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Do You Trust News Organizations?
What I learned from Grace Kennedy, a reporter with the Fraser Valley Current.
There are certain roles in our society that really matter. There are certain professions that make a big difference in the health of a society. In law school we talked a lot about the idea of a social fabric. Personally, I believe certain individuals can make a huge impact on the health and vibrancy of our social fabric. Journalists fall within this category.
The primary role of a journalist is to help keep us informed. But keep us informed on what? As a community member what topics matters to you? What stories are important to you? Do you enjoy reading the political section or the heart warming stories? Do you enjoy puff pieces or investigative reports? Do you want to know about the environment, politics of the day, criminal activity, financial news or upcoming community events?
It’s the role of the journalists to cover all these topics, and keep you up to date. However, in recent years, their budgets have been cut. So… they write shorter stories and more of them. Many worry that this lowers the quality of the product, and results in journalists not being able to share their passion with their audience. A lot of jobs have changed since the Internet and journalism is going through a huge shift.
That said change is scary as we reimagine what journalism could be we fear that it’s going to lose the aspect that we love most about it. Others worry that government may unnecessarily interfere with journalism. One thing that concerns me is the “Defund the CBC” movement. Perhaps… we are overpaying for the CBC. That said, I do not want us to go down the path of the USA, where they have one group of people who watch CNN and others who watch Fox news and they disagree on everything. I don’t think that approach to news is fruitful.
I think individuals like Farhan Mohamed, Tyler Olsen, Grace Kennedy and other individuals within Overstory Media Group are reimagining journalism for the 21st-century.I think organizations like the Fraser Valley Current are keeping the best aspects of journalism and looking to reconnect communities.
They are doing a terrific job of giving you the important news stories, with a healthy dose of community. They write thoughtful, longer form stories on a variety of topics. They try to write and deliver news that is as diverse as the community they serve. I have high hopes for the Fraser Valley Current, and their potential to reconnect us as a community while also keeping us informed.
The Fraser Valley Current is committed to bringing independent, local-first, in-depth reporting to serve you and your community. On their website, they state that their “team of local journalists will give you everything you need to start your day and better understand your neighbours, community, and the issues that matter to you and your city”. You can subscribe to the Fraser Valley Current by going to their website: https://fvcurrent.com/
The Fraser Valley Current is relatively young in age yet it’s already having a massive impact. Tyler and Grace started a little over a year ago, trying to build something different. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to speak with Farhan about why he helped found Overstory Media Group. I have also had the pleasure of talking to Tyler about starting the Fraser Valley Current. Today, I’m proud to announce the release of my conversation with Grace Kennedy.
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My partner Rebekah was the first to show me an article by the Fraser Valley Current and it was written by none other than Grace Kennedy. The article was in-depth high-quality and long form. It was focused on fish populations in the Vedder river and local researchers trying to protect the habitat.
I wanted to ask Grace about how she landed on journalism as a career path, what she learned in school, and the impact she thinks local reporting has on the community. Also, I wanted to understand the journey of writing a story? How long does it take? How do you choose a topic? How do you stay curious and what is the hardest part of writing a story?
The Fraser Valley Current has also reported on some major events in British Columbia. They showed their importance during the Fraser Valley floods in November 2021. I saw people write to them, telling them that they evacuated safely as a consequence of their reporting. Most recently, they reported on the recent shootings in the valley. I wanted to hear about what this process is like, what is it like to be the voice people are turning to during tragic events in the area? Is that stressful? Is there meaning to be found in that and is that what you sign up for as a journalist?
You can have all these questions answered by tuning into my full interview with local reporter Grace Kennedy on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and all other podcast platforms. You can watch the full interview on YouTube. Please consider connecting with me on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter as well to stay up to date.