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EDITORIAL: Newspaper awards are well earned

National newspaper awards are recognition of the hard work Wheel staffers put into every edition.
Copies of the Western Wheel at the Wheel's office in Okotoks on Nov. 16. The Western Wheel received four 2021 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards last week, including first place for general excellence, first place for best editorial page, second place for best front page and second place for best multimedia breaking news coverage from News Media Canada.

You are reading the best newspaper in Canada. 

While that’s a shameless plug for the Wheel, which received four 2021 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards last week, including first place for general excellence in its circulation class, the recognition goes well beyond those who write the stories and take the photos. 

Before we get there, however, the editorial staff at the Wheel deserves kudos for the accomplishment, which is no small feat given there are more than 850 community newspapers spread across the country. Remy Greer, Brent Calver and Lauryn Heintz are all outstanding journalists, whose talents and hard work produce a quality newspaper every week and maintain a first-rate website on a daily basis. (Robert Korotyszyn and Ted Murphy joined the editorial team earlier this year).

This kind of national recognition doesn’t happen without an entire team, which in the case of the Wheel also includes advertising reps, production department, office manager and is headed by publisher Shaun Jessome. It also extends to our advertisers, our carriers and our readers, because none of this works without each of them playing their part. 

Acknowledgement must also go to Great West Media, the Wheel’s parent company, which understands that advertisers aren’t going to get a return on their investment unless people are reading the newspaper, and that won’t happen if you don’t give them something to read. While many media companies have cut staff and shrunk news holes in a bid to stay afloat, Great West has done the opposite by putting an emphasis on news coverage, evidenced in both staffing levels and the necessary space to share that content. 

There’s no getting around the fact the newspaper industry faces a challenging present and an even more uncertain future, but it’s not as bleak as some observers might suggest. There are still a great many quality newspapers out there, including the award-winning one you’re reading, which continue to keep readers abreast of what’s going on in their communities.