The Macleod Gazette is an independent newspaper published every Wednesday at Fort Macleod, Alberta. The weekly lays claim to being the oldest newspaper in Alberta. Two former members of the North West Mounted Police, C.E.D. Wood and E.T. Saunders, established the Gazette in 1882. At the time, the only two other papers in what was then the North West Territories were the Edmonton Bulletin and Battleford Herald. The Bulletin went out of business and in 1905 Battleford became part of the new province of Saskatchewan. The Macleod Gazette was honoured by the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association as the best newspaper in its class in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The Canadian Community Newspapers Association recognized The Macleod Gazette in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009 as best all-around paper in its circulation category. The Gazette has also won numerous awards for news reporting, photography, opinion writing, education writing, coverage of the arts, sports reporting and design. The newspaper has changed owners several times in its history. In 2001 Frank and Emily McTighe bought the Gazette from Jack Murphy, who spent 33 years as an employee and later owner of The Macleod Gazette.
Their website, built in WordPress, is a simple, easy to navigate, informative, reader friendly and community based website. Seems the talk of the town for Fort MacLeod at present is the construction of the Alberta Public Security and Law Enforcement Training Centre scheduled to open August 2014. The website devotes a special section to news articles and a quick scan brings a reader up to date from the announcement of its construction on September 27, 2011 to the July 3, 2012 announcement by Wayne Drysdale, Infrastructure Minister for the Province of Alberta, that the $95-million design submitted by Saskatchewan-based Bird Design-Build Construction Inc. was chosen over bids from two other finalists. And, for those who want to know the background from the project’s concept to its construction, on the right column of the section is a completed timeline of the project from 2005 to the present.
The website also integrates an online calendar of events community events that includes fitness programs, aboriginal drumming events and tours of the Empress Theatre, Alberta’s oldest theatre constructed in 1912. Quite a happy coincidence that Fort MacLeod would boast Alberta’s oldest newspaper as well as its oldest theatre.