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LETTER: Importance of community newspapers

“That is where we need the watchdogs, what goes on in the country and the world”

I have written a letter to the North Island Gazette years ago re the importance of community newspapers. This time I will have to add a few words re Journalism.

The government, the Liberal Government as it happens to be at the moment in power, announced the release of funds from a fund that exists apparently for the support of journalism (remember, honoured reader, I am not writing as a professional and do not have the time or the means to check things out and double check with the source of this news item myself, as if I were a professional reporter. I respond to what I consider reliable sources and not the gossip media, and for those reader who have never seen my letters, I am now a disposable old senior, four months short of 89 and soon hope to make room for another citizen for our 7.5 million people planet, where we should have stopped at five billion as the limit, considering the life style some of the well to do are living, like flying three times around the world, when you can see and behold fantastic scenery of this beautiful globe on stingray channel, without making a trip there and messing up the neighbourhood there to the annoyance of the locals.

The CBC lady that interviewed the minister who made the announcement strenuously tried to have him admit he is making this announcement so that the “journalists” will be favourable inclined towards their party as they cover the news, and he strenuously denied this. He maintained a journalist is trained to write about facts and report the news fairly and independly and not take sides, politically. And I totally agreed with him. (It was high time it was recognized that the community newspapers are under pressure from all the other nonsense that comes on the air and especially by way of the TV – this morning I turned on the “Advertising Machine – don’t get me wrong though: there are some channels, the German Deutsche Welle especially, which cover very important issues that need attention and not only Donald Trump as CNN and Fox Channel seem to do – and what I saw made me regret that we do not have better watchdogs of what should be on TV and what should not: to purposely put people on fire and then extinguish the fire and then make them drunk and fall all over the place, at least that is what I saw. One was hit purposely with a baseball bat. Even if it was all “fake”, that is not stuff you make fun off as the realities of these things happening in life are too painfully real.

Back to my topic: Not sure if it was the mayor of Laurinburg, population 15,156, in 2017, or the editor of the community newspaper and he discussed the importance of a community newspaper and also why they are under pressure, fighting for their existence. He pointed out when people become complaisant and do not care anymore what is happening “out there” we are in trouble. The German channel, Deutsche Welle, discussed their 70 year old “Grundgesetz”, their constitution, enacted in 1949, after the disastrous experience of a twelve year dictatorship, with consequences we all know about.

All students in Grade 11 take Social Studies 11, and if the teacher did his or her job, must have been taught something about the functioning of a government and the different branches of government. We have the House of Common, the Senate, also known as the Upper House. There is the Cabinet, members from the elected party who get appointed to head up the different important ministries like the Justice Department, to keep us all honest, or when wrongs are done to right these wrongs, etc. etc. Perhaps I should mention the Prime Minister to head up the show and he should really be a very mature and very educated in every way widely experienced person, hopefully from a poor family where the father had to struggle from month to month to pay the bills and pay the mortgage. But politicians in our democratic systems are constantly under pressure to lobbyists and to many special groups who want and need attention. That is where we need the watchdogs, what goes on in the country and the world: AND THAT IS THE JOB OF OUR JOURALISTS, just to remind us once in a while.

Paying the mortgage? How could it have been allowed that a house in Vancouver should be worth – I am talking of an ordinary working man’s house – a million dollars and all citizens of the cities are millionaires, nice going!

While those home owner millionaires when the get older and do not have sufficient income end up homeless.

Well, I exaggerate. But the rent, and or the mortgage payments become such, that those with insufficient income end up homeless (just fill in the details as there is not space here to go into details).

It is up to “Journalists” trained in snooping around and/or doing their research to find out why those who are endowed with the task of governing us, why they have it happen that prices should and could spiral so out of balance that only the rich could afford a home. They are the ones who read (if the politicians have no time to read), to read stuff I have read like Good Work by Dr. Schumacher! What is good work? And what is just goofing about and wasting time! Is the movie industry making money, real money, while educating the public in the process of entertaining, making the thinking and responsible citizens, if the Churches do not do it anymore and do not see the down and out as I see down-town Port Hardy and I bet that scene you could witness from Coast to Coast to Coast in every native village. The mayor of Toronto was on TV yesterday and complained that the funds for mothers with children was supposed to be cut, as if the mothers and children had anything to do with balancing the budget, and eat or don’t eat

When I see the affluence, coming from every corner of the world here in our little town, and then I see a young people “hanging around” not looked after.

That is the job of the “Journalist” our fourth branch of government. (Esquirer won’t do it and can’t, as they must make money to exist. Get it?)

“Democracy without debate and an exchange of opinion, continuously I heard on the Deutsche Welle as they debated the “Grundgesetz/constitution. “Wuerde des Menschen”/”dignity for every human being, is number one. That is, the “dignity of every human being” is a right, and not the survival of the fittest, the nastiest, the craftiest (did you see where these investors lost all this money when Mr. Trump made millions on a project gone sour and all they have to do is form a limited company, and they are not personally responsible.

That is the job of the journalist, if the Justice Minister (the honest ones like Miss or Mrs. Wilson-Reboult!, is too busy to notice it or no one brings these matters to court.

I aplologize if my letters are somewhat disjointed as I do not have the energy to write and rewrite or feel I am, as I have mentioned, writing as a professional. The books I have read though, I wished politicians had time to read those books. Yesterday I opened at random , Killing Hope by Blum and read about the interference of the USA in the election of Chile at the time they were about to elect a real socialist, as had Brazil in 2003 (to 2011) (he lifted 35 million out of poverty and helped another 45 million to a higher standard of living, but that proved too much for the rich and well to do and right now he is sitting in jail.

You should have seen this interview on the BBC channel. (But he will exonerate himself and will be elected again, I am sure.)

A correction for my last letter: The North Island College course for basic forestry work, cost $3000, was not three but six months.

Wilhelm Waldstein,

Port Hardy

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