Another month almost done, another month of chaos when it comes to the news.
Starting as a journalist during the presidency of Donald Trump, a time of political unrest throughout the world, growing environmental disasters and of course a once-in-a-century pandemic, has certainly made for interesting times. Watching it all unfold from my desk is a frightening experience at times, a blood-boiling one at others but overall the storms seem to pass me by.
That’s the nice things about working as a small-town journalist, I find. The stories you write about are more down to earth and meaningful to people. Rather than writing about Trump’s many blunders and obfuscation of the truth, you instead shine a light on what’s really important to a community.
A beloved old school being scheduled for demolition. A pair of young sisters making birthday cakes for children unable to have traditional birthday parties due to COVID-19. Telling the story of a kind old groundskeeper who keeps an important heritage site looking its best.
All these stories, while not liable to win a Pulitzer anytime soon, are still just as important as the big geopolitical news stories of the day. Moreover, they’re enjoyable to write and I take pleasure in featuring people seeking to do good in the world.
Because, while the old adage “if it bleeds it leads” still holds true, too often we can find our media dominated by grim headlines of doom and gloom. Yet, there is still light and good stories to be found if one knows where to look and communities like 100 Mile House are one of them.
That’s not to say we should ignore the serious and often times hard-to-pay-attention-to stories, mind you. Keeping informed about what’s going on in the world is a big part of being an active and engaged citizen, after all. However, we shouldn’t let negative news consume us either and should instead know when to step back for air.
That’s what I’ve tried to do since I became a community journalist over two years ago now. Stay informed but look for the bright spots in the news. Hopefully, you will join me in doing that.