Thank you to everyone that participated in our community engagement earlier this year.  We had nearly 650 residents participate in either the survey, polls, interviews or focus groups.

We really appreciate your participation and will continue this community engagement in the future.  Your feedback has given us a lot to think about and with the help of our consultants, we have compiled a list of recommended changes.  We will now spend the summer working on those recommendations.

The recommendations are grouped into five theme areas, appreciating that some of the recommendations may overlap between these areas.

Advocate: Media is a supportive partner with local news stakeholders – establishing a relationship built on mutual trust and respect is vital to creating credibility with the local audience.

  • Regular public updates from local media ownership – e.g., column, radio call-in show, blog posts;
  • Strengthen relationships with other local media outlets;
  • Strengthen relationships with news sources in the community, i.e., community leaders, organizations, etc.

Educate: Media working with stakeholders on how to develop content so it can be presented the way that local residents can best receive it.

  • Once completed, promote the best practices policies to the general public;
  • Review and update the Employment Handbook, and onboarding guide that clearly identifies internal standards and processes;
  • Include a local resource/expert list;
  • Develop a public-facing educational series on:
    • How content is developed;
    • How stories are written, the challenges faced by reporters, and how citizens can be active participants in the development and delivery of news;
  • What a locally owned and operated media outlet is and how it’s funded;
  • How citizens can get involved with content development;
  • The power and importance of local media;
  • Increase the visibility and presence of local media in the community.

Resonate: Knowing and understanding the local audience is key to becoming a curator of local news, through thoughtfully and strategically connected stories that the community might find valuable, that will resonate with them, and that will have a meaningful impact on them.

  • Develop a regular polling process to gauge audience resonance;
  • Develop a tracking system for news tips and coverage, with regular reporting;
  • Relocate to a more prominent location on the website and promote citizen responsibility in sharing “News Tips”.

Navigate: The availability of any and all information at our fingertips today, and a lack of critical thinking skills among the masses, has created distrust of the media, and between the media and its news sources. Responsibly leveraging the power of social media means more than just maximizing views, but doing so while remaining wary of distortion, lack of context, and misleading editing. Engagement in the social realm allows for real-time dialogue on issues that matter to the audience.

  • Creation of a mobile application, with notifications, that allows for offline reading of the news;
  • Creation of an online location, outside of social media, that allows for public comments on stories and news that matter to the audience, e.g., Letters to the Editor,“Citizen’s Corner,” section of the website. This creates the space for “sober second thought” around commenting;
  • Updating the Commenting Policy and sharing it regularly through all channels.

Illuminate: Committing to providing real and substantive information that benefits the local audience by creating an environment that is home to a durable, reliable, and vibrant media ecosystem. The media represents critical institutions for our social and strong partnerships with stakeholders to provide quality content that is transparent and ethical in its delivery is vital to ensuring these sources remain available to residents.

  • Through articles and on-air interviews, state, demonstrate, and reaffirm the commitment to journalistic standards and ethics of the media outlet to manage expectations;
  • Freedom of Information Policy review and promotion of the process and challenges in “getting the story right”.

Check out the full report and survey results below.

More Reporters at Energeticcity.ca

On top of these changes, our company is experiencing exponential growth.  By July, we will have a total of ten staff members at Energeticcity.ca.  This includes five reporters, an editor, our director of reader engagement, our sales team, and myself.  Last year at this time, we had a total of three people on our team.  

This makes Energeticcity.ca the largest newsroom in Northeast B.C.

Thank you for your support and thank you for putting your trust in Energeticcity.ca.

If you have any questions, reach out to me, Adam Reaburn, at 250-787-7100 or email adam@moosefm.ca

Adam Reaburn is the owner of Moose FM and Energeticcity.ca. Adam has been working in broadcasting for over 20 years. Adam and his wife Tammy have lived in Fort St. John for over 18 years.