Just An Observation: Riding off toward the sunrise

One last observation

Well folks, it’s been a slice.

It’s time for a tip of the hat before riding off in another direction.

It’s been an interesting almost five years I’ve spent covering the various news and sports stories — and taking in the neighbourhood of about 100,000 photos — around Ponoka.

What I think I will miss the most are many of the people I’ve gotten to know and had good chats with, even if I wasn’t doing a story.

Besides going out to take great photographs, being able to get out and talk with people is what I have always enjoyed about this particular profession.

Specifically, I have really enjoyed the interactions with those involved in the various local sports organizations and school teams. From the coaches and teachers to the players and officials — many of which I got to know as I worked games with them — it was mostly a pleasurable experience speaking to them.

Then there were the news stories, where I did all I could to represent what exactly was discussed at a meeting, an event or making sure that both sides were told in a story.

At times, I’ve gotten thanked for how stories were done or the odd pat on the back. However, the majority of the work doesn’t get any recognition and I’ve been fine with it as that’s not why I did it. I had fun going out, talking to people and telling the stories I felt needed to be told.

To that end, there are a lot of people I’ve chatted with — and you know who you are — that I will miss talking to. I want to thank them for always spending the time to chat and not always just about the topic for the story. Those friendly conversations is what I will really miss.

Of course, there were many times where someone got mad about what I wrote and went radio-silent for a while, but that just meant I was doing my job in telling what happened.

Sometimes you touch a nerve — kind of like the feeling of hitting your funny bone (ooowwwww) — when trying to properly tell a news or sports story. It can even go to the point where someone will berate or trash your writing or even you personally, but that almost always means you were on the right track.

I’ve been in the media business, in one form or another, since the mid-1990s and have witnessed a tremendous change in the way news is told.

More recently, a number of things have — from some of the things the media has to do and the direction it seems to be heading to certain attitudes — severely diminished my passion for media over the last few years.

This also includes certain individuals and organizations thinking they can avoid responsibility by not talking to the media — even ignoring specific reporters. Toss in the people who like to hide behind anonymous profiles, or not, and use social media to spout off on some subject or personal agenda. All the while not having to back it up with facts and the feeling that what you do is not valued as much as someone’s post on Facebook.

That’s part of the reason behind my leaving the media business behind one final time.

Although, the opportunity to move back to Saskatchewan for a new job was a big bonus at this time. It also helps that province feels like home for my family and I have many sports officiating connections so I can continue to be involved as much or as little as I want — when sports come back.

Additionally, I will be able to get back to firefighting — another calling of mine. Over the last couple of years, I’ve missed being able to train, to answer calls and to continue learning certain aspects of this career.

Yet, there are definitely things I will — and won’t — miss from here or this province.

But, as of Sept. 4, I’m looking ahead to my next challenge.

And that is…my last observation.

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