Story of the year

Rudy Norman
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Looking back over the year that was here at the Nor’wester and it’s hard to believe that so much has happened in a period of time that feels like it flew by faster than a chicken with its behind on fire.

As we were doing our year in review, we kept thinking to ourselves “wow, that was this year?” or “I didn’t realize that happened all the way back in February.”

On paper it seems like these things went down a long time ago – but in our minds, it actually just seems like it was yesterday for much of it.

We’ve covered a lot of ground this year. Sure, we could have covered more, and yes there are things we could have not covered – but that’s the nature of the beast that is this business. While we can choose to go one place or not, chances are someone somewhere isn’t going to like it. However, we don’t focus on that – we focus on the people who will like it, and accept that pleasing everyone is impossible.

Throughout this year, there was one story that stands out to us more that many of the others because it was the story that garnered us the most attention while it was happening.

That was the incident in Springdale relating to the sign for Corporal Steven Bouzane in front of the Royal Canadian Legion, and the family’s decision to remove it after an agreement couldn’t be reached with the legion.

Some of you may not know this, but our story on the day they removed that sign ended up being our most popular online story in our paper’s history.

All in all, close to 10,000 people read that story, which is a number that shocked us at the time to the point where I called our IT people and asked “is this right?”

They assured me it was, and that the story was heavily shared on social media and such, which attributed much to its virility.

It’s too bad, though, that the most viewed story in our history had to be one surrounded by so much controversy and hurt. If you’ll remember, there were a lot of hostile feelings around the situation at the time from not only the people involved, but the community as well. But yet, for some reason, that seems to be what drew most people to the story.

I learned something through that whole experience: everyone’s a critique, and we love bad news.

In fact we crave on it – we leech to it, sometimes, because maybe that’s what we’re inundated with.

The past year’s top story may have been one of bad news, but our goal this year is to hopefully help the cause to change that. It’s time to start spreading good news as well. Sure, there will be bad things that will happen this year, and yes, we’ll try to report everything we can, but in 2013, lets not make those stories the ones that go viral.

Let’s start spreading good news instead.

Rudy Norman

Organizations: Royal Canadian Legion

Geographic location: Springdale

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