What’s the big deal about all those newspaper awards? | Leonard Woolsey

You might be wondering what’s the big deal about The Daily News winning awards for doing what you expect a newspaper to do already. The truth is, we feel the same way. But that’s what this column is all about.

The Daily News next April will celebrate its 180th anniversary. As the state’s oldest newspaper, we continue to consider the service to our community our highest privilege. We thank you for the opportunity to serve. We know the world is full of information, and we thank you for letting us into your life as trusted local neighbors.

Look, we’re not perfect, and we never claim to be. We’re a collection of individuals that is as imperfect as any collection of people. Our commitment to the community and to telling what we know in the best manner for people to read and decide for themselves is genuine, however.

The principles we uphold are timeless — tell the truth as we know it, correct ourselves when we make a mistake and uphold the best interests of our community. We hope that counts for something.

But back to the awards for doing what you’d expect from a local newspaper.

We believe bringing together people with different points of view and providing a forum for civil discussions is beneficial to our community and society.

We also consider providing accurate news reporting a critical tool to helping our community make decisions about crucial local issues.

And finally, we understand the unique value of connecting local businesses with the tens of thousands of local people who use The Daily News each day. We know locally engaged readers prefer to shop locally.

The Texas Press Association in June named The Daily News among the state’s best newspapers. Additionally, the association named Coast Monthly the best magazine. Also in June, the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors named The Daily News’ staff among the first winners of the organization’s Newsroom of the Year award.

In the TPA contest, The Daily News competed in the category for largest newspapers judged; in the Texas APME contest, The Daily News was the smallest newspaper in its class, knocking out papers several times our size.

These awards point to our community being home to one of the top newspapers in one of the country’s biggest newspaper states. All that positive attention helps elevate our community in the eyes of the world. If this helps contribute to community pride, we are proud to play a small role.

Everyone loves a winning football team or a local business that goes big. In Galveston County, The Daily News is an individually owned and locally managed newspaper — an increasingly rare thing in today’s world of mega-media companies. As a result, decisions get made locally, tens of thousands of dollars are donated directly to local charities and nonprofits, and our employees live and shop in our communities. We, like any other good business, are invested in our community and here to stay.

So yes, when The Daily News earns national attention or wins dozens of shiny plaques to hang on the wall, everyone in our community owns a piece of the moment. So, to you, we extend our congratulations. We know that without you we would not be able to do what we do each day.

We thank you and look forward to the next 180 years.

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