Putting together our annual year in review is always an interesting exercise.
In the daily grind, stories come and go quickly and we’re always looking to the next publication. It is easy to forget about what was making news in January by the time December rolls around. I’m often surprised (pleasantly) when I go back and take a look at editions from earlier in the year. I’m often impressed by the many quality photographs taken by the reporters. Check out our website (www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com) for photo galleries from 2018.
At one time we used to go month by month, compiling snippets for each. In recent years we’ve graduated to picking some of our top stories to recap in greater length and depth. To supplement that, I still go through each edition from the year and do a round-up of the rest of the notable moments, funny, sad, and important from the year past. Yes, it’s just as much work as it sounds like.
But in this way we can give more prominence to some of the stories that really had a lasting effect on Cowichan, while not ignoring some of the more entertaining moments.
Sometimes stories that started off innocuously enough exploded into hot topics, with the first mention coming on page 12, then a week or even a month later a follow-up hitting page one. Sometimes something that was breaking news at the time settles off the radar of what turned out to be vital when I look at the entire year. It drives home the idea that we are writing history as it’s happening, that what we are doing does matter in the grand scheme of things. If my perspective has changed in just 12 months, what will people think when they look back on these written records years, maybe even decades from now?
The front page is often something of a microcosm. Some things are important while they are happening, but in the long run fade into insignificance. It doesn’t mean they’re not front page news at the time. But also on the front page we find stories of more lasting import. It’s a balancing act we perform every day in the news business, and something I often do think about as I lay out the next edition.
It will be interesting to see perhaps a decade from now how many of our bigger year in review stories have remained relevant and how many have faded like those February drops in the bucket. Hope you’re still reading by then. On to 2019.