Think about all the newspapers that could have printed something about your ancestor. There are more possibilities than just the nearest one. For my ancestors in southern Hancock County, Illinois, there were newspapers in nearby towns such as Warsaw and Mendon. There were several newspapers in the county seat of Carthage and newspapers in Quincy, Ilinois--a good thirty-five miles away and in a different county--also published news and gossip from those areas.
Don't just research one or two really close papers and ignore others--find out whether they published "gossip" from outlying towns or not.