By Greg Price
Well, the COVID-19 crisis has claimed my position at the Taber Times/Vauxhall Advance and I’ve been laid off temporarily.
I’ve been in a bit of a stupor these last few days because journalism is all I’ve known since I entered journalism school in 1996.
I feel like a little of me is missing in my soul as it was a job I never did for the money (obviously, take a look at what we get paid in newsrooms across North America in comparative professions), but rather the passion for it where I’ve got to do many fun things and interviewed so many interesting people on the local, provincial, national and international levels.
And maybe it has also helped bring a few injustices to light as well in fighting for what’s right.
While it may be only temporary, who knows what the COVID-19 pandemic will bring to the economy of tomorrow or the federal wage subsidy programs of today, but after 20 years (?) serving the Taber and M.D. of Taber regions, I did not want to leave without some parting words about something so close to my heart.
I just want to thank the community for all these years of service, the friendships I’ve made along the way and the sources that have become like family.
I’ve broken bread or relaxed over a drink with so many people who are now multi-generational, where it all just started covering their children at a sporting, community or news event.
That is what community journalism is, it’s not just the gathering and organizing of facts to be released, it is the building of community.
It is telling the stories of so many people making a difference in their community in messages of hope, while also bringing to light those who may seek to destroy the spirit of that community.
It is one of the most incredibly personal professions I know in making real connections with so many people.
They say community journalism is going the way of the dinosaur in the wake of social media, etc.
I truly hope that is not the case for today or what the future holds in a post COVID-19 economy.
There is just something about covering a community at all hours of the day that no Facebook post or blogger can do, in that it takes the genuine time to craft the message with its buy-in in covering a community hands-on that it truly believes in, rather than just getting more likes for shock value.
If it is COVID-19 that has knocked me out of the journalism gig for good (this may all very well be very temporary), it’s been an honour to have served the Taber, M.D. of Taber and Vauxhall regions.
I will be forever grateful with the friendships and connections I’ve made along the way.
The future is unknown, but I know I’ve had a blessed past and present.
Stay strong, stay healthy, stay safe and stay loved.