This is my last week working for The Interior News before my maternity leave begins (again) and what a week to (temporarily) end my job for the next year. I had the privilege of helping an adopted man find his biological mother and witness a reunion made for TV.
Not all weeks are like this in this business. Mostly, reporters in small towns cover council meetings, pour over town budget numbers, take photos of high school sports and count how many times a politician can say the word “folks” in a single speech.
All these things are important but sometimes can feel mundane. Other times, this job is fun. We get to cover the fun carnivals that roll through town, meet amazing people and get to be a part of important fundraisers.
Other weeks are hard. Like really hard. When I helped cover the Missing and Murdered Women’s Inquiry when it came into town, I heard stories that will stay with me forever. One woman spoke to the panel about her daughter who was murdered by her abusive boyfriend. She cried out for her daughter and screamed in unimaginable pain. I went home that night and hugged my baby daughter and wept. You don’t get immune to reporting on events like that. And I don’t feel like you should. I heard story after story during that inquiry of people losing loved ones and losing hope that the inquiry will ever make a difference. I can only hope that some day it will, or that something will change so parents can stop walking up and down the Highway of Tears looking for their daughters in ditches.
Most people get into journalism to try and make the world a better place, even just for one person, or even just for one day. We certainly don’t do it for the pay or the glory, because there isn’t much of either of those. When Frances Brown went missing last fall in the Kitseguecla Road area while mushroom picking, I knew I wanted to help. I knew someone that had gone missing when I was younger and this hit close to home. There were so many similarities. As much as we at the paper tried to spread the word and how hard the searchers looked for her, Brown still hasn’t been found.
Not everything ends in disappointment and some people get their happy ending — just like David Hjerto’s quest to find his biological family in Smithers. And I got reminded why we do our jobs. I couldn’t ask for a better (temporary) ending to my time at The Interior News.