The Observer is an award-winning weekly community newspaper serving Woolwich and Wellesley Townships in the Region of Waterloo. Founded in 1996 by life-long residents Joe and Pat Merlihan, the Observer grew to be the area’s preeminent and only weekly newspaper. The focus on reporting 100% local news and acting as a trustworthy servant to the community keeping watch over local government has proven successful. Residents depend on The Observer to keep “in-the-know” about their home.
Our award-winning ways are reflective in all areas of newspaper production. We’ve also captured numerous awards in head-to-head competition with papers across the province and the country. (View our compiled list.)
A newspaper is not simply a commodity, even if some operations are run that way. Locally owned and proudly independent, the Observer takes its brand of journalism seriously. “Community paper” shouldn’t be a euphemism for shoddy coverage, poor writing and useless filler. We know your time is valuable. When you sit down with the paper, it should provide something that’s worth reading, featuring information that reflects the community.
The Observer believes in the historical and fundamental role of the media as a watchdog. A functioning democracy requires a free press that monitors the political process. Keeping an eye on local politics is an essential function, as is challenging those in power to justify their actions. This doesn’t mean gotcha journalism, rather it counteracts the natural tendencies of bureaucrats and administrators to do what’s in their own interest, not the public’s.
No matter how clichéd it sounds, when it’s doing its job, the press acts as the voice of the public, asking the questions and presenting information to the readers. It’s a role that should always be front and center.
That philosophy has been in place since the Observer began publishing in 1996.