How can I prevent news being published without an image?
You can set a default image to be used when no custom thumbnail is selected. This image will be used in news feeds (the Corporate News Feed and Personal News Feed macros) and the Cover Stories macro.
I want to make sure all employees really read important information.
The Linchpin Enterprise News includes what we call Mandatory News. Any news item can be marked as mandatory news and the user has to confirm that they have read it. This way you can be sure that your news has been seen.
How can I filter news items?
You can add categories to news items as needed. Then you can display all the news from a selected category.
You can also filter news by department and location.