Even the best sleuths need help

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, August 12, 2009

When I was a girl, I loved Nancy Drew books.

I can remember going to the Winn-Dixie with my mom and begging for a new Nancy Drew book.

My first one was the one where she’s in high school and works for the school paper and still kicks tail as an awesome crime solver.

I think I fell in love with reporting then.

The thing that really got me about Nancy Drew was her “Keen-e” sense of observation, a character trait developed by author Edward Stratemeyer, a.k.a. Carolyn Keene.

And like most would think, observation is the key to good reporting.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve developed stories out of things I’ve read or seen while driving to and from work. There’s a long road between Andalusia and Florala, and when you travel it twice a day, you’re bound to see something interesting at some point.

In the community market, newspapers like The Star-News are filled with the who’s, the what’s and the why’s of what makes their county what it is.

I have to confess — sometimes I am more interested in the who’s than the why’s. I like seeing names and faces in our newspaper, and I’m sure others do as well.

However, the flip side — the how’s and why’s — honestly, to me, are the most fun to find out.

I think that’s why I liked Nancy Drew so much.

She wasn’t afraid to determine the five “Ws,” as well as the how, wrap the group together and deliver the criminal to the appropriate authorities.

The thing about Nancy, though, was that she wasn’t afraid to ask for help or to garner tips where she could — the same can be said of any reporter.

So now, I’m asking for help from you — our readers.

Covington County is a big county. Staff members can’t be everywhere at one time.

I want you to put to use your keen sense of observation and tell us what’s happening in your community.

Your church having a revival next Sunday?

We want to know.

Did your child/brother/sister/mother/father receive an outstanding honor/recognition/award?

We want to know.

Did your next-door neighbor who’s a schoolteacher get arrested for shoplifting at Wal-Mart?

I won’t lie — I want to know. And I’m sure, in turn, Star-News readers would want to know, too.

Is there a state or national issue preying on your mind, and you need us to explain what it is?

We want to know.

I think you see where I’m going with this.

Loosely adapted, I’m asking you — our readers — to be the Hardy Boys to my Nancy Drew.

Help us cover Covington County. Tell us what you’re seeing, what you’re wondering about and most importantly, what you’d like to read about.

We’re only a call or a click away.