Tuesday, December 1, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 48 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“I think we’re in so deep we have to go along with it.”
- Councillor Ian MacLeod  
- on funding the wading   
pool project   

 

A Fragile Lens- Nathen GallagherAs a journalist for a weekly newspaper, reporting on the H1N1 vaccine issue has been a particular challenge and a source of frustration, and if you keep your eyes glued to this page, I'll tell you why.
The Pass Herald produces its paper each Friday, and publishes the paper each Tuesday, leaving a three day gap between when the news is written and when the news is read. This is simply the nature of the beast when it comes to weekly papers that aren't printed in-house.
When I wrote one of my first stories on the H1N1 vaccine clinics, I reported on a number of clinics which were, at the time, scheduled in Pincher Creek. The clinics were set up, they had times and places, and I felt confident that I could tell you, gentle readers, all about them.
By the time the paper came out three days later, the vaccine clinics had become a provincial fiasco, and the province cancelled all scheduled flu clinics in order to get things straight and start again. All of the clinics I had told you about in Pincher Creek, in early November, had been cancelled, and there was nothing I could do about it but hope anyone who read the paper had heard the news elsewhere.
 
Things straightened out gradually, and new clinics were scheduled with regulations on who could receive the vaccine. I bided my time, waiting to see if a second clinic would come to the Pass. When that clinic was announced, scheduled for November 30, I pounced like a leopard on small, squishy prey.
On Friday, November 20, I wrote an article relating the information I knew –– namely, that a clinic was scheduled for November 30 at the provincial building. I included the complete, detailed list of who was eligible to receive the vaccine, a list provided to me at the time by Alberta Health Services. As of the writing of that article, it was all true.
By Tuesday, November 24, when the paper was published, all of that had changed, and once again there was nothing to be done about it. The vaccine was now available to everyone over the age of six months, making any detailed list of eligible people completely irrelevant. The clinic had been moved from the provincial building to the Crowsnest Centre. The information in my article had been rendered completely inaccurate.
... for the full article, read the December 1 issue of the Pass Herald.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 48 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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