I am reminded once again today that we in the media care a lot more about who's first off the mark with a story than our readers/viewers do. I was listening to CBC radio news at lunch time and on comes Kelowna broadcaster Mohini Singh (who arguably has the most unpleasant voice delivery in all of radio) with a story about David Caza.
Caza, of course, is the convicted pedophile who has been resident in Kamloops for the past three years. Our headline story today was about Caza being banned by a judge from the TRU campus. We filed our story with the Canadian Press, of which we are a member.
CBC, which likes to give the impression it gathers news itself rather than simply reporting what others write, had no obvious way to get at the story, since it doesn't have a local reporter and, therefore, was not represented in court during the Caza case.
Undeterred, Singh simply called TRU public info man Josh Keller and got him to comment, then infilled the rest of the story from the CP version.
This sort of thing is an everyday occurrence in the world of the mainstream media, and is a source of mild annoyance for some reporters and editors. You will frequently hear terms such as "in an NL exclusive," or "so-and-so told the Daily Blurb." This is a signal to you that some reporter was on his/her toes and got the story before other media.
But, media audiences don't seem to much care who wins the race, as long as they are properly informed of what's going on. It doesn't matter much who gets the credit. As for those of us who crank out the news day after day, well, leave us the momentary pleasure of being first.
WILL THE REAL NANCY BEPPLE PLEASE STAND UP? Ubiquitous City council candidate Nancy Bepple was at the front counter earlier today to see about a new "mugshot" of herself to run with news stories, since the one we have on file is a couple of years old.
If Nancy gains success in politics, and as she gets a little older, she’ll come to appreciate outdated photos that make you look younger than you are. Anyway, I recently discovered that Bepple has been cloned, since that’s the only way she can be everywhere at once. If there’s a public event, she’s there. If there’s a committee or a board, she’s on it. If somebody somewhere says something, she’s at the ready with her official reaction. In short, though I find her approach to issues a bit regressive on occasion, Bepple is doing everything right as a candidate.
MEANWHILE, over at Erwins Bakery scrounging for a sandwich without cheese or eggs, I ran into Coun. Pat Wallace, who mentioned she and council had just spent some time with B.C. cabinet minister Stan Hagan, who was passing through town.
BUT THE REAL NEWS is the new Rona store in Aberdeen, which held its official grand opening yesterday with appropriate fanfare. I never met a building-supply store I didn’t like, but I’ve dropped a fair amount of cash into the corporate coffers of Home Depot, Home Hardware and original Rona store, and my standards are pretty high. I’m happy to report I can give the new Rona a 10 (you’ll have to translate the new Olympics scoring system) — great selection and service, easy to find things. One of its best features is excellent sightlines: you can step back and survey the whole store and then go straight to what you’re looking for.