Paul MacNeill

Allow me a moment to brag. Every week Graphic staff work their butts off to deliver news that matters to you and our community. We’ve been doing it since 1963 and I’m convinced a trusted local news source is more important today than ever before.

You may not always agree with us – in fact I hope you don’t. If we make a mistake, we strive to correct it. If you oppose a story or opinion, we offer the opportunity to respond. We respect differing views. We ask questions politicians find uncomfortable. We hold government, regardless of stripe, to account. We work to help our community grow. Our staff are volunteers and leaders.

I’m proud of every single one of them.

Our paper is your paper. It’s a reflection of the community we call home.

The 2019 Canadian Community Newspaper Association award winners have been named and I’m pleased to say we did very well. The association represents more than 800 community newspapers with a combined weekly circulation of more than 13 million across Canada.

In our circulation category, The Eastern Graphic placed third in Best All-Round Newspaper in Canada. It’s a big deal.

We placed first in Best Editorial Page (a personal favourite of mine) and third in Best Front Page.

Salute to Agriculture, our annual review of PEI’s largest industry, placed second nationally.

The editions entered are full of unique local news, opinions, photos of minor hockey players, entertainment and advertising promotions. In others words, a healthy mix of what makes a good community newspaper relevant. It takes the effort of many in editorial, advertising, design, distribution and management to deliver your paper.

And in the interest of transparency, I should tell you I’m humbled to win the George Cadogan Memorial Outstanding Columnist Award for a second time. It’s an open competition. Any community newspaper columnist from across Canada can enter.

Traditionally we have not gone out of our way to trumpet our successes, and we’ve had a more than a few over the years. But I think in this era it’s important to celebrate good local journalism and the importance of it to democracy and the communities we serve.

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