We are proud to call The Missourian an “award-winning” newspaper.

We proved it again over the weekend.

The Missourian newspapers brought home 34 awards, including 11 first-place plaques, in the 2013 Missouri Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Missouri Press Association (MPA) and the Missouri Press Foundation.

That is three more awards than we won last year in the same competition.

Awards were won by staff members at all of our Missourian newspapers — Washington, St. Clair and Union.

The awards were presented at the 147th MPA convention held in Kansas City.

We don’t publish a newspaper to win awards. We’ve made that point before.

But these awards show the breadth of talent we have throughout our newsrooms — in news, features, sports and commentary.

The truth is we are immensely proud of our team. They work hard to inform, educate and entertain our readers each and every week. They take their responsibility as trustees for the public seriously.

We have a great staff, which is something we forget to say often enough. That applies to all of the other members of our team. Anyone familiar with publishing a newspaper understands it is a team effort.

That includes the front office, the designers, digital operators, pressroom, mail room, distribution and accounting. Without their contributions, we couldn’t distribute an award-winning newspaper each and every week. That’s a fact.

And the reality is we couldn’t do any of this without our advertising professionals. No margin, no mission as the saying goes.

We understand clearly that many people are more interested in the ads than the news content. We are the only medium that can say that.

Were it not for all these people, neither you nor I would be able to enjoy a newspaper that records a community’s history each and every week.

While it’s always great to win awards, and we are very pleased that our professional peers have judged our work to be “award-winning,” it’s far more important that we provide a consistently reliable, useful, viable and informative product to our readers.

In the end, the readers truly are the judges who have the final say on our product and its value to them.

We are proud to be your local community newspaper.

Thanks for reading.