They say time flies when you are having fun, and that is a statement I whole-heartedly agree with.
It’s the only reason I can think of for the last year having passed in what I can only describe as a blink.
While my relationship with the Castor Advance goes back several years, to the spring of 2018, I have only been a staff writer with Black Press News Media since Nov. 1, 2021.
In that time, I have moved from a permanent part-time regional reporter position to full-time reporter dedicated to Castor and the Stettler Independent.
Over the past few years working as a freelance writer with Castor, I have learned a lot under a couple of fantastic editors.
Still, it is not an understatement to say that as much as I have learned, the last year has been one hell of a learning curve.
There is definitely a difference in being a staff writer and a freelancer, one of the biggest of which was getting my writing up to the proper calibre for Canadian Press style; the guidelines our publications follow.
While it is something I still do struggle with, at times, it is also something I have been working on through my own reading and through continuing education.
I feel that my writing has only improved over the last year and will continue to do so as I carry on through my journalism journey.
Something else that has really hit me since I’ve started in my full-time role in Stettler and Castor is that local journalism matters.
The media has taken a beating over the last couple of years due to the political and pandemic coverage both at home in Canada and abroad.
However, it isn’t the massive, national, media outlets that cover the rural Alberta town councils ordering the placement of a controversial stop sign, the local Elks fundraiser or the local school awards night; it is community journalists covering them.
While community journalism has definitely changed in the last few years, with smaller newsrooms trying to cover the same number of events, the work remains as important as ever.
The last year has flown by. I have learned a lot. I have covered many different community events.
While I do my best to stay on top of what is happening in the community, if I don’t know about it, I can’t cover it. My phone is always on and I can always be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I can’t actually make it out to something, I will happily accept submissions.
What we do, what I do, as community journalists is important, and I’m just getting started.