I am often asked if there is a charge for certain items to be published in the paper. For the most part we only charge for paid advertising which includes obituaries.

Announcements such as births, engagements, weddings and anniversaries can be shared at no charge. Forms for such items can be found on line through our website NNY360.com.

Public service announcements for activities of not for profit organizations are put in our calendar of events or as briefs at no charge.

Letters to the editor and news items are put in at no charge but at the discretion of the editor.

We are always interested in sharing your news, whether its about an achievement by a family member, the activities of a club or organization or community news.

We have some articles by correspondents which we pay to have written but for the most part our news is produced by professional journalists.

About 12 years ago, the Johnson Corporation decided to as many newspapers nationwide already had, to charge for obituaries. Local funeral directors had no objections to the change since they already charge clients for submitting the obituary.

When I first started working for the Johnson Newspaper Corporation, I was a news clerk at the Watertown Daily Times where one of my main duties was to write obituaries. At that time, obituaries were considered news items and were published at no charge. However with the fact that they were considered news, sometimes information was included which the family wish was just forgotten such as past marriages or criminal involvement or cause of death.

I remember once, a son had submitted his father’s obituary. Although it was fairly complete, I had to fact check the information through the newspaper’s archives — the morgue of clippings from past news articles. The Times has an extensive morgue with files of clipping as well as its online archive of articles published after 1988. It was my duty in writing obituaries to search the family file to confirm the provided information. As a news story, the obituary had to have an accounting of marriages, listing whether the union was still intact with a surviving spouse, had ended with the death of a spouse or had ended in divorce. In the case of the son submitting his father’s obituary, I learned of a previous marriage prior to his parent’s nuptials of which he had no knowledge. The facts lined up that this was indeed his father. The newsroom rules of the time mandated the previous marriage be listed or a full obituary could not be printed. The man had the choice to only publish a brief report of his father’s passing but instead opted to treat the obituary as we do now as paid advertisement but was published in with the classified ads.

With the shift from obituaries being news items to being treated as paid advertisement, the person submitting the obituary now has complete oversight as to what goes in the article. In the news-item style obit, we could only say they died or passed away, now the deceased can be welcomed into the arms of Jesus, go to their final resting place or enter the pearly gates. Many now tell more of a story about the deceased instead of the just the facts. People are remembered as loving their families, having hobbies and a special smile or mannerism. Now too, pets can be listed as survivors. Unlike many major newspapers, which limit obituaries to a few inches — looking much like a classified ad, the Johnson Newspapers allow as much space as the person wants to pay for.

Some disagree with the policy of charging for obituaries. I personally liked them better when they were considered news especially when it came to cause of death. As news, the cause of death was included for anyone 60 or younger. When we hear of the death of a younger person, how is usually the first question which comes to mind.

Now you can have the obituary published with only the information you want included and with that comes a cost.

WHERE IN THE NORTH COUNTRY?

This summer the Journal & Republican is encouraging our readers to take a car ride and explore the history of the north country through the blue and gold roadside historical markers. This summer, until Labor Day weekend, take a selfie with one of the signs for a special Journal & Republican feature — “Where in the North Country are We?” which will be published in the paper. Include the names and residence of the people in the photo and where it was taken. Send the photos via email to generalnews@lowville.com or by mail to the Journal office, 7840 State Route 26, Suite 9, Lowville, NY 13367. Those submitting photos will be included in a drawing for a subscription to the Journal & Republican.

CONTACT US

Just a reminder to our subscribers to report failed delivery to 315-782-1012 as soon as you realize you were missed. Often the carrier is still on his route and can stop back or the paper can be put out for the following day.

Hours of operation for the Journal and Republican office, located in the former Climax building, 7840 State Route 26, Lowville are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you are mailing us anything please include Suite 9 in the address to better ensure prompt delivery.

Our staff is also available by phone. To contact editor Elaine Avallone, call 315-377-6004; Julie Abbass, reporter for Lewis County, 315-377-6003; advertising executive Yvonne Houppert, 315-377-6002.

Much of our customer service for circulation, obituaries and classified advertising is handled through the corporation offices. For delivery or subscriptions call circulation at 315-782-1012. To place an obituary, 315-661-2420, and classified advertising, 315-782-0400 — our deadline is noon Friday prior to publication.

Editor Elaine M. Avallone welcomes feedback from readers. She may be reached via email at eavallone@lowville.com or by phone or 315-377-6005.

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