What will be your enduring memories from this unprecedented year? The year in which COVID-19 was an excuse for anything that didn’t happen.
Running a community paper gives one a great perspective on how much never happened in the aftermath of two lockdowns. Calendars wiped clean and at times there were no events to cover.
This has meant that Kerrie and I have had to go out more and find stories to include in the Beacon. We have done more controversial stories in greater depth than before. The upside is that we have enjoyed making stronger connections in the community. We have also worked together on the paper more closely than ever before, which has mainly been a good thing!
Like most media, it has been a challenging year financially. Beacon is about as low cost an operation as it is possible to be. We would have ended this year in the red if it had not been for the support of our advertisers, sponsors and COVID-19 relief from the government.
Running on this knife edge is why there are some stories that you either will not see in the Beacon, or they will only get a passing mention. There are many large council and government organisations that employ armies of comms and PR people and they produce, at great expense, the stories about the million-dollar projects in our community. But they are unwilling to sponsor those stories or place advertisements, instead expecting us to personally subsidise them for hundreds of dollars a page. Nope. Not happening. We would rather tell the stories that are about you, not about them.
Next up is Christmas and the quintessential kiwi summer. What will that look like without international tourism and kiwis (under house arrest) in NZ? We are about to find out! COVID-19 lockdowns have already caused a lot of domestic stress in finances and relationships, so perhaps this year we will not see the usual summer spike in relationship breakdowns and suicides. Being aware of the potential problems is to be prepared and look after yourself and those that you know and love.
While 2020 has taught us some unexpected lessons, we are over it. Like a smorgasbord, take the things that you liked from the year and leave the rest behind. May 2021 be a lot more boring and yet much happier.
Christmas blessings to you from us.
John and Kerrie Subritzky.