The News Observer
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).