pages of our newspapers are about more than city officials and meetings. Showcasing how average residents live and learning about their background, their careers and their families is what makes local newspapers such valuable products to consumers.
    How do we use it? Put the form in your newspaper and online and ask residents to fill it out and send it to the newspaper with a photograph to have their family and friends featured in the paper. In addition, the form can be used when readers call in with story ideas, such as a teenager who recently has become an Eagle Scout or other general recognitions.
    The content:
    • Biographical information: Name, age, hometown, background, family, accomplishments, interests and hobbies.
     
    10. Meet a veteran profile
    What is it?
    A template to profile veterans in your community.
    Why should we do this?
    This format allows readers to learn more about those who have served our country.
    How do we use it?
    Send a letter to veteran organizations in your community. In the letter, ask the organization to be part of your weekly veteran feature. In the letter, ask your contact to have veterans fill out the form. Request that the contact send two photos of the veteran: one from when he/she was in the service, one of how he/she looks now. Include a PDF of the prototype included on this page so the organizer understands what the feature looks like.
    Page 6 of 8 - The content:
    • Biographical information including name, age, branch of service, years served, hometown.
    • Time in service: This should be a brief description of what the veteran did while in the service, including what conflicts or wars were going on, any specific battles fought and any significant achievements or medals.
    • Life after the war: This may include how the veteran was employed, whether the vet moved or settled in one place and family information (Married? Children?).
    • Quote: This is a single quote from the veteran about the time in service and what it meant to the veteran.
     
    11. 4-H profile
    What is it?
    A template to profile 4-H members in your community.
    Why should we do this?
    This format allows readers to learn more about students in your community who participate in 4-H and to showcase their achievements.
    How do we use it?
    Send a letter to 4-H organizations in your community. In the letter, ask the organization to be part of your 4-H feature. In the letter ask your contact to have 4-H’ers fill out the form. Request that the contact send a photo of the 4-H’er with an animal. Include a PDF of the prototype included on this page so the organizer understands what the feature looks like.
    The content:
    • Biographical information including name, age, hometown, family, school, 4-H club.
    • Q&A: Here are four questions to ask, and pick the best three to run.
        1.    How long have you been in 4-H?
        2.    How much time to you spend preparing for the county fair?
        3.    What are you most proud of in your 4-H work?
        4.    What was your reaction to winning awards?
     
    12. Farmer profile
    What is it?
    A template to be used to profile farmers in your community.
    Why should we do this feature?
    Farmers are the backbone of many rural communities, and this is a way to recognize the importance of farmers and agri-businesses.
    How do we use it?
    Contact local or regional farmer organizations. These often serve as a resource for farmers and would be ideal for finding farmers to participate in this feature. If you work through an organization, provide them a form to fill out for all profiles (see form example in this section). Request a mug shot of the farmer or a photo of the farmer in his or her environment.
    The content:
    • Biographical information on the farmer.
    • Ask for all of this information and choose the best three answers to include:
    Page 7 of 8 -     1.    Three sentences that explain how the farmer ended up in this line of work.
        2.    What the farmer likes most and least about the work.
        3.    Two memories from their experience that stick with them most.
        4.    What has changed most about farming since you got into it?
    13. Your pet profile
    What is it?
    A template to be used to profile people’s pets.
    Why should we do this feature?
    People love to share photos and information about their pets. This is often a great way to increase community participation.
    How do we use it?
    Contact local pet clubs and provide the contact a form to fill out for all pet profiles (see form example in this section). Request a photo of the pet with its owner so you can still have another local face in the newspaper. If you have a Pet of the Week feature today, use this template to get more content and improve the presentation.
    The content:
    • Biographical information on the dog, including its name, age, breed and where the owner got the pet.
    • Ask for this information:
        1.    In three sentences, tell us what makes your pet special.
        2.    What is the best thing about your pet, and what is the worst?
        3.    What is your favorite memory of your pet?
        4.    What is the funniest thing your pet has done?
     
    14. Your religious mission
    What is it?
    A template to be used to let readers know about religious missions.
    Why should we do this?
    In many communities, religious missions are important ways to contribute to society. This template offers religious institutions a way to share the information about their missions.
    How do we use it?
    Send a letter to local houses of faith asking them to be part of your new Religious Mission feature. In the letter, ask the leader to fill out the form. Request that the leader send a photo of his or her group while they were on the mission.
    The content:
    • House of faith information: Name, faith/denomination, address, phone number and e-mail address.
    • Q&A: Here are four questions to ask; run the best three responses.
        1.    Where did you go on your religious mission?
        2.    What two memories stick with you most?
        3.    How many people went on the mission?
        4.    How do you choose where you will go?
     
    Click here to download the Quark versions (4,6 and 7) and Indesign versions (CS, CS2 and CS3) of these profiles.
    Page 8 of 8 - Click here to download the Word document for the CPJ letters.

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