31 Dec 14

Welcome, Candice

Here it is, a brand new year on the horizon, and I am very pleased to be writing this editorial for Etcetera Publications as the newest member of The Record and Villager team. I started a freelance career in 2003, writing and taking photographs for a variety of publications, including national and international magazines, as well as advertising copy and photos for a new homes publication.
My first newspaper gig was with the Winchester Press. My time there was brief but informative and it made me aware of just how important, and how satisfying, reporting on local issues and events could be. I then freelanced for another publishing firm here in the region and was with them nearly six years. With this new job I have now written for every English language newspaper in the area, and yes, I have noticed a few trends.
First, space in newspapers is declining, and that’s a reality. In the last six years local coverage has decreased from six separate papers in both official languages, to three. Two have combined so they haven’t been lost, and one is now gone completely.
But our importance to a community, especially in rural areas which are nearly ignored by the city dailies, has never declined. Sure you can hop on a facebook page and see what’s going on, or you can post your ads for free, but online news is ephemeral, not nearly as widely read, and quickly overshadowed by the next few posts.
So I want to say to everyone who has welcomed me to their events, to their parties, to their fundraisers, and who have expressed their concerns about local issues, thank you. Keep on contacting me. With this switch I am so glad the opportunity to keep on serving my community arose when it did.
Communities need newspapers, but newspapers also need communities. So, please, if you want to continue to see local news reported, if you want to know what’s up at the schools, businesses, arenas, halls, and council chambers of your place in the world, support your local newspapers. Rather than complaining about how small they are, help them grow, or at least keep what they have. Buy advertising, buy subscriptions, send emails well in advance to journalists, help us do our jobs, and we’ll help you do yours.
We can’t produce your news without money or the goodwill of the community—that’s the absolute bottom line.
Happy New Year.
Candice Vetter