The challenge of saying good bye

It was an odd experience last week letting our readers know that this paper will publish its final issue on Jan. 23.

Newspapers — and journalists — never strive to be the story. We prefer to tell the stories of our community instead. And so it was nerve-wracking sending the paper to press with the notice on page 2 and, later, hitting “publish” to post the personal news to our website.

Would readers react? Would they be sad? Would they care? It turns out the answer was yes to all three. Aside from a commenter who argued that our paper makes a better fire starter than Pique (which, to be fair, is 100 per cent true), the outpouring of support and attention was deeply appreciated not only by the newsroom, but by columnists and contributors as well.

It was, by far, the most shared, liked and commented on story we’ve ever posted to our Facebook. Readers reminisced about our 41-year history, told us about the community stories that made a difference and highlighted the impact some of our talented columnists have made on their lives. We received love in particular for our small, but steady Pemberton section.

Every single comment was read and deeply appreciated.

We’ve also appreciated your feedback and all the ways you’ve reached out over the years — from letters to the editor to social media messages to hauling copies of the paper to far-flung locales and sending us photos of you reading it on vacation.

It’s not an easy task to wrap up four decades. In this penultimate paper, some of our biweekly columnists bid you farewell — delving into the state of the newspaper industry, offering parting words of advice and looking to the future of Whistler without The Question.

And this week, our newsroom will take on the task of putting together the final edition.

While we are certainly sad to bid farewell to this publication — which has given so many journalists their start in the industry — we are also optimistic about the future.  We look forward to contributing to our sister publication, Pique Newsmagazine, which has strong readership in this community and is putting out a product that is increasingly unique.

In the meantime, we extend a heartfelt thank you for your kind words last week and letting us know the impact this publication has made on Whistler.

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