Getting published

by  Julie Dodd and Rich Shumate

Whether you are a Journalism, Public Relations or Telecommunications major, a goal is getting your work published.

By the time you graduate, you should have eight to 10 published examples of your work in your portfolio. You should have more published work than that so you can make choices from your work depending on the job you are applying for.

Publications can include news releases you’ve written for an organization, brochures you’ve designed, posts you’ve written for a blog, and stories and photos you’ve had published. Publication can be print or online.

Attend The Alligator’s Open House, which is held at the beginning of the semester. Take your résumé and any clips you have. Add your name to the Stringers’ List. You’ll receive email notices about stories The Alligator needs covered. Being a stringer is a good way to get published, to get to know The Alligator staff, and to develop your reporting skills.

Please read the publication tips at the end of this blog post for general guidelines about getting published.

Your sustainability story for Lab 7 and your environmental, health, science or technology (EHST) story for Lab 9 offer an opportunity to get your work published, providing not only the thrill of seeing your name in print but also the potential of up to 25 points of extra credit.

One key to getting published is to think of who might be interested in your story before you finish it, which allows you to craft your story in such a way as to maximize publication potential – from the focus of the story to the sources you interview.

With that in mind, here are a few places where Multimedia Writing students have been published in the past:

alligator_screenshotThe Alligator
The Alligator is the first choice for publishing for many students in Multimedia Writing and Reporting. You are very familiar with the publication, and the stories that you write that have a focus on the UF campus could be appropriate for The Alligator.

Be sure to read The Alligator’s “Submitting a Story” guidelines. They provide information including the publication timeline, your subject line for the email you send, etc. Check the list of section editors for The Alligator, and select the appropriate editor to contact.

True for The Alligator and other media outlets — Do a search of the publication’s archives to see if a story on your topic already has been published. That may mean that your story won’t have the potential of being published, or it may mean that you need to adjust your focus to provide a different angle or an update on the previous story. screen
A new publication outlet is That’s the website for the College’s news production in the Innovation News Center.

The listening and online reading audience for is an 18-county area in the north central Florida that includes Alachua County. (See map.)

The audience they are focusing on are adults, not UF college students. So campus stories are not appropriate unless those stories connect with that non-campus audience.

map of WUFT listening areaHere are directions for submitting your stories:

All Multimedia Writing stories for web should be sent to slugged JOU 3109C story for web by “insert name.”

Include your story, photo, caption, video link from WUFT News Vimeo (login on Newsroom under Login Menu), audio, tweet links, etc… ALL ASSETS in one email.

Include your contact information and your source’s information in the email.

The web editors will place your story into our WordPress content management system. When they have questions, not IF, but WHEN, they will contact you to answer questions on your story in the post.

All stories must have at least 3 sources and include BOTH sides of the story, meaning it is balanced and fair.

WUFT will not run a story that has already been published by other news sources (Alligator, Sun, Star-Banner, GTN, TV20, etc…) unless it advances the story

Read “UF College of Dentistry brings smiles to Special Olympics,” written by Jaclyn De Bonis last semester, as an example of a story with a UF connection but a non-campus focus.

Sparks Magazine
sparks_magazineThis online magazine magazine includes news, opinion, entertainment and lifestyle stories that increase cultural awareness and articulate the Asian American perspective. The process for submitting articles and photos is emailing them to

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park publications

Friends of Paynes Prairie photo contestAmber Roux, parks service specialist, is interested in stories and photos that could be published in the Friends of Paynes Prairie newsletter or website. Read the guidelines she has provided to better understand the audience for these publications and to know what the submission guidelines are.

For any story you are working on regarding Paynes Prairie contact Amber Roux FIRSTbefore contacting any rangers directly.   This really is important!    Amber Roux: 352-466-4966 / email –

Allow 5 days, minimum, for interview. Last minute, ‘urgent’ calls, will only be returned if the schedule allows. Roux is the primary contact for media, not the rest of the staff.  Understand that you may not be able to interview the person of your choice.

Roux also has provided the photo release form that must be signed by individual who are recognizable in photos.

General guidelines:

1) Target your story to the specific media outlet. If you say you’ve written a story that could work for all three of these media outlets, none of them will accept your story, as it will be too general.

2) Include a relevant photo. A photo adds visual appeal. and the Paynes Prairie publications would like to include at least one photo with every story. Be sure to write a caption for your photo. Paynes Prairie requires a signed release by anyone included in a photo (except for park employees).

3) Include relevant links in your story. That’s especially true for

4) Expect to have to revise your story and do additional reporting. Getting published typically is not just sending in your story and having it appear in print or online. Almost every editor will have suggestions for how the story could be improved. So be ready to change your lead or find and interview additional sources.

Once you have a story idea and a target publication in mind, check online to see if the publication previously has published stories on your topic.

• UF Sustainability website – Contact Allison Vitt.

• Alachua County Today – based in Alachua, covers Gainesville and surrounding towns in Alachua County.

• The Gainesville Sun – also publishes and Gainesville Magazine. Typically very difficult for JOU3109 students to get published in The Sun.

• The Odyssey – focuses on fraternities/sororities

• The Fine Print – UF-based magazine that features advocacy journalism

• Giggle Magazine – family and lifestyle magazine for Alachua County

• Publications and websites in your hometown. Weekly publications especially are interested in stories (and photos) written by students who graduated from area high schools. Working on a hometown story can lead to getting published and can lead to an internship.

Most publications, especially those that are online, want to have stories that include relevant links. Having a good photo (and caption) to accompany your story can add to the potential of having your story published.