Public notices—a good place to find story ideas

June 5, 2012

By Stanley Schwartz
Managing Editor | Publishers’ Auxiliary
Sometimes the best story ideas are already in your newspaper. It just takes a second look to find them.
The Carrollton (KY) News-Democrat recently published a story about certain state parks about to start selling alcohol at their concession stands.
Publisher Jeff Moore said his staff first learned of this move when the state placed a public notice in the 3,000-circulation weekly.
“We would not have known about this if they had not had to publish this public notice,” he said.
Kentucky has several dry counties where alcohol sales are forbidden or restricted. Up until now, alcohol could not be sold in any Kentucky state park. Once the law has changed, alcohol sales will be permitted in wet counties where there is a state park.
Moore said he was surprised there was not a public outcry by the state’s move. No letters to the editor came in to the 145-year old paper.
Moore suspects that may change once people realize that they will no longer be able to bring in their own alcoholic beverages, but must purchase their beverages from the parks’ concessions.
Moore said he keeps a close eye on his public notices for story ideas.

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