December is generally a month when we have revised deadlines, thanks to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. This year, both fall on Fridays — which not only gives our staff two three-day weekends in a row, but doesn’t interfere with our usual Monday print deadline.
Talk about a gift.
But even without any changes this month, it’s a good time to go over our print schedule so those who are planning to send in submissions have a better understanding of the process.
First: Our Wednesday editions go to press Monday by 5 p.m.
The reason: The paper is printed in Salem, which means it has to be hauled back here. But the bigger piece of the puzzle is that it must be at the post office by Tuesday in order for it to be delivered on Wednesday. If we miss our Monday deadline, that means our Tuesday delivery gets pushed back, which means subscribers get their papers late.
And that causes a lot of trouble for everyone involved.
Second, copy deadlines are as follows:
Our obituary deadline is noon on Monday — including okaying copy and paying any associated fees.
It takes time to format an obituary, load it onto a page and edit. And, as the paper must be done by 5 p.m., come hell or high water, noon is the latest we can accept obit submissions. Not that sometimes I can’t squeeze one in. Just that I am not always able to.
Friday at noon is the deadline for news, announcements, photos and letters to the editor.
We are a weekly paper covering five counties. We get a lot of submissions. Thank you, by the way — we are a small staff and these submissions mean we are able to cover a lot more ground than we could on our own. But because we receive a lot of submissions, the finite pages of the newspaper fill up quickly. By Friday morning, we have a good idea of what our Wednesday edition is going to hold. Sometimes we can fit something in after the Friday noon deadline, but again, probably not.
It’s a little heartbreaking to get an item, say, on Monday at 4 p.m., with the assumption it will run in the Wednesday paper. Not possible.
Ad deadlines are different still, as follows:
Ad reservation is due by the Wednesday prior to the following week’s edition — so if you’re going for the Dec. 23 edition, you’ll need to get in that ad by Dec. 16. Camera-ready artwork is due by noon the Thursday before (so, for that Dec. 23 edition, we’re talking Dec. 17).
The deadline for Public Notices — also called Legals — is Friday at 4 p.m., and the classified ad deadline is Monday at 9 a.m. These are hard and fast deadlines based on our print schedule.
Now, you might be asking yourself, what about breaking news? What if something happens on Tuesday after press time? What if you are late with an obituary submission and the service is Friday?
We are always updating the Columbia Gorge News website (www.columbiagorgenews.com). Sometimes it’s breaking news and sometimes it’s a press releases that had to hold or was received too late to include. Obituaries go online as they’re received, as do events, COVID and inclement weather updates. Classified ads also go online and has its own tab.
We look at the website as an extension of our print edition — because the news doesn’t stop at deadline. We do post some stories to Facebook, but you will find the bulk of the paper online exclusively on our website.
One last thing: Our staff generally works from home — not sure if you’ve heard, but there’s this global COVID pandemic? — and that means that it might take us time to return your phone call. Be assured that every effort is made to call back in a timely manner. Email is also a great way to get in contact with us, and you can find all of our email addresses in this edition on page A4. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this (yep, I’m going to say it) unprecedented time.