The good and bad are all part of a newspaper

Editor and publisher Kathy O'Reilly Taylor's Shorelines column

The longer I live on the North Island, the more I appreciate where I am.

I travelled down island for the first time in ages to have a visit with my son and my brother and sister in law.

I actually took a Friday off work in order to make my son’s and my schedules coincide.

While down island I received a phone call from the office  about a posting that had been made to Facebook about a logging accident.

Some people were upset by the posting and wanted it taken down.

We understand that people are rightfully upset about the incident, but a logging accident is news.

When I first moved to the Tri-Port, I wrote an introductory column about the role I feel a newspaper has in a community.

I believe a newspaper is a mirror that is held up to reflect what is going on.

Sometimes it reflects two baby bears narrowily escaping death thanks to an ethical Conservation Officer.

Sometimes it reflects an adorable little munckin wearing humungous headphones.

Sometimes it reflects the night sky lit up by a threatening wildfire.

Sometimes it reflects police guarding a body lying in the street and the monument set up for someone’s loved one.

A newspaper is a recorder of history and as such it needs to accurately reflect what is going on in a community at any given time.

Just like in life, we don’t get to pick what happens in a community, but it is our job to make sure the news gets out in a timely, sensitive manner.

We don’t just get to pick the good stuff, because that isn’t life.

Bad things happen and they happen to really good people.

There were some comments made that we don’t care, that it’s all about getting the story.

That’s simply just not true. Some people might not believe it, but most reporters, particularly ones working in smaller communities, get no joy out of reporting on a tragedy.

We feel for the family, we feel for the friends, we feel for the community.

We also heard comments that we don’t know how we should do things, or what things are like, because “you’re not from here.”

No we are not from here, but of all the places in Canada or the world we could have chosen to live and work, we chose to live here in the amazing North Island. and until the day comes when we chose to leave, it’s home.

 

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