Survey results are meant for general information only, and are not based on recognised statistical methods.
Eighty years ago, on May 6th, 1930, the first edition of the Peace River Block News rolled of the presses in nearby Rolla, British Columbia. Founders of the newspaper, Charles S. Kitchen and James E. "Cap" Lean, who was also the first editor, together with Bill Carruthers, the lino-type operator, produced the first edition of the Peace River Block News. The printing plant was located in the old two-storey log building known as the Pioneer Hall in Rolla (19 kilometres north of Dawson Creek). The newspaper was named after the area it was to serve, namely the "Peace River Block" of British Columbia, an area stretching 110 kilometres west of the B.C./Alberta boundary and 55 kilometres north and south of the Peace River.
With the arrival of the Northern Alberta Railways (formerly known as the Edmonton, Dunvegan and B.C. Railway) from Hythe on December 29th, 1930, Dawson Creek became the end of the rail line and the centre of the area's trade and commerce. In March 1932, the Peace River Block News moved from Rolla to a new printing plant on the corner of 9th Street and 102nd Avenue in Dawson Creek. The News kept pace with the growth and development of the Peace district by enlarging its premises and adding new printing equipment. In 1952, the News moved one door west into a new plant building and a larger press was installed. Following the death of Charles S. Kitchen, in September of 1959, his sons Norman and Charlie, and his daughters Edna and Bea, took over the operations with Norman as publisher. On October 19th, 1967, the News began the change from the lead cold type system to offset printing with the installation of a new Fairchild News King offset newspaper press. The new press had two units, capable of printing eight pages at a time and could produce colour advertisements. In 1970, the average press run exceeded 5,300 and the News employed a staff of 22, while back in 1930, there were less than 300 copies produced by a staff of three.
The era of the family owned and operated weekly came to an end in March of 1972 when publisher Norm Kitchen announced that the Peace River Block News had been sold and the forty-two year ownership of the Kitchen family had ended. The News had been a weekly, publishing every Wednesday, however, in June of 1972, the newspaper began twice-weekly publication with editions every Wednesday and Friday. Don Marshall and Del Folk, who had purchased the paper, were its new publishers and they signed their first contract with the Printing Pressmen's Union. Folk later sold his interest in the paper to Marshall in 1975. In February of 1976, the Peace River Block News moved its printing plant from the corner of 9th Street and 102nd Avenue, where it had been located for almost forty-four years, to its present site at 901 Ð 100th Avenue and added two more press units.
Sterling Newspapers Ltd. of Vancouver purchased the Peace River Block News in May of 1976 from Don Marshall, who stayed on as publisher. Glen Dalke was appointed publisher on June 1st, 1979 while sweeping new changes were underway. The new changes involved the Peace River Block News going into daily production on September 10th, 1987. Other major changes, which took place in early 1987, were the installation of two additional press units and the amalgamation and centralization of the printing at the Peace River Block News in Dawson Creek. On May 15, 1987, the News began pressing all Sterling newspapers in the area, including Fort St.John's Alaska Highway Daily News, the Chetwynd Echo, the MacKenzie Times, the Tumbler Ridge Observer, the Northern Horizon (a regional agricultural community newspaper, and the two regional weeklies, Dawson Creek's Sunday Regional Advertiser and Fort St.John's North Peace Express, as well as the Peace River Block News. It has since also pressed papers for outside customer, such as the Fort Nelson News and the Hythe Headliner. In January of 1990, following the installation of new computer equipment, the Block News switched over to wire copy supplied by Sterling News Service for all its non-local news. In 1998, the News switched back to Canadian Press with a new satellite connection for receiving the latest news almost as fast as it was happening.
Early in 2006, the Peace River Block News, along with a number of other Hollinger (parent company to Sterling Newspapers) properties, was purchased by Glacier Ventures International, who subsequently changed the name of the Peace River Block News to the Dawson Creek Daily News in July of 2007 and amalgamated the Mirror (another local weekly purchased earlier) and the Sunday Regional Advertiser into a single weekly, retaining the Mirror moniker.