A Strong Haldimand Press Heads Into A New Future
By Jill Morison
Last week I signed the papers to sell The Haldimand Press to two key members of our newspaper team, Kaitlyn Clark of Cayuga and Jillian Zynomirski of Dunnville. I have been thinking of selling to Jillian and Kaitlyn for some time. The signing, however, was not as easy as I thought it might be. I have really loved what I have been doing for the past three years, and I am proud of what we have accomplished at The Haldimand Press. I have been a journalist for more than 20 years and, without a doubt, the most satisfying years of my career have been at The Press.
When I bought the paper three years ago it was about to close. Owner Bob Hall, who is highly respected in our community for publishing an outstanding paper for many, many years, could no longer carry on. As a long-time reader of the paper, I did not want to see the closure of our community's near-150-year-old and only remaining independently-owned paper.
I believed then, as I do now, that our community needs The Press. I was not alone in this belief. Many people spoke and wrote to me at the time to say they were very pleased The Press was carrying on.
Thanks go out to Peter and Chuck Hogeterp, and Arda and John Edelman, for immediately showing their advertising support in a substantial way. They recognized the importance of a strong and vibrant locally-owned community newspaper. The support of the Hogeterps and the Edelmans remains steadfast today.
Thanks also to the many, many others who have shown and continue to show that The Press is highly valued and has an important presence in Haldimand.
I am pleased to report that today’s Haldimand Press is as strong as ever. Our paper has been revitalized – more staff, more news, a modernized design. Our news and events coverage is second to none. We consistently break news. Further, in the past year, The Press won a Canadian Community Newspaper Award and an Ontario Community Newspaper Award. In 2015 the Hagersville Chamber of Commerce recognized The Press as Business of the Year. These awards attest to The Press’ position as an outstanding paper in our community and an award-winner in Ontario and Canada.
Our growing readership demonstrates that people want to know what is happening in Haldimand. Our pages are dedicated to covering everything from 4-H and minor hockey to Council news and volunteer efforts to fundraisers and so much more. We cover people, news and events in Haldimand with breadth and depth that no other publication or news group comes close to matching.
Every week thousands of people read The Press thoroughly. We have the largest guaranteed readership in Haldimand. Our readers buy The Press and they read it. They talk with others about what they read. This makes for a strong and active readership.
Today’s Press team is skilled and dedicated to the paper and our community. The Press is Haldimand’s most local media. It is the only news operation that is 100 per cent locally owned. The Haldimand Press team’s only loyalty is to its readers and our community. We don’t answer to anyone else.
A central goal at The Press is to keep improving the paper. One of the most significant enhancements is the recent launch of The Press’ digital edition. Our weekly online paper puts The Press on your tablet, smartphone and computer. We are with you anytime, anywhere. Of course, you can still read The Press on paper with delivery direct to your mailbox each week.
As for me, the demands of my life have changed over the past half-year and I believe that the best way to keep the paper going and growing is to "hand over the reins" to two people who I have come to know well and who share the same love of Haldimand, news and business that I have. I know that Kaitlyn and Jillian will continue our trajectory of ever-improving. Both joined our team more than two years ago. Both quickly proved to be strong reporters, always eager to do their best and more, and keen to learn about other aspects of the business. Kaitlyn and Jillian are ethical and thoughtful. They are dedicated to bringing their best to everything they do. They also bring a smile to every task and know that each challenge is an opportunity waiting to be recognized.
Apart from the changed roles for Jillian, Kaitlyn and I, we continue to be the same energetic team working to publish Haldimand’s best paper each week. You will find the same regular features and columns, including our weekly cooking column by much-loved (by readers and, especially, by me) food writer Anne McAlpine.
Jillian and Kaitlyn have asked me to stay involved in the paper as an active publisher emeritus. I am very pleased to do this and I look forward to providing support in any way I can at any time. I will always be an advocate and an ambassador for The Press. My commitment to Haldimand and The Press remains as strong as ever.
Still The Same Great Press
By Jillian Zynomirski and Kaitlyn Clark
Just over two years ago both of us began working with Jill Morison and The Haldimand Press. By this time, The Press had seen a major revitalization over the last number of months and the paper was quickly expanding. Jill brought the two of us on as reporters to help fill the paper’s growing number of pages. It was an exciting time to be a part of The Press, as we worked together to grow and strengthen the paper, and deliver the best product possible to Haldimand residents.
Joining the team during such a fast-moving time was an amazing learning experience for the both of us. We were able to take on new challenges and were continuously faced with opportunities to grow, as we learned every aspect of what it takes to create a strong weekly community newspaper that we are proud to deliver.
Over the course of the past two years, we’ve shared in Jill’s, and previous publisher Bob Hall's, vision to keep this paper community-oriented, highlighting local news, people, events and more. We continue to hold that vision.
As we are both from Haldimand, we are committed to making this paper succeed and grow in our own community. Having spent the last two years as reporters, we've come to know Haldimand and its residents very well.
Seeing first-hand the many things that take place in Haldimand has only further instilled in us the importance of recording our county's news and events for current and future residents. We are driven to ensure that The Haldimand Press continues to show its strength, as an award-winning, truly-Haldimand success story.
Moreover, we are grateful for, and pleased to continue, the many partnerships The Press has made with various community organizations, and hope to welcome new partnerships as they arise.
We are so proud to be part of such a hardworking team that produces an excellent paper each week.
We are excited for this journey to work and grow in our community. We would like to thank Jill Morison for her trust in us in this endeavour. We are happy that she will remain in contact as an active publisher emeritus. We will always value her input.
It is such an honour for us to carry on the tradition the paper has held in this community for the past 149 years. We are ready and eager to accept the passing of the torch, and we will continue producing a successful paper for Haldimand residents to enjoy.
Thank you to everyone who has supported The Press and we look forward to your continued support as we work together to bring Haldimand the best in news, features, photos and more each and every week.