It’s not often we get to pat ourselves on the back in the weekly newspaper business.

But this week we have the opportunity to pause and take a little bit of credit for winning four awards from the Pennsylvania News Media Association. We do a lot of work in the course of a year, and it’s nice to get a little bit of recognition for it.

You can see the story on page 2 for the details: Our editorial staff – writer Brendan Sample, Associate Editor Sue Ann Rybak, Local Life Editor Len Lear and contributor Elizabeth Coady – all earned the paper awards and demonstrated that even a small paper like the Local can do good work.

What is nice about the awards is that they also demonstrate the importance of this paper to the community. In our ongoing coverage of unleashed dogs in Pastorius Park, the stories of local people overcoming and struggling with addiction, recalling the history of the Hill’s 60-year-old Towey’s Tavern before it closed for good last year, and the profile of Chestnut Hill College grad-turned philanthropist Lois Pope, the Local was able to keep readers here in touch with their community in a way nothing else really does.

All four did a tremendous job on their stories and continue to do great work. We’re hoping we’ll have an even better showing in next year’s contest.

One of the reasons why we’re able to do such good work is in no small part owed to the fact that the paper is in a remarkable community. Chestnut Hill and its near neighbors are amazing neighborhoods packed with far more people of interest and note than the average collection of contiguous ZIP codes. There are residents here of remarkable accomplishment. We’re lucky to be able to tell their stories in this paper.

Another reason we’re consistently able to produce a product that earns accolades is that we are owned by a civic association that does not hold us to account to produce the kind of quarterly returns a public corporation would. We still disagree at times with the Chestnut Hill Community Association from time to time over finances, but, overall, the big picture is that the CHCA provides the community with a remarkable resource.

While I suspect that saying so in this space is preaching to the choir, it would be remiss of me not to assert here that one of the best things you can do to support our work is to subscribe to the paper or become a member of the CHCA. Subscribing helps us keep writing award-winning stories and covering your community in way that’s important. Joining the CHCA is even better in that you’re not only supporting the news, but you’re helping to support programs and planning efforts in your community as well.

We’re really asking you to help us help you.

Pete Mazzaccaro


  • A. Grayson

    Congratulations to the Local and a hearty thank you to the team for producing a quality product week in and week out. The Local adds a tremendous amount to the sense of community of Chestnut Hill and the surrounding area.