Tumbler Ridge News and its predecessor, Community Connections, have been two of the most positive features of our community over the years, present in good times and bad, and providing a refreshing mix of local news and articles. The results and accolades speak for themselves, with a huge readership for a small community newspaper, and a notable award.
By pointing out an area that does not receive coverage, I would like to suggest a way in which the role of this newspaper could be further enhanced. Two examples of events that have not been adequately covered may serve to illustrate this.
A few months ago at a Council meeting one Councillor announced his resignation, after a vote had not gone the way he wanted it to. A few days later he repeated this resignation announcement at a public meeting, citing irreconcilable differences of opinion with the majority of Council. And then… nothing happened, and he still appears to be on Council.
More recently, at a budget meeting in Council Chambers, open to the public, an elected official accused one of Tumbler Ridge?s most respected public institutions of being deliberately underhanded in its modus operandi, thereby casting aspersions on the integrity of one of the community?s most visible volunteers, while the other elected officials present did little if anything to counter this.
Perhaps there are perfectly reasonable and valid explanations for these unusual events. In most communities they would certainly be headline news, with the questions they raise about credibility and re-election prospects, but without the press informing us, we just don?t know. The consequences of our ignorance include rumours, and blog sites where anonymous opinions are safely expressed. We know that power has the potential to corrupt, and to counter this, a fair and independent press that courageously reports both sides of issues like these is recognized as an essential bastion in a democratic country / community.
We in Tumbler Ridge are not unique in having occasional strange goings-on amongst our elected officials, but it does seem unusual that there is so little media coverage. I believe that we as citizens would be better off, and Tumbler Ridge News would become an even greater newspaper, if it were to take on this watchdog role.