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 of 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.

In March of 2013, The News Observer began publishing once a week, with our readers receiving editions every Wednesday. We continue to publish a Wednesday edition today.

Since beginning publication as The New Observer, the newspaper and individual staff members have won 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, which recognized the newspaper for best reflecting the company's mission statement.

 

Our Mission

The News Observer is published with pride for the people of Fannin County, Georgia and East Polk County, Tennessee by Community Newspapers, Inc. in Athens, Georgia.

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

Our primary goal is to publish a distinguished and profitable community-orient newspaper. This mission will be accomplished through the teamwork of professionals dedicated to truth, integrity, loyalty, quality and hard work. We believe that a community first know about itself in order to act in its own best interest.

 

Recent Accomplishments

2019 Georgia Press Association Editorial Awards
    •    Emerging Journalist Award, Sydney Taylor
    •    1st Place Local News Coverage, Staff
    •    1st Place Photo Essay, Lauren Bearden
    •    1st Place Feature Photo, Lauren Bearden
    •    2nd Place General Excellence, Staff
    •    2nd Place Community Service, Staff
    •    2nd Place Layout and Design, Staff
    •    2nd Place Photo Essay, Lauren Bearden
    •    2nd Place Lifestyle Coverage, Staff
    •    2nd Place News Photo, Sydney Taylor
    •    2nd Place Editorial Page, Glenn Harbison
    •    3rd Place Humorous Column, Glenn Harbison
    •    3rd Place Magazine Photography, Lauren Bearden
    •    3rd Place Page One, Glenn Harbison and Lauren Bearden
    •    3rd Place News Photo, Sydney Taylor
    •    3rd Place Feature Writing, Lauren Bearden
    •    3rd Place Magazine Product, Staff
    •    3rd Place Photo Portfolio, Glenn Harbison

2019 Georgia Press Association Advertising Awards
    •    1st Place Classified Section/Page, Staff
    •    1st Place Full Color Ad, Lori Waters and Cheryl Norton
    •    1st Place Miscellaneous, Lori Waters
    •    1st Place Signature Page, Lori Waters and Cheryl Norton
    •    2nd Place Full Color Ad, Lori Waters
    •    2nd Place Motor Vehicle, Lori Waters

2018 Georgia Press Association Editorial Awards
    •    3rd Place Community Service, Staff
    •    3rd Place Editorial Page, Glenn Harbison
    •    3rd Place Humorous Column, Glenn Harbison
    •    3rd Place Local News Coverage, Staff
    •    3rd Place Serious Column, Glenn Harbison

2018 Georgia Press Association Advertising Awards
    •    1st Place, Full Color Ad, Lori Waters
    •    1st Place Classified Section/Page, Staff
    •    2nd Place, Full Color Ad, Lori Waters
    •    2nd Place, Small Page Ad, Lori Waters

2017 Georgia Press Association Editorial Awards
    •    2nd Place Local News Coverage, Staff
    •    2nd Place Sports Section or Pages, James Wolfe
    •    2nd Place Community Service, Staff
    •    2nd Place Education Writing, Brianne Collar
    •    3rd Place Layout and Design, Staff
    •    3rd Place Lifestyle Coverage, Staff
    •    3rd Place Editorial Writing, Glenn Harbison

2017 Georgia Press Association Advertising Awards
    •    1st Place Motor Vehicle, Lori Waters
    •    2nd Place Classified Section/Page, Staff

The News Observer

Phone: 706.632.2019
Fax: 706.632.2577
Email: news@thenewsobserver.com

Address: P.O.Box 989,
5748 Appalachian Hwy
Blue Ridge, GA, 30513