100 Mile Elementary School student reporters Kaylee Pylarinos and Maielle Briggs covered their school’s Terry Fox Run this year, giving the Free Press a run for its money. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

100 Mile Elementary School student reporters Kaylee Pylarinos and Maielle Briggs covered their school’s Terry Fox Run this year, giving the Free Press a run for its money. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

PAPER QUIPS: Writing the stories that matter and inspire

Patrick Davies’ column to the Free Press

It’s nice to be reminded that what you do matters.

Working in the newspaper industry I’m always looking for new stories on a deadline. It’s easy to get caught up in the hectic rhythm of finding new stories, writing them and putting them in print only to repeat it all over again the next week.

With the Free Press still searching for a new editor, humble reporters like me are under extra pressure to keep our standards up. So when someone recognizes that in the community it puts a smile on my face.

Sometimes it’s simply a kind word that we put out a good paper or a compliment on last week’s front page photo. Whenever anyone emails me thanking me for a story I always perk up and smile.

When I covered 100 Mile Elementary School’s Terry Fox Run last Thursday I was treated to perhaps the best compliment of all, competition. Not from CBC or the radio but from a new monthly newspaper run by students.

Several student reporters, with press badges proudly hanging around their necks, were out covering the event, interviewing their friends and taking photos with iPads. As I knelt to take a picture of my own with my camera, I was assured by one of the student photographers that her photos were better. That’s a type of confidence you just can’t buy.

As I chatted with these future journalists I couldn’t help but wonder if I had, in some small way, inspired them. After all, as one of them observed I do tend to show up everywhere in the community.

High school musical being hosted at the community hall? I’m there. Farmers market? You know that makes for a good picture. Grass fire burning in a ditch? I’m sometimes waiting for the fire engine to arrive.

All of it is important news to cover for the community. While it’s not as attention-grabbing as the war in Ukraine or the ever-twisting dark comedy that follows Donald Trump, a nice story about a car wash held in memory of a firefighter or the 100 Mile House Wranglers winning a game is good for the soul. They remind us that even in the most stressful of times good things still happen and good people are out there making a difference.

So despite all the hectic days and occasional late nights, it’s good to know we’re making a difference here at the Free Press. And with a new newsroom of bright young students gunning for us, we’ll have to work twice as hard to get the stories that matter.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

100 Mile House