IN 2004, I slipped into the editor’s chair down the road a couple hours at The Interior News in Smithers. I hadn’t been in the chair long when the phone rang.
“Hi, this is David Black,” the voice on the other end of the line began.
“Hello Mr. Black,” I stammered.
Then came the laugh.
“Sorry, no, it’s Rod Link in Terrace,” he said. “Welcome …”
And so began 13 years of my relationship with Rod Link.
Our conversations have always been fruitful for me — even when we disagreed. But one thing was always very certain, Rod knew his stuff.
He had ink in his veins, a heart for the community and was a vast treasure trove of information when it came to anything northern B.C.
A front-end loader may be needed to pack away his copious stash of reporter notebooks that he has compiled as the only editor of The Terrace Standard since its inception in 1988.
In that vast array of notebooks are the day-to-day scribblings of one of the best journalists I’ve come to know and respect.
In 1991, Rod added the title of publisher to his role of editor and has faithfully and responsibly guided the Standard to become one of the flagship community newspapers in British Columbia.
But his influence is not confined to the offices of The Terrace Standard.
In 2006, when I became the publisher and editor of The Interior News, I leaned heavily on Rod for advice and for the last five years as the publisher in Prince Rupert I still was on the phone calling him occasionally to pick his brain.
And I’m not the only one. Editors, reporters and publishers up and down Hwy 16 have gone to Rod for words of wisdom or just to bend his ear. His professional legacy can be found not only in the pages of the Standard but in newspapers and websites across this country wherever his mentored students continue to ply the craft.
Last week was Rod’s final issue as publisher and editor. Hopefully, however, it will not be the last of his contributions to community journalism in northern B.C.
Last week, Rod humbly ended his editorial this way: “A community newspaper is often an unwieldy and uneven creature but one that is always enriched by its surroundings. And for that I’ve been grateful.”
Well Rod, on behalf of all of the reporters, editors and publishers along Hwy 16 that you have helped along the way, thank you.
And for that we are grateful.
Todd Hamilton is the publisher at The Northern View in Prince Rupert