Six years ago the Regional Optimist made the transition from an advertiser paper to one featuring Battlefords news as well as news from around the region.
It was just another step in the melding of the Advertiser-Post and the Regional Optimist in wake of the merging of Turner Warwick Printers and McIntosh Publishing several years earlier.
Last weekend in Regina the Regional Optimist solidified its place among the province's highest circulation community newspapers when it was voted best overall by judges in the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association better newspapers competition. The paper was also nominated in the best front page and best editorial page categories of the General Excellence competition.
That success is a coup for Battlefords Publishing, but it is a feather in the cap to share with the entire community.
A community newspaper can have owners, in this case Glacier Ventures of Vancouver, but it is ultimately the community that has true ownership. The community sets the tone for what appears in the news sections of the paper, livens up the editorial pages with letters and submissions and supports the bottom line by purchasing advertising.
A huge component of the Regional Optimist is news from around the region. This comprehensive coverage could not be achieved without the platoon of correspondents, freelancers and others who faithfully submit news from their corners of the Northwest on a regular basis. And behind these folks are all those who make them aware of what is happening.
So, everyone has a stake in this amazing success story. Oops, now I've done it.
We have a line on your newsroom white board — “The newsroom does not believe in huge successes.” It alludes to the fact almost any story about a local event can have “huge success” in the lead and/or the headline. We try to avoid such usage, but in this case an honour of this scope can't be described as anything else.
So there you have it, we're a huge success and everyone from the Battlefords Publishing staff on down to the reader are responsible.
Let's all take a bow to celebrate business and journalistic excellence in the Northwest.