WEYBURN - Journalists work hard to gather information on local community events and stories. It can be a difficult job at times, especially when a small-town journalist must field accusations of “fake news”, and criticisms ranging from not enough being covered, to concerns of a particular topic that was published.
A recent Ipsos poll, the first of its kind conducted on behalf of a dozen media organizations in Canada, found more than 70 per cent of media workers reported experiencing harassment in the past year.
According to the survey, journalists are increasingly under attack online, with media workers facing “prevalent and pervasive” harassment ranging from sexualized messages and attacks against their identity to death threats.
As someone who has admin control of the Facebook pages for a couple of newspapers, it can be quite alarming to see what a handful of people are willing to post online. There have been many incidents where I have had to either hide or delete the comment, due to the troubling context of the post.
Any time that there is a post about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I carefully watch the replies. There is a careful line of monitoring online comments, where it is important to allow people who are dissatisfied with the legislation of the federal government to voice their opinions, but at the same time ensure that there is no actual harassment or threats made on the post.
The way that people read their news has changed over the past few years, where it is more common for readers to use their phones to read online stories.
As a result, journalists have adapted and learned new methods of ensuring that local news is reaching their readers online, and shared via social media.
There are 14 amazing reporters from across the province who are now contributors of the SASKTODAY.ca website, which features coverage from the north, central and south areas of the province.
It has definitely been interesting to work with a larger newsroom, and getting to know each of the other reporters through virtual Coffee Chats and other brainstorming sessions. Many of our reporters and newspapers were recognized at the provincial Saskatchewan Weekly Newspaper Association awards too, for their writing and photography skills.
They say that the news never sleeps. This is true, as there were still news stories to cover, even with a limited amount of community events to cover in the past two years because of COVID-19.
We can’t do it alone. Advertising and support from subscribers helps ensure that the physical copy of the newspaper is still provided. Local newspapers have played an important role in the community for generations, and will continue to record the news and events that matter to our readers.