Adam Williams, Sports Editor Ω
With the Kamloops community still in shock after the unexpected closure of the Kamloops Daily News on Jan. 11, thoughts around the community are turning to the impact that the loss of the publication will have on a number of organizations.
At Thompson Rivers University, one organization that will be particularly hard-hit is WolfPack Athletics. Larry Read, sports information officer for the WolfPack, said Monday the athletics department is left to wonder what will happen without what was previously its most regular source of publicity.
“I think it affects us tremendously,” he said, adding that although the other media around the city provide excellent coverage, only The Daily News and its reporter Mark Hunter had covered the team on a daily basis for more than seven years. “We’re hoping that Kamloops This Week picks up the slack, but it’s a tremendous loss.”
Read said there’s also the potential that the repercussions of the 83-year-old publication’s demise will be far more reaching than many would expect. The media coverage, and events that are facilitated by a publication like The Daily News, are part of the recruitment package TRU has used to attract athletes to its teams. That will now have to change.
“When we talk to parents and athletes, that’s part of what we say to them,” he said. “Aside from the university and what they offer here that brings these kids in, are our community activities and the coverage that we get — it’s unparalleled.”
For Colin Carson, setter for the WolfPack men’s volleyball team, a decrease in exposure for the program itself is disappointing, but it won’t change how he feels about the city he has called home for the last five years.
“I don’t think it impacts how I feel playing in Kamloops,” he said. “Obviously it’s unfortunate WolfPack Athletics is losing some of its exposure.”
A leader both on and off the court for the WolfPack, Carson has been the subject of his fair share of media stories in his time at the university. He said it’s enjoyable, though it wasn’t a huge factor in his decision to leave his hometown of Prince George to come to Kamloops, and he sees no reason why it won’t continue despite the newspaper’s closure.
“It’s obviously exciting and it’s nice to see,” he said. “That being said, I still think in a city like Kamloops, because it is a little bit of a smaller city, you’re still going to get pretty good coverage and a lot of people are going to know who you are.
“I still think Kamloops is a great place for that.”