Committed to improvement in our changing times

The Fort Frances Times was recognized with two national awards this past week in Toronto, including our editor, Mike Behan, for his editorial writing on a national issue.
The judges noted in their comments “To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the victory of Vimy Ridge for Canadians during the First World War, Mike Behan of the Fort Frances Times wrote an eloquent piece for his newspaper’s editorial page called ‘Worth saving.’”
He earned his third-place finish not for a mushy piece on remembering Canadian soldiers who died or were wounded on the Vimy battlefield. Instead, he pointed out that Canadians have a poor grasp of our country’s history.
Behan acknowledged that 41 percent of those surveyed by the Dominion Institute could not name Canada’s most famous single battle in the First World War as Vimy Ridge.
Meanwhile, our web department was recognized for the Fort Frances Times’ website. The judges wrote: “The Fort Frances Times scored well with strong editorial content and a user-friendly design.
“The site also scored high marks for the prominent placing of many customers’ advertisements and its relevance to the community, including a webcam, community calendar, and links to other community sites.”
The newspaper also was recognized in the general excellence category.
The Canadian Community Newspapers Association has more than 700 member newspapers across Canada who compete annually for awards. For the Times and the Rainy River Record, it provides an opportunity to measure our product against other papers from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
It provides feedback to our reporters and ad designers. Their work is measured. It also gives us direction on ways we can improve the paper and now our website.
Today video is as important as are pictures to newspapers. People often wonder about quotes and video provides direct confirmation to readers and viewers that what people say and is reported in the paper can be verified on the web.
We are just learning to crawl with video. Andrew George, since early April, has been shooting news items and placing them on our website at
Often the topics are different than what is found in the paper.
Other changes will be coming down the line shortly. We are working to bring along more health topics, as well as business and personal finance stories, to the web.
One of the new ways that newspaper articles are being delivered to the public is through pod casts and web casts to BlackBerrys and I-phones.
The technology doesn’t quite exist in this area yet, but it will in the next few years.
The newspaper remains committed to making improvements and changes to meet our changing times.

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