The Independent named best small newspaper in Ontario

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For the third time in four years, The Independent has been named the best small newspaper in Ontario.

The Independent was given the honour Friday during a virtual ceremony by the Ontario Community Newspaper Association.

“This paper is filled with strong hard news stories along with interesting features,” wrote the judges. “A great read from start to finish.”

The judges also commented the “good looking ads and photos make it a strong package.”

The Independent has now been named best newspaper in its class in 2018, 2020 and 2021.

Publisher Heather Wright is particularly pleased the paper has been acknowledge during the two years of the pandemic, one of the most difficult time for all small businesses and community newspapers. “Like everyone else, we found new ways to do the things we needed to do to tell the stories of our community.”

The Haliburton Echoplaced second in the category and The Independent’s sister paper, The Herald serving Thamesville, Dresden and Bothwell, placed third.

Wright and former Justice Reporter Alex Kurial placed second in the province for their coverage of the pandemic. 

The judge noted the articles were “well written” and “offered emotion” as well as the technical details of the pandemic.

Wright was also named the Columnist of the Year in Ontario. Judge Greg Calgan said: “Local readers crave columns they can relate to and have an impact and meaning in their lives. With her writing, Heather achieved this much to the fortune of readers.”

Wright’s photo, Christmas Joy, of a young child framed in the O of a Christmas ornament in Victoria Park also took second in the province wide competition.

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