The Haldimand Press has been anxiously awaiting the results of the Ontario Community Newspaper Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Competition awards, which was postponed from April due to COVID-19. While the wait was long and the event moved online, it was well worth it as we learned on Friday, July 24, 2020 that we were walking away with one first place, one second place, and three third place finishes!
Our first place win came in the community service category for our hosting an election debate. Having noticed that only one of three debates held for the 2015 election was being held for the 2019 election, The Press decided to step forward to ensure our community remained well informed on the issues and candidates. Along with hosting an event, The Press held a marketing campaign in paper and online to showcase the event and the resulting discussion, in addition to our usual coverage of the election. The judge for this category, which received 11 entries, said of the event, “Its importance to the community is evident in the participation, coverage, and initiative.” We can’t agree more, as we never dreamed to have over 100 residents attending!
The Haldimand Press prides itself on its connection to the community. We are locally owned and staffed, we focus our editorial solely on what is affecting our residents, and we have developed amazing partnerships with local businesses and organizations. We are proud to live and work here, and we love giving back to our community. The debate was a new venture for us, having never hosted an event of that kind before, but it was definitely worth the effort as it proved to be a perfect example of how a newspaper can support its community.
Our second place win was awarded for the Saluting Our Heroes – Lest We Forget section under the best feature/unit pages category, which saw 19 entries. This was again a great example of how we can support our community, particularly the non-profit organizations such as the legions, who coincidentally we also partnered with to host our debate.
One of our third place wins came for best front page, a category in which we have had a top three finish for the previous two years as well. This year the category saw 26 entries and the judge for this category commended our design choices. Design is something we are always looking to improve. As important as it is that the paper be informative, we feel it is equally important that our readers enjoy their experience when flipping through our pages.
This importance placed on design lended itself well to our other third place wins for best special section, for our Harvest Farms edition that is soon approaching again in early September, and for original ad idea for The Wash & Window Guy. These categories had nine and 22 submissions, respectively.
The Haldimand Press is excited to have been awarded so many top three finishes. With submissions stretching across the province, we were up against some stiff competition and are overjoyed to be recognized in this way. And while we had to brag a little because of that excitement, we also want to take a moment to say thank you.
Thank you to our staff, who all work together to keep things running smoothly, who bring forward new ideas, and who work so well to maintain and grow our community relationships.
Thank you to our freelancers, who not only commit their time and efforts to taking the best photos and writing the best stories possible, but who also act as our eyes and ears throughout the community so we can share the happenings from their respective hometowns.
Thank you to our advertisers, as none of this would be possible without you. While we love the chance to support local business with advertising that’s right for them, we equally appreciate that you support us in our mission to deliver the best community newspaper possible.
And finally, but certainly not least, thank you to YOU – our readers. Ultimately, we do everything we do for you, to keep you informed and entertained. Thank you for your feedback, for bringing us stories and suggestions, and of course for your continued support.
Here’s to many more years of dedicated community service, of local news and happenings, and hopefully of more awards to come!