Friday, January 16, 2009

The "Good" News: In Defense of (shudder) the Media (the old fashioned kind) and it's Contribution to Community.

Yesterday, I opened the Thursday edition of the Vancouver Sun. I'm happy to report that my eyes landed on two articles, one big, one small, each facing each other, that sounded like conversation starters: green thinking with a community angle. The stuff we gumboot-wearing bloggers love.

In a special to the "Sun", Nicholas Read wrote about "Green Graves." It's the newest rage in cemetery circles, laying to rest in a biodegradable bag among the trees, sans-embalming. Read points out that this burial process has been practiced by BC First Nations for centuries. Now, cemetery directors and a few government officials are starting to adopt the idea to the land designated for the deceased. 

Opposite the green graves story was an article about cobblers and their rise in popularity. According to the article, more and more people are opting to bring their old shoes in for repair rather than buy new ones. I can attest to this errand. Just a few weeks ago, I brought two pairs of shoes in to my local cobbler and probably got another couple of years out them. Score!

On the next page over, there was an article about Vancouver's classic east-side butcher, Save-On-Meats. I don't know whether you've heard or not, but it could shut down as early as March.  The owner is ready to retire and hoping to sell the business. So far, there are no bidders. It's a classic, sad story: a Vancouver landmark shutting down for good. But it also appeals to the Vancouverite in me: a lover of all things "local." And it serves my point: that amid the "doom and gloom" of our economic situation and the "dramatic" vocabulary of Canada's news wire, you'll find there's "good" news out there - in every sense of the word. 

So I challenge you to challenge your news. The stories your paper produces should be stimulating water-cooler, nay, Brita-filter conversation, at least if they want to survive Web 2.0 without losing out completely to citizen journalism and everything else available for reading on the web.

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