Blog: My version of local news

My first job as a reporter was in the summer of 1999. I developed my black and white photos in a tiny darkroom (devastating when you screw up and lose a roll), and on production days, I’d measure out my stories, paste them on a big board for each page (forget what that’s called), put them together in a neat package and drive the 60 kms or so to the Medicine Hat News. There, I would hand it over to their pre press department, and the next day, The Bow Island Commentator / Cypress Courier would hit the streets. I put thousands of kilometres on my car, got pulled over four times by the RCMP for speeding (I had what’s called the Enevold family lead foot), and basically, it was the summer I knew being a reporter is what I wanted to do. More than 20 years later, I still get that same rush when I have a good story. The Phoenix is almost three months old, and here’s what my subscribers have been reading:

  • Plans on what Beach Ave will look like this year, and how our tourism and business sectors are adapting. Actually talking to people is what makes local news relevant!
  • Vandalism yet again on Peachland’s historic mural: I was the first to let you know about this, and the only one who followed up the next day. Remember that pic of a small crew starting the cleanup?
  • Local restaurants targeted by overnight break-ins. I was the only media who went down and spoke with those affected.
  • LOCAL playground and sport court closures and re-openings – and reaction from Peachlanders.
  • An early-morning arrest at Swim Bay, after more Beach Ave vandalism that also affected the yacht club. The suspect was found sleeping by a District employee, and I was there moments after the arrest.
  • Another break-in attempt, thwarted by Peachland’s community policing president at his own home.

I’m also here to say once again, thank you to my subscribers. Some of those stories happened because they’re contacting me – allowing the word to get out in the first place. I’m grateful for those who make the effort to sign up. It’s extra rewarding when people say what I’m doing is important, it’s needed, and it’s something they’re proud to support. If you’re a happy subscriber, the best thing you can do is spread the word! I’m always fine-tuning, listening, and yes, writing and reporting. Happy to meet you!

Written by Kristen Friesen

June 13, 2020

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