Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Digging the Information Out of Small Town Newspapers

You know how they say that everyone knows your business in a small town. Much of that "business" is learned from the local newspaper.

At work every week, I get several of the newspapers from surrounding small towns. These newspapers have a unique style of their own. In one of the papers, no real news makes the front page--you have to do some digging. You have to dig deep for it in the paper, if it is there at all. One great thing about many small town papers is the police blotter. I have to say that I find police blotters anywhere particular enjoyable. You should always look for your relatives and neighbors in the police report, just so you are up on their lives.

Another important section of the small town rag is the Society page. It lists births, deaths, and marriages, and missionaries (this is Utah) often on the same page in the same style. One has to look closely at the heading to see if the picture is for a wedding or a death or a missionary homecoming/farewell.. Another important thing about this page is that you find out how everyone is related to each other. Parents, siblings, and children are always listed in Obits, and the Marriages always have at least parents listed, if not the grandparents also. The wedding announcements also tell what the couple has been doing, what they'll do after marrying, and occasionally, how they met. Graduation announcements are important, as they can help you keep up-to-date with kids you graduated, important information like who is married, how many kids they have, where they are living, and where they are working.

Another integral part of the small town paper is the Senior Menu. This is published every week and lists what the senior will be serving each day of the week. This way you don't have to go out only to find that you don't like the food that is being served.

Real news can be found by scouring the paper. Check the want ads for who is selling houses--their names may not be listed, but the address will be! Also, don't miss the letters to the editor, as they often tell what has been going on in the community, and who is upset with whom and why.

And there you have it--the intricacies of a small town newspaper. There much more (and less) to them than meets the eye.


Beee said...

Nice insight on small town newspapers. Have you spotted any of your relatives in the police blotter, or elsewhere in the paper lately?

Manda said...

Hmm, apparently not all of the news is passed on. My friend who lives in Maryland is the one that had told me that our second cousin had gotten married, because her parents were invited and they wanted in know if I was related to him.

Beee said...

So, I think that you should go and comment on my blog about the favorite Doris Day movie. I know you don't want to admit to liking them, but I like the comments, most of the time.

Beee said...

Isn't this a really sad life that I have to solicit comments on my blog? LOL