One of the most controversial questions journalists get asked relates to the pandemic and why we primarily relied on the information from the public health officer and health authorities over alternative perspectives.
Some folks were — and continue to be — very angry with us that we repeated health authorities' calls for vaccinations, mask-wearing and the like.
The simplest way of explaining our perspective on this is to say that during a public health crisis, all media had a responsibility to provide the most accurate and reliable information we could by turning to experts with the training and experience to best supply the latest scientific, evidence-based guidelines.
We know some folks had other takes on the scientific data.
But an analogy is that during a house fire, you listen to what the firefighters say to do to get out alive.
You don’t stand and debate with the firefighters about an alternative you heard about.
Arguments about the motives of the firefighters, whether enough water was used or if something else could have been done, are all for later — not when the flames are licking the roof of the house.
Does this mean journalists think the government and medical professionals got it right 100% of the time? No.
None of us had lived through such an impactful global pandemic before, so there was a learning curve.
The media didn’t always get it right, nor did health experts — or readers.
We all learned along the way.
But weighing the probabilities of risks of giving alternative advice to that of health authorities, we had to go with those with the training.
If you have questions about anything to do with media, email us: email@example.com.
**Please note, this story was corrected after it was first posted to say that none of us had lived through "such an impactful" global pandemic, as it was not the only one. The Squamish Chief apologizes for the error.