Who knew editing a community newspaper would be an eye-opening, overwhelming, life-changing experience?
Well, I sure as heck didn’t know what was waiting for me when I signed up to report, write and edit the weekly Hope Standard eight short months ago.
What I knew at the time was the approximate size of Hope, the fact that it was surrounded by mountains and the memory of a nice first impression I had at a local restaurant on my first visit to the community one foggy, chilly November day.
Since then, I’ve had the privilege to report on everything from the changing face of Hope, to the residents who make the town a special place to live and the events which shape and move our community.
The stories that keep me up at night are the ones without an answer, most pressing the disappearance of Shawnee Inyallie.
Other stories of grief have happened in this short time. Duane Aleck of Lytton still has not been located and is feared drowned in the Fraser River. Longtime Hope resident Jason Hahn passed away in a March 7 logging accident — we witnessed the massive outpouring of love for him as forty-plus big rigs drove through town in his memory.
The people I’ve spoken to for these stories, the family members going through unimaginable circumstances, thank you for trusting me with your words and your time during the darkest hours.
I’ve also had the privilege to witness people doing things they are passionate about — from preserving local history to saving lives to working in the circus.
I’ve seen citizens get passionate and riled up about the issues they care about —retail sales of marijuana, Greyhound bus services, the Trans Mountain pipeline, housing, homelessness and more.
Most of all, I’ve learned an immense amount in a short time, aided by the kindness of strangers and my dear colleagues Pattie and Janice.
I’ve also been buoyed by the care and attention people place in their local news.
A newspaper can seem like a one-way communication tool, but it really shouldn’t be. A good paper should have one ear focused on the people and, as much as possible, an open door to receive story ideas and hear about the issues that concern you.
Even though ours is a weekly newspaper, I also strive to be on the scene of as much breaking news as possible and to share that with you through our website hopestandard.com and on social media. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you see breaking news in our community.
I echo what I wrote those eight short months ago when I stepped into the editor’s role—please keep ranting, raving and communicating with your local editor. I’m (still) all ears.
Emelie Peacock is the one-woman show running The Hope Standard’s editorial department. Get in touch with her via firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-869-4992 or on Twitter @emelie_writes.
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