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Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed a couple of changes in our nameplate starting with last week’s issue. The most obvious, the inclusion of the Zip06.com logo at top right, is a long-delayed acknowledgment of The Source’s online component, which we launched more than a decade ago but had yet to be a regular presence on page 1. It was due, and it will appear on The Source’s six sister papers as well, so when you see Zip06, you know that is us.
Readers with sharp eyes may also have raised an eyebrow at the second addition: “A 2018 New England Newspaper of the Year.” This part is slightly less delayed, but I’m very pleased to report that, too, is us.
There’s an adage in journalism that if you’re writing about yourself, you’re telling the wrong story. I share this to give some context for last October, when we learned The Source was selected as 2018 Weekly Newspaper of the Year (circulation between 5,000 and 10,000) by the New England Newspaper and Press Association. It was a big deal.
We were delighted—and in the middle of a spirited election cycle following in the heels of a crazy state budget season, and preparing to dive deep into a busy holiday season. We chose to keep our focus on those stories rather than boast about ourselves for the moment.
Pride has finally moved ahead of modesty here, though in truth this award is a story of the community that made us as much as it is of the paper we print. From the first issues in 1996, when then-publishers Ryan Duques and James Warner were building papers out of their parents’ basements, The Source has been a community product.
The comments from the judges panel, which included both press professionals and general readers, reflect that community focus. “Incredibly thorough coverage of the local news,” wrote one judge. “Very informative for the local scene,” another said.
Like us, the judges weren’t just interested in what we wrote. “Great, lot of letters!” was one comment; “Good sample of what’s on peoples’ minds,” was another. Judging was not limited to news content, either: “Lots of local advertisers, like to see local” was among the feedback.
Our website (yep, Zip06.com, that’s us) was included in the judging, and got a great response as well: “Easy navigation...From the start, it got me moving throughout the site” and “Tons of pictures from all kinds of events” were highlights from the judges’ web feedback.
I’m lucky to work with a group that makes this type of award possible. From the beat reporting, photos, sports coverage, arts features, and website, it takes the contributions of more than a dozen journalists to tell your stories each week. Multimedia specialists are out and about, working with advertisers and our design team to ensure local businesses get their information to readers as well, and our publisher is a prominent and active member of the community, ensuring that week in and week out, we’re telling the right stories. Your stories.
So my hope is that when you take a look at our front page, you spend a just moment to think about what this community has achieved with this paper. More important, I hope when you flip past the front page and delve into the stories and photos and ads we’re sharing, you see what I see: Yeah, that’s us.
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