Howdy. My name’s Scott, and I’ve started work as the new editor at The Free Press here in the Elk Valley.
I don’t enjoy writing about myself, but given I’m going to be spending a while getting to know the communities of the Elk Valley, it’s fair you get to know a little about me.
For starters, I’m a blow-in. Not just to the Elk Valley, but to Canada. With less than three years in this wonderful country, I’m a long way from feeling like a local here, or in Vancouver where I lived up until a week prior to this newspaper arriving in your homes and businesses.
Like so many in British Columbia, and so many in towns and resorts renowned for skiing, I’m an Australian. I hold permanent residency here in Canada, so I am not going to be running off at the end of the ski season.
I’m from the city of Melbourne where I grew up, went to school, and started my career in journalism. My family are still in Melbourne, locked up under quarantine.
Back when I started my career I had imagined journalism was a great way to avoid what I had decided was a mistake in pursuing a degree in politics. I still think I made a mistake, but I’m glad for where it led me: community journalism, and here.
I think that community journalism is the most important form of journalism; holding up a mirror to society on a local level.
The very first editorial I wrote was at a newspaper in central Victoria, Australia – at a newspaper that was also fortuitously called the ‘Free Press’ – I wrote about my belief in local journalism and the importance of community newspapers.
I guess I must be consistent, because I still believe in those same ideas: community empowerment, sharing information, shining a light on things that society might forget about, giving voice to those less fortunate and celebrating the quiet achievers in the community.
While I’ve ended up here via a whole lot of other places, in 2020 the world feels smaller than ever and the news that affects Melbourne, that affects Wuhan, Beirut, Portland, New York and everywhere in between is news that affects everyone right down to communities like those here in the Elk Valley, from Elko to Elkford.
I hope that as part of the team at The Free Press, I can live up to the expectations of the community in reporting on that news, and keeping it local.
As with any newspaper, please feel free to reach out to me. I want to hear your stories.
I’m not going to shake your hand given it’s 2020, but say hi sometime.
Until we meet.