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Column: Greetings from Airdrie's newest reporter

After three years of reporting in Hinton, Alta. I know that pursuing storytelling as a career is a no-brainer for me. While some part of me has always known that, the fact my career continues to remind me of what I love to do is a bonus.

After three years of reporting in Hinton, Alta., I knew that pursuing storytelling as a career was a no-brainer for me. While some part of me has always known that, the fact my career continues to remind me that I love what I do is a bonus.

With that being said, I’m thrilled with the opportunity to report on local issues and events for the Airdrie City View and Rocky View Weekly.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about myself and how I ended up here. I grew up on a farm in the Netherlands and, together with my family, moved to the small farming community of Linden, Alta. in 2005.

For as long as I can remember, my parents religiously watched the news, and as I got older, passionately discussing current events became something we did often. I continued this tradition after I moved to Calgary by calling (or pestering) my dad constantly to discuss new topics and issues I learned about when I was studying at Mount Royal University.

After emerging with a degree in 2016, I landed a job in communications with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. I worked with some of Alberta’s most talented musicians and really honed in on my passion for storytelling. 

My dream of a future in journalism was still somewhere in me, though, and when my husband (then-boyfriend) suggested we move to Edson, Alta, to chase his career, I saw it as an opportunity to find myself a job in journalism.

After some freelancing, I joined the team at a locally-owned newspaper in Hinton, Alta. Side by side with the owners of the Hinton Voice, I learned as much about the news industry as I could.

With all that said, it was an interesting time to start working in journalism. At the time, Donald Trump was still leading the United States and pushing the narrative of “fake news.” While keeping in mind that people’s distrust of news media was growing, I recognized that rural communities like Hinton still rely on their local newspapers to share the community’s stories and delve into local issues. Mainstream media and national news outlets often don’t bother covering rural issues or small towns.

From reporting on the closure of a coal mine and the negative impact that has on a town relying on industry jobs, to covering the devastating impact of the Mountain Pine Beetle on provincial forests, I learned there were plenty of rural stories with a potentially national or international impact.

Now, the issues in Airdrie and Rocky View County may look a little different than they do in Hinton, but I’ve been reading, learning, and getting myself up to date so I can continue bringing you the stories you need and want to read about.

I look forward to hanging out, getting to know all of you (COVID-permitting), and sharing your stories.

Masha Scheele

About the Author: Masha Scheele

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