I’m back in radio, daily reporting for a couple of weeks, instead of my usual gig as an online writer for CBC.ca

Boy, things get rusty, fast.

Day started with 7 a.m. emails [nothing unusual] and a headache.

From there, it kinda went downhill.

I call it the ‘trying to do to much syndrome.’

First stop — courthouse for a story that the Freep covered a week ago, but I didn’t see. [The Taser lawsuit and Mike Langan’s family].

Turns out the fact that the Freep covered it a week ago diminished the story’s value in the newsroom and it got axed for more pressing priorities.

It is, I should note, the most read online story of Monday.

Dug up a couple of more nuggets at the Law Courts – like the owners of Kenko Sushi and another sushi place on Corydon being charged with immigration-related offences — only to find that the Freep covered the whole damn thing about the CBSA investigation into illegal workers a year ago.

Except the charges – those are news. You heard it here first. Yay.

Off to the cop shop for 1 p.m. where the WPS announced the gun bust that was on Monday’s docket a week ago [and in Friday’s Freep five days later] at the courthouse a week ago.

It’s something I should have followed up back then, but didn’t.

I just didn’t do it.

Brand new, shiny European made guns. the majority seems like they’ve never been fired. The rifles were still packed in their mundane cardboard boxes when the police seized them.

A commodity for killing that’s suitable for shelving at a K-Mart. Sigh.

Reporters were not allowed to handle the guns. To feel how real and powerful and downright menacing they are; how illegal they should always be.

All though the briefing, I couldn’t help but notice how sterile and controlled it all was, and it’s always been thus.

It’s exactly how the city wants it.

The official statement from the WPS is spoken for the TV cameras and beyond that, there’s little else to be said.

Except for there’s a lot left to be said, a lot of questions unanswered.

Generally, like a herd, ‘the media’ walk into the media room, and like a herd, ‘the media’ filter out.

After we’re gone, the WPS goes back to doing what it does – being a police department dealing with the thing that matters most to people in a democracy: security of person and property.

Without these things, it’s all chaos, and we owe the police a great debt on that level.

But at any press conference, there’s no sense of reality there. No sense of what actually is going on. What actually happened.

The danger, the comedy, the sense of futility.

There’s no real story to be had at the police briefing.

There seldom is, as I’ve learned.

Back to the office [no thanks to the jerk who boxed in my truck outside the PSB] to file, only to have a very interesting talk with a colleague I respect a lot that was kind of depressing, but that’s not her fault.

Our industry is changing fundamentally, and has been for some time now. Change is a good thing.

Being able to explain why change is so necessary for survival is completely another matter.

Some buy in, others don’t.

In the end, I finished up a story for Tuesday morning that was missed in the recent Stats Can justice numbers — but a hat tip to the Globe and Mail for the idea to check into it.

Can’t help but feel it’s kind of flat, though. It was that kind of day.

I was lucky enough in the course of doing it to have a decent conversation with Sgt. Rob Riffel who’s the impaired-driving countermeasure co-ordinator for the WPS.

Also props to the WPS PIO for arranging for me to speak with him in such a short time.

But at home, a few beers and a rainstorm later, my headache is still there.

I can’t help but feel I’m letting people down. I wanted more for my career, more for myself and the people I write for than what happened today.

I will try harder.

2 thoughts on “Headache, an apology

  1. Hey James,
    You`re too hard on yourself. It`s summer doldrums and you`re just getting back into full-time reporting,
    We all try to get exclusives or dig up stories of importsant public interest, but we have to continually bash our heads against the walls of officialdom. Try it in a newsroom of one 🙂
    Keep swinging. It`s the only way to hit one out of the park. Just remember that no one gets a homer every day.

  2. I feel like I’m letting everyone down every single day. I have yet to have a day where I felt like I ever reached my potential. Such is the life of creative people with passions. Just remember, it’s not them; it’s you. As you’ve said to me before and I’m saying to you now and I’m sure we’ll trade again in the future.

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