I Want My Local News Back!

By : Emma Johnston

I want local news back. Have you found yourself saying this? I don’t want to hear anymore about the politics of other countries, I’m so bored of COVID and vaccines and the ever-changing rules that are impossible to keep up with. I want my local news! I want to hear stories of what the kids are doing at school, how track and field went this year, what day the Halloween parade will be on and who won the awards at the September assembly. I want local sports, I want to know how the Optimist baseball tournament went, I want to know when the Burford Bulldogs game is so we can all go cheer, I want to see the Burford Dancers perform at the Fair.
The fair? I want to know all about the fair! I want the fair book so I know who is baking what, what crafts the kids are working on and what the Fair Ambassador will be speaking about. I want pictures of the little darlings at the baby show and a picture of a crew of teens on the Ferris Wheel. What about the Optimist Derby? Who’s painting their cars? Who’s riding in the horse show? I want to know!
Never mind all that, what about our social clubs? Last year we were planting trees as a community at Lions Park, we were planning Breakfast with Santa six weeks from now. Where are our weekly updates of what our groups have been up to? Where are the big grand openings of our local businesses? Where are our retirement parties? Where are our exciting church events and meals where we all sit around and chat and eat and raise money for things that our community deems important?
What about our ‘in-person’ activities at the library? What about the DIY nights at businesses in town? What about the lovely little pre-school photo ops, and the community plays and what about the incredible choirs we always follow throughout the year…
Have you found yourself wondering this? Have you found yourself saying – where is all this? I have! I’ve sat there staring at my computer screen thinking about how sad I am that this week should be the Burford Fair. I should be buying pies and eating cotton candy and running around the fairgrounds non-stop from Friday night until Monday afternoon. I should be spending the next three weeks typing out all the winners and laying out papers with tons of pictures… I should be, but I’m not.
There’s nothing, nada, zip. There are no school functions, no group events, no programs, parties, tournaments or church anniversary services. They aren’t allowed, they can’t happen, so I’m not there.
These changes have hit us hard. There’s the simple fact that so many of the events that we count on for both stories and advertising, just aren’t there anymore. School functions, fairs, social gatherings, parties, fundraisers, Terry Fox runs, community meals, sporting events, tournaments, rallies, in person programs, camps and activities have all been banned, plus the rules about what we can cover and how have impacted every page and every story of our paper.
The world is so different these days.
All of these changes have impacted our little newspaper.
Even many of the events that are happening, are done now without ‘guests’. Media isn’t allowed into schools, we can’t just ‘show up’ now and take pictures, we need to register, we need to be contact traced, we need to be specifically invited, if we’re allowed there at all.
I miss the events and activities and community building projects of years before. I’m sad to not participate in them as a member of the community, I’m disappointed that I can’t cover them for the newspaper.
I want my local news back! I want to promote the rodeo and Optimist Dinner; I want to check out the annual ballroom dancing competition we always cover and the school field trips and the music club at the United Church.
I’m ready to put my journalist hat back on. I want to get out in the community again, I want to be there in the thick of the excitement and promote every volunteer group, I want to cover every sports team and take pictures at every local event!
Trust me when I say, ‘I hear you’. I hear you wanting these things too. I hear you wanting to see all our events happening again, you want to feel connected and get involved, I do too.
We miss our local news! We miss it all, our events, the days when businesses in a small town thrived, we miss the schools and programs and social groups, fairs and garage sale days and so much more.
We are in this together. We miss our steady onslaught of local news and we can’t wait until the world opens up again and our pages are filled and overflowing with the busy happenings of our small town!
Hang in there, things will return eventually, thank you for your continued support!

I Want My Local News Back!

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