Community newspapers serve unique purpose

NANAIMO - Community journalism is about what's going on in your neighbourhood

Community journalism is about what’s going on in your neighbourhood.

It’s about charities and donors helping people, how local businesses are impacting the economic climate of the city and municipal decisions that affect people in Nanaimo.

“Community journalism is much more on a micro level,” said Coun. Diane Brennan, adding it gives her information about what is happening on issues such as politics, business, campaigns by social agencies and more. “It’s probably one of my favourite things to do is read my local newspaper.”

Community newspapers are often mirrors reflecting important events for the areas they serve and are spaces for community dialogue, said Odai Sirri, director of business development for Waterfront Holdings Ltd. The Sirri family owns and operates The Grand Hotel.

“It’s one of the most important forms of journalism,” said Sirri about community journalism. “It impacts people on a daily basis.”

Newspapers can be a forum for charities like the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation to celebrate the generosity of donors, the calibre of medical professionals who serve the Island and milestones such as purchasing new equipment for facilities at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

“A community newspaper focused on the stories of local people is an ideal conduit for the foundation,” said Feron Walker, director of communications for the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation. “The Bulletin has often helped us share the stories specifically relevant to the health and wellness of central Islanders. In fact, a community paper is a voice that truly echoes the life of our community.”

Provincial and national papers can provide information about the financial conditions in Europe and the U.S., but doesn’t necessarily reflect what is going on in the local economy, said Sasha Angus, chief executive officer of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation.

“It’s information you can’t get from any other source, provincial and national [news] is different than local,” said Angus.