A little good news can go a long way

When I finally sat down in the editor’s chair at the Trail Times a couple of months ago I definitely had a few ideas I wanted to try out in the pages of our local paper.

When I finally sat down in the editor’s chair at the Trail Times a couple of months ago I definitely had a few ideas I wanted to try out in the pages of our local paper.

I didn’t know how they would be received and I’ll never know without trying.

First I wanted to add some fresh faces and new names to bylines. We recruited some new freelancers who have delivered interesting stories on community groups, efforts and people. They’ve added a new take on things locally and have inspired me to help them showcase many corners of our community.

And more of those stories are on the way.

Another goal was to make better use of our access to the Canadian Press photo service. I’ve learned it’s predominantly focused on eastern Canada, which makes for good photos of Stephen Harper’s cat but it also highlights the tragedy of flooding in Manitoba and Quebec better than any story could.

Those were changes that were easy and quick to make. However, another one might take more work but deliver even more satisfaction.

I consider myself a pretty average Trail citizen. I watch the news, I’m interested in community events, I have an appetite for sports, nationally and locally, I enjoy a good parade and fireworks and I think our young citizens have a lot to offer.

That’s what prompted me to tap into some new correspondents for our thin staff. We need to tell those stories. And that’s my guideline for what I, as editor, try to put in our paper.

A few months ago, we ran a Canadian Press story, which surveyed what readers were looking for in their local paper. The overwhelming response was, “more good news.”

That struck a chord with me. Everyone likes to read good news. We get desensitized to the barrage of bad news we see on TV. Bombings, wars, murders, corruption all make for vivid headlines, graphic TV and stir emotions but the reality is our world isn’t all negative.

People in Greater Trail know full well that without the army of volunteers – be it at the church, Salvation Army or baseball tournament – things wouldn’t get done.

Most people know the roles that community groups like Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus or the Lions Club play in our daily lives. We know the support of businesses from Teck and FortisBC all the way to the local restaurant and hardware store are the backbone of many community efforts.

Most love to complain about our politicians, it’s a national past time. But unlike our seldom seen national leaders, our local elected representatives are our neighbours, our friends, the people we see out shopping, shoveling snow or curling.

Because of the growing disdain for politics at the national and provincial level, that has spilled over on to the local scene.

Yet that brings up another goal of supplying a section of good news on a regular basis.

Many prefer to complain that the pothole on our street needs fixing rather than realizing the $100,000 improvement to drainage avoided a potential flooded basement during a downpour.

Many prefer to complain that taxes are too high rather than notice our drinking water is clean or our parks are well kept.

And no doubt a bit of that responsibility falls on the shoulders of the local newspaper. If all you read is what’s wrong then you’ll never realize what’s right.

So with all that in mind, one new idea I want to bring to light is more good news.

Of course the purists will scoff. “A newspaper’s responsibility is to hold people, especially politicians and law enforcement, accountable.”

I agree we can’t overlook that role, it’s a vital duty of the newspaper. But who’s to say you can’t also highlight the good instead of constantly searching for the bad?

So that’s another goal I would like to reach for. It won’t be easy.

The best “good news,” is often the stuff people don’t want to brag about. They like to do their good deeds anonymously. After all that’s the point of being generous, it’s definitely not for the publicity.

So the challenge for us is digging up the “good news.” Like I said, “bad news,” is easy to find most of the time. Sirens wail, tragedy strikes and squeaky wheels whine.

But perhaps if you see a good deed, or notice a helping hand, or see something well done, why not share that with the rest of the community?

People fire off letters to the editor or comment online the minute they see something they don’t like. So how hard would it be to send a line or two or three about something you like?

It opens up a big door of possibilities. There could be section simply for good comments. Perhaps no names are needed, sort of a pay-it-forward mentality.

This will no doubt be a work in progress and it might take a few months to finally generate a steady stream of ideas and hammer out a consistent style.

Nothing good ever comes easy but I believe it’s well worth the effort.

Have a suggestion or a comment, let me know at editor@trailtimes.ca

Just Posted

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

Cropped photo: Silver Screen Drive-in will be in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza.
Summer drive-in returns to Trail unveiling blockbuster movies

PHOTOS: Scroll to bottom for a trip down memory lane to the Auto Vue Drive-In

How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read