Ponoka News earns provincial recognition at awards gala

Best overall newspaper and Fire Prevention Week best supplement among the awards

Ponoka News has made the list of honoured newspapers in Alberta.

On June 1, Ponoka News received several important awards at the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Awards banquet in Edmonton (for work done in 2017). Speaking as the editor, being recognized for hard work is rewarding and humbling at the same time.

It’s important to note that none of this would be possible without the dedication of the staff in our newsroom. For starters publisher Judy Dick is quite literally the driver of this proud, long-standing community newspaper.

It’s that dedication that helped earn Ponoka News the Best All Around – Class D – Circulation 3,500 to 6,499 award, the Fire Prevention Week award with a press run of 5,000 or more, plus second place in the special sections category for our Christmas supplement.

Judy and I have held many (and I mean many) fruitful discussions about issues in Ponoka and Ponoka County. This has helped Ponoka News continue a strong legacy of community involvement. While we don’t always agree on the everything, there is a common overlying goal to ensure Ponoka is represented in our pages. This common goal is what we turn to when in doubt. It has never steered us wrong.

Among the other awards Ponoka News received was second place for Best Sports Page, which is all made possible by our resident sports expert, reporter Jordie Dwyer. His keen understanding of all things sports guaranteed that we would be among the group of quality newspapers being nominated.

Ponoka News also received third place spot for the Best Editorial Page (all awards were in the Class D category).

Seeing the quality of community newspapers Ponoka News was graded against left me somewhat awed.

These newspapers have managed to remain relevant in a changing digital landscape and they continue to be hubs of their communities. Ponoka News stands among them, and I for one am humbled by that.

The truth is, these awards would not be possible without the passion and dedication of our readers. From feedback in our pages to catching name misspellings (apologies to all that I missed), to challenging us on our social media pages (for those who call us ‘Fake News,’ we thank you), Ponoka News’ readers are just as engaged.

From the editor’s perspective, there seems to be a mutual desire to ensure Ponoka doesn’t get lost among the shuffle of noise that’s in the world. Yes, Ponoka News is bringing provincial, national and international news to its online pages; yes, we’re active on social media; and yes, we want to remain relevant to others, however, we continue to show passion for this community.

And our readers appear to feel the same.

In the world wide web, while Ponoka News is showing strong (and growing) readership numbers, it’s our local news, community and sports stories, historical articles by the great Mike Rainone, plus letters to the editor that continue to be read the most. For that, we are grateful.

It tells us in the newsroom that not only do our readers value what happens within this community, our readers are passionate about Ponoka.

Ponoka News staff also manage the editorial, advertisement and publication p

ages of the Bashaw Star. The Star was awarded Best Sports Page – Class A – Circulation under 1,100.

It’s the first time in I don’t know how many years that the Star was among any list of recognition. What that says to me is we are in the right direction with the Bashaw Star.

Here’s to another year of community news, and to our readers, we thank you.

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