KEVIN LAIRD: This is your paper and we want to hear from you

I want to hear from you on what you like and don’t like about the Sooke News Mirror.

What goes around comes around.

A month ago I was sitting in my cozy downtown office putting together another edition of the Victoria News when Sooke News Mirror publisher Rod Sluggett gave me a phone call.

It seems longtime News Mirror editor Pirjo Raits was retiring, calling it a career and Rod was looking for a replacement.

It’s not surprising he phoned me, after all Rod and I have worked with each other twice before in Powell River and Port Hardy. So, why not a third time?

Well, I guess by know you’ve figured out that I said yes – and here I am as the new editor.

I started out in the news business back in the early 1980s in Ladysmith. From there, it’s been a world tour (OK, more like a West Coast-Alberta tour). Journalism has taken me from Ladysmith to Calgary and back again.

I officially started with Black Press in 1994 when I joined the staff of the Nanaimo News Bulletin. We went from a shoppers’ newsletter to a full-fledged three times a week newspaper in my tenure.

Once I established myself in Nanaimo (it took me 14 years), head office came calling and asked me to take over the editorial management of the Victoria operation. All this ended up with me arriving in Sooke on Thursday.

I’ve seen a great metamorphosis of our newspapers in Greater Victoria over the last seven years.

Our  newspapers – from Sooke to Peninsula – routinely publish ground-breaking investigation pieces and each paper is filled with compelling stories, columns and other features that deliver on our promise to readers. Great work is evident in each edition.

But a lot more can be done.

With the few of you that I’ve talked to over the last few days, you want practical information and advice you can use in your daily lives from your newspaper.

You want us to tell stories that you can share – and these don’t have to be the ‘important’ stories of the day.

People have many choices for news and information, and if we’re not prepared to give you what you want, you can – and will – go elsewhere.

So that’s where I need your help.

I want to hear from you on what you like and don’t like about the Sooke News Mirror. And what issues are important to you and this community.

The News Mirror is the voice of the community and we want to hear it loud and clear.

Next time you’re by this way make sure you stop in and introduce yourself.

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Kevin Laird is editor of the Sooke News Mirror. He can be reached by email at klaird@blackpress.ca or by phone at 250-642-5752.