Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh Rupert, dear Rupert. How fore will thou miss us, let us count the ways...

The remembrances and farewells continued in the countdown to the final edition of the Daily News.  Tuesday, Patrick Witwicki and George T Baker took part in the Duelling Pens feature of the paper.

Outlining how in their opinion the media scene may change upon the departure of the Daily News and asking and answering their question as to which group of Rupertites will miss their efforts the most upon the closure of the Daily News.

Duelling Pens
Prince Rupert Daily News 
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 
Page 4 

Today’s Topic
Who is going to miss us most City Council or the School Board 

Patrick Witwicki 

It’s a good thing l’m not a parent in this town. Because I would be rather worried, if I had to think about sending my kids to school any time soon. Let’s be honest here-— the past five years, it has been a tough climate for the School Board. They’ve closed two schools already, another is on the chopping block next year, PRSS is reverting to a middle school, and who knows what will happen with Port Edward.

But with all of the controversy and difficult decisions, the Daily News has been the one to remain on the case with all School Board Trustees, the employees, and the union. Every open forum School Board held was well—attended, because the public of this town knew the details heading in. Many of those same difficult decisions still passed, but not without a lot of discussion from the public.

But what happens now? Public meetings, unfortunately, will no longer be well attended, basically, because the average Joe won’t have a clue whats happening. If people think the School Board "got away" with a lot before, wait until the near future, when there's no one in town to keep their feet to the fire and barely a whisper of dissent at those future meetings.

Maybe the Podunkian thinks he can be the voice, but he’s not the one calling up the trustees and demanding answers - and in fact, he has no intention of ever doing so .

That was the job of a Daily News reporter — but unfortunately by this time next week, that job will have a "space for rent" sign.

George T. Baker 

I imagine people think that just about anyone can be a reporter. If you have a pen, a paper and know how to put them to good use, that qualifies you, right? Wrong.

It takes calling, reading, investigating, questioning, challenging, being at the right spot at the right time and a strong backside. Those who challenge the status quo need to be able to lift a major burden.

City council will need to be held accountable — especially given that the city owns a dilapidated pulp mill that it wouldn't have owned had a past council showed the brains to not hand it to a shadow Chinese firm sans tax. Now that the city owns this property, questions will have to be raised about what's inside, how much value will the city gain from the property, will there be a new owner, what is that owner going to do with the property and how much will the good taxpayers of this city have to pay to get it off their hands?

For all intents and purposes, it owns CityWest — which is bizarre in its own right- and its continued activity should not simply be covered when they offer up the rare press release. It should be investigated thoroughly because the tax payer is on the hook for some of their costs. Then there are our streets that seem to be failing socially and functionally.

These are important issues that the Daily News addressed over its history. The reporters here did a fine job.

I am not sure most of the competitors could say the same.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm always amused when young reporters think they invented the wheel.