Ponoka News publisher Judy Dick and editor Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye accept the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association 2016 Fire Prevention Week Award for circulation of 5,000 or bigger. The award was presented June 2 in Calgary at the AWNA annual awards banquet.Photo submitted

Ponoka News publisher Judy Dick and editor Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye accept the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association 2016 Fire Prevention Week Award for circulation of 5,000 or bigger. The award was presented June 2 in Calgary at the AWNA annual awards banquet. Photo submitted

Ponoka News earns provincial and national awards

Ponoka News was among the winners at recent newspaper contests in Alberta and nationally.

Every year newspapers across the country scour their news clippings for their very best photos and stories to see where they stand against their peers.

For the 2016 calendar year Ponoka News rated amongst the best papers across the country and province for two prestigious newspaper awards: the Canadian Community Newspaper Awards (CCNA) and the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association (AWNA).

Winning, or even placing in the top three, is an accomplishment to be proud of considering the high quality of community journalism in Canada. It highlights how much these community newspapers still thrive.

Community newspapers continue to be the link that connects everyone together.

For the AWNA awards, Ponoka News placed in the top three of several categories with the winners announced last weekend at its annual symposium. Seeing the quality of writing and photography makes one realize that quality journalism, and news photography still thrives in our ever-changing media landscape.

It was quite simply, inspiring.

Credit for Ponoka News’ acclaim must go to publisher Judy Dick who has been a major force behind much of what goes on behind-the-scenes with this newspaper.

The AWNA list of awards for Ponoka News is as follows:

• Fire Prevention Week 2016 Special Supplement with a circulation of 5,000 and over, the top award for this category

• Best Special Sections and Supplements Award: Third place for the Ponoka Stampede supplement

• Sue Gawlak Best Local Editorial: Third place for editor Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye’s opinion piece titled Council has a greater responsibility to the community

General Excellence: Third place for Best Sports Page

The CCNA award is as follows:

• Best Spot News Photo, Circulation 4,000 to 12,499: Winter Hazards by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye featuring the image of a rolled truck in a blowing snow storm

With any awards program the beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder but Ponoka News’ list of awards continues to grow and from the looks of things, doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

Indeed, Ponoka News, as part of the Black Press News Group, continues to grow and adapt through its online presence by engaging an attentive audience on social media and on www.ponokanews.com.

Ponoka News’ slogan is Connecting the Community, and that focus continues with our online presence; bringing engagement, discourse and news to the community.

The awards ceremony brings to light the importance of journalism in small communities but also in larger centres. If a newspaper is really able to mirror its community then its importance cannot be minimized.

The methods of news delivery have changed and Ponoka News is adapting, seeing monthly growth in its online readership. These are positive signs of what’s to come. Those who follow Ponoka News online will notice a new web layout with a more adaptive format while also being easier to click through different stories.

We are excited for the future and enjoy being able to bring the news to readers wherever they are. And, every now and then, it’s nice to be able to just sit down and read the newspaper to see what’s happening in the Town of Ponoka.

We thank you for allowing us to tell your stories.