* Trigger warning!
I’m still here.
With that dig out of the way, I have to say it’s quite nice being the boss around these parts, and what could be a better way to celebrate this fact than to write a Tyson’s Thoughts on my three-year anniversary at the North Island Gazette?
Yes, faithful readers, I have been employed here for a little over three straight years now, two of which have been as the editor in chief. Apparently I was such a hot prospect as a reporter that I was handpicked to run the editorial department on two different occasions.
I’m really quite proud of my run and what I’ve achieved so far, but I still feel the best is yet to come.
See, the more you do something the better you get at it, and I feel like my layout skills are currently at an all-time high. The paper looks fantastic every week if I do say so myself, and I’m still churning out an average of 7-10 stories a week, which is a pretty phenomenal pace when you factor in how much more work there is involved in my job now.
Want some statistics from my time here at the Gazette? Here you go:
1. I’ve written well over 1,400 articles, which are all posted online to read for free at northislandgazette.com, and I’m an award-winning journalist with two certificates from the Ma Murray awards hanging on the office wall;
2. Since taking down the paywall on our website, we have been averaging around 30,000 views a month, which is a huge number for our market;
3. When I started as the editor in 2016, our Facebook following was around a meagre 1,000 likes. Now we are closing in on 3,500 and will be at 4,000 by sometime in 2019. We have one of the highest Facebook followings on the entire North Island, and with good reason, because we usually share over five stories a day;
3. I have hired and trained two different reporters in my two years as editor, both of whom were completely new to the industry when they started and are now thriving as journalists;
4. I generally attend three to four minor hockey games every weekend, travelling between Port Hardy, Port McNeill, and Port Alice. I take around 70 photos a game, shoot and edit videos, and write stories about the teams that residents always tell me are fantastic and of very high quality;
5. I have attended just about every single Port Hardy and Port McNeill council meeting for the last two years straight without fail (I also attended Port Alice council for a year straight when I was a reporter). I don’t get paid to go to these meetings, I attend on my own free will because I view it as an essential service we provide to the community by making them aware of where their tax dollars are going;
6. Our newspaper sales are as steady as ever. We charge $1.35 per paper as we always have since I started here, and our circulation is going strong with numerous readers all over the province.
So, with the cold hard facts out of the way, what else is there left to say?
I’m a proud resident of the North Island, I have lived in Port Hardy for 23 years now and this will always be my home, because my family planted its roots here and are still living here after more than 40 years.
The Whitney family has left a strong legacy on the North Island as educators in the local school system, and I intend to continue that legacy through my work here at the North Island Gazette.