Saturday, October 25, 2014

ASK JODIE: Even obvious city addresses come with more context

By JODIE GARCIA, Ask Jodie | 7/16/2014

QUESTION: Why is it necessary to include the addresses of parks, the courthouse, police and sheriff’s offices and other public buildings and areas in stories in the newspaper?

Jim, Ottawa

QUESTION: Why is it necessary to include the addresses of parks, the courthouse, police and sheriff’s offices and other public buildings and areas in stories in the newspaper?

Jim, Ottawa

ANSWER: Jim, I’d bet almost anything that you’ve lived in Ottawa awhile. From the perspective of a long-time resident, I imagine The Herald’s policy of tacking on addresses to locations can be utterly baffling. You might be thinking to yourself, “How could anyone not know the location of the Franklin County Courthouse (301 S. Main St.)?

I sat down with Tommy Felts, managing editor at The Herald (104 S. Cedar St.) to learn more.

“A lot of newcomers are not familiar with the community and need a little extra context when it comes to finding certain places, particularly businesses, offices or places where events are happening,” Felts said. “Our job at The Herald is giving readers information they can use to become more involved or better educated on the issues around them.”

New residents aren’t the only ones who might need a little extra help. Visitors driving through town or making a day trip to Ottawa for one of our many area festivals and events also might not know the location of Forest Park (320 N. Locust St.), for example, Felts said.

Not to mention the Herald’s out-of-town subscribers, who span Kansas and 21 states.

Bottom line: Including addresses after locations is just another way to reflect the Herald’s commitment to inclusiveness.

“We don’t want any of our readers to feel left out,” Felts said, “which is what easily can happen if they aren’t in the loop about some aspect of the community — even something as simple as the address of Ottawa’s City Hall (101 S. Hickory St.).”

Have a question about your community? Ask Jodie Garcia at askjodie@ottawaherald.com or call (785) 242-4700.

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