Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Are you a budding citizen journalist?

2 min read

If you’ve ever picked up your local paper and wondered why a story you know all about isn’t included, here’s your chance to put it right – by becoming a citizen journalist.
The IW Observer is the Island’s only locally-owned and locally-produced newspaper – and we’re offering you the chance to report local news the way you see it. The rise of citizen journalism, the gathering and reporting of news outside of traditional media outlets is common on-line, but we want to combine the best of both worlds by publishing interesting local stories written by Islanders for Islanders.

The IW Observer’s Mal Butler, a journalist with extensive national experience who ‘retired’ to the Island in 2008, said: “Every budding reporter likes to see a good story published under their byline – and there’s something special about it appearing in print in a newspaper, not just on the web.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are – we all see and experience things that other people would find interesting. Why not try writing about it and send it in for us to consider printing?”
3 Here are Mal’s top five tips for getting your story in the IW Observer:

· Include a photo. As so many of us carry smartphones these days, it’s easy to get a photo of what you’re writing about, whether it’s a meeting, a person or a shopfront. Send it to us at the highest resolution possible.

· Tell both sides of a story. If you’re writing about a bad experience with a business you must give them the opportunity to explain why things went wrong. If it’s about a good experience also ask them for a comment.

· Keep it short. It is much easier to write a story in a thousand words than 400. Aim for 400!

· Keep the ‘five Ws’ in mind – who, what, when, where and why. Answering them will mean your story is complete.

· Write a strong intro. The first paragraph should summarise your story and make sense if it were the only thing published.

If you’re an aspiring citizen journalist, who’d like your name and your news to appear in print, send it to