In reference to The Albertan’s coverage of the Jan. 30, 2021 rally, held in Didsbury, in support of small businesses being opened in the county of Mountain View, we would like to express some concerns.
This rally was held in support of the small businesses in our county which are being irrevocably harmed by the severe and draconian restrictions put in place by the Alberta government. It was our hope that we would receive support from your local, small newspaper, located in Olds. Instead, the coverage has become more about the lack of face masks/coverings. To quote the last sentence in the first article, Hundreds rally in Didsbury against COVID restrictions “Most people were not wearing masks or face coverings.” Strategically placed wording, as we know that the last thing people read will be much of what they take away from that reading.
In the second article about the rally, Council to discuss Didsbury anti-restriction rally that drew hundreds, the one-sided, biased reporting continued. You’ve quoted the mayor as saying, “What the facts and data are telling us is that events like that can be super-spreaders…” Did your reporter do any research into whether any outdoor rallies in Alberta, most much larger than the one in question, have been super spreaders? Does it not behoove a news reporter to present all the facts, rather than just speculation, prior to printing?
Have any of your reporters taken the time to tell the true stories of struggle? Of business people who are currently closed or in the process of going bankrupt? Those very people who have bought ads in support of your paper over the years? It seems you have become caught up in this polarized debate, pitting neighbour against neighbour and fanning the flames of fear.
It is disturbing that an opportunity to promote a positive story about hundreds of people giving their support to their friends, neighbours and community, an opportunity to encourage others during these hard times, instead became a vehicle, driven by your paper, to perpetuate more conflict and discord.
On behalf of Mountain View Freedom