It took a while staring at a blank screen to figure out what it was that I really wanted to say about a new newspaper for north Wellington. Then it came to me: “I love newspapers!” More specifically, I love what newspapers can do for the communities they serve.
Along with providing a forum for residents and businesses alike, it allows people to have a common point of interest – making communities strong and vibrant. There is something about belonging to a cause larger than oneself.
Newspapers showcase the sum of a community’s parts, celebrating the efforts of individuals and smaller groups within that geography. In a presentation to a Chamber of Commerce group one time, I suggested if newspapers did not exist and someone presented the notion, it would be embraced as an excellent innovation. There, in one complete package would be the news people need to know. Putting that package together is no easy feat. It takes a dedicated staff and, just as important, a community that wants to make it work.
In the case of Wellington County, over 50 newspaper titles have existed since its inception, chronicling the history of this area, driving change, celebrating victories and soothing hurts. Many titles have come and gone, but what has remained is opportunity, good will and families proud to call their community home.
The last 20 years, however, have introduced degrees of change that few generations have witnessed. In terms of the economy, all of us have been forced to think in global terms. The internet, with all of its benefits, has changed how business is conducted, how people interact and legacy communication entities like newspapers have not been immune from any of these disruptive technologies.
Reflecting on these changes, I reviewed an old Steve Thorning column initially written in October 1999 for the Wellington Advertiser. That column, about north Wellington and its storied history of newspapers, has been reprinted for reference this week.
Let’s just say having grown up in the business I can still recall a good number of titles that served Wellington in the last 50 years. Some original titles like the Palmerston Observer, Harriston Review, Arthur Enterprise News, Mount Forest Confederate and others morphed into different entities over time. Although names and ownership changed, it continued to be demonstrated that there was a need for coverage and a need for news.
A.W. Wright, editor of the Mount Forest Confederate, observed in 1933 that “no one in Wellington County became wealthy publishing a newspaper.” First-hand knowledge suggests those words still resonate as fact today. However, the desire to meet the needs of readers still beats strong, as does the optimism that providing such a service can be done successfully and meaningfully.
With that in mind we are announcing a new title to further serve the local interests of residents in the north of the county, which includes the townships of Mapleton and Wellington North and the Town of Minto.
The North Wellington Community News will offer that special local touch, with news from Arthur, Mount Forest, Damascus, Clifford, Drew, Harriston, Palmerston, Moorefield, Drayton, Glen Allan, Alma and all points in between. We want to hear from readers about the importance of their corner of the world – the good things happening and about things that matter in these smaller communities once served by a dedicated page or paper. Sure, there is change, but change can be good.
It is the intention of this new publication to bring people together – for local shopping, local news, local entertainment and celebrations of all things local. North Wellington’s best years lie ahead, firmly built on a rich cultural heritage and enviable community spirit.
The Wellington Advertiser will continue to be delivered with news of regional interest – a package that will be hard to beat.
Read, enjoy and comment. We are always interested in hearing how best we can serve you.