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The last editorial of 2023

Lisa Sygutek

Dec 20, 2023

I believe that 2024 is going to be a huge year for our industry and I can’t wait to see it unfold.

As I write the last editorial of 2023, I realize that we made it another year and there are huge changes in the horizon for the newspaper industry. First, the Pass Herald is the Plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Google and Facebook. The first part of the court case starts in Toronto from January 15-18. I promise, I’ll update you as we move forward.

Bill C-11 was brought into law this year. Facebook, rather than paying publishers for the content they use on their site chose to ban newspapers from their site. Google and the federal government have reached an agreement in their dispute over the Online News Act that would see Google continue to share Canadian news online in return for the company making annual payments to news companies in the range of $100 million. This is a game changer in our industry, as newspapers will finally be compensated for the work they have done to produce written content.

I believe that 2024 is going to be a huge year for our industry and I can’t wait to see it unfold.

My feature writers John, Avner and our newest member Leanne have added diverse content on topics in which they are experts. John has been gracious enough to take on a more regular role in the paper. I often say he’s the historian of the community.

There were some incredible highlights for me throughout the year, the biggest being our Shop Local Campaign. We had 23 businesses participate and we gave out over $2000 in prizes. We ran a contest that required people to get a stamp for each $50 spent locally. We did this so we could see, in real numbers, exactly how much money was spent in the campaign. I was shocked and surprised when we calculated the final number, and it was $37,400 proven local money spent in our community this Christmas season. Thank you to all the businesses and community spenders who helped keep our local businesses busy this Christmas.

This year I was re-elected to the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association, we represent all weekly newspapers in Alberta and Northwest Territories, and I became President. I will hold this office for a two year term. I can’t tell you how proud Buddy would be if he were here.

My friend John Barlow represents our community, and I couldn’t be more proud. He performed his role with dignity and integrity, and I am proud of how he represented his riding. Plus with Pierre Pollieviere as our next Prime Minister, who wouldn’t want to go into work each day!

So, what a wonderful way to end 2023. Council budget is done with a 2 per cent increase. My sons are home and they are thriving. The paper is having a great third and fourth quarter; we had the best Christmas Greeter ever.

So, thank you Crowsnest Pass for reading our paper and buying our ads. We try to keep it 100 per cent local and give the past, present, and perhaps the future history of our community for years to come. It’s hard to believe, in the digital age of fake news, that we are plugging forward but onward and upwards we go.

Our industry is changing and so, by default, is the Pass Herald, which is now offering online subscriptions. It makes my day when people stop me to tell me they love my editorials. Sometimes I even wonder if anyone reads them!

The other day when I was wondering about the paper and its future, I came to realization that we tell the story of this community, from births to deaths, swim meets to hockey games, community events to tragedies.

We symbolize the mural on the window outside the office; we are the photos and written history of the Crowsnest Pass since 1930. If nothing else matters about a newspaper, keep that in mind. We are your history.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. I have the best staff in the world and every day I wake up, I go to work loving my job. For that, I am blessed beyond words.

Here’s to looking forward to our 93rd year here in our beautiful ‘Garden of Eden’... as we put our final paper of 2023 ‘to bed’.

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