A child is no longer considered a toddler at the age of three. June 11 marks the third anniversary of MorinvilleNews.com, the website that began this venture into publishing community news. I’m hoping that means we are no longer considered a toddler in the news business.
I started MorinvilleNews.com three summers ago when a local newspaper I was then freelancing for decided to suspend publication. Faced with the prospect of living in a community with only one regional news source and no paper with a true Morinville focus, I decided to offer one. Starting with the slogan “Get the news while it’s still news,” MorinvilleNews.com launched as a digital daily with a commitment to living up to the slogan I had chosen.
Not everyone took the publication seriously out of the gate. Some tossed around the word blog, and one competitor was fond of telling advertisers we were not a “real” news publication because we were online only.
Fortunately for us, many readers felt otherwise, and three years later we are still alive and kicking in an industry that has seen cut after cut after cut. We have published, over the past three years, more than 2,700 articles online, and the June 12 edition of The Morinville News is our 130th consecutive weekly edition.
We’ve tried to be involved in our community as much as possible over the past three years of delivering community news. We’ve now organized two all-candidates forums, one municipal and one provincial, and have had the Morinville Community Cultural Centre booked for this fall’s All-Candidates Forum for a few months now.
While we have made every effort to deliver our news as disinterested observers and our editorials with thoughtful passion or the fire and brimstone of public concern, providing news has not been our only role in the community.
We have organized, promoted or sponsored everything from music concerts and festivals to wrestling matches and roller derby, and whether it was sitting in a council meeting getting the details on the latest functional planning study, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and wrestler’s mask in a dunk tank or taking a pie in the face at a community carnival, we’ve enjoyed every minute of I, albeit the pies and dunk tanks more than the long discussions on planning studies. But it’s been a great ride thus far, and we are excited about continued growth and continued community involvement in our fourth year of operation.
Our fourth year will see The Morinville News take its next step – this summer in fact. We cannot say too much just yet, but it can all be pretty much summed up with the word WIDER. But wherever those next stages take us and whether you read this publication on a smart phone, tablet, PC, laptop or restaurant counter top, our dedication will remain the same – providing local residents with local news in a timely and responsible manner.
None of this would have been possible without our readers joining us for the ride these past three years or without those local businesses, organizations and institutions who have seen value in what we were doing, advertisers who realize their ad dollars not only promote their businesses, they go a long way to keeping this community informed.
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This publication has survived its baby and toddler period because our readers and advertisers have raised us well. You have kept us informed about all the things we need to cover and you have kept other readers informed that The Morinville News was Morinville’s News Choice.
We thank you for your trust and your support.
– Stephen Dafoe