News and Feature Services

These services are closely akin to daily newspapers in how they cover stories. In part, they reach the public through the print and electronic media that subscribe to their services. Besides traditional media these also include such online services as America Online.

Wire services such as The Associated Press, Reuters and United Press International cover medical, scientific, and engineering news via bureaus throughout the world. Major stories of broad interest are sent out on the national and, perhaps international wires. However, stories with a strong local angle and no national significance are sent over a state or regional wire only, reaching only subscribing media outlets in a particular state or group of states.

Some Associated Press bureaus have experienced staff science writers, with the wire service's science editor based in New York City. Science and medical stories should be sent to news editors or science writers at the bureau nearest to where the news occurs or is announced.

Other news services specialize in scientific and medical news. Still others, actually syndicates or chains of two or more newspapers, offer to subscribing publications science stories written by staff science writers for the syndicate (e.g., the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service, the New York Times News Service and Knight-Ridder News Service).

These services have very stringent deadlines. They must see to it that subscribers get their stories in time to print the news in accordance with release dates and times.

Feature services or syndicates are also heavy users of science and medical stories. Their particular interest is the exclusive feature story. While the pressures of the spontaneous news break may be absent, feature stories must still deal with timely subjects. Features usually highlight people and their achievements and must provide "human interest."' Some of the leading feature services are: Associated Press News Features, Copley News Service, Gannett News Service, and Newhouse News Service. Full details can be found in such references as the Editor and Publisher Yearbook or Bacon's Newspaper Directory.


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