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  • Trevor Greenway

What were we thinking?

We know. Our front-page photo and story about the trucker protest will earn us some backlash.

We thought we owed it to our readers to share our newsroom discussion regarding the decision to run the front-page photo and story about Wakefield native Bethan Nodwell in her role as a lead organizer of a group supporting the trucker convoy protest in downtown Ottawa.

Some readers will appreciate a feature story on a local dedicated to an event of huge national importance. Many, however, will be asking, “Why would the Low Down give a mob of unruly anti-vaxxers a platform? Why is my local paper glorifying this controversial movement that’s turned into an ugly occupation?”

Those are good questions — ones the editorial team asked ourselves many times before we accepted Nodwell’s invitation to get a backstage pass to her Adopt-A-Trucker’s events and supply-support organizing hub. We asked ourselves the same questions as we did a mockup of the front page with Nodwell – a known spreader of conspiracy theories on social media – looking like a rock star on stage in front of a huge crowd of cheering fans.

What were we thinking?

We were thinking what we always think when pursue a news story: is it newsworthy? Is it local? Do readers want to know about the people who are behind the events – big or small – that affect their lives? The answer is yes to all these questions.

We also did our utmost to write a balanced piece about an incredibly controversial and polarizing event that shows both sides of the issue.

It should be no