The future of Revelstoke is cloudy, yet the sun is returning. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

COLUMN: Ironic state of journalism due to COVID-19

In the wise words of Red Green “We’re all in this together”.

Irony can be a great form of comedy.

However, when I used the word ironic in the headline it was not meant to invoke humour over the state of the journalism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, I wished to show the irony surrounding the high demand for news during the pandemic juxtaposed with a loss of funding in the industry.

Our small news team has been working around the clock to keep our town up-to-date on all COVID-19 related issues. I believe the community recognizes what our team is doing, as I virtually interact with residents who tell me they appreciate the Review.

I want to thank not only the community for trusting us in providing prompt and correct information but also to the team who puts the news together — Jocelyn Doll and Liam Harrap. These two journalists have been doing an amazing job of staying on top of every piece of news that comes out of our community.

The strong connection the Review has with the Revelstoke region has been very rewarding for all of us. In a time of crisis where business after business must pull their advertising budget due to financial pitfalls from COVID-19, the Review has also taken a hit when it comes to revenue.

This week, I am proud how we are still producing a 16-page paper, which is only four pages short from our weekly 20-page editions.

We can produce the Review at 16-pages thanks to the amazing and strong local businesses that choose to continue to advertise with us during this unprecedented time.

Some might read this and think I should just consider myself lucky to have a job — those people couldn’t be more right. I am grateful to still be employed.

However, just like many local businesses in our city, the Review has had to adapt, change and overcome. Our journalists have come together and out of the necessity to produce content, are currently job sharing with reduced hours. The job share program not only affects the Review but our sister papers as well in Golden and Salmon Arm — for that matter the entire Black Press Media team.

We are not immune to COVID-19 or the tribulations it brings and neither are our competitors.

Recently, the only other print news publication in the city, The Revelstoke Mountaineer, chose to close down operations as expenditures superseded incoming revenue.

Competition be damned, this hit home for me. I wish Aaron Orlando and the rest of the Mountaineer’s writers and contributors a safe and successful journey moving forward.

To the community of Revelstoke, which continues to maintain its reputation of being the nicest and friendliest place in the world, we at the Review appreciate the many positive comments we have received. We can work together as we are all in this together. I urge businesses to find a way to stay in operation, to offer deliveries and face these challenges head-on.

I’m not known for writing columns. Perhaps that is made evident here, but I want to thank those of you who have taken the time to read this.

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Myles Williamson, multi media marketing consultant at the Review. (File)

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