The Free Press welcomes two new reporters

The Free Press brings on board two new reporters.

  • Nov. 10, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Phil McLachlan

My name is Phil McLachlan, and I’m very excited to start at The Free Press.

From an early age, photography and writing have been an important part of my life and in 2014 I decided to take a leap of faith and commit to studying photojournalism at Loyalist College in Ontario.  Learning the art of visual storytelling presented the opportunity to grab hold of what I had always dreamed of: a life as a photographer and journalist.

Human interaction is everywhere.  It can be found in all aspects of living, and for me, it is what makes small town living exciting. While working in the Meridian Booster newsroom this past summer, I experienced the gears of a real-world publication, and got a taste of how much we as reporters are involved with the community every day.  Throughout this summer I was given the pleasure to watch Lloydminster grow, as well as Onion Lake Cree Nation, a neighbouring First Nations community.

The art of representation has always fascinated me. As journalists, we have the power to shine light on an issue and engage the viewer at many different angles. Ultimately, this power comes with great responsibility: to the public, and to ourselves. Ethical journalism is of great importance to me. Through my work as a photojournalist, I hope I can invoke emotion, display human connection, and ultimately tell the truth of a story.

Arriving in the city of Fernie, I was immediately stunned by the scenery. Raised in the small fishing town of Cowichan Bay, I was surrounded by mountains, but nothing like this. On my first day of work as I watched the sun rise and light up the mountain peaks, I knew I had made the right choice in coming to the city. I don’t imagine I’ll get tired of looking at that any time soon.

I now see the attraction to snow-culture, and I understand why people travel from all over the world to towns such as Fernie. Contrary to popular practice, I do not know how to ski or snowboard. However, soccer, curling, mountain biking, and trail running are personal favourites of mine. I can’t wait to explore Fernie, learn more about its culture, and meet some of the wonderful people that reside here.

Ezra Black

My name is Ezra Black, and I am very happy to be a part of The Free Press team.

A bit about me: I was born and raised in Montreal. I was once more-or-less bilingual but have been slowly losing my French to attrition and lack of practice.

My first big break in journalism came while I was completing an undergraduate degree at the University of King’s College in Halifax. There I was, idly staring out the window when I saw what appeared to be a cage full of pigeons on a nearby roof.

“What was happening?” I wondered. Were these messenger pigeons? Squab? Or was something more sinister afoot? So I launched a full on investigation.

It occurred to me that this was probably a pest control issue so I obsessively called different companies around town. Things got heavy as I kept asking hard questions, digging deeper and deeper for the truth. Finally I learned the school was culling its pigeon population. Apparently the birds were damaging some of the university’s older buildings with their corrosive nests and such.

I published the story to the school’s website. Very few people read it. Then the CBC picked it up and shortly after the college was inundated with angry phone calls from animal rights activists, concerned with the school’s treatment of its birds.

For almost three years, I’ve been living and working in the Crowsnest Pass. The Pass is an authentic, beautiful place. I fell in love with its mountain lifestyle and friendly people. I have done some reporting for the Elk Valley Herald, so I’m fairly well acquainted with the issues facing the valley.

Just Posted

Arena repairs ongoing, user groups hosting annual functions elsewhere

A new refrigeration plant is expected to be in place by August 1.

Fernie misses mark for Hockeyville final four

Residents of Fernie were surprised Saturday night, when the final four communities… Continue reading

Fernie local apprehended after break and enter

An eagle-eyed resident has helped Elk Valley police nab an alleged burgler.… Continue reading

Former Riders coach reflects

Mohr looking for new opportunities after contract ends

Athletes ready for world stage

Three Fernie athletes to compete in the world’s biggest junior freeride competition.

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Russian Embassy calls Trudeau’s criticism of Putin unproductive

The Russian Embassy is firing back at Trudeau for criticizing President Vladimir Putin

Murder charge upgraded for man accused in Toronto gay village death

Man accused the death of a woman in the Toronto gay village had charge upgraded after new evidence

Former NHL player Theo Fleury visits B.C. First Nations community

Abuse survivor Theo Fleury has been working with communities focusing on healing since 2009 and visited Esketemc First Nation in the Cariboo this week.

City to lobby province after councillor accused of crime refused to resign

Dave Murray was sentenced to nine months for a sexual assault that occurred 26 years ago

Harsher fines, new off-road vehicle rules in effect to combat B.C. wildfires

Anyone who starts a wildfire could be ordered to pay up to $1,000,000

Most Read