|Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I get a “hard” copy of the paper?
It is available at more than 250 locations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois. See "Distribution Locations" on our Media Kit page.
How can I tell what’s serious and what’s not?
Generally speaking, the bogus material will be located in the Good Humour section. Once in a while, the editor wants to put something in that he thinks is funny, but that won’t fit into the Good Humour section. He may then place it into another part of the paper. He has gotten into trouble for doing this enough times that he should know better, but he never seems to learn. He thinks whatever it is should obviously not be taken seriously, but because his sense of humor is a bit skewed, it is not always apparent to readers that he is kidding. We apologize for any resulting confusion. Here’s a tip: when something carries the byline Frank Lee Facetious, it’s a joke.
How can you afford to give the paper away instead of charging for it?
The theory is that advertising revenue will pay for the product, salaries, etc. In practice, we tend to provide too much editorial content (as opposed to ads) for that to happen, so we seldom make a profit. Contributions are, therefore, welcome. Think of it like public broadcasting, which is free, but can use all the support it can get. We promise not to institute pledge weeks.
What are the deadlines for press releases and ads?
The deadline for both is one week before the publication date, which is every other Friday. See The Calendar on our Media Kit page.
Do you print letters to the editor?
Not anymore. We used to get letters that were too long for our smaller page size. In many newspapers the letters to the editor page ends up being a forum for a few people who want grind the same old axes and we don’t have the space to indulge them. That doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in receiving suggestions, so if you have some, send them along.
Why don’t you have a sports section?
If you look at our distribution area, you will see that there are so many schools in it that it would be impossible to cover them all; either with manpower or page space. The Beacon has no ambition to replace local newspapers, each of which serves a purpose to its community. We hope you support them.
How can I submit news items?
Send them by e-mail, traditional mail or fax. See the Contact page on this website. We are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. 5 p.m. When submitting e-mails, please attach press releases in Microsoft Word or cut and paste the message into the body of the e-mail. Avoid taking pictures of people with sunglasses, as we want to see their eyes. Identify people and indicate who they are (from left to right). We can’t guarantee to run everything we receive because of space limitations. Please don’t bother to send anything that is blatantly commercial (that promotes a business). That is what ads are for.
What does the slogan, “A Paper Designed With Readers in Mind” mean?
It is the editor’s opinion that people who read are more intelligent and demanding than those who don’t and that it is our responsibility to serve them as well as we can. We feel it is important to provide information in an interesting and entertaining way and that it should be written well. We believe our readers are discerning people who like to read and that we should respect their level of intelligence. We believe that the same people who read the Beacon read big-market publications such as the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times and the Washington Post and that it is against their level of excellence that we will be judged.
Why don’t you have a classified advertising section?
Although it is a lucrative part of the newspaper business, it is also labor intensive. Our every-other-week publishing schedule makes it difficult for people who want to sell things. So we have opted to run what we call unclassified personal party display ads. These are one inch high by two columns wide and can appear anywhere in the paper that we have room, though we do try to place them in an appropriate section of the paper. They cost $15 and must be paid in advance with a credit card. People who have used them tell us they work quite well, as they are designed to do.
Why don’t you deliver The Beacon to everybody in the area the way some other papers claim to do?
First, it is too expensive. But mainly it is because there are some people who don’t want to read it. We have no way of knowing who those people are and don’t want to waste the paper and other resources giving them something they don’t want. At the end of the two week period when another edition is due, we know that nearly 20,000 people have picked up copies of The Beacon because they wanted to read it. Many of them have passed the paper on to friends, further enlarging our readership. Because the cost of a newspaper’s advertising is based upon the number of copies it prints, whether they are read or not, some papers end up charging advertisers for readership they don’t deliver. That means The Beacon’s advertising is more cost-effective than our competitors.
Are hard copy back issues of The Beacon available.
We have a limited number of back issues in print. They are available for $1 plus postage, unless you want to pick it up.