Reflections in the Snow-Covered Hills Â» Blog Archive Â» ?I felt like a leper walking the streets?
"...I donât normally write about Government of the Northwest Territories policies, but Iâm going to make an exception today. Itâs not that I donât care about them; itâs more that theyâre usually not particularly relevant to the type of writing I do here.
But Oil Can Boydâs post caught my eye. Oil Canâs a young blogger who used to work for the local paper. Iâm rather fond of the fellow, and I immediately identified with his story about trying to get people to give interesting quotes for a âstreeterâ, the lowest form of journalism. Streeters suck. Standing on a sidewalk trying to get people to answer a stupid question is just awful. (Using them as any sort of barometer of public opinion is even worse, but for very different reasons.)
I used to try to do them in Inuvik. I was always unsuccessful. Very few people wanted to talk, and those who did never had opinions that made good soundbites. The lesson, if Iâd bothered to think about it, would have been that matters of public interest deserved a real hearing and full discussion, not a two-minute roundup of random shoppersâ top-of-mind thoughts. But I never really thought about that; I only knew that nobody wanted to go on tape.
After I moved to Yellowknife, I noticed that people here didnât want to do streeters any more than folks in Inuvik did. But somehow theyâd discovered an excuse that always made the reporters go away. You might want to write this down, in case you want to get rid of pesky reporters in the mall, too:
My boss wonât let me talk to reporters. ..."