Amidst the newsroom chaos of this unexpected pandemic coverage, perhaps this isn’t the greatest of times to leave but the inevitable must be met.
Come this week, I’ll be signing off from the Terrace Standard to move forward with the next step of my career. I’ll be joining The Narwhal, an investigative journalism publication, as their pioneer Northwest B.C.-based reporter.
Moving from the big smoke city of Toronto to Terrace (a place I only knew from a quick Google search) in 2018, I was curious what vault of stories this seemingly quiet corner of the province held.
After trotting the globe aimlessly for a few years before my arrival here, I visited isolated yet fascinating places and met their people who proved there was so much to be told.
When I tossed my outdated resume in any direction the wind would carry it, Terrace was where it landed and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to walk into blindly.
Although I initially worried I’d only be reporting on moose sightings out here, I’m happy to have been proven wrong as this region proves to be anything from boring.
As those who live here know well, this rugged area is a rich, complicated landscape beyond its natural beauty and its ever-moving pull in every direction makes the storytelling journey an intense experience. I’ve hammered away at the keyboard in tears at times, frustrated that people don’t care or read the paper — that this job is all for nothing and we’re all just screaming into a void.
But then, as I’d delve into calling it quits, I’d come across someone in town, receive a call or message that gave me that notion to keep writing and exploring Terrace through its wonderful ways. They showed me that people were indeed listening, eager to grasp a perspective of their community and do what they can to make this the place to be.
Yes, there are difficult stories that must be told but there are also beautiful narratives of what it means to be human, navigating this labyrinth called Earth and all its modern struggles. When you read the newspaper, it’s only the tip of the iceberg of what’s out there, a mere push to encourage you to look beyond the inside of your fence.
I always tell people that a journalist’s job is not only to inform but to start conversations amongst people. Perhaps something as little as a glimpse into someone else’s life will inspire you to make a difference or at the very least, embrace the one you have.
As I’m so intrigued with what the future holds here, I’ll remain in Terrace for the foreseeable future to continue reporting on the Northwest and its growing pains, no matter the good and the ugly.
And with those last thoughts, I hope you all continue to support local journalism and keep asking questions of all kinds because your story always matters.
— Natalia Balcerzak