Help The Agassiz-Harrison Observer continue its mission to provide trusted local news

In a blindingly short time, the world’s a very different place.

The global onslaught of COVID-19 has tilted, turned and tangled virtually every aspect of everyday existence, tearing into economic stability, dismantling normal social interaction, and unsettling the stoutest of hearts.

It is a time to which few can attach any threads of reference or solace.

Yet, holding strong in this bewildering new landscape is enduring trust in family, and confidence in Canada’s top-notch medical health care system, and all of the remarkable front-line professionals who work so diligently within it.

That Canadian determination and devotion will see us all into brighter days ahead, as it has in the past.

What has also remained unchanged in these uncertain days is the public’s need and unquenchable desire for relevant, accurate and timely information.

At Black Press Media and the Agassiz-Harrison Observer, we know this to be an undeniable fact, proven by the monumental increases in visitors to our websites over the past several weeks. You, our readers, consistently generated more than one million page views per day on our sites for many consecutive days.

That tells us the Agassiz-Harrison Observer has your confidence as a trusted news source in your communities, and we are deeply honoured to continue that service.

Black Press Media multimedia journalists are among the very best in Western Canada, earning accolades for their high-quality, insightful and compelling news coverage and story-telling.

I have had the immense privilege of working with hundreds of these fine professionals over a 40-year-plus journalism career. I can say there are no other more dedicated, more focused and more community-minded individuals in the media industry.

But with great angst, I must report that the damage that COVID-19 is inflicting on businesses is dramatically thinning our ranks. The community news media industry is not in any way being spared the chilling, catastrophic drops in revenues seen across all sectors of the business world.

The economic survival solutions are very few. They most certainly include layoffs, and those include journalists, who are the very individuals upon whom you depend to accurately report on these world-altering days.

To call it ironic would not do the situation justice, yet I find no better word.

When our communities need the very best of journalism, some of their very best journalists and editors, and the companies that employ them, are highly vulnerable themselves.

This request is one I would never have made until now.

Journalists pride themselves in being fiercely independent of government, social biases, advertiser influence – of anything that might compromise their neutrality and ability to responsibly reflect the world around them. Those who stay unconditionally committed to this now do what they do because they believe in it. And I stand with them, with my breath and soul.

The delivery of news has changed in the past 20 years, from a time when newspaper subscriptions were a primary source of revenue for the business. No longer. News is primarily available for free, in our print products, and online.

In this digital age, all manner of information is free – but only a small portion can claim to be generated by highly trained, responsible journalists and the media companies for which they work.

Now is the time when the importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before. In order to for all of us to move beyond COVID-19 – and we will – you need to know as much as possible about this virus; the effectiveness of all efforts to defeat it, and the impact it is having on the world around you.

All the while, you also need to know that life in our communities strongly goes on, despite this immense challenge. There are still many brave hearts, acts of kindness, light moments and triumphs, and countless examples of Canadians rising to a great challenge.

So, we now respectfully ask you – the consumers of the vital information we collect, examine, interpret and present in the most balanced and factual way possible – to consider the value of what we do.

Should you agree that the news we deliver, in print and online, is critical to maintaining an informed perspective of how the world is changing in these times, and how it might look tomorrow, we ask for your contribution to the Agassiz-Harrison Observer

We wish to be with you tomorrow, and in better days ahead, doing what we do with dedication and pride.

As much as you, we want to turn away from writing about COVID-19 and, hopefully soon, its ultimate demise, and return to telling meaningful stories that reflect all facets of the communities in which we work, live and support.

In order to do that, our business must survive. We intend to do that, and here is how you can help. By making a one-time or ongoing donation to the Agassiz-Harrison Observer you can help ensure that your community continues to enjoy the benefits that come with a local community newspaper.

Black PressCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Police say Chilliwack driver who flipped car on overpass Sunday was impaired

Witnesses say rollover incident was preceded by vehicle and motorcycles speeding all over town

Chilliwack teachers and EAs concerned with health and safety plans

As schools get ready to open, many worry measures won’t be enough to protect students from COVID-19

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak declared over

Dr. Bonnie Henry hails work done to halt outbreak, which saw more than 130 people contract COVID-19

Camo-clad man carrying guns arrested in Chilliwack

Turns out the guns were trigger locked and the man was subsequently released by RCMP

Barn swallows filt about Harrison once again, in smaller numbers

Birds are in danger with destruction of nests, habitat

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read