As a journalist working in a small community newspaper, I covered everything from municipal council, sports, entertainment, church socials and everything in between.
And while I know my writing had an impact on the community, I rarely saw any evidence of it.
Sure, I won some awards that told me I was pretty good at what I did…but you generally only hear from someone if you make a mistake.
One year, the government decided to deregulate the gas industry and there were employees of these Independent gas providers going door to door throughout the community and trying to get individuals to sign contracts with them.
The problem was, they were often telling people that they were from the gas company and that if they didn’t sign, their gas would get cut off.
They would often get seniors at the door and they would get them to sign a contract which gave them gas at a certain price for a five year period. The contracts were not always in the customer’s best interests.
I didn’t like this at all…so I decided to write a large feature article explaining the practice and providing individuals with a checklist of questions to ask when someone came knocking at their door.
A few weeks after the article ran, I received a letter in the mail. It was from a senior who had received a copy of my article from a friend and she was able to ask the right questions at the door and didn’t sign. She thanked me for having written the article.
It was a nice letter and I was on cloud nine. gave me a great deal of personal satisfaction because it was one of the first times I realized something I wrote had made a difference in the lives of the senior who wrote me and most likely others in the community.