This might be the last column you ever read from me.
Might be, because it’s impossible to know anything about the future as an absolute.
Last, because today’s daily is the last with me at the helm of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Yes — after four and a half years in the editor’s chair, the time has come for me to say goodbye.
Four weeks ago I took an opportunity to join a new online-only outlet that’s just starting up — AllSaskatchewan.com. It’s a business-only subscription-based news source. The Saskatchewan product is an expansion of their existing Maritime publications. AllSaskatchewan is being headed up by former StarPhoenix reporter Alex MacPherson, someone whose work I’ve long looked up to.
Leading the Herald has been a dream come true. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past five or so years. We’ve shone light in some dark areas, uncovered difficult truths and told amazing stories about amazing people.
We’ve come through some stormy waters, but now there’s clear ocean ahead of us. This ship, known as the Prince Albert Daily Herald, has been bashed and battered by the storm. But it’s emerged stronger. Now it’s time for a new captain to steer this ship.
It’s in experienced, capable hands. Longtime Herald reporter Jason Kerr has taken the reins. He’s long been the right hand guy here, and I’ve long trusted him and his judgement inherently. I have the utmost faith in Jason and in the rest of the Herald team that they’ll keep telling stories with the depth of reporting and focus on community that has led to so much success.
I’ve loved working here, and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I’ve grown so much as a person and as a reporter. I’m so grateful for all the opportunities Prince Albert, and the herald have given me.
That said, managing the responsibilities of a daily newspaper is a huge task. A year and a half ago, I met an amazing woman. She’s smart, caring, funny, wise, beautiful and helps me to see the world through new eyes. She, and her energetic young son, make my life better daily.
But balancing work’s demands with life’s obligations was no longer possible. It was best for me, my family, and the paper, if I stepped aside.
It’s a great job — but it’s one you have to be 100 per cent committed to every day. When you can’t guarantee you can do it anymore, it’s time to step aside.
My predecessor, Tyler Clarke, wrote that his main goal as editor was to foster a greater public understanding and acceptance of all people. He also told me to maintain a blunt honesty with a finger firmly on the pulse of opposing viewpoints. He told me that people can tell when you’re not being genuine. It’s good advice, and it bears repeating.
My main goal was to keep telling stories that reflect the community in which we live. Prince Albert is incredibly diverse. It has wonderful people doing wonderful things, but it also has its challenges. I’ve intended to show both — you can’t fix a problem without acknowledging you have one — but the doom and gloom is hardly the whole picture.
It’s this focus on people, and the amazing relationships I built while working here, along with the incredible stories I heard and helped tell along the way, that I will take with me as I move on to my next adventure.
Prince Albert is an amazing place full of potential. It needs to tap on its greatest resource — its people — if it wants to build a better future.
People may disagree, but when they pull together, incredible things happen. I think of examples like the Rose Garden Hospice, or the support for the Raiders during their championship run, or of the tight-knit supportive arts community, or the way people came together during the recent Cloverdale fire.
Keep supporting your local paper, your local businesses and your local people.
It’s when we forget this and begin to point and place blame elsewhere that we lose the ability to create great things.
There is so much work to do, and so much good that is already happening. I’m excited for where the city, and the paper, goes from here.
A journalist I used to work with had one response when asked what would happen: “who’s to say.”
But there is one sure thing. People, and their ability to open their hearts and to help. It’s what makes a community, a community.
It’s what happens when we see Prince Albert the good.
Through these difficult times, thank you all so much for reading, for subscribing, and for all of your support. None of what we’ve done would have been possible without.
Keep lending that support to Jason and to the rest of the incredible Daily Herald staff. This is a strong team of reporters and they will continue to do the excellent work they’ve been producing.
New faces will come along, but with the strength and leadership that’s already here, I have no doubt they will only continue to bring what readers have come to expect from this 125-year-old-plus institution.
It’s time for a new adventure.
Thank you to everyone who trusted me to tell your stories.
Thanks for reading.
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