We are talking in the newsroom about our "blurbs" as we call them. Basically these are announcements of local events, happenings, etc.
We are trying to strike a balance between honoring the wishes of the people submitting the blurgs and honoring the wishes of readers.
Here is an example of what we currently publish:
Cleveland County Memorial Library will host ghost story writer Nancy Roberts Monday, July 25, at 7 p.m. The event is free of charge for adults and school-age children, but tickets need to be picked up at the library.
After her presentation Ms. Roberts will be available for a book signing. Books will be provided for purchase and light refreshments will be served. This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
Ms. Roberts is the author of more than 25 books about the supernatural, including "Civil War Ghost Stories and Legends," "Blackbeard and other Pirates of the Atlantic Coast" and "Haunted Houses: Chilling Tales from American Homes."
A storyteller dedicated to inspiring students to read, she has performed at seminars, on radio and television and at hundreds of schools and libraries across the South. If you have questions, please call Dolores Ashworth at (704) 487-9069, ext. 237.
Now, here is what we are proposing to do to shorten blurbs like this one:
Author and teller of ghost stories Nancy Roberts will be at Cleveland County Memorial Library on Monday, July 25, at 7 p.m. After a presentation, she will sign books, which will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free of charge for adults and school-age children, but tickets need to be picked up at the library. The event is co-sponsored by Friends of the Library. Contact: Dolores Ashworth, (704) 487-9069, ext. 237.
Advantages to longer blurb
1) Tells everything the person who submitted it wants
2) Gives more complete information to readers
Advantages to shorter blurb
1) Respects that readers are pressed for time and gives them basic info quickly
2) Takes up less space which means we can run blurbs "farther out" from the event and more often.
Which do you prefer? Comments?