Dear Editor. We were recently away for 8 days and 3 newspaper deliveries. As always, we have someone who is kind enough to bring them in for us and, as always, we pull out the flyers that we never look at, toss them directly in recycling, and check the headlines and stories in the remaining few pages to see what we’ve missed in print. It doesn’t take long.
Pile at left: Abbotsford News and Abbotsford Times.
Pile at right: Flyers for same period.
It’s hard to miss anything newsworthy these days, as we learned in Prince Edward Island when a number of local business owners updated us about the City of Abbotsford’s chicken manure story. Now there’s a conversation starter! And there was no point sharing any good news stories about our home city with these friendly and informed residents of Charlottetown. Surprisingly, they had already heard a fair bit about Abbotsford’s financial deal-making and similar political tactics that, like “our” chicken manure policy for the homeless, didn’t pass their smell test either.
Needless to say, I felt some shame – as if, by living in Abbotsford, I was somehow partially responsible for this type of misguided and mean-spirited behaviour. Fact is, as residents and long-term taxpayers, we never would have supported this approach if we’d been consulted. Furthermore, as lead researcher for The Affordable and
Accessible Housing Study in the Upper Fraser Valley: Issues and Opportunities, I know there are a number of clear and viable options for dealing with the homeless. They’re in the report. And spreading chicken manure where homeless tend to congregate isn’t one of them!
But I digress. Sort of. This is after all about news and, dare I say, journalism?
Abbotsford is an absolute “gold mine” for any talented newspaper reporter who aspires to the higher calling of journalism.
So please! Cut back on the old-school ad flyers that most of us no longer want or require in print (all available online or at the stores we routinely visit anyway) and give us more well-researched stories and articles that offer critical and timely insight into the real problems, issues and challenges in Abbotsford.
Editor’s Note: This letter was sent to the Abbotsford Times and the Abbotsford News.