BOW VALLEY – As the Bow Valley begins its first day in 2024, it’s good to look back one last time on the previous year.
Since the Outlook launched in 2001, its core audience has always been informing valley residents and visitors the ongoing news in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
From scenic lakes, seemingly never-ending mountains and world-renowned trails, the valley rarely lacks for scenery in its national and provincial parks.
With a permanent population of roughly 35,000 people, but visitation of more than 10 million people each year in Kananaskis Country and national parks, it also means the Bow Valley rarely – if ever – has a slow news day.
The top 25 stories from 2023 are stories that impacted the Bow Valley in some capacity.
The stories are a range of information from illegal campers being charged, a prescribed fire getting out of control and a fatal plane crash, but also the lighter side of melting glaciers leaving behind hidden treasures and several wildlife-related stories.
In a time when some media outlets look to push regionalized content and new federal legislation changing the way readers access news online, readers have spoken with wanting hyper-local coverage.
The best read stories reinforce what online readers want, which is local news. It’s what our audience and readers want and it’s what the Outlook does best.
YEAR IN REVIEW
- YEAR IN REVIEW: MD of Bighorn in 2023
- YEAR IN REVIEW: 2023 in Canmore focused on housing, growth, affordability, legal matters
- YEAR IN REVIEW: Kananaskis Country in 2023
- YEAR IN REVIEW: Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks in 2023
- YEAR IN REVIEW: Îyârhe Nakoda First Nation in 2023
- YEAR IN REVIEW: How Bow Valley sports played out in 2023
- PHOTOS: Best 23 of '23 in the Bow Valley
But while best read may lead some to believe it has the most impact, one of the key aspects of journalism is to inform the public but also dig deeper into stories that have far-ranging reach on residents.
Though few people may read budget stories, they’re among the most important written by journalists each year. While only a few housing-related stories cracked the top 25, there was no greater theme in the Bow Valley than the push to add housing and how best to do it.
In Canmore, its municipal council passed three area structure plans in the span of weeks – one municipal-led and two ordered by a provincial tribunal – starting the path for potentially 1,000s of residential units. Banff ended its year by giving first reading to long-awaited redevelopment plans for the railway lands, but also after its council took first steps or made numerous changes to aid in further residential redevelopment.
Outlook photojournalists were also busy, with numerous options from events, scenic shots, breaking news, sports and several other topics to get photos and videos.
Stories covering local governance, accountability, legal matters, arts and entertainment and reporting on some of the best athletes in the country are equally important to readers. A media outlet is fulfilling its role when its reporting on multiple stories regardless of the controversy it may spark when published.
As a new year begins, the mandate for Outlook journalists remains the same as it was in 2001: tell the stories of the Bow Valley, inform readers about its local stories – both the good and bad – and continue to dig deeper into topics that tell the community as much as possible about what is taking place locally.
Here’s a look at the top 25 online stories from 2023:
- Parks Canada charges 14 illegal campers at Johnson Lake
- Calgary police identify human remains found in Banff National Park
- Two people killed by grizzly bear in Banff National Park, says Parks Canada
- Prescribed fire jumps Banff Avenue, Banff Rocky Mountain Resort under evacuation
- Women's fire conference in Banff aims to break down barriers in male-dominated industry
- AHS shuts down Canmore luxury home, scene of police raids, guns, drugs
- New wolf pack forms in Banff National Park
- Firefighters battling blaze at Lake Louise staff residence
- Man dies after medical episode on Canmore Trail
- PHOTOS: Remembering the 2013 floods in Canmore
- Mama grizzly abandons cubs; youngsters fending for themselves against hordes of tourists in K-Country
- RCMP, Parks Canada locate overdue hiker's body near Banff
- Whirling disease shuts down human access to all rivers, lakes in Kootenay, Yoho national park
- The Boss is back in Banff, residents urged to do their part to keep grizzly safe
- Grizzly bear encounter with hikers near Lake Louise wasn't stalking: experts
- Minor injuries after black bear encounter near Canmore, trail closure
- Iconic Bill Peyto sign burns down in Banff fire
- Bear ripping tent prompts warning in K-Country
- Heavy police presence on Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park
- Parks Canada releases independent review on Banff's out-of-control prescribed fire
- RCMP take person into custody following heavy police presence in Banff National Park
- Cougar follows couple to within 10 metres in K-Country
- Six bodies recovered from fatal plane crash in Kananaskis Country
- NDP's Elmeligi takes Banff-Kananaskis riding by fewer than 200 votes
- Frozen in time: public involvement welcomed as melting ice reveals hidden treasures in Canadian Rockies