“Best” of the Northland should be called “Most Popular”

26 Jul

I submitted the following letter to the editor to the sponsors of the Best of the Northland contest sponsors: Liberty Tribune, Gladstone Dispatch, and Kearney Courier. I doubt they will publish it, as the moderators of the BOTN Facebook page (likely the same people in charge of the opinion sections of those papers, all owned by one media company) haven’t exactly been open to my concerns.

So, here’s my letter.

Dear Editor,

Yesterday, I saw the results of the Best of the Northland, and I’m disappointed. In several categories, national chains were the first place winners – and sometimes the only winners. Not even a specific location, but the chain in general.

It does a huge disservice to our Northland community to say Starbucks or Jiffy Lube is the best we have to offer in those categories. If you go to any city, you know what you’re getting if you go to a chain, but that’s not what makes a community really unique.

I’m a journalism student, and I believe the media should be a resource (for locals and tourists) to showcase the hidden gems in our community – truly the best of the northland, not the most popular. After all, Wal-Mart is the most popular grocery store, but are they the best?

I know so many passionate, friendly, fantastic small business owners in the Northland, and it breaks my heart to see conglomerates like Starbucks and Jiffy Lube chosen as the best over these hard-working Americans.

Andi Enns
Presentation Coordinator, Northland Business Women’s Forum
Parkville, Mo.

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3 Responses to ““Best” of the Northland should be called “Most Popular””

  1. optimus June 20, 2013 at 9:04 am #

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  2. Best of the Northland Comittee July 30, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    How Best of the Northland winners are determined:
    We run ballots in our newspapers and online for 4 weeks. OUR READERS vote and the winner’s are determined by which business receives the most votes in their category. Like the Olympics, we recognize Gold, Silver and Bronze winners.

    The survey is not limited to small businesses; it is open to all Northland businesses that fall into the predetermined categories

    A Northland business is defined as any company that provides goods or services to the communities north of the river. Never in the history of the Best of the Northland contest has there been a limitation as to how large or small a business had to be to be voted for by our readers.

    We hope this clears up any misunderstandings as to how the Best of the Northland winner’s are selected.

  3. ggsally July 26, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    I agree with Andi. There are so many small business that are really unique and provide a great service to the community. We need to be honoring them by supporting them and letting others know they are there for us.

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