Liam’s Lowdown: Is the news here to stay?

A new year and a new goal

Well. It’s another decade. My gosh, how did that happen?

In my mind it’s still 2015 and Uptown Funk! was just released.

This time of year is all about new resolutions and goals. You know, the blah blah.

Usually, the new resolutions do not last.

One study determined that four out of five people eventually break them. In many cases, the dreams cough, splutter and die.

We’d like things to happen instantly, like cooking Mr. Noodles and five second bacon. However, meaningful change takes time.

What do I want for this year? I don’t know.

I do have goals, such as my list of 30 accomplishments beside my desk as I turned 30 last summer. According to the list, I have until my next birthday to finish the challenges.

Some of the tasks include making 30 croissants from scratch, writing 30 poems, dancing 30 times in public and having a moustache for 30 days.

Let’s just say there’s been a couple bumps in the road.

I’m behind on my tasks. But my birthday isn’t until July! There’s time.

If I finish the tasks, will I be different? Probably not, just more haggard. But it’s about the journey, isn’t it?

However, while I write this column, thinking about the year to come, my Facebook pings. The Edson Leader, a newspaper owned by Postmedia that has operated for 109 years is closing its doors. Effective next week.

I worked there the summer before last and it was my first job at a newspaper.

Ed Moore, a reporter had worked there since the 1980s, watching the office slowly whither away.

Twelve years ago, the office had roughly 15 employees. When I worked there, it was reduced to four. Since then, more employees continued to drop, like petals from a dying flower.

READ MORE: Torstar to close StarMetro national free newspaper chain, lay off 73 employees

Last year, a study found that when local newspapers shrink, fewer people bother to run for mayor, making it more likely for incumbents to stay.

The study furthered that newspapers increase voter turnout, reduce government corruption, make cities financially healthier, and make citizens more knowledgeable about politics.

It’s no secret, the news industry isn’t doing well. However, when a newspaper closes, it isn’t the same as a restaurant or gas station disappearing.

It’s the loss of information and the death of public records.

Revelstoke is lucky. It has a few media outlets, including the Review, the Mountaineer, the Current, StokeFM and EZ Rock Revelstoke.

Financially, each outlet probably doesn’t benefit from the competition. However, the citizens do.

News agencies feed off one another, getting ideas and building upon the competitions’ articles. Sometimes, one misses a story and hopefully it’s picked up by another.

In the end, the people are more informed.

However, one publication in Revelstoke just produced its last — Reved Quarterly. The magazine says it’s due to time constraints and environmental issues.

It will continue, just in a much smaller format. The last issue was its 60th for the magazine established 15 years ago.

It may not be as glamorous, but in many cases community news is more important than national.

It’s stories about your neighbours, your city’s successes and your city’s failures.

It’s heart wrenching when people share Revelstoke news, but not from a Revelstoke news agency. Supporting local goes beyond the farmers’ market.

There was a time when news wasn’t free. People paid for it, however, the internet changed that.

Now there’s an expectation. A lady came in last week, complaining about the price of the paper, which is $1.25. For comparison, the local Starbucks charges $3.10 for a medium coffee.

We’re cheaper than a morning brew.

If you care about information and you’re still looking for a New Year’s resolution, perhaps make it to support local news.

If you don’t like the Review, fair enough. At least, support the other news agencies in town as they all do an excellent job and always keep us on our toes.

Whatever news you like to consume and if you want that to continue, support it.

Because it may not last, much like your ambition to eat less sugar and read more books.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

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