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Suspended accountability

Airdrie Our View_text

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed one more victim. This time, though, it is your source for local news, the Rocky View Weekly.

With our "suspension," so too goes our role in preserving democracy.

"Any living constitution, written or unwritten, breathes partly through journalism," writes Paul Chadwick in The Guardian.

No longer will we be there to ask the tough questions to those in elected positions in Rocky View County (RVC). No longer will our reporters hold these people accountable for their, in recent months, downward spiral of dysfunction. No longer will we provide a place for citizens to stand up to the politician who values systematic control over transparency.

Susy Schultz, the founding president of the Association for Women Journalists’ Chicago chapter, put it like this, "If you do not have those advocates who are going to power and holding them accountable, then you’ve lost everything. You have no way to gauge democracy."

This outcome is obviously not what we wanted and it could not have come at a worse time. We had big things in store for you, our readers. Big stories to break that we were just digging into.

Yes, our publisher said we will continue to cover RVC stories on our website, airdrieTODAY.com, and we will. But the reality of this situation is that not only are we losing a paper we've put our sweat, tears and passion into, but we are losing half our newsroom staff, as well. With another paper still being produced, we lack the resources to "search out the ordinary and make it sparkle," as our journalist handbook, The Canadian Press Stylebook, demands of us.

Journalism is under attack, and it has been for years. While the industry has done a horrible job of explaining what journalists actually do – the boring bits about research, standards, fact-checking and style guides – we hope you have, at the very least, appreciated our efforts on your behalf.

Thank you for reading.



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