Andrea Rondeau column: Online gives us space to mix it up

I’ve taken some flak for the non-local news from some readers.

Sometimes a story’s appeal is that it is local. But sometimes, a good story can have a more universal appeal.

For our print edition especially we focus on the former (and sometimes, of course, local stories have universal appeal as well). On our website (www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com), if you’ve visited, you’ll notice that we provide our local stories alongside regional, provincial, national and sometimes even international news that we think will be of interest to our readers. We share both types of stories on our Facebook page as well, and Twitter.

I’ve taken some flak for the non-local news from some readers. Some say they would like only to see the local content. The local content is, of course, our bread and butter. These types of stories include things like the new development that’s proposed for down the road, or the tax increase, or the cool art installation that someone’s put up on the side of the road.

There are fires and arrests and court cases. At times, these stories would hold a limited amount of interest for anyone outside of the community. Though fire photos, arrests and court cases tend to draw the eye whether they are local or not. But how interested are you in the municipal tax increase in, say, Kelowna? Probably about as interested as someone from Kelowna is in the tax increase for property owners in North Cowichan.

But there are some things that readers, me among them, want to look at that have an almost universal appeal. This week in the newsroom we’ve been discussing the perilous situation the boys soccer team from Thailand finds themselves in, trapped in a cave.

RELATED: Warm in blankets, Thai boys smile, joke with rescuer in cave

This has captured the hearts of people around the world, first as the team was declared missing, then the discovery of all of the boys and their coach, miraculously still alive and relatively unhurt, but trapped deep underground, but off from the world by water.

In the newsroom, we’re on the edge of our seats to see what rescuers decide to do next. Do they try to swim the boys out? Do they supply them with food and water for several months until the water recedes?

An interview with a local caver in this edition, who has also had the terrifying experience of being trapped underground, has only brought the story even closer to home.

In our limited print space we aim to bring you the news you won’t get anywhere else — the local stories in sports, politics, entertainment and more. This remains our core purpose.

But online we have the ability to mix it up a bit with stories that resonate throughout many communities, and we’ll continue to do just that.

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