A Look Inside the Newsroom

A Look Inside the Newsroom


 A Look Inside the Newsroom



July 21, 2015

news or snooze







by Angel Pacheco, SurfMedia Communications

If there’s one thing that’s in short supply inside the average newsroom, it’s time. Reporters and editors for newspapers and news websites, as well as broadcast journalists, wake up each day with email accounts, voicemail boxes, postal boxes, personal calendars and social media accounts filled with story ideas easily worth their time to look into and produce a news account.

Couple that with limited staff and resources that every news organization faces, getting your own story noticed often feels like it could take a small miracle. However, knowing how a newsroom operates and who within the organization would most be interested in covering your event or milestone could help give you a big leg up in earning your organization some coverage.

It all begins with…

Pretty much every news story begins as a bit of information that comes into the newsroom. Whether it’s a juicy rumor left on an anonymous tip phone line, a conversation with a trusted source or an email sent to a reporter, there are always potential news stories flowing into a newsroom and onto a journalist’s desk. Today, email is the most preferred method of communication.

You’ll want to send your press release or story idea to the most relevant editor or reporter within the newsroom. Within larger news organizations, editors may oversee different sections, such as general news or sports. Reporters will also often have specializations, such as education, the environment or city hall. Take a look at stories they have worked on in the past to get an idea of whether your story would interest them. If a news organization doesn’t have staff overseeing particular topics, send your information to the main editor.

Being newsworthy

With only so much time in the day, journalists sift through this stream of information to find what would most be relevant to their readers and viewers. It has to be timely, as something that happened just a few days ago can feel like years ago to news organizations competing for the most recent information. Are there prominent community members or celebrities involved? Does it impact a large percentage of the community? Does it affect the area that the news organization covers?

Unusual human interest stories can also catch the eye of a newsroom. The classic example is “Man bites dog” – an eye-catching stray from the norm.

The reporting begins

While every newsroom is different, in most cases newsroom editors will choose the top stories and assign them to reporters to work on. Reporters are also often able to choose the stories they want to pursue. The process can involve interviewing sources, doing some online research and going to a meeting or the event. Photographers and videographers will also be assigned to shoot relevant photos and video. In many cases, reporters will take their own photos or video as well.

It all comes together

Often the most hectic part of the day is producing the information collected into a text or video story. Reporters at a print newspaper will work to get the information into a readable form on a deadline in order to get the story to an editor to review for accuracy, typos, grammar and more. The story will then go to page designers to incorporate into the coming edition. The most relevant photos are also selected for publication.

It’s a hectic process that’s repeated each day throughout the country. While it can be a challenge and take multiple attempts, getting attention from media is important for every organization and is a great accomplishment.

Visit the SurfMedia Communications blog for more insights into PR and Digital Marketing. www.surfmedia.com/blog

Need help understanding the public relations process and how to adapt it to your organization? Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation. Public Relations, Storytelling, Digital Marketing … we can help you implement a strategy for engagement and growth.




United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Fun in the Sun Summer Program Welcomes Salud Carbajal to Guest Speaker Series, Failing Forward

United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Fun in the Sun Summer Program Welcomes Salud Carbajal to Guest Speaker Series, Failing Forward



United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Fun in the Sun Summer Program Welcomes Salud Carbajal to Guest Speaker Series, Failing Forward Guest Speakers Share Personal Experiences on Overcoming Adversity

Whether we like it or not, failure is an inevitable obstacle on the path to success. It is essential that we all learn how to overcome failure and disappointment. As part of United Way of Santa Barbara County’s (UWSBC) national award-winning Fun in the Sun (FITS) summer enrichment program, kids are being encouraged to refer to this as “failing forward.”

Based on Paul Tough’s How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, UWSBC’s “failing forward” curriculum maintains that the three most important character traits for success are curiosity, perseverance and grit. To demonstrate how these qualities help build successful adults,UWSBC invited a series of guest speakers including local community leaders and volunteers to share their experiences with overcoming adversity and how those experiences have helped shape their identities today.

FITS offers participants a fun learning environment with a daily emphasis on literacy, including reading and writing. Afternoon enrichment opportunities include activities in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), service learning projects and field trips.

About United Way of Santa Barbara County

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has the unique and positive vision that “in our community, everyone has a hopeful future.” Since 1923, UWSBC has served Santa Barbara County community through funding, volunteer development, and by utilizing its own unique initiatives that involve dozens of local non-profit and public sector agencies. UWSBC’s local community driven Power of Partnership™ priorities help children, families &seniors with a focus on Education, Income and Health. About Fun in the Sun Fun in the Sun is a summer learning program component that is a part of United Way of Santa Barbara County’s United for Literacy (UFL) Initiative. The purpose of UFL is to help achieve United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Ten Year Education goals to increase on-time high school graduation rate by 50% and increase students reading at or above grade level by 50% in every grade.



SB Yacht Club Charity Regatta Co-Chairs Announced

SB Yacht Club Charity Regatta Co-Chairs Announced



SB Yacht Club Charity Regatta Co-Chairs Announced

Santa Barbara, CA, July 13, 2015 – Santa Barbara Yacht Club is pleased to announce that Robyn Parker and Sarah Berkus Gower are co-chairing the Santa Barbara Yacht Club’s 11th Annual Charity Regatta to benefit Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care. Robyn and Sarah, along with a dedicated committee of Santa Barbara Yacht Club members and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care staff, are planning a thrilling day of racing, entertainment, and goodwill. The event will be held on Saturday, September 12th and will begin at 12 Noon at the Yacht Club, where guests will gather for a special champagne toast and a water canon salute before the race begins.

robynRobyn Parker, a member of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club and Program Officer at Hutton Parker Foundation, is proud to be a fifth generation from Santa Barbara. Along with her work at the Foundation, Parker enjoys volunteering her time to support many local non-profits. Most recently, Parker was Co-Chair of Court Appointed Special Advocate’s ‘CASA by the SEA” event. Parker also serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Zoo, as well as a committee member for the organization’s Zoofari Ball fundraiser. Parker is also President of the Santa Barbara City College Alumni Association and a member of the Santa Barbara Bowl’s Education Outreach Committee. She has also served on committees for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Parker joined the Charity Regatta planning committee in 2011 after her grandfather, RP Richards, used the loving care of Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care in his final days.


Sarah Berkus Gower, an attorney with local law firm Hollister &Brace, is a third generation Santa Barbara native living on the lower Mesa with her husband and two dogs. Along with her work as an attorney representing high-net-worth clients in complex family law matters, Sarah volunteers her time supporting local non-profits in the Santa Barbara community. Sarah has spent many days at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, with her grandfather and father being long-time members, sailors, and owners of J-24 racing boats. Sarah initially became involved with the Charity Regatta when her grandfather, local architect Barry Berkus, passed away in 2012 at Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care’s Serenity House, after also having been assisted by the care and services of VNHC’s visiting nurses at his home. Having had lifelong connections to the Yacht Club and first-hand experience with Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, Sarah is passionate about this event and cause, and excited to co-chair this year’s Yachts of Love Charity Regatta benefitting Visiting Nurse &Hospice Care.

As Co-Chairs of the committee, Robyn and Sarah have assembled a remarkable team to help plan this year’s event. Committee members include: Brittany Avila, Elizabeth Adams, Kaleen Baker, Rebecca Benard, Ed Brady, Erika Buse, Jack Byers, Roger Chrisman, Sarah Chrisman, Trish Davis, Marisa Demourkas, Joanne Gordon, Shari Guilfoyle, Daniel Herrera, Mary Lee Hopkins, Larry Leveille, Francie Lufkin, Easter Moorman, Sabrina Papa, Tony Papa, Tom Parker, Judy Rawles, David Sadecki, Jo Sadecki, Jen Smithwick, Sigrid Toye, Shannon Vernon, Craig Wilberg, and Kathleen Yabsley.

The Charity Regatta is part of a national movement and has become a signature event in Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara Yacht Club is proud to support Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, and the “Yachts of Love” Charity Regatta is one way the Yacht Club members give back to the Santa Barbara community. Since its inception in 2005, the Charity Regatta has raised more than $1 million so that Santa Barbara County families have access to compassionate, quality health care from Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care.

Sponsorship opportunities for this year’s event are available at $15,000, $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500 levels. Sponsorship includes admission to the Regatta, Cocktail Party, barbecue, and recognition opportunities. Current top sponsors include Impulse Advanced Communications and Hutton Parker Foundation. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please visitwww.vnhcsb.org/sponsor, or contact Daniel Herrera at 805.690.6260 or [email protected].

The “Yachts of Love” Charity Regatta is open to the public. Beginning August 1st, tickets can be purchased atwww.vnhcsb.org/regatta. Tickets are $100 per person and $30 per child under 12 years of age. Guests are invited to check in at 12 p.m. and sign up to ride on one of the spectator boats. Space on the spectator boats is limited and available on a first-come first-served basis. For tickets and event information, call (805) 690-6290, or visit www.vnhcsb.org/regatta.

About Santa Barbara Yacht Club

Founded in 1872, Santa Barbara Yacht Club is the second-oldest yacht club on the west coast of North America. It is a family-oriented club, rich with history and tradition. The Yacht Club is devoted to promoting and managing yachting activities, advancing the art of seamanship, preserving maritime tradition, and providing for the social and recreational needs of our members while being mindful of our important role in the community. We are a non-profit private club and membership is by invitation only. For more information on the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, visitwww.sbyc.org, or call 805-965-8112.

About Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care

Since 1908, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care has been Santa Barbara’s trusted home care expert. Serving the greater Santa Barbara area, and Santa Ynez and Lompoc Valleys, VNHCprovides high quality, comprehensive home health, hospice, and related services necessary to promote the health and well-being of all community residents. For more information on Visiting Nurse& Hospice Care, visit www.vnhcsb.org or call (805) 965-5555.


or more information on Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, visitwww.vnhcsb.org or call (805) 965-5555.


John Fowler: Cost of housing tells state’s fate

John Fowler: Cost of housing tells state’s fate

VCStar online


As housing costs soar, California’s leaders say increasing the supply of affordable homes is priority No. 1 for building a stronger economy and housing the workforce. Bringing rents and mortgages within the reach of working families is critical to maintaining California’s business competitiveness.

Affordable housing organizations throughout California have attempted to meet this critical need, but the state funding we have relied on has continued to dry up.

As head of the largest nonprofit affordable housing developer on California’s Central Coast — Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, active in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties — I want to make the community aware of important statistics and state legislation to provide significant and sustainable financial resources for the development of much-needed affordable housing.

Since 1970, PSHH has been working to bring safe, affordable housing to the Central Coast, where housing rental prices outpace the state average by 50 percent or more. Vacancy rates have fallen below 3 percent in Ventura County, where average rent for all unit types has risen to $1,536 in January 2014, according to a study from the Dyer Sheehan Group.

In Ventura County, the study indicates the countywide rent appreciation rate for the year was 4.7 percent, ranking the region in the top 10 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the country, and well above the 2.8 percent national rent growth for the year. The strongest year-over-year rental growth for any unit type was in Oxnard/Port Hueneme, where rents for three-bedroom units rose 9.6 percent to a new peak of $2,138.

The state’s poverty rate is the highest in the nation. The situation is worsening now that housing bonds from Propositions 46 and 1C, which supported development by PSHH and other affordable housing organizations, have been exhausted and redevelopment agency funds have been eliminated — leaving the availability of state dollars that leverage private investment and federal and local funds at a historic low.

Since 2007, funding for the development and preservation of affordable homes has plummeted 79 percent, from more than $1.7 billion annually to nearly nothing. This critically threatens housing production and the jobs that go with it.

Failure to act now will leave many Californians without an affordable place to live and make it incredibly challenging, if not impossible, for thousands of California businesses to remain competitive.

Two housing finance bills in the Legislature will kick-start California building again to create jobs and make safe, affordable homes available to Californians struggling to make ends meet. They are AB 1335, introduced by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, and AB 35, introduced by Assemblyman David Chiu.

These bills would create a diversified set of housing development funding for affordable homes; help businesses attract and retain the talent that fuels California’s economy; reduce homelessness, resulting in significant savings to taxpayers and reducing strain on our health and criminal justice systems; generate an estimated 29,000 jobs for every $500 million investment in affordable homes; and deploy these dollars in California communities through a successful private/public partnership model.

AB 35 will expand the state’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by $300 million annually. Developers will have access to more funding for building developments where the rents remain affordable, and they will be able to leverage additional federal funds (a total of $600 million annually).

AB 1335 will create an ongoing, predictable source of funding to fund the state housing trust fund. Construction of shovel-ready affordable homes can move forward with state investment that developers can combine with local, federal and private financing to make affordable housing development financially feasible.

I urge Californians to support these important bills. Contact your representatives and let them know that affordable housing plays a critical role in the health and viability of our communities.

John Fowler is president and CEO of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing.


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