It was January 2015 when I thought I had my foot in the door in my niche videogame journalism sector. I was just starting to write for Canada.com and was selected to be a core contributor there, catching the eye of the relevant editor with the National Post. Not three weeks later, I received a message from my editor saying Canada.com was going into limbo and that he was going to be temporarily migrated into the National Post. He didn’t say it, but I knew right away I was shit out of luck. Over the next 12 months, Postmedia, the mega-conglomerate newspaper network that owns the Vancouver Sun, the Province, and a myriad of other publications, announced layoffs every couple months until finally announcing that it would be merging newsrooms at the end of January this year. I know how I felt losing a volunteer contributor gig—it must not have felt much better to find out your newspaper is no longer your newspaper.
Barely a week after the last Postmedia news, the Nanaimo Daily News, one of our two daily locals, announced it would be closing its doors after over a century of publication. VIU Journalism professor Rich Dunstan spoke to CBC about the news, saying, “Nothing stays the same—not even newspapers.”
That’s something I can deeply attest to as a writer and editor for the Nav. We constantly cycle staff as people graduate or otherwise move on, so the vision for different sections and for the paper as a whole is different every year, sometimes every semester. It’s not just a visual overhaul, but a change in personality. When I started this position as associate, I knew what I wanted to do differently than my predecessor Alexandria. She was amazing at what she did and I didn’t want to just fill the gap. Our Editor-in-Chief slash O’ Captain My Captain told me that her vision for the paper was more magazine-like than it has ever been. So, for my third (once again drastically different) spread, I wrote a sardonic piece about love and the Singularity—not your typical newspaper fare.
One of the things that makes VIU interesting is its hybrid Creative Writing and Journalism program. Typically, in other schools, the programs would be separated by a 10-foot pole, but here they’re complementary, and what feature articles end up being is somewhere in-between journalism and creative non-fiction. It’s strange, but a hell of a lot of fun. I just want to make sure you readers are enjoying it. If you’re not, let us know. We got a lot of great reception on some of the news stories we ran last issue, but what about the rest? If we’re not covering something you want us to, then pitch it, or send us your stab at it.
As a reader, this newspaper should be your newspaper just as much as it is ours. I don’t want you to feel like you’ve lost your newspaper. So keep in touch—we’re right here.