When I came to the Columbia Valley to assume the position of editor for The Valley Echo, I was excited to head up my new project of putting together a weekly newspaper for a little network of mountain communities. Learning the nuances of the job was an exhilarating adventure as it consisted of meeting new people every day and, through them, discovering the interesting political, social and economic influences that make this area tick.
My policy was a simple one: make The Valley Echo a mirror of its readership. As a result, the valley’s heritage paper has evolved into an interesting little read, reflecting the diverse personalities who continue to pay a minimal fee in order to pick it up every week.
Columnists cover a range of topics on a bi-weekly basis, from technology and cooking to health and wellness. News stories cover everything from community fundraisers and events to provincial politics and regional initiatives. The overflowing Letters to the Editor section has been the envy of other Black Press newspapers. Minor graphic changes and new features have livened up the pages.
I’m pleased by the fabulous feedback I’ve received for my work and thank everyone who has stopped by The Valley Echo offices to introduce themselves and make me feel welcome, while offering up their slice of life that has contributed to the stories and photographs I’ve pieced together week after week for nine months. It’s been a wonderful experience; and now change is afoot.
Further to the joint partnership between The Valley Echo and Columbia Valley Pioneer announced in October, both publications are now operating out of the Pioneer offices located at #8-1008 8th Avenue. To facilitate this change, I’m moving into the new position of Special Publications Editor and Associate Editor for the Columbia Valley Pioneer and The Valley Echo, while Pioneer editor Greg Amos will be stepping in as Managing Editor for both papers with reporters Kristian Rasmussen and Dan Walton working on both as well.
What this means is an enhanced editorial team that will have greater reach and unlimited creative freedom to deliver even higher quality content than what’s been the case in the past. I look forward to discovering what our new team is capable of and to welcoming Echo readers to our new digs where I will be available, as always, to discuss story ideas, but now for an even broader range of publications.