Letters to the Editor: February 2

Response to "Enough Already;" "Yes, I get the local paper!"

Re: Enough already

Regarding Steen Jorgensen’s Jan. 31 Letter to the Editor, headed “Enough Already:”

Mr. Jorgensen, I find it interesting that as the former publisher and regional manager for both the Townsman and Bulletin, you now feel qualified to throw a chill on Carolyn Grant and her editorials on the rise of Trumpism.

I am a long-time Townsman subscriber and I too have connections in print media, though I can’t sanctimoniously claim 43 years in the newspaper business. I worked seven years as a reporter and photographer for two B.C. community newspapers, at a time before many local papers became links in corporate chains. I still want to believe in society’s fundamental right to a free press, although that ideal has been under attack on many fronts.

I don’t know Ms. Grant and don’t always read her bylines, but I would defend her right to publish any comment about this sociopathic bully and his gang, who many believe are a threat to Canada, our humanity, and this fragile blue planet itself.

I hope many of us still depend on real journalists to keep us informed, in a distorted world of social media ‘press releases’, bogus bloggers and ‘alternative facts.’ That means we need unfettered space for editorials on national and international events, as well as coverage of local news and issues. I’m sure you are aware that all Canadian media are covering Trump extensively, as they should, and that is not going to change any time soon.

I don’t know you personally either, but I am glad you weren’t my publisher. Besides the diatribe against the Bulletin editor, there appears to be some fact-bending to support a political bias.

Like it or not, B.C. has had a carbon tax for nine years, so British Columbians’ grocery bills for necessities will not go up “as much as 40 per cent” following the imposition of a federal carbon tax. The right-wing Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation claims the average household nationally would pay an additional $2,500 a year (for everything, including groceries), while the analysis of one Calgary economist in Macleans last Oct. 16 suggests $1,100 a year is more realistic. This doesn’t consider that provincial and federal governments will likely exercise options to mitigate the true cost to families, as they attempt to make the carbon tax revenue neutral. Overall, your embedded rant against Justin Trudeau seems a little apocalyptic. But I digress, and a bigger question arises.

Since you are using the pedestal of your former office to tell an editor how to do her job, may I make a suggestion to you? Why not summon your vast experience and give back to the industry, by lobbying to support the central role of newspapers in the fabric of our communities?

Community papers are rapidly being downsized or disappearing entirely under a bottom line, advertising-driven business model. I realize there are other factors contributing to this sad situation. But were you part of the problem Mr. Jorgensen, and what can be done to ensure the survival of the local press in small towns and cities? As you said, readers deserve better.

Steve Williams/Cranbrook

Re: The Bulletin

“Well I do get the local paper” and have been receiving it ever since I moved into this beautiful town I call home. I love to read all the local news as well as all the other news the paper has to offer. Carolyn does an amazing job covering so many local events in our community. And there are many of them!

I’ve been teaching Highland dance in this community for almost 45 years, and the Daily Bulletin has put pictures of my dancers in the paper for that many years! It’s wonderful for our local kids to see their smiling photos as they proudly stand at performance or a competition. And trust me, parents and grandparents love to see it too!

And as I pay my subscription again for another year, I know it’s money well spent. Let’s all shop local, and support our local newspaper. Besides I don’t need those hamburgers anyway!

Liela Cooper/Kimberley