On Tuesday morning, just as I got to work, I noticed a voicemail from my husband.
He rarely calls me, and if he does, it is on his lunch break. A call first thing in the morning? I figured I better call him back.
“Hey, check our accounts,” he said. “A bunch of guys down here with Sidney Federal were hacked over the weekend. Money was taken from their accounts.”
My first thought was I hope we were OK. (We were.)
My second? We have a story for Page 1 tomorrow.
A few minutes later, another person called to say lines were out the door at both branches of SFCU in Oneonta. I told him I had heard of some issues with the credit union, but we would check it out. I thanked him for letting us know.
If I and others in the newsroom hadn’t been members of SFCU, I’m not sure when we would have heard about the breach, if not for our tipster.
Later that day, we heard tips on other subjects. One turned out to be false. Another we knew to be true, but weren’t able to get a story together.
That is how the newspaper works.
We hear things. We see things. We wonder about things. We check them out. When we can, we report our findings.
But without that first step, we miss a lot.
I regularly get calls from readers saying they had been looking in the paper for information on (insert incident here) for several days, wondering why we haven’t reported on it yet. Quite often the reason is because we didn’t know.
We check in with police and emergency services daily. But if we don’t have something specific to ask about, information isn’t regularly offered. We also check out community pages on Facebook, but there are A LOT of them out there.
That is why it is important that, as the saying goes, “if you see something, say something.” And we want you to say it to us.
The best person to contact with news tips is our managing editor, Bob Cairns. His phone number is 607-441-7217. Tips can also be sent to email@example.com. We appreciate getting contact information of someone we can speak to about it, as well.
But just because we hear about something, it doesn’t mean we can report on it. Sometimes we can’t get anyone to go on the record. We can see all the chatter we want on Facebook, but if we can’t get confirmation, we aren’t going to put it in the paper.
Other times, the rumor mill runs wild ... and that is all it is. We find out what people are hearing is false. Occasionally, we’ll be able to quash false rumors with a story; other times, we just won’t report on it.
It’s not only the hard news we want to hear about. We welcome feature story ideas too. If you are looking for coverage of an event, we ask that you give us some notice. A week is usually a good guideline. And even if it is an annual event, a reminder email or call (with details) can’t hurt.
Every day we run items of events happening in our community. Many of these appear on our Community pages. We encourage organizers of events — fundraisers, dinners, talks and more — to submit the information to firstname.lastname@example.org at least a week before they’d like to see it in the paper. Items can also be faxed to 607-432-5707, or dropped off at or mailed to our off to our office at 102 Chestnut St. in Oneonta.
Entertainment news should be received no later than Tuesday to appear in our Thursday or Weekend Entertainment pages. The fax and physical addresses are the same as community, but the email is email@example.com. We love photos to go with our entertainment stories. If you want to email a photo, make sure the total message size is no more than 2 MG. Include who or what is in the photo.
I encourage our readers to give us a call or shoot us an email if they hear about something going on in their communities. If a tipster wants to know more, more than likely other want to, too.
Don’t assume we know about it. I’d rather hear about something 15 times than not hear about it at all.
Denielle Cazzolla is editor of The Daily Star. She can be reached at 607-441-7259 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her @DS_DenielleC on Twitter.