Since we started the Telegraph last fall, our prime directive (yes, we've seen the new Star Trek film—it's swell) has been to provide a voice for the community of Rossland, a public space where Rosslanders can come together (yes, we've heard the new Beatles album—it's fab) and share information and resources and air grievances and other dirty laundry with the ultimate goal of giving the atmosphere around town a good spring cleaning.
After all, what do you call a place where problems get grumbled about in shadowy corners, where politics are the exclusive domain of elected representatives and spiral-eyed obsessives, and everybody else just keeps themselves to themselves and their 'lifestyle' compatriots?
A town, perhaps, but not a community.
Last week we spoke of volunteerism as one of the pillars of any real community, and in this regard Rossland is second to none. This week we want to speak about the proper function of a newspaper, something we're giving a lot of thought to as we work to evolve the Telegraph.
When we speak of a newspaper as being the voice of a community, we mean it. We don't want the Telegraph to be a ventriloquist's act--the voice of only a couple of writers: in that scenario, there's a real danger of stagnation and one-sidedness in that scenario. Just as small town democracy thrives when more people get involved, so do small town newspapers.
To date we've been very fortunate. From our terrific columnists Brenda Gill and Diana Daghofer to the author of that epochal saga some men call Rosslandia (Tyler Bradley); from our many devoted commenters and poll clickers to the authors of our always-thoughtful and intelligent letters to the editor, we've been very lucky.
But, like all good North Americans, we're greedy and we want more.
With this in mind, we're now putting the call out for writers (check out our nifty new 'express yourself' ad this week). If you've got a passion for any subject that could conceivably be written about in a newspaper—politics (we'd love a political columnist), music (we'd love a music reviewer), the arts (we'd...you get the picture), humour, the outdoors, sports, books, cooking, movies, gardening, history—drop us a line and we'll talk.
We're open to monthly columns, one-off think pieces, occasional humour or gardening articles: whatever you think you might be interested in writing. Because, chances are, if you find something fascinating there will be a couple hundred of our readers who will feel the same way.
And that's how, stitch by stitch, you can help knit our community more closely together, even as you achieve Mountain Kingdom celebrity and bask in the warm glow of local fame and/or notoriety.
Come on. You know you want to...