Editor's Note: Ask An Editor is an occasional column celebrating LNP’s 225th anniversary. Send Ask An Editor questions to Lori Goodlin, content and production editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Why do you report news story locations in townships rather than the town name? Example: the recent bad storms that hit Penn Township. I’m born and raised in Lancaster city and have no idea where Penn Township is. Later I find out it’s Manheim.
Why not just say Manheim? How’s one to know what township these towns are located in?
We asked Michael Long, editor, writer and page designer, to answer.
A: Having grown up in Penn Township in the proud village of Penryn, this question is near and dear to my heart.
As much as I would love to think of Penryn as the heart and soul of Penn Township, the unincorporated burg is just one of several one-horse towns that reside within the boundaries of the township. Others are Elm, Elstonville, Mount Hope and Lancaster Junction. Manheim, however, is not part of the township.
Manheim, a borough, is its own municipality adjacent to the western edge of Penn Township.
When we report a severe storm hitting Penn Township, we do so for the sake of accuracy because the storm could conceivably make a mess of the many farm fields in the township and miss Manheim Borough altogether.
While we do try to locate lesser-known townships by referencing a nearby town, accuracy is the key.
Lancaster city is another good example. Lots of folks have Lancaster addresses but don't live in Lancaster city. Some people with Lancaster addresses live in Manheim Township or Lancaster Township. If we were to report that these township residents live in Lancaster, that would not be accurate, even though that’s what their mailing addresses say. Instead, we refer to them as township residents.
As reporters, we can’t just be in the ballpark, we need to be standing on the correct base.
Accuracy is everything.
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