FOR THE RHODE ISLAND BUILDER REPORT
publication of the
RIBA members in southeastern New England are invited to submit articles of 300 words or less of interest to members of the shelter industry in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Possible topics:
• Interesting doings in your company: personnel changes, VERY UNUSUAL projects your company has completed, etc.
• Tips from your own experience on building, remodeling, dealing with customers, and other aspects of the construction trades.
• Insights into relevant legislative issues, whether local, state or national.
DO NOT SEND PRODUCT NEWS OR OTHER ARTICLES THAT AMOUNT TO ADVERTISING. You are always welcome to buy an ad.
When writing articles, please avoid:
• Getting off the track: It’s the news that’s important, not the “local color.”
In any article or announcement, always include:
• Complete names (with middle initials, if possible), number of people, dates, times and places (including the addresses) of meetings, special events or relevant happenings.
• As many names of the people involved (properly spelled) as possible.
A few notes on writing style
STYLE: "Style" is the guideline that tells you what to capitalize, where to punctuate, etc. In order to present articles in a clear, concise and news-like manner, THE RHODE ISLAND BUILDER REPORT uses a slightly modified Associated Press writing and editing style. While amateur writers can't be expected to know or conform to this style, your managing editor at New River Press will adjust stories accordingly. A clear and consistent style is crucial to a publication's professionalism.
FORMAL NAMES: THE RHODE ISLAND BUILDER REPORT strives to be businesslike and professional. This is to encourage potential members, lawmakers, regulators and others to keep taking RIBA seriously. To help present this image and so as not to appear "cliquish," we use full names (with middle initials) on first reference, then courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Ms.), rather than given names, when referring to people. This also helps avoid confusion over identities for people who are not familiar with the names we mention.
(THIS APPLIES TO NEWS ARTICLES, MEMBER NEWS, FEATURES, ETC., NOT TO EDITORIALS,
"TRICKS OF THE TRADE" OR HOW-TO ARTICLES WRITTEN IN THE FIRST PERSON,
i.e. 'I' instead of 'he or she.')
"Editorializing" is the statement of personal opinions in text without
attributing them to someone else. "Everyone got a lot out of the
seminar," "These products perform impressively," or the deadly "A good
time was had by all" are editorializing. Editorializing is a very bad idea
for several reasons: It sounds trite and clichéd, it doesn't tell the reader
anything substantial about what happened, and it makes the publication sound
like a nursing-home newsletter rather than a professional trade-association
Believe it or not, editorializing also can put RIBA on the wrong side of what's known as "association liability." That's because when it's in THE RHODE ISLAND BUILDER REPORT without being attributed to somebody by quotation marks, then RIBA is saying it. That's what happened to a home-builders association a few years ago when they unwittingly touted a particular product that didn't work properly: They were named in a lawsuit.
So go ahead and say: "Everything was great,"
but get somebody else to say it and put it in quotation marks. That gets you off
the legal hook.
is the form in which you write verbs. There's
active voice and passive voice. "I made mistakes," is active voice.
"Mistakes were made," is passive voice and an actual quote from a
press conference by President George Bush Sr. NEVER use passive voice! It's
tedious for the reader, wastes space and by its very nature withholds
information. Always use active voice and tell the whole story!
ABBREVIATIONS: Some years ago, the U.S. Postal Service introduced
new, two-letter state abbreviations meant ONLY for addressing envelopes so that
its new electronic scanning system could read them. For some reason, the whole
country has embraced these abbreviations with unholy gusto. They now appear
everywhere in business publications and communications. Not only are these
abbreviations confusing and downright ugly in text, they were never meant to
replace the traditional state abbreviations in everyday usage. Fortunately, in
Rhode Island it's only a matter of periods. So, unless you're addressing
envelopes, make it R.I. instead of RI, and make it Mass. and Conn., not MA and CT.
An article without a photo is like a house without a roof! Whenever possible, send photographs to accompany articles. Please:
• Try not to send photos without people in them.
• Nobody expects you to be Ansel Adams, but try to compose a decent picture, with your subject close at the center, not 100 feet away. Avoid slanted photos, the backs of people’s heads, and photos with no subject.
• Use a camera, not your cell phone, and set it to the
highest resolution possible. Photos must be high-resolution to print well in the
PHOTOS: If you scan a photo, try to do so at 300 dpi (dots per inch)
or ppi (pixels per inch).
This is the resolution we need for the publication.
If you see something in another publication that you
think we should reprint, and if you’re reasonably certain that most of our
readers haven’t seen it already, send it along. But be aware that such
material is almost always copyrighted and we have to get written permission to
Calendar of Events
This is the day-to-day signpost for members of RIBA. If you think an event should be included in
the calendar, submit it and we will print it at our discretion.
Official RIBA events take precedence, of course.
Remember that THE
RHODE ISLAND BUILDER REPORT IS A MONTHLY PUBLICATION. The deadline for copy and
photos is THE FIRST FRIDAY OF EACH MONTH FOR THE NEXT MONTH'S COVER DATE.
In other words, we need all copy and ads by the first Friday in May for
the June magazine.
For articles longer than 300 words, you will need the
We're always looking for suggestions for additional features for the publication, members who stand out and should be “profiled,” ideas for features stories or technical articles.
A Note on Editing
Some people may be afraid to submit material because
they aren’t good writers. Others may get offended if an editor removes a comma
from their text. Be aware that our editor is a award-winning journalist
with over 35 years of experience and the author of six books. As long as you
follow the guidelines above, he’ll try to make your text sing. If you’re a
Hemingway in the making, bear with it: Your article still must follow Associated
Press style, and good editing will make your material even better.
Where to Send Material/How to Get Advice
Articles, photos, calendar of events items and suggestions should be sent BY E-MAIL to Paul F. Eno, Editor, c/o New River Press, 645 Fairmount St., Woonsocket, RI 02895. E-mail material to builder@NewRiverPress.com. If you have questions, call Mr. Eno at (401) 765-4948, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or RIBA Executive Director John Marcantonio at (401) 438-7400, e-mail email@example.com.
No payment is made for material published, but full
credit and bylines will be given.
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