My Perspective - We change but stay the same


By Kate Jackman-Atkinson

The Neepawa Banner

This week, the Neepawa Banner turns the page, so to speak.  This week, we celebrate the completion of our 25th year in business and begin publishing volume 26 of the Neepawa Banner.From nothing to a quarter century, this is a big cause for celebration!

For 25 years, the Banner has documented what is important to people in our community.  We have told you about the big project announcements and the accomplishments of those who call this area home. We have recorded engagements, weddings, anniversaries and obituaries.  Each week, we help remember those we have lost, as surviving family members put their “in memoriums” in the paper.

I started here in September 2006, which means that I have been with the paper for just under one third of its life. I arrived at the paper after the radical technological change that saw the paper move to digital production.  When I started, we were already taking digital pictures, laying out pages in InDesign and sending them to print electronically. Despite having the missed one of the most radical changes in the newspaper industry, I have still seen my share of changes.  

Last week, I was looking at pages from 2007 and while the name at the top is still the same, it looked to be a very different product.  Over the years, we have grown and adapted, we have polished our skills and worked on our craft.  We have tried to push each week, to make a better product for our customers, both readers and advertisers. That hasn’t changed.

In the last eight years, we have seen some highs and lows.  We have seen a recession eat away at advertisers’ dollars and growth in digital media increasing the competition for those shrinking dollars. The last eight years have seen many once strong news titles cease publication. But not us, we fought back and have grown stronger. We remain locally owned and locally operated.

Unlike the big dailies, community newspapers bring you the news you can’t find anywhere else. Unless it involves as community member, we don’t tell you what’s happening around the world, we don’t tell you what’s happening in Ottawa and we don’t tell you what’s happening in Winnipeg.  Those aren’t our strengths.  We tell you what’s happening down the road and around the corner, the stories that you won’t find anywhere else. 

As we start the next 25 years, we will continue to bring you the stories about our communities.  This is our home too. We will share the triumphs and tribulations, the opportunities and the challenges.  We will continue to bring you ads telling you about local businesses, organizations and events.  And we will continue to document the milestones celebrated by our community members.

We will continue to strive to improve our product and I am sure that in eight years, when I look back at the papers of 2014, the name at the top will remain, but the pages will look different. I hope that’s the case.