It’s hard to believe it’s already been nearly two months since I started here at the Mirror. Time is flying by, and I’m slowly but surely getting to know the community and getting to know my way around the city.
I’ve met a lot of great people, and I’ve learned about how many great things are happening in the city. I’m excited to keep meeting people and keep learning. That’s one of the things I love best about working at a community newspaper – the chance to really get to know your community and the people in it. It’s such a privilege.
One thing that I’m actually really excited about is taking over the editing of the Carihi Mirror, our partnership with the Carihi writing program to give students an opportunity to publish their articles in the newspaper every two weeks. I will be the editor/liaison, and I am really looking forward to it.
We had our first meeting together last month, and it felt really positive. I think we’re all excited about working together to make this great part of the paper even better – and to fostering a feeling of partnership between the school and the paper.
This year’s three writers – Jasmine MacGregor, Nigel Neufeld and Cassidy Hinsberger – are enthusiastic, smart and good writers. I hope that I will help them keep that enthusiasm over the next four months and offer some guidance about what it’s like to write for newspapers. I’m not too sure what all I have to offer them, but I hope that whatever it is, it leaves a positive impact.
This is the first time I’ve worked for a community newspaper doing something like the Carihi Mirror, a special section of the paper filled by high school writers, and I love it. I have always loved writing about what’s going on inside the walls of local schools – whether that means profiling students, writing about innovative programs, taking photos of science fairs, writing about sports or arts or the countless other ways community newspapers can highlight the people and activities inside local schools – and I think community newspapers generally do a great job of that. I know the Mirror does. But this is a way to give students a real voice inside the paper – which only adds weight to the all-important word “community” in “community newspaper.”
In their own words and with their own voice, students are writing about what affects them. It might be something happening inside the school. It might be something out in the community. Whatever it is, the important part is that it’s their voice, and that we outside of the schools are taking notice.
I hope this makes our student writers feel empowered. I hope this gives them confidence. I hope it makes them realize that their voice matters. Because it does – and their voice should be heard.
I’m grateful to be a small part of making that happen.
And I’m excited to read what Jasmine, Nigel and Cassidy write about. It’s been a long time since I was in high school, and I feel pretty out of touch, so I see this as a great opportunity to get more connected with young adults and the things that matter to them.
I know this experience will help me too. I was the editor of a weekly newspaper smaller than this one in Ladysmith before I came here, but after a while, due to budgeting, I wasn’t actually managing anybody because it was just me in the newsroom. So I think this will be good for me, helping me become a better and more confident manager.
So I’m excited to work with the Carihi students and their teacher, Nicolas Pisterzi, to make the best version of an already-great product that we can.