For too long, community journalists (and photojournalists) in Canada have shouldered a heavy load but been ignored by national professional organizations.
There is no organization that exposes the small-city publisher who hacks a newspaper’s staff, rails against work conditions, or stands up for reporters pressured to write fluff. Training tends to focus on those stories that may be nearly impossible for small-town reporters to accomplish, whether it be because of a lack of resources, time or support.
We have only ourselves to blame. We have no support because we have neglected to form a community of local reporters, and because reporters from large news organizations tend to dominate the CAJ and other forums. This is a function of experience, desire, culture and pay rates. The $75 fee to belong to CAJ seems awfully expensive to most of us who rarely interact with that organization and who never have the opportunity to take advantage of those services offered.
Hence this site. I hope it sparks a dialogue about community reporting, fosters better journalism, and pressures owners and publishers to allow us to do our job better. It will also hopefully mark a chance to socialize.
This blog was originally called B.C. Journo-lust, as a take off on this. But it seemed a little too sleezy so in mid-February I changed it to B.C. Reporter Reporter.
It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to keep this up, alone, indefinitely. If you want to chip in and write a post or regular roundup column, e-mail me.
You can get a hold of me at bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com, or follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/bclocalreporter.