I-O awards reflect well on community

It’s award season at the Polk County Itemizer-Observer. As an organization, the paper took home 14 awards from the Oregon Newspapers Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. Five of those were first-place nods.

Perhaps the best of the 14 is the Elmo Smith Award of General Excellence, which the paper took second place.

That means that out of all the newspapers with similar circulation, the I-O is the second best in the state of Oregon.

That gives us a chance to toot our own horn, but it also gives us a chance to toot yours.

We couldn’t have done any of it without you. It is because you let us into your lives to share your stories that we can do what we do.

Because of you, 2014 was an amazing year for news in Polk County, and the judges in the state of Virginia thought so too.

We cried with you and cheered with you. As your local newspaper, we get to focus on the news and stories that really matter to you.

Thank you for reading, advertising and for calling us out when we make a mistake. Thank you for realizing that we are human and will, no matter how careful we are, make mistakes now and then.

While other newspapers throughout the state and country have struggled, you have helped keep us vibrant. We want to tell you stories you cannot find on Yahoo or Fox News. We want to tell you stories that matter to your lives and to your pocketbook.

Our staff members, from those in advertising to those in the newsroom, live in Polk County. We are at community events — and not just to put a story in the paper, but because we love our communities. We love Polk County, and we hope you will brag about us as much as we enjoy bragging about you.

Because we’re proud to be the second best in the state — though don’t take that to mean we won’t strive for better.

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