Editorial: Free as in Beer

Trent Ernst, Editor


Psst. Hey you, don’t tell anybody, but this paper you’re reading? It’s free.

No, seriously. Like, no cost. Free like beer, whatever that means. I just heard it somewhere.

I keep seeing these people over on facebook, saying things like “Why didn’t anyone mention this to me? I would have gone, if I would have known.”

To which someone, not I, usually points out. “It was in the paper.”

“But,” cries the original poster in anguish, “I don’t get the paper!”

Well, here you go. It’s the paper. All full of information about what’s happening and what’s about to happen in Tumbler Ridge. And it’s yours for free.

Like beer. Yes, we covered that one already.

All you have to do is reach out and grab it. No, not literally. That’s what we in the biz like to call “a metaphor.” You have, if you are reading these words, already reached out and grabbed this very paper, and opened it to this very page where you are now reading this very word. Word.

Okay, conceivably, you got someone else to grab it for you and open it up to this page for you. Perhaps you fell off your bike and skinned the palms of your hands and experience pain every time you try and hold something. That’s not the point, the point is the metaphor.

And the point of the metaphor is simply this: you can get the paper, delivered to your door, for free, by our legion of cute, highly trained delivery kids. And adults, though they’re typically not quite as cute as the kids.

What do you have to do to have the paper delivered to your door? Simply give us a call, or send us an email. You’ll find the information on the piece of paper that this newspaper was wrapped in. You’ll also find it in that box down there over in the corner. If you’re too lazy to look down, don’t worry, I’ll probably give the number and email away at the end of the article.

While this is Tumbler Ridge’s best source of local news, you’re not going to find everything in these pages. Why? A variety of factors. One being that we only have a certain number of pages in the paper. Sometimes we have to cut a story because it just doesn’t fit within the allotted space. Sometimes, people just assume we know a certain bit of information and don’t pass it on until it’s too late. Sometimes it’s because there’s only two of us in the newsroom. Sometimes people don’t want a bit of news getting out.

You might think this latter would be people who committed dirty deeds not wanting the public to know their nefarious activities, but as often as not, it’s just the Canadian in them not wanting to brag about their achievements.

Take Terri Gale, for instance, who, for the second year in a row, went and ran the Mount Robson Marathon, then drove back here to run the Chetwynd Marathon the next day. Yet, nary a word we hear from her.

Sometimes, you might not hear about an upcoming event because the people putting on the event choose not to advertise in the paper.

Let’s face it. It’s not front page news that X organization is doing the 19th annual bake sale, or whatever. While I will probably be there to get a photograph when it happens, there’s not enough there to write an article beforehand. As a writer and as a photographer, I love doings. Stories and photos about people who are going to do something or have finished doing something aren’t as interesting as things that are being done. Think of the photo of a runner exploding from the blocks. Of the firemen working to put out the fire. Of the mine rescue team rappelling down the side of the building. Compare those to the shot of the runner with a medal around their neck. Or a burned out car. Of a bunch of dudes standing around a dummy.

Things that might not find their way into the paper will sometimes find their way onto the website, at www.tumblerridgenews.com. Some updates, like weather alerts, are to be found on the Tumbler Ridge News Facebook page.

If you are new to the paper, feel free to explore. While we’d love it if you read every word I was able to wring out of a story, you don’t have to. It’s free, after all, and that doesn’t mean just free of charge. There’s no obligation for you to buy from our advertisers, to read every word, to write letters to the editor or to tip the carriers.

But it would be nice.

I promised I’d tell you how to keep getting the paper. Call Lynsey at 250-242-5597 or email flyer@tumblerridgenews.com.

And thanks for reading.