Andrea Rondeau column: We don’t aim to make folks look bad

Sometimes people like to shoot the messenger (figuratively speaking).

Sometimes people like to shoot the messenger (figuratively speaking). Nobody knows that better than those of us in the news media.

We’re an easy target. After all, our business is communicating with the general public, our readers. We spend all day, every day delivering messages. Some of those messages aren’t going to be popular. If they all were, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs very well. To be liked by everyone, all the time, we’d have to completely avoid any and all contentious subjects — and eliminate some of our best quotes from people — and even then some would be unhappy with us for not writing about controversial things.

So those of us in the news business generally develop a pretty thick skin. I don’t know a journalist anywhere who’s never been at least verbally attacked about something that has appeared in print.

It’s a little hard to swallow sometimes when you think you’ve been fair, however. Such it was this week when Robert Barron was told off by the manager of the Falcon Nest Motel who was unhappy about Wednesday’s story about the folks living there long-term who will see their rates rise as summer season approaches.

Seeing the feedback we got from readers on the story we thought most people understood very well that the issue is really the larger one of affordable housing, and the purpose was not to blame or shame Falcon Nest Motel for conducting their business in a perfectly legitimate manner. After all, pretty much every hotel and motel charges seasonal rates — high season, shoulder season, off-season. I would urge anyone who’s tried to blame the motel to give their heads a shake and knock it off — it’s our responsibility as a community to provide adequate affordable housing for the people who live here, not an individual business that most assuredly has not created the problem. We’re the ones who are failing, miserably, not a motel owner.

Thing is, we don’t talk to people with the purpose of hanging them out to dry. We talk to people to get their perspective on a given subject, and we always strive to be fair to each source in a story. We want people on all sides of an issue to talk to us, or it’s tough to get the balance we strive for.

So even when you’re not 100 per cent happy with a story, please know that’s what we’re aiming for.

Just Posted

Cowichan Crushers advance in Coastal Cup tourney

The U14 Gold girls soccer team put together a 2-0 win over the Albion Wolves

Column Drivesmart: DriveABLE being replaced with ERA for senior drivers

The ERA is designed as an assessment which provides RoadSafetyBC with comprehensive information

Vandekamp hiring an important step for Cowichan Capitals

Former Nanaimo coach brings considerable experience and a winning attitude that’s been lacking

Lake Flashback: Three heavy subjects: private forest lands, teachers striking, and parking bylaws

There’s also a bit of fun, too, as we enjoy going back to the ’70s

Chris Wilkinson column: Acceptance can be dangerous

She and her husband were headed down the path of least resistance with their health

NDP gives Liberal budget ‘failing grade’ on gender equality

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson said budget doesn’t do enough to focus on pay equity

B.C. towns rank in top honeymoon destination worldwide

Vernon, Kaslo, Sunshine Coast and the Island hit Expedia.ca’s list of top 18 honeymoon destinations

Men arrested at Starbucks say they feared for their lives

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks, becoming viral video

Olympic gold now official for B.C. weightlifter

Christine Girard’s bronze medal from 2012 Olympics upgraded to gold, IOC announces

Did a Canadian shoot down the Red Baron? A century later, debate hasn’t quit

Om April 21, 1918 two Canadians in their canvas-covered Sopwith Camel biplanes engaged the enemy

VIDEO: Canadian teen lands invite to Royal wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have invited Faith Dickinson, founder of Cuddles for Cancer

B.C. liquor server wage to be phased out by 2021

Piece work pay for farm workers rises, but stays in place for now

Vancouver Whitecaps sign 16-year-old B.C. player

Grade 10 student from Langley joins MLS club

Folk legend Arlo Guthrie returns to Vancouver Island MusicFest

Island MusicFest executive producer Doug Cox went to the well one more… Continue reading

Most Read