Your Community News Service — Serving Nelson, British Columbia and Surrounding Area since 1988

— Since 1988 —


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Our History

The Express through the years

1988 - our first issue






I owe my success to ignorance. If I had known how long and what it would take to publish a successful community newspaper, I might never have started.

Nelson is a postcard community in the West Kootenay region of southeastern B.C. I arrived here in 1988 with the idea of opening a theatre cafe. I had the building all picked out, even though it was zoned residential and not commercial. I had envisioned a dynamic, "musician friendly" eatery with a monthly newsletter to promote upcoming performers. When the city refused my zoning application to open the cafe, I opted for just the newsletter. Thus, the seed of the Express was sown.

Our first incarnation was as the monthly What's On magazine – an overly-ambitious attempt to give every local performer and every concert/play/performance some "ink." After two hectic years of publishing What's On, it became apparent that we had to transform ourselves into a weekly – and not as a magazine, but as a newspaper. My goals changed, along with the perception of what I wanted to accomplish. In short, I wanted to give my community an open forum for contact and communication.

When I broke the news to my staff that we were going to go weekly, they were uniformly horrified, convinced there wouldn't be enough hours in the week to produce quality articles, let alone sell the advertising necessary to make it feasible. But reality has a way of turning negative thoughts into positive energy, and it did not take long for the staff to realize that, yes, it could be done!

I applied for membership in the BCYCNA shortly after switching to a weekly format but was told that I had to maintain that status for at least two years before becoming a member. There were other requirements, too, including having an editorial each week. As the Express evolved into a true community "voice," I realized that our editorials, guest commentaries and opinion pieces were fulfilling the role I had sought all along: to provide our readers with new insights and attitudes and an opportunity to discuss the issues that affect us all. They are free to agree or disagree, of course, but we have made it our policy to consistently present both sides of whatever issues we choose to tackle.

Today, I can only look ahead. I am never satisfied with resting on our laurels, because I firmly believe there is always a better way to do things. We have grown to become an integral part of the Nelson and area community – to the point where I am often stopped on the street by readers who simply want to tell me how important our newspaper is to their lives. That is a great feeling.

The Express has seen many years of growth, wonder and (occasionally) trepidation – but our readers and advertisers have borne out what I only half believed when we started as a monthly in 1988: the weekly newspaper is a vital component in the life of every community. We will continue to humbly carry that responsibility into the new millenium.

-Nelson Becker

554 Ward Street   Nelson, British Columbia V1L 1S9
Toll Free (800) 665-3288   Phone (250) 354-3910   Editorial (250) 354-1118   Fax (250) 352-5075
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