Important work

Last Friday we learned that, for the fifth year in a row, the Advertiser was named the top community newspaper in its circulation class in Ontario.

Awarded by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA), the general excellence award – this year in the over-12,500 circulation class – is a significant achievement.

Some newspapers plaster such news across their front page, but that’s not how we do things here. Nonetheless, it is an achievement we’re proud of – especially after having won top honours five years in a row.

The general excellence award recognizes everything from classifieds and regular ads to opinion pages to in-depth reporting, which is great because it rewards the hard work of everyone in the newspaper’s office.

We have an impressive group of staff here and it is an honour each week to work alongside each and every one of them. 

Admittedly, there were fewer entries for the annual OCNA awards this year, partly due to the loss of more than 70 weekly newspapers after Metroland Media Group declared bankruptcy last September.

But that only reinforces the importance of the work we’re doing here. And it wouldn’t be possible without our faithful advertisers and readers.

Thanks once again for your support over the years. We are forever grateful.

Silly season upon us

June 1 is just around the corner, which means, if past years are any indication, I’ll soon be receiving calls and emails complaining about Pride flags going up in communities across the county.

Though always sent under the guise of “flag etiquette” or “fairness” or, as seen recently in Minto, a quest for “neutral” public spaces, these folks usually reveal their true colours soon enough – and it’s never pretty.

Other June complainants have questioned why this newspaper would cover Pride events at all. 

I have a note a reader sent to me several years ago (anonymously of course) pinned to a wall in my office. It reads, “I would like you to stop putting in your paper anything to do with Pride. You have just lost a reader because you do.” 

I keep it to remind me of how important it is to cover such stories. Wellington County is a great place to live and work, but clearly we have a long way to go when it comes to inclusivity and acceptance – and at this newspaper we embrace our role in advancing those causes whenever possible.

This June, if you find yourself  angered by a Pride flag or by coverage of Pride events in the news, you always have the option of looking the other way. It accomplishes just as much as complaints or vandalism (absolutely nothing), but it also doesn’t hurt people either.

Give it a try.

And have a happy Pride month.