News Tips and Submission Guidelines

Where do I send news tips or story ideas?

Yellowstone Gate would love to hear your story ideas and news tips, and will maintain strict confidentiality whenever it is requested by a source or tipster. Contact editor Ruffin Prevost in Cody at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]

What is Yellowstone Gate?

Yellowstone Gate is an independent, online local news service covering life in and around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. We publish online at Yellowstone

Who is behind Yellowstone Gate?

Yellowstone Gate is edited by Ruffin Prevost, who worked from Cody as Wyoming reporter for The Billings Gazette from 2005-2010. He covers Wyoming and the parks for Reuters news service.

Does Yellowstone Gate buy freelance material?

Yes, we plan to buy several stories and photos each year form freelancers. Our rates depend on several factors, and are negotiated on a case-by-case basis for each project. But for the time being, we’re in “startup mode,” and it’s rare that we’ll contract for paid freelance work. We are seeking quality submissions from passionate readers, but at the moment, you’re most likely to be paid only in “eternal gratitude.”

How can I get a story published by Yellowstone Gate?

We buy original works created for our readers, who are educated and civically engaged individuals who love the unique land, people and lifestyle of Yellowstone Country. Browse our web site for an idea of the kind of work we buy. Then pitch us your idea by sending a query letter that includes plenty of specific details and a brief outline of what you plan to write. Be sure to tell us why this story will be important and compelling to our readers, what questions it will answer and who you plan to quote. Include an estimated word count, a potential price, ideas for photos or other images and links to online samples of your writing.

What about photographs?

We typically assign photographers to work with a writer on a specific story. We’re always looking for local photographers, so please send us your contact info and some work samples. If you have an idea for a photo story, send us a query letter (see above) and some sample images. Your photos for Yellowstone Gate will automatically be included in our Flickr group. (We also recommend you contribute a few of your favorite shots, whether you took them for Yellowstone Gate or for some other reason.) Images in our pool are are made available under a Creative Commons non-commercial share-alike license.

What rights does Yellowstone Gate buy?

Because we are dedicated to producing journalism in the public interest, Yellowstone Gate shares our material with other news outlets free of charge. Yellowstone Gate stories and photos may appear in many publications after being posted on our site, but you will only be paid for their use on We may republish Yellowstone Gate stories and photos in printed books or other compilations of our material. Our single negotiated fee covers all of these uses.

What file formats does Yellowstone Gate require for submissions?

We prefer electronic queries submitted as a .PDF or MS Word file. When submitting a story, please save it as a MS Word (.doc) or Macintosh Pages (.pages) file. It should include a suggested headline, your byline as you would like it to appear, a one-sentence bio line about you (“Jane Doe is a writer and rancher living in Sheridan”) for the end of the story and your phone number and email address for our use. If you want your phone number and email address included in your bio line (which we recommend for reader feedback), let us know.

Photographs should be submitted as .jpg files at a resolution of between 2,000-2,500 pixels wide/tall at 150 dpi. All photos must have captions. Captions must be embedded in .jpg files following the IPTC format in the “caption” or “description” field. Google’s free, multi-platform Picasa software can help you do this if you don’t have software like PhotoMechanic or iPhoto. At the end of each caption, include your name in parentheses using this format: (Photog Name/Yellowstone Gate — click to enlarge). See our web site for examples of caption style and format.

Does Yellowstone Gate have a style guide?

Generally, we follow Associated Press style, with some local/organizational exceptions. We will be developing a Yellowstone Gate style guide, but your copy should conform to AP style standards. AP style guides are available online and in bookstores.

Has Yellowstone Gate adopted a specific set of ethics rules?

Though we have not yet developed a specific, comprehensive set of ethics rules or guidelines, Yellowstone Gate, like many newsrooms around the world, voluntarily follows the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics. As the SPJ states, the code “is intended not as a set of ‘rules,’ but as a resource for ethical decision-making.” Contributors are expected to disclose to editors any conflict of interest, potential conflict or even the appearance of one, and are encouraged to discuss any concerns or questions about ethics as soon as they arise.

How and when will I be paid by Yellowstone Gate?

Yellowstone Gate pays upon publication, but contributors must first submit an invoice. We have a template we recommend you use to make sure we have the necessary information for processing your payment. Contractors earning more than $600 in any calendar year will be required to provide a taxpayer ID number and address for 1099 reporting as required under federal income tax laws. When properly invoiced, we typically issue payment checks within 30 days of publication.

Who do I contact for more information or to pitch to Yellowstone Gate?

Contact editor Ruffin Prevost in Cody at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]

If you’ve already got something specific worked up that you’d like to share, feel free to use the form below. Please note that unsolicited submissions made using this form become the property of Yellowstone Gate. (So don’t use this form if you’re not giving it away for free!)

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