Passing the torch: saying goodbye as editor

When I came here, I knew nothing about these communities, what matters to locals here, who is who, the politics, and the history.

This is the last editorial that I will write for the Lake Cowichan Gazette. Admittedly, it’s a bit of an odd feeling. I have in many ways settled into this role and now that I am preparing to leave I am realizing that I have finally gotten to the point where I have pieced together (at least for the most part) the ins and outs of this area called Cowichan Lake.

When I came here, I knew nothing about these communities, what matters to locals here, who is who, the politics, and the history.

I have to say, this, more than learning about how to put together a paper and making sure that I have all the content written and the pages filled, was a steep learning curve.

Through it all, I have learned that Cowichan Lake residents care deeply about their communities. You are a passionate group, and you will bend over backwards for those in need.

Yet, like any small community, you have a hard time letting people in. In some ways, it can be like struggling with a stubborn pickle jar lid that just won’t budge. I get this mentality, I was raised in small communities. So it didn’t come as a surprise, but at some points it became frustrating as I struggled to learn who I should talk to, where I should be, and just the right angle to take on a certain story so as to not rub anyone the wrong way. You must understand that in many ways, this went against everything I learned about being a journalist. It meant that instead of being an unbiassed third party reporting on the news, I had to have compassion and understanding, and most of all tact, in how I was reporting.

I can hear you now — the chuckle or the  “huh” — as you think back on possibly many stories that you thought I did not have enough tact.

Now, what is the reason for stating all of this?

Soon you will have a new editor. This person will most likely come from outside the community and will have to go through the same learning curve that I did. Possibly they will not have grown up in a small community and they will find it harder to adapt.

I ask that you, Cowichan Lake communities, have compassion and understanding for this person. If you truly care about having a local paper and want a venue for local news, lend a hand. Don’t assume this person knows what you are talking about, what matters to you, and who knows who. Believe me, they will be grateful.

 

— editor@lakecowichangazette.com