Congratulations due

Best in class, best in province – we have some thanking to do.

This past week the Ontario Community Newspaper Association held its annual Better Newspaper Competition and the Advertiser factored in soundly on many categories.

For the second year in a row we were honoured to win the General Excellence award in our circulation class. This category examines the newspaper as a whole – the advertising, news and aspects that lend itself to being a voice for the community. As the judges noted, “This paper packs in a lot of community news and has a little bit of everything that would appeal to a broad readership.”

That recognition means a lot and certainly in a year consumed with the pandemic thanks are owed to a fabulous staff that care greatly about what they do. From our award-winning graphics team to seasoned journalists, each department stepped up to make it happen in a year when many colleagues across the province closed up shop, went online only or hobbled along hoping for better times. To have excelled during COVID is a feat in itself.

Doing better, improving quality and meeting the demands of an ever-increasing circulation count as communities continue to grow is no easy task. It is basically a weekly juggling act between attracting advertising revenue, paying the expenses and keeping enough to ensure viability in the longer term.

That dogged determination – to serve the community well – rests on a few core values as it has since its inception in 1968.

Chiefly, we want every resident to have access to our newspaper and we want advertisers to be served well. Print copies are delivered weekly and online news is available 24/7.

Another core value has been to retain perspective and understand this newspaper is about serving the communities it serves. It is all about informing and entertaining our readers each week understanding that their time is valuable.

Above all, it is about quality journalism whereby we don’t just run press releases from government agencies – we actually go through and verify those messages. The odd time there may be a few minutes or part of a day slip away depending on immediate duties at the time, but what our readers can always expect is quality reporting – not dollar store journalism where thorough coverage takes a back seat to volume, speed and click counts.

It has always been our belief that our greatest competition is amongst ourselves. As other publications have been bought and sold and closed we have managed to weather those storms with goodwill and dedication. In the weeks ahead there are plenty of good surprises in store.

Thanks to our staff for keeping the faith in these turbulent times and rising to the challenge of excellence. Congratulations!

Have a question?

In the old days, pre-pandemic times, there were occasions when readers would stop us to ask about something they read or posed a question in curiosity about the state of news and social media.

Being cooped up and otherwise masked when in public, those chances to interact with the public are something we miss. It was also a great way to get news tips.

The door here is always open, so to speak. If you want to chat about news, the state of affairs for the newspaper industry or even suggestions about how to improve our newspaper to better serve readers, please feel free to contact me personally at