Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Weekly newspaper in rural Kentucky may be small, but it thinks big

The Todd County Standard of Elkton, Ky., has a circulation of about 2,500, but it does a better job than many larger weeklies of putting items on the public agenda. On May 17 we noted its four-story package about the need for broadband Internet service in the county. That was part of the paper's year-long "Focus on the Future" series, which continued last week with "Some BIG Ideas" for the county of 12,000 people.

The paper presented the ideas without regard to what they might cost, but none of them were outlandish. "Let's just talk about what might be possible and perhaps someday someone with the resources or the drive might just succeed," said the staff-written story. In other words, the paper is planting seeds, giving them a first dose of water and hoping others will agree to take over. That's a worthy mission for a local media outlet.

The ideas included a drive-in theater; a theme park; a wedding chapel, which might appeal to nearby Fort Campbell; a museum that shows how tobacco, still an important local crop, is grown; and "a computer for every child in Todd County that needs one." The paper invited readers to submit their own ideas, which will be published in the Aug. 29 edition. The Standard has no Web site, but click here and here to see the pages.

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