October 30, 2014
About Us

The News Observer's roots wind their way back through the many newspapers that have served Fannin County, Georgia over the years. Community Newspapers, Inc., parent company of The News Observer, entered the newspaper market in Blue Ridge, Georgia by purchasing The Blue Ridge Summit-Post in the early 1970s. Soon afterward, a free-circulation paper, The News Herald, went into competition against The Summit-Post. About 1981, The Observer, a free circulation, sister publication of the Summit Post began publishing. In 1989, the current owners of Community Newspapers, Inc., purchased the company. Then, in 1990, The News Herald was purchased by Community Newspapers, Inc., and was merged with The Observer to form The News Observer.

The first edition of The News Observer hit the streets May 3, 1990, as a free circulation, total market coverage newspaper serving all of Fannin County, Georgia, and the Copper Basin area of Tennessee. In September, 1990, the newspaper began being delivered door-to-door by a fleet of ten carriers every week, still free to every home in the area.

In March, 1994, the newspaper was converted to paid circulation, still delivered by carriers. As the newspaper continued to grow with the community, the next big step was a conversion to a twice a week publication. Beginning with the issue of April 25, 2000, readers began receiving both a Tuesday and Friday edition of The News Observer. The newspaper changed to delivery through the U.S. Postal service at the same time.

Since beginning publication as The New Observer, the newspaper and individual staff members have won more than 50 awards in a variety of competitions on the local, state and regional levels. Two of the most prestigious of these have been the Georgia Freedom of Information Award presented by the Georgia Press Association. This award, presented to only one newspaper in the state each year, recognized The News Observer for ongoing efforts to defend the public's right to know. The News Observer also won Community Newspaper's President's Award. This award recognized the newspaper for best reflecting the company's mission statement. (A complete list of awards appears below).


Our Mission

The News Observer is published with pride for the people of Fannin and adjoining counties by Community Newspapers, Inc., Athens, Ga.

We believe that strong newspapers build strong communities – "Newspapers get things done!"

Our primary goal is to publish distinguished and profitable community-orient newspaper. This mission will be accomplished through the teamwork of professionals dedicated to truth, integrity, loyalty, quality and hardwork.


Accomplishments

Community Newspapers Inc. 2008
- Best of CNI, Division A
- Best community service, Empty Stocking Program 1st place
- Best sports story, 2nd place, Chris Brown
- Best editorial writing, 2nd place, Glenn Harbison
- Best editorial page, 2nd place
- Best ad with use of color, Lake Blue Ridge, 2nd place
- Best news photo, 3rd place, Joe DiPietro
- Best promotional campaign, Coat drive for a subscription, 3rd place
Georgia Press Association 2007
News awards
- Editorial page (J.C. Williams trophy), 1st place
- Investigative reporting, 1st place, Brian K. Finnicum
- Lifestyle coverage, 2nd place
- Serious column (Otis A. Brumby trophy), 2nd place, Brian K. Finnicum
- Editorial writing (H.H. Dean trophy), 3rd place
- Religion coverage, 3rd place, Cynthia Maude
Advertising awards
- Small page ad, 1st place, Ronnie’s Lawn & Landscape
- Small page ad, 2nd place, Book Signings
- Home furnishings and appliances, 2nd place, Wrapsody in Blue
- Real estate - B&W, 2nd place, Cassidy & Co. Mountain Properties
- Motor vehicle - B&W, 2nd place, Automotive Specialties NAPA Auto Care Center
Community Newspapers Inc. 2007
- Best of CNI, Division A
- Best community service, 1st place, Empty Stocking Program
- Best ad with use of color, 1st place, Arbor Creek
- Best promotional campaign, 2nd place, Empty Stocking Program
- Best special section, 3rd place, Information Please 2006
- Best editorial writing, 3rd place, Glenn Harbison
Community Newspapers Inc. 2006
- President’s Award.
- Best feature, 1st place, Dave Koerner
- Best editorial writing, 3rd place, Glenn Harbison
- Best community service, 3rd place, Empty Stocking Program
Georgia Press Association 2006 - News Awards
- Business coverage, 1st place, Cynthia Maude
- Sports photograph, 1st place, Glenn Harbison
- Business coverage, 2nd place, Cynthia Maude
- Editorial page J.C. Williams trophy, 2nd place
Georgia Press Association 2006 - Advertising awards
- Motor vehicle - B&W, 2nd place, Ducktown Dodge
Other 2006
- Fannin County Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award
- Georgia School Boards Association, Beacon Award, Brian K. Finnicum
Georgia Press Association 2005 - News awards
- Editorial page J.C. Williams trophy, 1st place
- Hard News Writing, 1st place, Brian K. Finnicum
- Serious column, 2nd place, Cynthia Maude
- Sports column, second place, Chris Brown
- Business coverage, 3rd place, staff
Georgia Press Association 2005 - Advertising awards
- Real estate - B&W, 1st place, Coldwell Banker
- Motor vehicle - full color, 2nd place, Ducktown Dodge
- Real Estate - B&W, 2nd place, Four Seasons Realty of Blue Ridge
Community Newspapers Inc. 2005
- Best news photo, 2nd place, Patti Bailey
- Best classified section, 3rd place
Other 2005
- Fannin County Relay For Life, All Star Team
2004
- Investigative Reporting, second place, Cynthia Maude, Georgia Press Association
- Hard News Writing, third place, Brian K. Finnicum, Georgia Press Association
- Local News Coverage, first place, Georgia Press Association
- Religion Coverage, third place, Georgia Press Association
- Lifestyle Coverage, second place, Georgia Press Association
- Best News Photo, third place, Brian K. Finnicum, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Column Serious, third place, Brian K. Finnicum, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Feature Photo, third place, Brian K. Finnicum, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Column Humorous, third place, Stacy S. Chastain, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Sports Story, third place, Chris Brown, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Ad Use of Color, third place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Use of Photos, third place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best of CNI, finalist, Division A, Community Newspapers, Inc.
2003
- Best Black and White Real Estate Ad, second place, Georgia Press Association
- Best Black and White Car Ad, second place, Georgia Press Association
- Lifestyle Coverage, third place, Georgia Press Association
- Photo Essay, second place, Cynthia Maude, Georgia Press Association
- Spot News Photo, third place, Brian K. Finnicum, Georgia Press Association
- Serious Column, third place, Dwight Otwell, Georgia Press Association
- Best Editorial Page, honorable mention, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Editorial Writing, first place, Stacy Chastain, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best of CNI Finalist Division A, Community Newspapers, Inc.
2002
- Editorial Writing, first place, Georgia Press Association
- Hard News Writing, first place, Cynthia Maude, Georgia Press Association
- Hard News Writing, second place, Stacy S. Chastain, Georgia Press Association
- Spot News Photo, first place, Brian K. Finnicum, Georgia Press Association
2001
- Editorial Page, first place, Georgia Press Association
- Serious Column, third place, Dwight Otwell, Georgia Press Association
- Best Editorial Page, honorable mention, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Editorial Writing, third place, Stacy Chastain, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Feature Photo, honorable mention, Brian K. Finnicum, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Increase in Classifieds Revenue, first place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best of CNI Finalist Division A, Community Newspapers, Inc.
2000
- Editorial Writing, second place, Staff, Georgia Press Association
- Freedom of Information Award
- Lifestyle Coverage, third place, Georgia Press Association
- News Photograph, first place, Glenn Harbison, Georgia Press Association
- Special Issues, "State Champs," first place, Georgia Press Association
- Sports Photograph, second place, Glenn Harbison, Georgia Press Association
- Spot News Photo, second place, Glenn Harbison, Georgia Press Assocation
- Award for General Excellence, finalist Division A, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Ad Black and White, first place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Editorial Page, third place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best News Photo, second place, Brian Finnicum, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Special Section, third place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Sports Page, third place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Sports Story, first place, Jeff Robinson, Community Newspapers, Inc.
1999
- Editorial Writing, first place, Georgia Press Association
- Religion Coverage, third place, Georgia Press Association
- Sports Pages, first place, Georgia Press Association
- Best Editorial Page, second place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
1998
- Editorial Page, second place, Georgia Press Association
1997
- Editorial Writing, first place, Georgia Press Association
- Serious Column, second place, Glenn Harbison, Georgia Press Association
- Best Classified Section, third place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Editorial Page, second place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Special Section, honorable mention, Community Newspapers, Inc.
1996
- News Photograph, third place, Glenn Harbison, Georgia Press Association
- Award for General Excellence, finalist Division A, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Classified Section, second place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best News Photo, second place, Glenn Harbison, Community Newspapers, Inc.
1995
- Best Community Service, second place, Community Newspaper, Inc.
1994
- Editorial Writing, second place, Glenn Harbison, Georgia Press Association
- Best Community Service, second place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best News Photo, honorable mention, Todd Starnes, Community Newspapers, Inc.
1993
- Best Sports Story, honorable mention, Todd Starnes, Community Newspapers, Inc.
1992
- Best Community Service, third place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Increase in Classified Ads, second place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
1991
- Best News Picture, second place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Best Ad, third place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Increase in Classified Ads, second place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
- Increase in Display Ads, first place, Community Newspapers, Inc.
Community Awards
- Award of Merit, The American Legion
- GSFSA Media Award, Victor Morgan, 1994
- GSFSA Media Award, Stacy Chastain 1996
- American Heart Walk Most Team Spirit 1998
- American Heart Walk Biggest Team 1999
- American Heart Walk, Most Improved Team 1998
- Best Annual Coverage, American Heart Association 1999