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We owe our proven success to you

There’s a sense of excitement and pride brimming through the newsroom at the Demopolis Times.

This week, we found out how we fared in an editorial contest, for which we submitted entries in February.

Each year, newspapers from around the state submit what they consider their best work, which is judged by a panel of peers – usually from another southeastern state.

This year, an Arkansas contingent awarded the Times five awards, which represents an increase of one from the year before and an increase of two from the year before that.

One thing you may not realize about journalists is that we are highly competitive, whether it’s in working our beats aggressively to not get scooped on a story, or it’s in trying to write a story better than one of our co-workers.

The passion for our job lies in service to our community, but when you’re ranked among the best in your profession, it gives you another sense of satisfaction.

This year, Gridiron, our high school football edition, and pink, our quarterly lifestyle magazine, finished second and third in a category devoted to best special section. Only the top three in each category are awarded so to have taken two of the three spots is rewarding.

Jeremy Smith won two editorial awards for his commentary and columns, one of which was a first-place finish.

“The Year of the Tigers,” a magazine the Times produced for the Demopolis High School Quarterback Club commemorating the school’s 5A state football title, also was honored for best niche publication.

I’m very proud of and grateful for the work David Snow and Jeremy Smith put into our bi-weekly report. That they’ve been recognized by a panel of their peers is a good indication that their efforts in continually bettering our newspaper are plans well laid.

I also should thank Jordan Etheridge, Bernice Smith and Tiffany Cannon for the roles they play at the newspaper. They are all key contributors to what we do here.

Appreciation is also due to Michael and Laura Clements, Ken Mays, Mark Trest, Tom Boggs and all the other community members who regularly submit art or stories to this newspaper. Your help and your expertise is more valuable to us than you’ll ever know, as is your friendship.

I also thank you, our readers, whose daily feedback, news tips, suggestions and submission have been a key part of the growth we’ve experienced over the past few years.

The Demopolis Times is the newspaper of the people in the City of the People. We’re proud to serve our community and our county in that capacity. Thank you for your readership and your support.

Here’s to striving for another increased award count in 2011. Together, I know we can make it happen.

Jason Cannon is publisher of the Demopolis Times.