it could be that I have designed the database incorrectly.
I wanted each news story to be assigned to multiple stores if necessary (some stores are chains). I then want the articles to be pulled depending on what store(s) the user has selected as "favourite".
So say a new article has its local field as "1,2,5" and the user has local stores "3,4,5" they would get that article.
i would use DISTINCT to remove duplicates should the user have "1,2,5,7"
I think if I explode the user's local stores into an array I could use a php loop and query the news articles each time. Though I feel this is really bad practice and should be done at a MySQL level.