Editorial: Ch-ch-ch-changes

editorialTrent Ernst, Editor

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
And every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
– David Bowie, Changes

Things change. People change. The times, they are a changing.

One of the biggest changes that was underway was plans to start publishing a paper serving Chetwynd, or rather, a section. The idea, if you remember, was to print the Tumbler Ridge News on one side of the paper. Flip it over, and read the Chetwynd News.

Apparently, though, Chetwynd had a different idea, and, a month of banging our heads against the wall there has left the idea dead in the streets. “Your ad rates are too high, compared to the Chetwynd Echo’s,” they would say. “And look where that got the Echo,” we would reply.

We’re still planning on getting stories into the paper about Chetwynd, but without the support of the Chetwynd Business Community, well, you’re stuck with just the Tumbler Ridge News for the foreseeable future.

But the thing about the future is it’s hazy and indistinct, like trying to see our a frosted window. And, if you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the future, chances are it will go sulk in the corner and not do what you were expecting it to.

While that change has been changed into something looking suspiciously like “the same as it ever was,” there are some other changes afoot.

Recently, we talked about our Publisher, Loraine Funk, and how she was returning to town after eight months in the hospital dealing with complications from diabetes. (In case you missed it, she had one of her legs amputated above the knees and has been fighting to save the other.) While we’re still expecting to see her back in town, we’re not expecting to see her back at the office, as she figures out her health issues.

Loraine remains as owner of the Tumbler Ridge News, but, as of this week, I will be taking over as publisher.

(Don’t believe me? Look at the masthead below. Publisher and Editor. That’s me.)

How will this affect the paper? Well, from a reader’s point of view, not much. I’m hoping that people will take my invitation to start writing for the paper, and we’ll see a diversity of voices in the paper, but the paper will continue on as is.

So, what changes? From here on in, I will be responsible for the business side of the paper as well.

This means there will probably be a bunch of other changes happening in the near future, as I try and figure out the role that a newspaper has in this community, in this environment, in 2016. Facebook just started shipping their Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset. How long until we’re all reading virtual newspapers while sipping virtual tea? Or, more likely, having the news beamed directly into our brains.

The Tumbler Ridge Newspaper is a Community News Paper. Our first priority is the Community, and being an integral part of the community. To foster dialogue, to celebrate accomplishments, and to hold a mirror up for the community, whether it be printed on ground up dead tree or not.

So, again, I invite you to engage with us, however you like. Send us letters. Photos. Complaints and complements. Post on our facebook page. Comment on our website. Give us a call or swing by the office.

And if you have thoughts on the role of a community newspaper here in Tumbler Ridge, let us know. Do you read the paper online? Or do you love the feel of newsprint beneath your fingers? Do you think we should go online first and paper second? Maybe start posting videos of our interviews? Drop us a line: editor@tumblerridgenews.com, or 250-242-5343. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.