Oak Ridge Today covers a large number of news stories with a very small staff, mostly one person.
To help us keep up with news stories and other business management tasks, we narrowed our focus in 2018. As a result, we are distinguishing between news stories and press releases/public service announcements.
We run all news stories as we can. These are mostly major news stories in Oak Ridge and Anderson County. They can include news about:
- the U.S. Department of Energy, including stories about science and research, nuclear weapons and nuclear-related activities, the federal site cleanup (environmental management) program, and budgets, buildings, contracts, and personnel;
- Oak Ridge and Anderson County governments, including Oak Ridge City Council, Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission, Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board, Anderson County Commission and its committees, budgets and tax rates, major contracts, some ordinance changes, major facility changes, significant personnel changes, economic development, and large community-wide events and programs;
- Oak Ridge Schools, including the Oak Ridge Board of Education;
- major police and fire incidents;
- state and federal courts;
- political campaigns and forums;
- businesses, especially business openings and expansions;
- high school varsity sports;
- significant weather events; and
- large community events and festivals, mostly in Oak Ridge.
We also run feature stories that we think are unique and of widespread community interest, and we do our best to practice public accountability journalism.
When we consider what press releases and public service announcements to run, we may give priority to subscribers and advertisers. The types of submissions that have a higher priority if they are from an advertiser or subscriber are:
- most event notices, especially those targeted at a specific, smaller audience, including those for church, club, and library events;
- regular monthly meetings;
- most fundraisers, donations, honors, and awards;
- news from private schools;
- most public facility maintenance advisories;
- recreational league signups; and
- business and organization hirings, anniversaries, sales, and promotions.
These are stories that we run as we can to help local organizations and businesses, and they are stories that do not fit the traditional definition of hard news, breaking news, unique feature stories, or public accountability journalism. We try to label these submissions as press releases, and we try to let you know who submitted them.
The good news is there are a few options available to you if you would like to publicize your event or story: You may subscribe to Oak Ridge Today, you may advertise your event or story, you may contribute on a one-time basis to help us cover our costs, or you may use a sponsored post.
A sponsored post is a post that we publish on our home page along with our news stories. A sponsored post stays in our archives even after it rotates off of our home page. It can include photos.
Please contact Oak Ridge Today Owner and Publisher John Huotari at [email protected] for more information about advertising, subscribing, or publishing a sponsored post.
We hope this helps clarify what we cover. It’s hard to say in advance what we might publish in every case, and there are definitely exceptions to the above guidelines. We want to make clear that we accept all press releases—we encourage you to send them to us—and we will generally try to let you know if we are able to publish your release.
If you have questions about a specific submission that you sent, you should contact Oak Ridge Today Owner and Publisher John Huotari at [email protected] for more information.
Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today, and thank you for your support.