EDITORIAL: Championing the truth, in Squamish | Squamish Chief

EDITORIAL: Championing the truth, in Squamish

Newspapers are being read more now than ever before. No, really.

More people currently click, flip, and turn to newspapers than likely any time in history.

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Nine in 10 Canadians (88%) read newspapers each week  — either in print or digital format, according to a Newspapers 24/7 study.

At The Chief, our online page views are consistently between 300,000 to 500,000 per month. 

Our print edition drops at almost every house in Squamish as well as to select retailers and community boxes around town.

From Oct. 4 to 10 news media across Canada are celebrating National Newspaper Week.

It is a chance to champion the importance of community news, but also to thank our readers, advertisers, and membership club members for their support.

Thank you. Truly.

The theme of this year’s campaign is “Champion the Truth.”

What does that mean in Squamish?

It means that if we post or print a story then we have verified its facts.

Here is a recent, if simple, example: two local businesses posted online that they had an employee who had tested positive for COVID-19. The news spread fast on social media, but we wondered if there was one employee at two businesses or two different employees.

We took the time to verify the facts and then wrote up the story.

Another example: the troubling opioid overdose numbers are well known and publicized, but we met with people with lived experience and talked to experts in the field. That is what we do best.

We sit through every council and school board meeting, so you don’t have to. We catch up with artists, and athletes to tell you what they are up to.

We sift through court records and sit through proceedings. We ask politicians tough questions about the issues that matter to you: LNG and regional transit, for example, when NDP leader John Horgan was in town Oct. 2.

Being champions of truth also means that if we make a mistake, as humans sometimes do, that we are bound by journalistic ethics to immediately and clearly post and print a correction.

That is likely why more people are turning to newspapers than ever before — we cut through the social media noise.

But it is no secret our industry has suffered from drops in revenue.

 

Just Sunday, no reporters were there in person to cover a Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson’s Lower Mainland press conference. No one was on the media line asking questions either.

Already stretched thin by pre-COVID cuts, the pandemic has meant another round of cuts for most media outlets across North America.

Also no secret, over recent years some businesses have shifted from supporting their hometown media — and attracting local eyes — with their advertising dollars, to promoting themselves on Facebook and Google — U.S. companies that don’t employ local people.

At The Chief, for almost 30 years — and through a pandemic — we have persevered, with you, and we plan to remain, championing the truth. Thanks for sticking with us.

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