Aaron Snyder: Unincorporated Inspiration Boosts Insight


October 29 — One aspect of journalistic writing that fascinates some who get into this business – like our illustrious sports editor – is the deadline.

A date line is the first word you read (usually in all caps and bold) when entering the story.

This is important, especially for a community driven newspaper like The Daily Independent. It indicates exactly where the story came from or where the event took place.

We take date dates seriously because we know that fill-the-gap townspeople care deeply about where they live.

For example, if a reader sitting on a Main Street porch down the street from Fairview High School opens the newspaper and sees a date from WESTWOOD, it might just warm their soul.

We are special about them. We don’t lazily write BOYD COUNTY if this happened in Boyd County outside of Catlettsburg or Ashland. And, not everything that happens in Rowan County has happened in Morehead – maybe it actually happened in Haldeman, for example, or even Clearfield.

Now here’s something notable: We don’t just stick a date on a story for the sake of having one. This is generally only applicable if we were physically present.

Today, as you browse this special October 29 edition, you’ll encounter a wide variety of dates in our four-part Insight section. Some of them may seem obscure. Others might strike a chord. And a few will just knock on the house.

Each year we try to come up with a creative theme for our Progress post in the spring and our Insight section in the fall.

At a staff meeting this summer, we brainstormed and agreed on the following: Kentucky Unincorporated.

An unincorporated community is a city that does not have a formally organized government and is essentially under the jurisdiction of the county in which it is located.

Journalist Henry Culvyhouse pitched the idea “because everyone focuses on incorporated cities, and unincorporated areas represent that pioneer mentality, where you have to take care of yourself.”

The sources of this pride can be found in many places in this city – from behind the counter of a general store to beyond the door of an elementary classroom, for example.

From Oldtown (one word) to South Portsmouth (no, not Ohio) in Greenup County, from Hitchins to Willard to Carter, from Meads to Rush to Boyd, and a few more in Elliott, Lawrence, Rowan, Lewis counties and Martin – and even a 10-letter town in Lee County (thanks to the aforementioned sports editor) – we bring you “Kentucky Unincorporated”.

As always, thanks for reading.

Contact AARON SNYDER at [email protected] or (606) 326-2664.


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