FROM THE EDITOR: Welcome to the newsroom

Farm Forum

We are adding new folks to the newsroom this summer. You have already seen their names in print.

Elisa Sand is our new full-time reporter. Elisa comes to us from Madison, where she was a reporter/photographer for the Madison Daily Leader for 14 years. She moves here with her husband and four young children.

She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University-Moorhead.

Elisa started on her new assignments last week. For the time being, Elisa will be covering what we call “general assignment” — meaning any story that comes up. After we have all of our new staff settled later this summer, we will formalize her areas of coverage. I’ll be sure to let you know when that happens.

For now, contact Elisa at, follow @ElisaSand_AAN on Twitter or call 605-622-2301.

We have also hired a new content editor, Mike Keitges. Mike most recently lived in Vermillion, and his experience includes stints at the Yankton Press & Dakotan and the Dickinson, N.D., Press.

Mike is on our behind-the-scenes team of editors who write headlines and design the pages into the late-night hours. He started on the content desk last week.

Welcome to both.

Tips for sending news, photos

A few questions came up last week about sending photos and news tips. Here are some thoughts.

Though most photos we publish in print — for Scrapbook or wherever — are in black and white, we actually prefer readers submit color photos as JPEGs. A color photo gives us more options and, more importantly, our website is in full color. Readers, feel free to send us those smiling, color pictures!

I’ve had readers surprised when they’ve brought in prints of photos, only to be told that we can (and actually prefer) photos be submitted by email. I think there is a perception that, because we are a printed-paper product, that we want printed photos submitted.

It’s the reverse. The digital photos readers take are often of a higher quality than what can be printed from a home computer or even at the photomat. And it’s often easier for both the reader and the newspaper to deal with emailed photos.

Here’s a tip on sending emails to the paper. Lots of folks make the subject line say “Press release” or “For immediate release.” Then the message goes on to talk about a church event or an upcoming fundraiser.

A better way to present an email is to say what the email is about in the subject line. Specificity helps, and so do dates: “Fundraiser at Melgaard Park July 17,” for instance. It helps us better keep track of those hundreds of submissions from readers, and often circumvents our aggressive spam filters on emails — the computer doesn’t always like generic subject lines, such as “Press release.”

Be sure to let us know about your events a couple of weeks in advance, if possible. We plan sometimes days or weeks in advance, and the more information we have about stories we can report, the better choices we can make.

It gets harder on the weekends. On Friday, we might have six reporters in the office, but only one on Saturday and Sunday. Those reporters can only do a couple of stories on those days. Finding out about an event on Friday for the next day won’t give us enough time to arrange with the reporter and photographer.

As always, we want to find ways to get your news and photos into our pages. If you ever have questions about that process, don’t hesitate to call me, 605-622-2300.

Follow @jjperry_AAN on Twitter or email