The Mountaineer Publishing Co. Ltd.
1) Court news policy
The Mountaineer newspaper takes its coverage of provincial court very seriously. Not only is it one of the most important parts of the weekly newspaper, it’s also one of the most widely read.
Court news is not published with the intent to humiliate those involved but rather to show readers who is charged with breaking the law in this and surrounding communities, what damage or injury the victims suffered and what consequences the accused faced.
The Mountaineer’s policy on covering Rocky Mountain House provincial court has two parts. First, The Mountaineer commits to covering all charges laid which fall under the Criminal Code. The CC covers a wide range of offenses, including assault, break and enter, trafficking in a controlled substance and impaired driving. All charges laid by the Crown Prosecutor in such cases will be published by The Mountaineer.
Second, The Mountaineer will also cover provincial court charges which are of a significant public interest, including arrest warrants. For example, if a motorist is charged with a very serious but non-Criminal Code infraction such that they must appear before a judge, then the story will be published in the public interest. As noted, all warrants for arrest will be published as read in court.
Seatbelt tickets, jaywalking, parking by-law infractions and other minor charges will not generally be published unless they meet the criteria for policy #2 above.
All cases which fit the above criteria will be published, and there are no exceptions.
2) No “Thank You”
There are more worthwhile, worthy people in Rocky Mountain House, Clearwater County and Caroline than just about any other place on earth.
Often, the great works and community spirit result in photos, stories and other items being submitted to the Mountaineer with “thank you” messages attached.
The policy of The Mountaineer is that “thank you” messages, similar to birth announcements and similar items, are personal messages being exchanged. Personal messages are not news content and must be paid for as an advertisement. Contact one of our advertising representatives at 403-845-3334 for more information about placing a “thank you” ad.
3) Donation photos
The Mountaineer welcomes the opportunity to photograph cheque passing and donation events.
These photographs provide much needed publicity for charitable donations, and often serve a great purpose for non-profit groups as they attempt to raise funds for important programs and agencies.
However, The Mountaineer does have a few policies that apply.
First and most importantly, the donation must be a minimum of $250. This is based on the time involved it takes for the Mountaineer staff to handle the photograph, and also the cost to publish it.
Secondly, the $250 rule can be waived by the editor in the event a non-profit group, particularly a youth group, has engaged in fund-raising.
Thirdly, no “thank you” messages will be included in the cheque passing photograph. The Mountaineer policy on “Thank you” messages is that they are a personal message from one person or organization to another, and thus must be paid for in the advertising section.
If you have a donation which meets or exceeds these criteria, feel free to call the Mountaineer (403-845-3334) to book a photographer for your event.
4) Letters to the Editor
“Letters to the Editor” serve a very important function in the community, as the residents of Clearwater County, Rocky Mountain House and Caroline have a chance to voice their opinions on important, timely or local issues. Also, they’re a very popular part of The Mountaineer’s offerings.
A high quality letter to the editor is easy to write. First, start with a fact which concerns you. For example, “Hwy. 22 has too many potholes on it.”
Then, you simply write your opinions based on that fact. Be clear and straightforward, and all your friends and neighbours will understand your point of view.
A letter to the editor must also be signed by the author, as no anonymous letters will ever be printed and there are no exceptions to that rule. If you feel strongly enough about something, you will be willing to have your name attached. Only letters from local residents will be printed and the length must be under 500 words. To avoid “letter duels,” only two letters per month will be accepted from a single address.
Letters complaining about businesses in or around Rocky Mountain House will not be considered for printing unless the business owner is first provided with a copy, and is given a chance to address any issues.
The Mountaineer reserves the right to edit letters to the editor for length and good taste. To submit a letter to the editor, use e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), fax (403-845-5570) postal mail (4814-49th Street RMH T4T 1S8) or drop it off at The Mountaineer office.
5) Event promotion
The Mountaineer regularly receives an extremely high number of requests to promote upcoming events. It’s part of what a newspaper does.
However, a newspaper has limited space and all parties must be treated equally. In that spirit the following policy has been developed:
Promotion of coming events in news stories and photos will be reserved only for those events covered by a non-profit society or charity, for example, the local 4-H clubs or the ROAR Society. Generally, each group can expect one promotion article per event, anything past that must be paid for as an advertisement. Businesses or corporations who want to promote an upcoming sale, new service or new staff member must purchase an advertisement.
Secondly, there is no guarantee that a promotion story or photo will be published. Space is sometimes at a premium and if there is only room for 10 stories in The Mountaineer that week, then anything over that must be left on the cutting room floor.
The only guarantee for a group to ensure their coming event is promoted, charitable or not, is to purchase advertising space. The Mountaineer advertising department is available by calling 403-845-3334 during regular business hours.
6) Submitted stories
The Mountaineer welcomes the opportunity to publish submitted stories from individuals, charities and organizations within Clearwater County, Rocky Mountain House and Caroline.
Mountaineer reporters are not always available to get to every event occurring all the time, especially during holidays, weekends etc. but that doesn’t mean The Mountaineer is indifferent to your event.
Submitted stories and photos are a great way to get your local organization or event into the spotlight.
Stories can be e-mailed, faxed or simply dropped off at the Mountaineer office. The deadline for submitted stories is Monday at 10 a.m.. Please do everything possible to avoid handwritten articles as reading some styles of handwriting can be time-consuming, especially at deadline.
Submitted photos are also welcome space permitting, and often the photos can be downloaded immediately by Mountaineer staff directly from your camera while you wait.
Otherwise, submitted articles, or any questions, can be e-mailed to email@example.com, faxed to 403-845-5570 or dropped off at our office on 49th street.
7) AGM requests
Virtually every service club, charity and non-profit society in the region holds an annual general meeting to conduct important jobs, including the presentation of financial records and the election of vital officers.
The Mountaineer gets many requests to cover these meetings, and not all requests can be accommodated for any number of reasons.
Groups who wish to have their AGM covered in The Mountaineer are invited to contact reporters ahead to time to discuss awards presentations or other events of note and the specific time those events will happen.
Alternatively, groups can submit their own photos for publication along with an article describing whatever awards presentations or other events of note took place.
8) Good Neighbour of the Week
Do you know someone who helps others, and asks nothing for themselves?
So often these people shun the spotlight. However, illustrating the helpful and courteous acts of their neighbours often inspires others to do the same.
Nominate someone you know for The Mountaineer’s Good Neighbour of the Week.
Taking good care of a friend’s pet, giving a cold vehicle a boost in bad weather or helping friends when they’re ill all makes someone a Good Neighbour of the Week.
Not only are they recognized, but the Good Neighbour also receives a gift certificate for Country Cottage Florist.
To nominate a Good Neighbour of the Week free of charge, call The Mountaineer at 403-845-3334.
9) Photos for sale
Did you know every photo you see in The Mountaineer that was photographed by our staff is available for sale? Whether it’s sports teams, school activities, special events like Christmas or Halloween or just pictures of kids having fun around Rocky, Caroline and Clearwater County.
Reprints are $10 for a 5 X 7 or 8 X 10 print, and $5 for each additional print after that if ordered at the same time. Call The Mountaineer at 845-3334 for more information.