Merry Christmas everyone. This is about the only time of the year that I would rather NOT be working in the news business. Half the world seems to shut down about December 15th, not to resurface until the first week of January. When you’re trying to pull together a newscast, the dominant themes tend to be sorrow and tragedy.
There are stories about Canadians who won’t be celebrating Christmas because they have been killed in road crashes, or housefires, or because they have been murdered. Even the natural deaths seem to occur in greater numbers in the weeks before the holidays, leaving a lot of folks with very sad Christmas memories.
The news this year, leading up to the holidays? In Germany, someone drives a big truck into a market in Berlin, and 12 people are gone. A woman from Newfoundland dies in a blaze of gunfire and explosions in Jordan, and on it goes.
Journalists are asked to help put together those inevitable year-end lists. What was the biggest story of 2016? In Canada, it was the beast, the monstrous wildfire that ravaged the countryside near Fort McMurray in northern Alberta. It was a remarkably good story because almost no one died, and a community became stronger and everyone became more connected to those around them.
There are lots of stories of people overcoming adversity, and helping those who desperately need help to care for themselves and their families. As journalists we need to dig deeper to find those.
Hopefully the term journalist will not become obsolete, like blacksmith or video store owner.
Have a safe and peaceful holiday season.
I’m Roger Currie