My heart cries a little bit every time I read about a violent crime taking place in McCauley or Boyle Street in one of the major newspapers. I have the same reaction seeing it reported on the evening news on television. The neighbourhood is often identified by name, thus re-affirming the mindset of many from outside the area, that this is a dangerous hotbed of violence and crime to be avoided.
I have observed that the community is very realistic about the challenges of life here, and often very creative with proactive solutions. I’ve seen a neighbourhood that expresses concern for the homeless, looks out for their neighbours, and grieves when a murder takes place.
While, as a journalist I acknowledge that reporting unhappy stories is part of the job, I often think about how wonderful it would be if the larger Edmonton media would give equal attention to the positive and exciting things in the area.
I really believe that stories about positive community news is of interest to a wider audience. People don’t just want to read about crime and other topics that bring them down. Uplifting stories about people working together for change, about events like Heart of the City or the clean up, or profiles of people working for change can be just as interesting while being inspirational.
No part of the city is perfect, because there are no perfect people. This is why we should be realistic about our issues (as people and as a community) but not constantly dwell on negativity – nor should rhe media. Good news can sell papers and advertising too.
Summer is a time of warmth and growth. Let’s hope the warmth we have here as a community spreads throughout the rest of the city.