larongeNOW has been awarded for the valuable service the website and its reporters provide to the local community.
The website, which launched in January of this year as part of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, received the Gold Medal Award in the digital category for community service from the Western Association of Broadcasters. La Ronge was left with minimal local coverage after the recent closures of several media organizations, and larongeNOW.com was launched in an effort to give the community back their voice.
“I’ve really enjoyed the chance to tell the stories out of my home community,” larongeNOW reporter Derek Cornet said. “Local coverage really matters, and it gives a voice to people who may be overlooked by the larger organizations.”
In a letter accompanying the website’s award nomination, Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson said other media organizations would visit the region when major stories broke, but they would disappear again soon after.
“We were inundated with reporters who came to gather their interview clips and their pictures and then they left almost as quickly as they appeared,” Cook-Searson wrote. “Instead of passing through, larongeNOW embedded itself in our community. They hired a local resident who brings a much-needed Indigenous perspective to news reporting.”
Teena Monteleone, director of information programming for larongeNOW, said it’s important to tell the positive stories instead of focusing entirely on crime or other negative issues. While news must always be reported, she said it’s important to find a balance so the community is not misrepresented.
“We have made a concerted effort to tell stories that best reflect all aspects of northern Saskatchewan,” Monteleone said. “We don’t fill our pages with court and crime stories. Instead, we dig deeper to find stories that elicit different emotions from our readers.”
Everyone benefits from good, local reporting. La Ronge and District Chamber of Commerce President Matthew Klassen said the website helps the local economy by promoting local events and giving business owners a new opportunity for advertising.
Watch the full video submission for larongeNOW:
On Twitter: @larongeNOW
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