by KORIE MARSHALL, EDITOR
Tragedies sometimes bring out the best in people – or the worst. A horribly tragic incident in the mountains this week has shown what an amazing community McBride is.
There have been avalanches and deaths before in the Robson Valley, but I don’t recall the media frenzy like what followed the tragedy up the Renshaw on Friday afternoon. Media outlets from all over the province were on their way, and wanting to talk to locals, to get the details, get the story. I understand why a list one local woman posted on social media about how to help the survivors, the first responders, the victims’ families, contained these words: “Chase off the media.”
I want to say thanks to her, and to others who stepped up and spoke to the media, for two reasons. First, the media are looking for the human side of the story. The kind of sterilized details you get in a press release from the RCMP and other official spokespeople does little justice to either the tragedy of an incident, or the heroics, compassion, and hard work of those who responded. We want to know more about what happened, about who was involved, we want to know if we can learn from this incident to avoid a tragedy like this in the future, and good media is there to help us understand the answers to those questions.
Second, those who spoke knowledgably and with compassion to the media are helping the media do their job – they are helping the rest of the world understand what happened, and how we need to move forward. That means they are protecting people who are grieving from unnecessary harassment by the media.
The other two things on her list were “Support from strangers” and “Give in any way you can.” She knows, because she’s been through this, and she said on the radio and on social media that the support she got from the McBride community when her husband was killed in an avalanche was part of what made her decide to move here. I can only imagine what feelings this weekend have brought up for her, and I appreciate her courage in speaking about it.