It may not have always been this way but women are now part of a driving force in hundreds of industries, including newspapers.
Ponoka News’ manager Judy Dick started working in the newspaper industry in 1982 as a member of the Ponoka Herald production team. “My job was putting the newspaper together … cutting and pasting.”
Later Dick moved to the sales department, which wasn’t a stretch for her because she already had a sales background.
In 1987 Dick began work at Ponoka News, where she’s been ever since. In May she was honoured for her 25 years of service to the paper.
“I live and breathe this paper,” said Dick.
In 2007 Black Press asked Dick to take over as the paper’s manager. The same year Black Press hired a regional publisher for Ponoka News, something that was new to the paper.
“Under his helm they still needed someone to run the show here,” said Dick. “My daily, or weekly (job) is to make sure the paper is produced in a timely manner.” She also became an executive director with the Ponoka Chamber of Commerce that same year.
Up until 1998 Ponoka News was a locally owned paper. That was the year it was purchased by Black Press. “It was tough being a locally owned paper,” said Dick.
Being locally owned wasn’t the only challenge Ponoka faced that was eliminated in the late 1990s.
Ponoka used to house two newspapers, Ponoka News and the Ponoka Herald. There has been a lot of changes over the years.
“Our biggest obstacle now is online. Almost every business has a website,” said Dick.
With Ponoka News being a free paper it isn’t as affected by online content as other papers, such as dailies, said Dick.
Subscriptions have fallen over the years but people are still reading the content online. Snowbirds used to subscribe and have Ponoka News sent to them during the winter but now they read it online.
Dick says the number of classifieds has also fallen because of online advertising.
“As a community we do the very best with the cards that have been dealt to us.”
Dick believes if the paper continues to support and work in partnership with Ponoka’s unique businesses it will continue to succeed.
“I just feel I’ve grown with the paper.” Dick says her commitment to the paper has also grown.
“We want to do good. We want to do better. The addition of George Brown as editor has really helped. He knows what’s best to get in the paper each week.”
In 2007 Dick was nominated for businesswoman of the year. “I was honoured I was nominated.”
In 2008 the paper won the Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award.