Newsletter Publishing

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The arena of newsletter publishing can be divided into its old and new schools. The classic method of newsletter publishing mimicked that of newspapers, magazines, and other print journalism. Typically, a reporter or team of reporters went out and gathered local news, then typed up articles for copy and layout editors to work into shape before hitting the presses.

Compared with this costly and labor-intensive process, newsletter publishing today is a breeze. Publishers still depend on reportage for the most recent news, only now it's through a much more populist approach. Stories, scoops, and leads may all be emailed in by formal reporters, readers, or just active members of a community. Of course, these emails must be verified and fact-checked just as a good paper or magazine is, lest the publication open itself to libel suits and other litigation.

Newsletter Publishing in the 21st Century

While some publishers still cling to their Pagemaker programs, dot matrix printers, and trusty old number 10 envelopes, the majority operate entirely in the world of ones and zeros. Desktop publishing programs may be used to assemble stories and combine them with digital photos, or these measures may be dropped in favor of straight email text. Dynamic HTML can make a newsletter look cool, but it's often not worth the tradeoff of long download times and inconsistent browser displays.

Newsletter publishing by way of email costs next to nothing, except of course the time and energy of the individual or team putting the letter together. As the costs associated with "publishing" dwindle, more and more players enter the space and start up newsletters of their own. As with most forms of media, only a select few tend to stand out, while the others mostly blend together and garner modest readerships at best.

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