What might be a first appears in today’s edition of The Daily News — a story about a couple of pictures in our competitor’s newspaper. The name of that competitor is Kamloops This Week. There, I’ve said it.
The Kamloops media have long had a fetish of refusing to name any of their competitors. It’s silly, really, based on some odd idea that if you mention one of the other guys, everybody will stop reading or listening to you, and go to the other product.
The silly-bugger game is most obvious when it comes to title sponsors. The Daily News Boogie is seldom or never referred to by that name in “the other paper,” as an example. The name becomes Boogie the Bridge. Until recently, it was the same with local radio stations, but we’re gradually coming to understand how immature we’ve been over the years. If a business is community minded enough to sponsor a charity or event, I figure it deserves some credit for that.
Radio NL and the Broadcast Centre stations now typically use the proper names of media-sponsored events. For example, each year when we sponsor and host The Daily News Regional CanWest Spelling Bee, they not only call it by the proper name but quite often interview Daily News staff about the event. When venerable TV7 news director Doug Collins won a lifetime achievement award a few months ago, we did a story on it. We did the same when Radio NL’s Jim Harrison won a coveted Webster Award.
Which brings us back to today’s story about those photos in Kamloops This Week. They caught one-time mayoral candidate and former RCMP constable Pete Backus in an altercation with a man in a wheelchair. The involvement of a prominent citizen in a wrestling match with a disabled man is news, so when we did our story it would have been incomplete if we didn’t mention the KTW pix.
Media can easily get into a mode where “we’re the good guys and the other guy is evil.” Kamloops is wonderfully served by media, and we all do some excellent work on a given day. Don’t get me wrong; I sincerely believe The Daily News is by far the best newspaper in town. Our stories are better, our pictures are better. We print twice as many local stories and twice as many letters to the editor (I know, because we keep track) plus a pretty good overview of the region, the country and the world via our wire services.
Our product stands on its own. We’re not going to go out of our way to publicize the competition, but neither are we going to pretend they don’t exist. When we in the media, instead of just focussing on doing the best possible job we can, get so insecure as to think we must try to erase others in the field as if we were doctoring a picture on a computer screen, we look a little pathetic.