News Views: Foundation of trust
A community is everything that happens and everyone in it – car accidents, cat killings and police shootings, dance recitals, T-ball games, fairs and festivals
A community newspaper is a reflection of all that, good and bad.
To some, the balance might seem a bit skewed.
But if a man is accused of sexually assaulting a child and is not in custody, people should know.
If a young boy is hit by a car at a crosswalk, people want to know if he’s OK.
If a man riding a bike is hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver, people want to know who both are.
Sometimes the people involved in such stories don’t want to be in them, which is understandable.
But also understand, the media doesn’t need permission to publish what is public information, nor to take photographs on public property.
In Canada, a free press exists, much to the dismay of many politicians, and some criminals.
It exists to watch in the public’s interest, to gather information, organizing it in a way not just to reflect what is happening in the community, but what is important and interesting, to show various perspectives and angles, from writers to readers.
Sometimes the media makes errors, and if so, corrects them. And there exist avenues for those who feel wronged by media to seek recourse.
It’s a pretty fair process.
Make no mistake, media exists to make a profit, as any business, but not to cater to those whot help pay its bills. It is a fine line, especially in a finite market such as Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, even within the walls where media work, and even more so in the ever more competitive and instant age of electronic information sharing.
The media has a job to do, and that is to provide credible information and insight in context, to be objective in its stories and provide opinion where appropriate.
Simply put, the media is neither friend nor foe, nor should it try to be either. Doing so only compromises the trust upon which is the foundation of news media.
And trust us, we are tired of hearing the sirens and helicopters, too.