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Tag: National Newspaper Week

Two women, Brenda Shenton in light orange sweater and Shannon Peace in dark rust shirt, with award certificates earned by Shootin' the Breeze.

Celebrate National Newspaper Week with us

While times are tough in most industries right now, our team tries to keep our chins up as we face new, and unique, challenges in the newspaper business.

Celebrating what Shootin’ the Breeze does well is something I enjoy. It’s not meant in a vain way but as a matter of shining a bright spotlight on the people who work very hard to ensure there is a newspaper in your hands every Wednesday morning.

A few weeks back, Brenda Shenton and I spent a weekend in Edmonton at the annual general meeting and convention of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association. We’d talked about going together for a number of years, and now that she’s retired she finally had time to join me!

If you ask, Brenda will tell you that she came away with much deeper insight into what happens beyond our local media outlet. She knows that, despite the potholes and bumps on the newspaper highway, I come back from this annual event rejuvenated and motivated.

The turnout was grim and, as convention chairwoman, it’s something I’ve been trying to address over the past two years. Many say they simply can’t afford the cost of the trip or the cost of being away from their office for even two days.

On the bright side, those in attendance, both in person and virtually, are committed to keeping Alberta’s newspapers strong.

 

Large B logo for the Brick Pincher Creek with yellow button to view current flyer

 

Hardships were acknowledged and solutions were sought. There’s no better place to do this than among a group of your peers.

Once ideas get flowing, things quickly get productive. I’m sure each publisher in attendance went home with something new to implement.

Sometimes conversation leads to more questions than answers. This is just as important.

Brenda made a point of speaking with all of the younger members in attendance. She heard positive hopes for the future and concerns that their older co-workers or employers often aren’t open to trying new ideas.

An age-old story that is not limited to the press.

 

AWNA 2023 board of directors; Jeff Burgar, Amanda Zimmer, Lisa Sygutek, Shannon Peace and Evan Jamison.
2023 board of directors of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association are Jeff Burgar of the HIgh Prairie South Peace News, left, Amanda Zimmer of the Claresholm Local Press, Lisa Sygutek of the Pass Herald, Shannon Peace of Shootin’ the Breeze and Evan Jamison of the St. Albert Gazette. Missing are Craig Barnard of Post Media and Daria Zmiyiwsky of Black Press. | Photo by Pearl Lorentzen of the Slave Lake Lakeside Leader

 

 

The AGM always ends with the swearing in of the AWNA board of directors. A number of us are in our fourth year serving together, giving the board stability and strength.

This year, Lisa Sygutek of the Pass Herald has moved to the role of board president and I will work alongside her as vice-president.

Amanda Zimmer of the Claresholm Local Press is back on the board, giving southwestern Alberta the benefit of three female independent newspaper owners having a voice.

I mention female because back when my parents and Lisa’s parents were involved, these positions were generally held by men.

Joining us are Daria Zmiyiwsky of Black Press, Craig Barnard of Postmedia, Evan Jamison of the St. Albert Gazette and Jeff Burgar of the High Prairie South Peace News.

Lisa has been heavily involved in the government affairs of the association, something she excels in. Lisa is feisty and blunt, and fights for what she believes in.

We all believe in the value of community newspapers and look forward to a strong year supporting Alberta’s community news sources.

 

View of women's clothing store, at Emerald & Ash Clothing in Crowsnest Pass.

 

Along with a new title, I returned home with a number of awards for our publication.

The BNC Awards of Excellence and Photographic Awards are open to all Alberta newspapers, from the smallest to the largest.

Best Ad Campaign Award – third place: Jaiden Panchyshyn for Blackburn Jewellers 2022 Shop Local for Christmas campaign.

Best Agricultural Section – third place: Shootin’ the Breeze.

Sue Gawlak Best Local Editorial – honourable mention to Shannon Peace for My Little Corner.

Sports Writing Award – honourable mention to Mia Parker for Local Women Excel in 1,000-Mile Survival Race on the Yukon River.

Wildlife Photo – honourable mention to Jenaya Launstein.

The BNC General Excellence Awards are classed according to circulation. Shootin’ the Breeze is in a group of 13 newspapers and the awards reflect the work of our entire team.

Best Editorial Page – second place

Best Overall Score – third place

Best Front Page – third place

I tip my hat to my co-workers at the Breeze and to my fellow board members of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association. Work well done is worthy of celebration as we move forward.

 

Crockets Trading Company building against an orange and purple coloured sunset on ad for Crockets local Christmas gift ideas.

 

Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.
Young woman with long dark hair reading a book called Champions

What makes a champion of the truth?

When you think of a champion, what comes to mind? Perhaps an athlete with a gold medal or a student winning an academic trophy? But what about another type of champion, the people who stand up for and defend our democracy – not with physical prowess, but with their words.

Champions of the truth. These champions are hardworking individuals from the newspaper industry who produce high-quality, local news that cannot be found anywhere else.

In honour of National Newspaper Week (October 1-7, 2023), here are three defining characteristics that make the people behind our presses champions of the truth.

  1. Stands up for the truth
    Fighting for the truth is integral to being a champion, but what does standing up for the truth mean? It means a commitment to sharing factual news so that people have the tools to make informed decisions. Standing up for the truth is not always easy, but it’s what champions do.
  2. Contributes to their community
    Champions cover stories and share information that helps to keep people connected. True champions are invested in making their communities better places. Champions know what their communities need – not just because they report on them, but because they are a part of them – and are often the first to raise their hand to help out. They could be volunteering for a local little league, sitting on an industry board, or helping pave the way for the next generation.
  3. Inspires the next generation
    Champions are dedicated to their craft; their work speaks for itself and inspires others. They may uncover stories that impact the nation or their local community, but no matter what, they are committed to telling these stories and getting crucial information to the people who need it. Through their work, they show others a path forward to a vibrant career in news media, encouraging the next generation to get involved. Their work impacts real people and real communities and encourages others to follow in their footsteps.

Does this sound like someone you know? If you read your local news, you might be interacting with a champion of the truth and not even know it.

Plate of Charlie Biggs' chicken tenders with sauces on the side and link to Blairmore menu.

That’s why, each National Newspaper Week, honouring those who contribute to the industry is important. This year, News Media Canada is paying tribute to Canada’s champions of the truth by creating a first-ever illustrated book entitled Champions. This book features the stories of notable Canadians from the news media industry who are integral to what keeps our democracy thriving through vibrant, independent and local news media.

Learn more about National Newspaper Week and show your support for the industry by purchasing a copy of the Champions book (starting October 1) and downloading the “Champions” font at www.ChampionsoftheTruth.ca.

Why We Celebrate National Newspaper Week

National Newspaper Week is an annual opportunity to recognize the critical role that newspapers play in an active and healthy democracy and is celebrated in North America starting on the first Sunday in October. Local newspapers deliver vital information to Canadians every day, connecting local communities across the country and keeping citizens informed, engaged, and connected.

About News Media Canada

News Media Canada is the voice of the print and digital news media industry in Canada and represents hundreds of trusted titles in every province and territory.  News Media Canada is an advocate in public policy for daily and community media outlets and contributes to the ongoing evolution of the news media industry by raising awareness and promoting the benefits of news media across all platforms. For more information, visit www.newsmediacanada.ca or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

 

White car surrounded by auto parts on Pincher Creek Bumper to Bumper ad