What is the Lost Coast Outpost?
It is Humboldt County’s home page. That’s Humboldt County, California.
But what does that mean?
It means that the Outpost endeavors to be Humboldt County’s particular corner of the Internet. (Though all are welcome.)
It means that the Outpost is the place people go to get information about what is happening in Humboldt County, or to talk about what is happening in Humboldt County.
Is it a news site?
Sometimes. Most of the time, probably.
So you’re saying that it’s a FAKE NEWS site?
We are very serious about correct and accurate reporting, and we are shamefaced when we get something wrong. We issue corrections when we err. We’re not satire, and we’re not out to fool people. We believe in objective facts. We try to find those facts. We don’t pretend things are facts when we know they are not facts.
Like your newspaper, it’s not all news. We have our equivalent of op-ed pages and sports pages and entertainment pages and cartoons.
It’s OK to read (and to publish) frivolous things sometimes. That’s what we’re saying. The frivolous doesn’t have to be the enemy of the profound. You, for example: Sometimes you laugh, and sometimes you are serious. Us too!
We feel like we have to spell this out here in the FAQ for the benefit of people who habitually write us and say that this story or that is not news — meaning, presumably, that it is unimportant or of no consequence.
So where should I register my complaint when I see something that is “not news,” in this sense?
Wherever you like. Might we suggest one of our comment threads?
Like we said above: The Outpost is a website about Humboldt County. That encompasses all sorts of things.
Sometimes there is some sort of countywide emergency underway, and we drop everything to find out what is going on and get that to the public. That’s what you’d call “breaking news.” Other times we spend days or weeks to find out something interesting and perhaps alarming about a local branch of government, say, or a local company’s business practices. That’s what you’d call “investigative reporting” or “enterprise reporting.”
Then other times we take a funny video of a dog leaning on a car horn in Old Town. If there’s a name for what kind of reporting that is, we don’t know it. But it doesn’t matter. It’s a thing about Humboldt County, and for Humboldt County. People like it.
But what’s with this thing about just posting a press release? That’s not “reporting” at all!
Why do you do it, then?
Sometimes people think that we invented this. In fact, newspapers have posted press releases verbatim or near-verbatim since time immemorial. Used to be they’d byline them “News-Press Staff Report,” or something like that.
When the Outpost began, we thought the transparent way to approach this was simply to run the press release that was sent out, attributing it — warts and all — to the agency that posted it. The novelty, perhaps, was that we have been transparent about it.
Why do we do it? We publish a particular press release when we believe the general public wants to read it. That’s pretty much it.
What is this “LoCO”?
It’s what we call the Lost Coast Outpost when we’re feeling jaunty.
Does the Lost Coast Outpost have an official sonnet?
O fiery orb through western skies descend!
The county fain would be ablaze, its air
Empurpled, reddened. Rays of orange bend
To earth. In freedom use their image fair.
O mighty lighthouse rise to banish dark!
Illume, you scribes, benighted towns, cesspools
Of envy, lust, despair. Your vessels mark
The leagues, the beacon’s potent glare. It rules.
Now sun and lamp in concert shine! The day
Is won in verdant fields. To copy, paste,
To charm the crowd again, again. This way
A new house ascends, the old house lain waste.
Behold, a vaunted organ’s candleflame
Turned ere to ash, and soot, and small acclaim.
The Lost Coast Outpost Lowdown! is your guide to what’s on Humboldt County — community events, movie times, nightlife, nature walks, etc. It’s emceed by the Outpost’s Andrew Goff and features a rotating cast of bobblehead characters who either:
- Give you their must-do event for the day, or
- Ramble on about something else entirely.
But this “Lowdown!” only tells me what’s going on in a day-by-day fashion! I want to peruse all the major things that are coming up over the next week or month or year!
Aha! Well then you must check out the Lost Coast Outpost’s Lowdown! Lookahead!
Why didn’t you guys list my event on the Lowdown?
Why didn’t you list your event on the Lowdown, guy?
Go to to this page. Fill in the boxes according to the instructions provided. Bang! Your event is on the Lowdown.
If you already have an event page set up on Facebook, then follow the instructions at the top of the page to make this whole process super, super simple.
I posted something but I totally screwed it up. Why doesn’t the Outpost allow me to edit my listing?
Well, if we were to make it so that people could edit their Lowdown listing, then we’d have to set up some sort of login system to allow you to post something in the first place. Think about it — if anyone could edit their post without a login, then the bar across the street might come in and mess with the band lineup playing at your bar tonight.
We’re staying away from logins and accounts and all that rigmarole for the time being because it seems like it would be too much of a hassle for people. So what do you do if you mess something up?
The very best thing would be to post it again, correctly, and then drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org requesting that the first post be deleted. If for some reason you can’t do that, send us an email to the address listed. Tell us what you messed up and how to fix it.
How do I submit an obituary?
Sorry for your loss.
The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. Email the obituary to email@example.com, and put “Obituary” in the subject line.
Note: The Outpost can only run obituaries of people who meet one or the other of the following criteria:
- People who were living in Humboldt County or immediately neighboring communities — Salyer, Piercy, Somes Bar, Dinsmore, Ruth Lake, Klamath — at the time of their passing. By “living in Humboldt County,” we mean that their primary residence was here.
- Former Humboldt County residents who will be interred here, and who will be having services here at a public place at a date and time specified in the text of the obituary.
Obituaries of Del Norte County residents will be posted on our sister site, the Wild Rivers Outpost.
When should I submit my obituary?
Submit your obituary when you have all the information you want to run in it — dates and times of services, celebrations of life, etc. — and not before. We can only run an obituary once.
But submit it within two months of the person’s passing, or just before a person’s celebration of life. We cannot run obituaries that are later than that.
What should I include in the obituary?
This is important. We want to read about your friend or family member’s life, and we want other people to read it too. Write the obituary for people who did not know your loved one. Here are some tips.
In the first place, we ask you to send a photo of the deceased. It doesn’t matter what age the person was when the photo was taken — just send the best photo you have, the one that best illustrates the person’s spirit. You can send the photo as a JPG or PNG or GIF or whatever — doesn’t matter — but it should be a reasonably high-resolution file.
Secondly: When you sit down to write your obituary, don’t skimp on the details. Tell us when and where she was born. Tell us some of the things she did growing up. Tell us about her work. Tell us about her accomplishments, the things she loved, the major milestones in her life. Give us some anecdotes — tell us one or two stories, the sorts of stories that family and friends will share while they are grieving.
Newspaper obituaries have a word limit. We do not. Don’t worry about that.
We think it is a nice tradition to name the people who have survived the deceased, and who preceded him in death, but it is not mandatory. If you do this, it is best to do it near the end.
If you’d like old friends and acquaintances to know about any services or memorials that are coming up, please include those at the end of the obituary.
What other information do you need?
Two things: we need a name and phone number from the person who sends us the obituary, and we need to know the name of the funeral home that has handled the arrangements. We won’t publish those things if you don’t want us to. Just tack them on the top of the email.
Why did you decline to publish my loved one’s obituary?
We reserve the right to decline to publish obituaries. If we decline to publish an obituary, it is because it did not meet one of these criteria:
- It did not have a picture.
- It did not have enough detail about the person’s life.
- It didn’t give us the name of the funeral home that handled arrangements.
- It did not come with contact information for the person submitting the obituary.
- Most often, the deceased did not meet the residency requirements outlined above, or we were unable to verify that they did.
If we decline to publish an obituary for that last reason, it’s not because we didn’t think your loved one wasn’t “Humboldt enough,” or anything along those lines. We are not going to make a subjective call about whether someone was “Humboldt enough,” which is why we have these objective standards that we can verify. We know they’re flawed sometimes, but they’re necessary. Sorry.
What are my options if the obituary was declined?
We have an “In Memoriam” section on the Lost Coast Outpost classifieds’ section — “The Classies.” As of this writing the cost for such an ad is $1 per day for a picture and an infinite number of words.
You can purchase a classified at this link.
How should I NOT submit an obituary?
You can send us your obituary as a Word document, in the text of an email, as a PDF — whatever. If we can open the thing, we can work with it.
But let’s take a moment to marvel at a surprisingly popular method of obituary submission that you should not employ, and may well risk your obituary not being published.
Here is that method — which, again, is more common than you would ever imagine!
1. I type the obituary into my computer.
2. When the obituary is complete and to my satisfaction, I print it out on a piece of paper.
3. I grab my phone and take a picture of this piece of paper.
4. I email the photo of the printout of the obituary I have typed and printed out on paper to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please don’t do this. It baffles the mind.
Instead, skip the whole printing-it-out-on-a-piece-of-paper-then-photographing-that-piece-of-paper routine — steps 2 and 3, here — and go directly from step one to a modified version of step 4. Email us the text of the obituary, not a picture of a printout of the text.
Give it to me.
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