NDP leader Rachel Notley was in Slave Lake last week, for a lunch-hour meet-and-greet at the Friendship Centre. Nobody took the trouble to invite us until we started snooping around and asking questions, at more or less the last minute.
Does this matter? It does if you are a local person who expects your local paper to let you know what’s going on, locally, during an election. It’s what we strive to do, in as balanced and fair a manner as possible.
UCP leader and premier Danielle Smith will be in Slave Lake also, later this month. We’re not sure if we’re invited to that event either. We’ll have to get back to you on it.
Some political candidates and/or staff members seem to have the default attitude that the press is probably hostile, and as such they think (or seem to) they are better off ignoring it and relying on word of mouth, or whatever. It can work, but if a paper is doing its job, it will have earned a lot of trust for playing it as straight down the middle as possible. It shouldn’t take a great deal of effort to figure out if that’s the case. And if it is, why wouldn’t you want to have your event covered?
We won’t be anybody’s cheerleader. But we will give the benefit of the doubt and not throw anybody under the bus for no good reason.
by Joe McWilliams
April 17, 2023
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