The Chilliwack Progress, owned by Black Press, is celebrating its 130th birthday this year. To commemorate this hallmark anniversary, the publication has asked four of its former editors and publishers to submit articles on their time at B.C.’s oldest community newspaper.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll share these reflections with you. Below is a shortened version of the piece written by Andrew Franklin, who is the former publisher of The Progress, and who currently serves as Black Press Media’s vice-president of digital operations.
“The first day I walked into The Chilliwack Progress, I knew I was joining a team with a huge responsibility to the community. At that time, May 1995, I knew little about Chilliwack or the people who worked tirelessly to make it a better place to live and raise a family.
In the 1990s, it was all about print and the delivery of news via the newspaper. Content mattered. Timely news mattered and a real connection with residents and businesses made for an incredible information ecosystem.
The deep connection with non-profit organizations was also integral to The Progress. I remember getting a call from two or three Rotarians within the first few weeks. In no short time I became a Rotarian, later becoming president, and the same with the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce. Belonging to these organizations showed me not only the importance of why they do what they do, but also the importance of how The Chilliwack Progress was able to play a role in helping achieve their objectives.
I am extremely proud of the history recorded through The Progress since 1891 and also the fact that it is the oldest, consecutively published, newspaper in British Columbia. So much storytelling, so much history. From two world wars to the flood of ’48, Progress reporters covered stories that mattered to residents. During the snowstorm of 1996, few people could get around the city, however somehow, we managed to get a ‘special edition’ printed and distributed.
Congratulations on 130 years of serving news and information to the people of Chilliwack.”
You can read his full column here.