The Media Awareness Project

How to be a Newshawk

Please email articles to

Introduction
Newshawks are volunteers who send us newspaper articles related to illicit drugs and illicit drug policy for placement in our Drugnews Archive. In addition to encouraging letter writers to respond to these articles, our free, fully searchable database contains articles and opinion pieces from every side of the drug war and is a valuable resource for reporters, activists, historians and many others.

NEWSHAWKS are one of our most important volunteer teams since they take the responsibility of our initial task - locating and submitting the articles.

If this sounds interesting to you, please read on. If it doesn't - regardless of your available time or individual talents - please look through our How To Become An Active Member page for other activities which can help you be effective at promoting sensible drug policies.

We have tried to include all the information necessary to let you know how we prefer article submissions. If you have ANY questions, comments and/or suggestions about this process please contact our Senior Editor, Richard Lake at . We also have a mailing list, Hawktalk, which is used to discuss ideas, make suggestions, and ask questions about the news gathering process. Its goals include maximising the effectiveness of the time volunteered by newshawks, improving the quality of submissions to editors and assisting the overall MAP venture.

Newshawk Steps

  1. Newshawk locates relevant article
  2. Newshawk sends article to MAP (anonymous submissions welcome!)

1. Newshawk Locates Relevant Article

  • You can find the addresses to many media sources in our Media Email Directory.
  • Try to ensure the article is relevant to illicit drugs and illicit drug policy.
    • This can be a tough call but try to remember that our clipping service is used by some very busy people.
    • Sadly, small time busts for drug possession are so common we do not have the ability to post every article reporting minor drug busts. Nor do we want to cause additional pain to folks who have not even been to court by posting items which show where they live.
    • There are many side issues to drug policy such as prison reform, discrimination, constitutional interpretation, police corruption and so on, but again, we have to draw a line somewhere. Look over the subjects in the online archive to see what we have in mind. Would a busy drug policy professional be interested?
  • We do not accept press releases, newsletters and unpublished articles.
  • Web-only publications are considered on a case-by-case basis.

2. Newshawk sends article to MAP

You can use any email application or our Newshawk form to submit articles.

To learn about our Newshawk Form, please visit our Newshawk Form Help page.

Here are the basic steps to send an article to MAP using your email application. Please follow this format to ensure the article is processed properly and to ease the workload for our volunteer editors.

  1. Open new message
  2. Address To:
  3. Type headline into Subject: field
  4. Create Newshawk header
  5. Copy/paste article below Newshawk header
  6. Send the message
Here's how a typical article submission looks like:

1.Open new message
 For most email applications, select New Message from the Message menu.

2.Address To:
 Type in the To: field
If you are sending your article to another email address or mailing list, please use the Bcc: address field for . This prevents replies being sent to the editing team.

3.Type (or copy/paste) the headline into Subject: field
 We have written a utility to process submitted articles called roboeditor. One of the the things roboeditor does is check the subject line of incoming articles for duplicates. It is very helpful if you follow this guideline by providing the article headline in the Subject: field of the new message.

4.Create Newshawk header
 The first few lines in the body of the new message are called the newshawk header. This information must appear at the top of the article to allow us to process the article accurately:
 Newshawk: Herb (who's sending it in)
Pubdate: May 20, 2006 (when the article was printed)
Source: Marin Independent Journal (where the article was printed)
Author: Don Speich (who wrote the article)
Webpage: http://www.marinij.com/marin/ci_3846757(where the article was found)

    Newshawk Line
  • If you do not provide a Newshawk: line, roboeditor fills this field in by extracting the first half of your return email address.
    Example 1: From: Jo-D <> = Newshawk: Jo-D
    Example 2: From: = Newshawk: jo-d
  • You may use the Newshawk: line to provide a link to your favorite drug policy reform website! However, links to websites which promote or glamorize drug use or sell anything that is currently illegal are not allowed.
  • If you would like to remain anonymous be sure to provide a Newshawk line using an alias or a link to your favorite drug policy reform site.
    Source Line
  • The Source field should contain the full name of the source newspaper or magazine. Not an abbreviation like N.Y.T.
5.Copy/paste article below Newshawk header
 
    Copy Article To Windows' Buffer
  • Place mouse pointer at the top left position of the article.
  • While holding the left mouse button down, drag to the bottom right position of the article which will mark (highlight) the article.
  • Release the mouse button when the entire article is highlighted.
  • Select Copy from the Edit menu. This will copy the highlighted text to your windows' buffer.
    Paste Article to Outgoing Mail Message
  • Click beneath the Newshawk header.
  • Select Paste from your Edit menu. The article should appear in the body of your outgoing message.
6.Send the message
 Close/Save message to outgoing queue and issue the send mail command.

Our Hawktalk mailing list is used to discuss ideas, make suggestions, and ask questions about the news gathering process. Its goals include maximising the effectiveness of the time volunteered by newshawks, improving the quality of submissions to editors and assisting the overall MAP venture.

The form below allows you to subscribe or unsubscribe from the list.

Subscribe to the "Hawktalk" mailing list
Note: Hawktalk is a technical discussion list about newshawking, sources, methods, etc.
Your Email Address


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Media Awareness Project
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