The Bashaw Star was recently recognized with three 2019 awards from the provincial weekly newspaper association and it was indeed a bit of a surprise.
The Star, competing in circulation class A, was handed third place in the best overall category, second place for best sports page and the top spot for best editorial page.
This is the first time that the paper has garnered awards in three of the four general excellence categories — the paper missed out on best front page — and marks the third straight year the paper has earned a top-three spot for its sports page as the Star took third in 2017 and 2018.
And no small measure of this success comes because of the people of Bashaw and the surrounding area.
So first off, thank you.
If it wasn’t for the cooperation, assistance, graciousness and community attitude, the newspaper would simply not be in a position to even compete for these awards let alone be placed among the top small circulation papers in the province.
It is extremely difficult for one person to stay on top of things, be they sports, community functions, special events, meetings, news and subjects that are of interest to residents. It is even more difficult when the person responsible for that overall coverage lives and works, the majority of the time, 30 minutes away.
That is why the support from the community is especially important and the reason you, our readers and supporters, should be included in being recognized for these awards.
It takes commitment from you to spend the time to reach out to the paper through a phone call, text message, email or other online contact to ensure the Bashaw Star knows what is going on, especially with the current pandemic.
It takes dedication from you to capture those newsworthy events with photographs and then send them if the paper can’t attend.
It takes a spirit of community to provide interviews, letters or even a social media post so that the paper can highlight the full story instead of a snapshot of one moment that can’t make the same impact.
It takes self-sacrifice plus a certain amount of courage to come forward to tell a stranger a story that no one may know about and to put yourself out on a limb where everyone can see what is happening and what your involvement is.
And it definitely isn’t easy to speak about anything when you aren’t quite sure if you have the right words and trusting the person you’re telling to structure it so you don’t sound silly.
So again, thank you to everyone for helping us to do our job, to inform the community.
Secondly, the past few months have been hard on all businesses, including ours, and that has made it harder to present relevant local content with all of the things have that been cancelled, postponed and eliminated from the regular calendar of events.
That’s why you deserve another pat on the back — for assisting the paper in telling us when things are going on and submitting information and photographs when the paper wasn’t able to get out there.
In addition, it’s been great to see how the community has rallied together to organize special parades, supporting their local businesses and those businesses returning the favour.
We well know it has been difficult for many people to manage through this time, either stuck at home or having to deal with a new way of doing their jobs.
That said, the community has stood its ground and is slowly reopening like the rest of the province.
So, keep up the great work and please continue to help us help you to tell your stories and maybe you can share in more awards in the future.
But that is…just an observation.