Publishing Delta Voices
Newspaper relaunch set to train area writers

Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Apr 30/99) - Does the Beaufort Delta need another community-based news and feature publication?

Cafe Gallery owner and Gwich'in Geographics manager Rob Cook seems to think so.

He is preparing to relaunch the free 16-page monthly newspaper, Delta Voices starting with a June issue focusing on tourism.

"As a monthly publication we can't compete with the daily newspapers or weekly newspapers and we're not going to be as newsworthy or topical," he says.

"By the time we get the story and it's put in print, it's time dated, it's lost so we're going to go for the larger issues that are here from day to day so it will be more thematic in nature."

Cook says one goal of the paper is to give Beaufort Delta writers more experience.

Interim editors are set to rotate every three months with each helping train the incoming editor. Cook says the paper will work closely with Aurora College students who have been active producing the Inuvik Sun.

The plan is to create the paper during evening hours at the Cafe Gallery.

Cook and initial interim editor Dawn Hansen will display completed pages on the wall to potentially inspire more people to help out with some writing.

"The decision to run a story lies with me as the publisher," Cook says of the paper.

He said the free paper will be put in each mailbox in the Mackenzie Delta and eventually be advertiser-supported.

"There is no political interference from any camp beyond that," Cook said. "That's one thing I need to make sure the community realizes. This newspaper is put out by Gwich'in Geographics but it's more for the entire community."

Cook first launched the paper in 1997 as a trial to see if the community would accept it.

Even though he says reaction was all positive, publication ceased because of business considerations.

"(The question was) Do we do the newspaper and very little else, because we were very short staffed when I began at Gwich'in graphics, or do we drop the newspaper and do everything else under the sun?"

Spring editor Hansen has family in the region though she grew up in Calgary and has spent the last few years in Australia.

The 20-year-old has taken professional writing courses in Melbourne but has not yet received on-the-job experience.