By Lethbridge Herald on November 20, 2020.
Even while facing unprecedented economic challenges in the current COVID-19 crisis and recent economic downturn, the Lethbridge Herald has never been more important to the community.
Over the 125-year history of the paper, we have walked in lockstep with the community charting its triumphs, tragedies and daily events. We have always been there for our residents, and our residents have always been there for us.
“I moved to Lethbridge in 1985 to go to university, and I subscribed to The Herald my first month living in Lethbridge,” remembers Toby Boulet. “I have been a Herald subscriber ever since. It talks about our community. It puts our community on the front page. We’re not the Calgary Herald, we’re the Lethbridge Herald, and it does a good job with what it does looking after the City of Lethbridge and the surrounding communities. That’s why I like the paper.”
Boulet says he has always appreciated The Herald’s efforts to inform and promote the community and help out when it can by giving coverage to local issues of the day and worthwhile events in the community.
“It gives the Lethbridge perspective,” he says. “It takes care of the people of Lethbridge, and helps us out. The Herald is important to our family.”
Gold & Gold Productions Ltd. and Paradise Canyon Golf Resort owner, Ron Sakamoto, says for his concert promotion business The Herald is a vital advertising link to the community; particularly to local seniors, who view the newspaper as their most important news source.
“As far as the paper is concerned, a lot of my shows are in the country music vein,” he explains. “There’s generally an older demographic, and so I need the newspaper. Most of the older people read the newspaper whether it be delivered everyday or online. For me, I do advertise other ways of course, on radio, television and social media, but the newspaper is the advertising the older demographic uses.”
Sakamoto says The Herald often goes the extra mile in its coverage by writing features on many of the artists he is bringing into the community.
“It is these stories people like to read about and hear about, and it has been a win-win situation because it not only sells my shows, but it sells the artist,” he says.
Sakamoto says on a personal note he reads the Lethbridge Herald every day, whether he is getting his hands on a print copy in the community, or online if he is away on business.
“I personally place a lot of value toward the newspaper,” he says. “It’s the only game in town. It’s the only paper in town. For me, it’s important, and it always has been important. And the reporters there have been really important to me because they are the ones who get out the message when a show is coming to town and things are happening in the community.”
University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Athletic Director Neil Langevin says for the Horns there is no other news outlet in the city which does as much to promote local sport than The Lethbridge Herald does.
“The relationship we have with The Herald, I would use the term it’s essential,” he says. “It’s essential for our student athletes and our programs to get recognition locally, and even wider than that. It really helps us keep the interest and points out the importance of sport in general, but university sport specifically. I think that is really important for a healthy community like Lethbridge.”
Langevin says a healthy community has a healthy local newspaper.
“Just seeing the positive impact of the Lethbridge Herald on our athletes in our community, and I can say I have friends who have been reporters and photographers, it has been a wonderful relationship,” he says. “I would just encourage leaders in southern Alberta to look at the definition of what a holistic, healthy community is, and a healthy community does include a healthy newspaper.”
KidSport Taber-Lethbridge chapter chair Malcom Kano says for his organization, which helps local kids and youth who cannot easily afford sports themselves get the opportunity to play, The Herald has always been its most important media partner.
“Our relationship with The Herald started 25 years ago when KidSport had just started,” says Kano. “The Herald was there to let the public know what this new charitable organization was about, and what our cause was. It was really what we needed in order to be successful in the community.
“Over the last 25 years, that relationship has only gotten better because anytime we have needed some publicity, information being sent out, or sponsorship of our events, The Herald has been there for us all the time,” he adds. “They have helped us put out the word, and helped us tell the KidSport story so we could do what we have done over the past 25 years.”
Kano says The Herald has been an important incubator for increasing his organization’s fiscal capacity to help more kids in the community play sports, and he imagines it is likely the same for other local non-profits who rely on The Herald to promote their causes and events in the community.
“The Herald has been able to give us more exposure in the community so we have been able to tap into more sponsorship dollars, and then, in turn, help more kids in our community with that opportunity to play sports,” he says.
If you have a personal story to tell about The Herald’s importance to you, we encourage you to contact your local city council representatives to let them know why you support your local newspaper.