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THE SURVEYOR - Holland College

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THE SURVEYOR - Holland College Powered By Docstoc
					  Journalism Review
December 17 , 2007     Holland College, Charlottetown, P.E.I.   FREE




A special edition of

 THE SURVEYOR
        Front photo:
   GRAPHIC           IMAGES
PART OF DAILY DIET
      Story on p. 9
Page 2                           HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                        Dec. 17, 2007



    The                                                         The merits of J-school
  Surveyor
                                                                See page 4
       is a learning tool
      for students in the
    Journalism program
    at Holland College.
    Opinions expressed
        in The Surveyor
  do not necessarily reflect
     those of the college                                       Un-spinning the message
         administration.

    EDITORIAL STAFF                                             See page 7
       STEPHEN BRUN
      LINDSAY CARROLL
  TERESA WRIGHT CONSTABLE
     JENNILEE CUDMORE
       MATTHEW DAYE
     DOUGLAS DICKIESON
       MARGIE HOLMES
       JACYLN KILLINS                                           From doctor to anchor
       COLIN MACLEAN
     CHRISTY MARSTERS
       STACEY MURRAY                                            See page 8
     NATHAN ROCHFORD
        MEGAN WALSH


         CONTACT US
               by mail at
          Journalism Program
         140 Weymouth Street
           Charlottetown, PE
               C1A 4Z1                                          The man behind the scenes
           by e-mail at
      wyoung@hollandc.pe.ca
     rmaclean@hollandc.pe.ca                                    See page 10

         or by telephone at
     (902) 566-9589, 566-9591,
        629-4229, 566-9389
            or 566-9588


      The Surveyor
    would like to thank                                         Irving empire has its critics
   TRANSCONTINENTAL
    PRINCE EDWARD
        ISLAND                                                  See page 11
                and
         THE GUARDIAN
    for their continuing
          support.
Page 3                                                                       HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                                 Dec. 17, 2007




 Paper updates design to match the times
     By COLIN MACLEAN

   When the people of Summer-
side awoke on Oct. 12, 2006,
many found something very dif-
ferent about their community
paper, The Journal Pioneer.
   Gone was the traditional bright
red masthead, the beige teasers on
top of the front page, the long sto-
ry on the left and a dozen other
little things that made The Journal
what it was.
   “I’ve gone through a few
(redesigns) in my time, but this
one to me made the most sense,”
said managing editor Mike Turn-
er.
   He has been in the newspaper
business for about 20 years as a
freelancer, reporter and editor.
Between weekly and daily publi-
cations, The Journal is the sixth
paper he has edited in four
provinces.
   And a lot has changed in the
newspaper business over those 20
years, said Turner. When he grad-
uated from journalism school,
computers were just starting to
appear in newsrooms and up until
a few years ago colour wasn’t
really an issue.
   There was a time when the
words would carry a story. Today,
shorter stories are the name of the
game and more thought is being
put into photos and other types of
                                       Managing editor Mike Turner with the before and after photos of the Journal Pioneer’s most recent redesign. MacLean photo.
graphics, he said.                       “I’ve always believed that jour-      providers by expanding their web-    your readers.”                         represent our area,’ said Turner.
   “(Today), the 800-word story        nalism is about helping others.”        sites, said Turner.                    Some people didn’t like the            The Journal’s cartoonist did the
better be worth it.”                     The Journal is far more local           Other media, such as radio and     look at first, but mostly it just      image with the blessing of those
   But at the same time there’s also   now because it’s material you           TV, are locked into their broad-     took time to get used to, said         in charge of the lighthouse. But
a lot of room for creativity with      can’t get anywhere else. It’s part      cast time. But through the Inter-    Turner.                                people had to adjust to that too,
images and photos, he said.            of the evolution newspapers face,       net, The Journal’s reporters can       “People are defensive about          he said.
   Nancy MacPhee has been a            said Turner.                            keep the community up to date        their local newspaper,” he said,         Also, the stock market section
reporter at The Journal for about        Putting newspaper websites to         anytime of the day.                  adding it’s part of the community.     of the paper was removed.
10 years. To her, The Journal’s        good use is also part of a compa-       The trick is getting people to see     One person complained the new          “The people in the stock market
new look is easer to read and          ny-wide thrust in response to a         the connection between the two       layout was harder to read even         are people who have computers,”
looks more professional. She also      circulation slump. Most people          versions of the paper.               though the size of the lettering       said Turner.
finds the new design has affected      get their information from the             “It’s somewhat subliminal but     had actually been increased.             All of these changes are to a
the way she approaches her job.        Internet now, so the new layout         the website is on the top of every     Another said they couldn’t find      certain extent about breaking old
   “I think it’s improved my writ-     was designed with the web in            page.”                               the letters to the editor anymore,     rules journalists have in the indus-
ing.”                                  mind, he said.                            And usually if audio or video is   but letters to the editors are still   try. The papers breaking the rules
   It’s all about trying to find a       Donna Butler has been reading         available to accompany a story       on page four, where they’ve            are the ones being talked about,
more appealing way to sell the         the Journal for years and she           there would be a message in the      always been, said Turner.              said Turner.
product, she said. One of the          thinks the new design is a big          paper pointing readers to the web-     People just needed to give it a        Many people are saying that
ways they’ve done this is by           improvement.                            site, Turner said.                   chance and generally people have       because of the movement towards
changing the amount of hard              “The old one (design) was a lit-        “Instead of just reading what      been supportive.                       online content, printed newspa-
news coverage they do.                 tle mixed up. This one is a lot         somebody said you can actually         “It’s like waking up one day and     pers are becoming obsolete.
   “We’ve become more people-          more clear,” she said.                  hear their voice, which is another   seeing your furniture moved              Turner doesn’t agree, although
oriented and a far better read.”         She also like the shorter stories     facet of storytelling.”              around.”                               he did say in years to come the
   People want to read stories         “because they do kind of ramble           So far the response from the         A big concern for many people        newspaper industry will change
about their neighbours. They want      on sometimes.”                          community has been pretty posi-      was changing the red Journal Pio-      into something that barely resem-
to hear about what’s going on in         And she enjoys the teasers            tive, although it’s always a risky   neer nameplate to the illustration     bles what it is now.
their community. It’s not always       along the left of the page.             venture when you’re making a         of the West Point Light House.           “Personally, I’m confident the
about the more unpleasant side of        Newspapers are starting to            change, said MacPhee.                  “For the nameplate, we wanted        newspaper will be around for a
news coverage, she said.               become multi-platform news                “You have to really fight for      something that was personal to         while.”
                           The merits of J-school
Page 4                                                                          HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                                   Dec. 17, 2007




                   Do you need training to be a successful journalist?
     By JACLYN KILLINS                                                                                                                                        said.
                                                                                                                                                                “I did get that it was a hard
  There is only one piece Globe                                                                                                                               work thing. J-school does tell you
and Mail columnist Roy MacGre-                                                                                                                                there is a reality behind journal-
gor says he ever wrote that never                                                                                                                             ism. It’s no American Dream.”
ran. It’s a frank recollection of his                                                                                                                            Arcaro, about to graduate from
year studying journalism at The                                                                                                                               Brock University with a bachelor
University of Western Ontario.                                                                                                                                of arts in English and history with
  He was asked to write about his                                                                                                                             a minor in women’s studies, said
experience for their alumnae mag-                                                                                                                             university didn’t help her as a
azine, and what he came up with                                                                                                                               journalist at all.
wasn’t flattering.                                                                                                                                              “I’ve seen one place, Toronto
  In it, MacGregor explains how                                                                                                                               Life magazine that required a uni-
all but two professors failed to                                                                                                                              versity degree.”
connect with the students, classes                                                                                                                              But J-school taught her the
were ill attended and the curricu-
                                                                                                                                                              important tools of journalism,
lum was a joke.
                                                                                                                                                              Arcaro said.
  He and his classmates, he said,
were in their “early twenties,                                                                                                                                  “I learned about [the news
already with a degree from some-                                                                                                                              cooperative Canadian Press] and
where else … a year or two spent                                                                                                                              its value in the industry.”
tromping about Europe, grateful                                                                                                                                 Niagara College’s program cov-
that Canada was not in Vietnam,                                                                                                                               ered important subjects like the
Nixon-hating, Stones lovin’, long                                                                                                                             Canadian justice system and poli-
haired, mixed-up, career-baffled                                                                                                                              tics and taught students important
and, instantly, appalled by what                                                                                                                              details of reporting like “saving
the University of Western Ontario                                                                                                                             all records for a few years,”
was claiming to be a course in                                                                                                                                Arcaro said.
journalism.”                                                                                                                                                    Her satisfaction with J-school
  There was some merit in the                                                                                                                                 comes from being keen and shak-
course, however, since he left                                                                                                                                ing the information out of her
with the confidence to become a                                                                                                                               sub-par teachers, something many
journalist, said MacGregor.                                                                                                                                   classmates couldn’t be bothered
  “The year was academically a                   Paul MacNeill. Submitted photo                             Roy MacGregor. Submitted photo                    doing, so they didn’t get as much

                                           “The year was academically a disaster, but oddly
disaster, but oddly enough, as                                                                                                                                out of the course, she said.
time wore on I came to see that                                                                                                                                 “The only reason why I got so
all was not lost, that I had lost all

                                          enough, as time wore on I came to see that all was
                                                                                                                                                              much out of it is because I
fear that journalism might be                                                                                                                                 bugged the guy. There was a lack
some secret handshake ever to be                                                                                                                              of respect for the professor. He

                                         not lost, that I had lost all fear that journalism might
denied me.”                                                                                                                                                   was an old senile man. We had to
  The journalism program at The                                                                                                                               do all our typesets at 16 point.”

                                           be some secret handshake ever to be denied me.”
University of Western Ontario                                                                                                                                   At the Eastern Graphic newspa-
was threatened with the axe in the                                                                                                                            per in Montague, P.E.I., it is not
early 1980s, but public protest                                                                                                                               J-school, but proof of inquisitive
helped it to survive.                                                                 - Roy MacGregor                                                         thinking that gets people hired,
  Still, MacGregor is a big believ-                                                                                                                           publisher Paul MacNeill, said.
er in a general education for jour-     went on to become famous jour-            tion of a newspaper, radio station   journalist, MacGregor said.
                                        nalists, he said.                         or television program, he said.        “Fancy writing can come later,         “You can teach people how to
nalists, he said.
                                          J-school is now an important              “Students would learn far, far     but first of all you have to get the   write a sentence, you can’t teach
  “Go to university for a bit and
study anything but journalism,          step in becoming a journalist, but        more with hands on experience        job done.”                             critical thinking.”
and then take journalism.”              he wonders if the ideal journalis-        and deadlines than they would in       Jessica Arcaro worked as a             MacNeill said the big problem
  More people majoring in sci-          tic personality doesn’t fit into cur-     the class.”                          reporter/photographer for Niagara      with J-schools today is they don’t
ences like economics, engineering       rent moulds of education, Mac-              Most of the focus of a journal-    This Week, a newspaper that puts       teach students how to communi-
or biology should get into journal-     gregor said.                              ism program should be on pro-        out weekly and bi-weekly news-         cate with the community around
ism because there is a need for           “The journalistic personality is        ducing material, with someone        papers for communities across the      them.
people who can translate science        by nature attention-deficit, so the       overseeing and pointing out          Niagara Region in Ontario.               “I see J-schools fall down an
to the public, MacGregor said.          fact that people don’t do well in         where students are going right         A graduate of Niagara College’s      awful lot around that issue.”
  “I don’t think there are enough       the accepted school system does-          and where they are going wrong,      two-year journalism program,             When hiring editors and
science degrees out there going         n’t mean for a moment they                MacGregor said.                      Arcaro learned the realities of the    reporters, MacNeill looks for peo-
into journalism.”                       wouldn’t make good journalists.”            “[Journalism is] like anything     field at J-school, she said.           ple who are capable of going out
  MacGregor comes from an ear-            MacGregor’s opinion of a use-           else from a sport to playing the       The professors made it clear to      and getting to know the commu-
lier era in journalism, an age          ful journalism program is one that        piano, it’s all about practice.”     the students that if they think        nity, people who have “the ability
when Grade 9 dropouts Robert            takes lessons learned in a class            Learning to meet deadlines is an   being a reporter is a nine-to-five     to take information, distill it and
Fulford and Michael Enwright            setting and applies it to produc-         important part of training to be a   job, they will be surprised, Arcaro    give it to your audience,” he said.
Dec. 17, 2007                                                                       HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                              Page 5




                     Turning down the noise
  With the wealth of information circulating today, getting overwhelmed is easy
     By DOUG DICKIESON

   During the school year, UPEI
student Stephen Mahar can be
found in his room buried deep in
his studies on political science,
surrounded by books and papers
and cold cups off coffee.
   The inside of his room is filled
by two desks overflowing with
papers and books, he uses one
desk to set his laptop on and the
other to organized what work is
left.
   If he hasn’t locked himself in
his room, he sets himself up on
his kitchen table. His studies have
him read Internet blogs, journals
and government websites.
   Having most of his classes in
the afternoon, he usually goes to
sleep around 4 a.m.
   Mahar said his biggest chal-
lenge is when the information
overwhelms him, especially when
it comes to following the news.
   Public access to information has
always been in television, radio,
or printed word, but the amount
of information being promoted
continues to increase, said Mahar.
   “Before the Internet, you had to
wait to get the news, today you
don’t have to.”
    It is hard not to get over-
whelmed by the amount of infor-
mation circulating, whether it
comes from Internet blogs, hourly
news updates on the radio, or 24-     Stephen Mahar usually sets up his study area in his room, but sometimes he needs to get rid of it and do his work in his
hour news stations, he said.          kitchen. Dickieson photo
   “Sometimes you need a break
from the stress.”                                                                                                 from their home computers, said      ing breaking news, but it is more
   Many people are overwhelmed
with all the information available
                                                 “Sometimes you need                                              Dave Helwig, news director of
                                                                                                                  sootoday.com.
                                                                                                                                                       like entertainment than journal-
                                                                                                                                                       ism.
these days and it helps to know
how to reduce the noise, said
                                                a break from the stress.”                                           “If someone covers an accident
                                                                                                                  or city event, we can have a video
                                                                                                                                                         “When you watch or read it for
                                                                                                                                                       a while, you got to ask how much
Gary MacDougall, managing edi-                                                                                    of it posted on the site within      depth does this have.”
tor of The Guardian daily news-                                 - Stephen Mahar                                   minutes.”                              Helwig said the best way he has
paper in Charlottetown, P.E.I.                                                                                      Helwig said it is impossible for   found to deal with too much
                                      irrelevant issues to get into the    best judgment about what infor-        printed newspapers to do this        information is staying focused on
   When readers are faced with so
                                      story, it becomes hard for readers   mation they are taking in.             because newspapers need to be        one issue at a time.
many news choices, it can
                                      to cut out the noise.”                 “If you know why you read or         manufactured before publishing,        “Every editor wakes up to a uni-
become hard to identify what
                                        Most people want their informa-    listen to the news, rather than just   while on the Internet they have      verse of information, it’s when
matters in news.
                                      tion to be put into perspective,     taking it in, is the best way to cut   unlimited space.                     you try to take everything at once
   “Journalism is simple, the
                                      and balanced stories help readers    out the noise.”                          Mahar said citizen journalism is   is when you get overwhelmed.”
reporter goes out and gets the
                                      in doing so, said MacDougall.          With cellphones equipped with        what causes readers to get over-       Mahar parties with friends to
info, then tries to make a bal-
                                        “You have to be aware of spin      cameras, anyone can capture an         whelmed with information.            relieve the stress when he is it not
anced story.”
                                      to be able to put your information   event and post it on the Internet,       “They are made to sound impor-     buried in his political science
   If the information is unbal-
                                      into perspective.”                   this is called citizen journalism.     tant so often, I stopped listening   work.
anced, it’s easier for newsreaders
                                        MacDougall said it starts with       The Internet newspaper sooto-        to it all together.”                   “Literally, every university stu-
to get confused about what they
                                      the journalist asking the best       day.com uses citizen journalism          MacDougall said citizen jour-      dent works for the weekend,
are reading, said MacDougall.
                                      questions to get the best informa-   to help cover the news by allow-       nalism has its uniqueness and its    though there are some who
   “Spin makes the story less
                                      tion, so the readers can make the    ing people to post their videos        strengths when it comes to cover-    don’t.”
focused and allows for a lot of
Page 6                                                                    HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                             Dec. 17, 2007




                Citizen journalists finding ways
                     to get their stories told
          By JENNILEE                                                                                                                               Luhani is also in the Citizen
            CUDMORE                                                                                                                                 Journalism facebook group. He
                                                                                                                                                    moved to Ontario from Croatia
   A journalist’s job is to get the                                                                                                                 when he was nine.
news to the public.                                                                                                                                   Luhani and his family moved
  But increasingly, they play an                                                                                                                    to Canada to escape the war that
active role in the process of col-                                                                                                                  was going on in their country.
lecting and reporting news and                                                                                                                        The war broke out in Croatia
information.                                                                                                                                        when it declared independence
  Some go out of their way to                                                                                                                       from Yugooslavia.
find a story to pitch to a local                                                                                                                      Croatian forces blockaded fed-
newspaper or TV station. Others                                                                                                                     eral barracks, cutting off utili-
just happen to be in the right                                                                                                                      ties and food. Yugoslavian sol-
place at the right time to get a                                                                                                                    diers then shelled nearby civil-
big news story.                                                                                                                                     ian areas.
  Guardian newspaper news edi-                                                                                                                        Luhani witnessed families
tor Bill McGuire in Charlotte-                                                                                                                      being shot and killed. He and
town, P.E.I., said the web is                                                                                                                       his family were forced to go to
more flexible than the newspa-                                                                                                                      a protection camp.
per when it comes to citizen                                                                                                                          “The camps were scary. We
journalism.                                                                                                                                         had to practise drills in case we
  “We have potentially 140,000                                                                                                                      were bombed, even though we
journalists on P.E.I., everyone                                                                                                                     knew that if the camp was
has digital cameras these days.”                                                                                                                    bombed, we would probably all
  Many people pitch ideas to the                                                                                                                    die,” said Luhani.
paper, he said                                                                                                                                        He e-mailed a reporter telling
  “You get a sense from calls                                                                                                                       his story. The reporter contacted
what’s important to the reader                                                                                                                      him the next day to set up an
and we’re always looking for                                                                                                                        interview.
help from readers.”                                                                                                                                   The story made the front page
  Since the Guardian has a small                                                                                                                    of the Ajax News Advisor
newsroom staff, it’s hard to be                                                                                                                     newspaper.
everywhere, he said.                                                                                                                                  “I just wanted to get my story
  “If what is shown to us by the                                                                                                                    out to let Canadians know what
public is newsworthy, we’ll take                                                                                                                    we went through and what
it for the paper.”                                                                                                                                  many immigrants that moved to
  Sometimes citizens come                                                                                                                           Canada have gone through,”
across top stories by accident.                                                                                                                     said Luhani.
   In 2004, Claire George of                                                                                                                          He became interested in citi-
East Gwillimbury, Ontario hap-                                                                                                                      zen journalism when he came
pened to come across one of the                                                                                                                     across a CNN website on the
town’s Heritage buildings on                                                                                                                        topic.
fire late in the night.                Claire George of Ontario has been all smiles since she stumbled across the burning heritage                    Other citizen journalists go out
  “My family had just gotten          building that changed her life. Submitted photo                                                               of their way to find a news wor-
back from vacation in Niagara                                                                                                                       thy story.
Falls and our camcorder was                                                                                                                           Corey Grey of Halifax some-
still in the car. I called 911 then   came across that fire. I’d proba-     two guys swinging at one            per in Vancouver.                   times spends his free time driv-
grabbed the camcorder and             bly be stuck taking random            another,” she said.                   Wojick sent her the image over    ing around looking for a story.
filmed the fire,” said George.        courses at some university if I          One of the guys pulled a knife   the computer and Blakely wrote          “I’ve always been big into
  The fire department put out         hadn’t,” said George.                 out of his pocket and stabbed       about it, using her sister as one   getting news first, I love telling
the fire before the town’s jour-        TarrinWojick of Vancouver is a      the other in the side.              of the voices for the story.        people things they didn’t know.
nalists arrived.                      member in a Facebook group              “I was so shocked that I had        “No one else got the fight on     In high school I was a bit of a
  “I was the only one with            called Citizen Journalism.            forgotten I was getting all this    tape, I don’t think anyone even     gossiper,” he said. Grey has yet
footage of the building on fire,        She was at a popular dance          on tape,” said Wojick.              took pictures,” said Wojick.        to come across a story newspa-
so our newspaper paid me $100         club when a fight broke out.            Security and police quickly         She pitched her story and         pers or new stations want.
for the tape so they could use          Wojick was with her friends         arrived and arrested the man        footage of the fight to other          “I know I’ll come across a big
images from the tape,” she said.      taking goofy pictures when they       who did the stabbing. Mean-         newspapers across the province,     story sometime, but it is a little
  Once George got a taste for         heard yelling.                        while, Wojick was still filming.    but they declined her offer.        frustrating,” he said. Eventually
journalism, she was addicted.            Wojick turned around just in         “The guy even put up a fight        Not all citizen journalists       Grey wants enter the Kings Col-
She plans on enrolling in Carl-       time to see one guy hit the other     with the cops, it was ridicu-       report on happening news.           lege’s journalism program, but
ton’s Journalism program next         in the face.                          lous,” she said.                    Some pitch interesting life sto-    for now he’s more interested in
fall.                                   “I turned my camera onto film         Wojicks sister, Kara Blakely,     ries.                               making citizen journalism his
  “I really think it was fate I       mode and started recorded these       works at a smalltown newspa-          Twenty-two-year-old Sharri        hobby.
Dec. 17, 2007                                                               HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                                      Page 7




                           Spin and counter-spin
     Increasingly, politicians use experts to help them control the message
     By TERESA WRIGHT                                                                                                                                     minister’s lips.
         CONSTABLE                                                                                                                                          “How do you know?” Elliott
                                                                                                                                                          asked Sheridan.
  Sitting in the legislature press                                                                                                                          Sheridan mumbled something
room after a heated exchange dur-                                                                                                                         about how they were still “ratify-
ing question period, CBC radio’s                                                                                                                          ing the numbers” and “in the
legislative reporter Brendan                                                                                                                              midst of looking at everything.”
Elliott was preparing to record his                                                                                                                         The interview was over, but the
story – when who should appear                                                                                                                            message track had been diligently
at the door but the premier’s poli-                                                                                                                       performed. Later Elliott said he
cy advisor.                                                                                                                                               fully expected this would be the
  Geoff Townsend walked in and,                                                                                                                           outcome when he saw Townsend
putting his feet up on a chair, sat                                                                                                                       go off with the minister before he
down for a chat.                                                                                                                                          had a chance to interview him.
  It was the second last day of the                                                                                                                         “That, to me,, sent up a bunch
government’s fall sitting and the                                                                                                                         of flags. And predictably, the
opposition Tories had made some                                                                                                                           quote from Geoff's mouth magi-
bold statements regarding the                                                                                                                             cally appeared a few minutes later
province’s proposed plan to intro-                                                                                                                        in Wes's mouth.”
duce a harmonzied sales tax to                                                                                                                              Knowing when you're being
P.E.I.                                                                                                                                                    spun is all about these kinds of
  They had charged the HST                                                                                                                                observations, he said.
would end up costing every                                                                                                                                  “That to me was an example of
Islander an extra $1,000 a year in                                                                                                                        spin.”
taxes.                                                                                                                                                      Of course, just because a politi-
  Townsend was on a mission.                                                                                                                              cian is spinning information does-
  “You know, Brendan,” he said.                                                                                                                           n’t necessarily mean he is lying.
“If we brought in the HST, it                                                                                                                               Thibodeau said one of the major
would actually be the single                                                                                                                              challenges he faces in political
biggest tax savings in the history
                                                                                                                                                          reporting is not becoming jaded,
of the province."
                                                                                                                                                          for this very reason.
  As soon as he said this, it was
                                       Brendan Elliott, CBC Radio’s legislative reporter, in front of Province House in Charlottetown.                      “I may give politicians a hard
obvious he liked the way it
                                       Elliott must un-spin the message while covering provincial politics. Wright Constable photo.                       time, but I have the utmost in
sounded. He repeated it several
times through the course of the                                                                                                                           respect for them.”
conversation.                                                                                                                                               They are, for the most part, hard
                                       outlandish claim like the one           “Facts are the best kind of truth,   office from the reporters who         working and have the best inter-
  “The single biggest tax savings      Geoff did. It might be true, but      so hopefully some bureaucrat has       must wait in the hall beyond,
in the history of the province," the                                                                                                                      ests of their constituents at heart,
                                       the Spidey senses immediately go      a study or some report that would      Townsend re-appeared.                 he said.
Liberal advisor said once more         off,” Elliott said in an interview    say what the true cost or savings        He pulled Sheridan into a side
for good measure as he left the                                                                                                                             “That being said, they need to
                                       later.                                are,” he said.                         office – leaving Elliott to wait      be kept in check, and part of that
room.                                    When this happens, he asks            Another practice he employs is       until he was been fully briefed on
  As Townsend waved goodbye                                                                                                                               job lies in the hands of the
                                       himself things like, ‘How does he     checking out what other provinces      the HST issue. Almost a half hour     media.”
and Elliott returned to his writing,   know that?’ or ‘Why is he saying      have done.                             later, Sheridan emerged – ready to
the reporter whispered, “I’ve just                                                                                                                          At the end of the day the most
                                       that?’                                  “If that doesn't work, or if time    be interviewed.                       important thing is reporters pres-
been spun.”                              “Many times the bigger the          is a problem, you tell both sides        Elliott got out his tape recorder
  The Oxford dictionary defines a                                                                                                                         ent the news as fairly and as accu-
                                       hype or spin, the less substance      and let the reader be the judge.”      while Townsend positioned him-
spin doctor as “a spokesperson for                                                                                                                        rately as possible, he said.
                                       there is to the claim.”                 When covering this particular        self just behind the two men as
a political party or politician                                                                                                                             And at the end of Elliott’s day
                                         So after Townsend left the          story, this is what he did.            they conducted their interview.
employed to give a favourable          media room, Elliott went looking        “But then we followed it up            “We're probably looking at the      in the legislature, he presented
interpretation of events to the        for answers.                          with New Brunswick’s experi-           single largest tax saving for         both sides of the debate, with
media.”                                  Another seasoned political jour-    ence...where they had big sav-         Prince Edward Island in the histo-    some colourful quotes from ques-
  This was Townsend’s role on          nalist was also covering the day’s    ings,” Thibodeau said.                 ry of this province if we go with     tion period.
this day. He didn’t want the           proceedings. The Guardian news-         Still looking for answers, Elliott   HST,” Sheridan said as Elliott          He ended by reminding
CBC’s story to be opposition           paper’s chief political reporter,     wrestled with how he would cov-        questioned him about Bagnall’s        Islanders that, despite the partisan
member Jim Bagnall’s accusa-           Wayne Thibodeau, was hot on the       er the story.                          claims of extra costs.                politics prevalent in the debate,
tions about the HST costing            trail of the HST story.                 He decided it was time to count-       “We're talking about tens of        the facts are not yet clear enough
Islanders $1,000 more a year in          When trying to counter political    er the spin and question the actual    millions of dollars back in the       to make any conclusions.
taxes. He wanted a good news           spin such as Bagnall’s “$1,000        decision-maker on this issue –         hands of Islanders.”                    “My story will help frame the
story about the Liberals bringing      more in taxes” or Townsend’s          Finance Minister Wes Sheridan.           Townsend stood behind them –        first impression many people will
in generous tax savings.               “historical tax savings,” Thi-          But just as Sheridan emerged         his hand on his chin – smiling        have for a particular story. That's
  Elliott wasn’t biting.               bodeau said he tries to find some-    from the big wooden doors that         broadly as he heard his day’s         a lot of power,” he said. “And I
  “The first sign that you're being    one who can tell him the ‘truth.’     separate the privilege of elected      phrase emerging from the finance      never forget that as I try to report
spun is when someone makes an                                                                                                                             a balanced and informative.”
Page 8                                                                      HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                                  Dec. 17, 2007




          After ditching plans to become a doctor,
         Bruce Rainnie finds a career in journalism
         By MEGAN WALSH                                                                                                                                       Bruce Rainnie is the host of
                                                                                                                                                           Compass, the evening news pro-
  In high school, Bruce Rainnie                                                                                                                            gram on CBC Television in P.E.I.
and some friends did a show for                                                                                                                            He is also known as the voice of
his local cable station, but he did-                                                                                                                       CBC Sports in Atlantic Canada.
n’t plan on a career in broadcast-                                                                                                                            He covered the Olympic Games
ing at the time.                                                                                                                                           in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. In
  “It was bad, but fun,” he said                                                                                                                           March 2004, he researched, co-
about the show.                                                                                                                                            produced and hosted Great
  It wasn’t until 1989, when he                                                                                                                            Expectations, a half-hour prime-
took a part-time job at a radio sta-                                                                                                                       time documentary on hockey star
tion to help with his university                                                                                                                           Sidney Crosby.
expenses, that he realized he                                                                                                                                 He enjoyed making the docu-
wanted a career in broadcasting.                                                                                                                           mentary and sees Crosby as a
   He graduated that year from                                                                                                                             good friend.
Dalhousie with a bachelor of sci-                                                                                                                             His favourite hockey team is
ence and he planned to go into                                                                                                                             Pittsburgh and he said it’s because
orthopedic medicine.                                                                                                                                       he enjoys watching his buddy
  His plans changed, however.                                                                                                                              play. He has also expanded his
Broadcasting gave him a rush and                                                                                                                           duties to host Hockey Night in
he knew it was what he wanted to                                                                                                                           Canada, CFL on CBC and the
do.                                                                                                                                                        World Curling Championships.
  His university degree was never                                                                                                                             When Rainnie had to fill in for
used, well except to irritate his                                                                                                                          Ron MacLean while he was at the
friends with science talk, he said.                                                                                                                        Olympics, commentator Don
  “My parents were thrilled,”                                                                                                                              Cherry gave him a hard time. But
Bruce’s brother, Matt, said sarcas-                                                                                                                        it was in a joking sort of way, he
tically about him leaving medi-                                                                                                                            said.
cine to go into broadcast.                                                                                                                                    After the show Cherry went up
  Actually, Matt, who works for
                                                                                                                                                           to Rainnie and told him he did a
CBC Radio in Charlottetown,
                                                                                                                                                           good job.
thinks his brother knew what he
                                                                                                                                                              Cherry kept calling him Brian,
was doing.
  “I think he made the right                                                                                                                               but Bruce didn’t correct him.
choice for himself. He’s a phe-                                                                                                                            Rainnie describes Cherry as a
nomenal communicator.”                                                                                                                                     very nice guy who is actually qui-
  The day Bruce graduated he                                                                                                                               et off camera.
was offered a job for $15,000 at                                                                                                                              MacLean is a good friend and
CJLS Radio in Yarmouth. He had                                                                                                                             someone he looks up to in the
a morning show that ran from 6                                                                                                                             business.
a.m. to 10 a.m. and a promise of                                                                                                                              “He’s exactly himself when the
$16,000 in eight months after                                                                                                                              camera is on and I think it’s the
starting.                                                                                                                                                  greatest thing.”
  His time at CJLS lasted six                                                                                                                                 A person is most successful
years and in 1995 he applied for                                                                                                                           when they are themselves, he
Maritime Tonight, a CBC televi-        Bruce Rainnie sitting at the anchor desk at CBC TV’s Compass. Walsh photo                                           said.
sion program. The two people                                                                                                                                  During the course of a year,
who had done the weather and           his co-worker.                         also enjoys covering politics.         in the same city is fantastic,” he    Rainnie does a lot of traveling for
sports show retired in the same           On Sept. 4, 1995, Bruce became        And his co-worker, Sally Pitt,       said.                                 his career, whether it’s to NHL
year and both had to be replaced.      the late night sports guy on Mar-      said he does it well.                    Matt said he and Bruce have a       games or to call the gold medal
  A co-worker of Bruce’s in            itime Tonight.                           He has the depth to handle a         lot of fun working together.          performance of the Canadian
Yarmouth got the weather posi-            As a former high school basket-     whole range of interviews. From          “He’s an inspiration to work        women’s hockey team in Turin,
tion for the show. She knew            ball coach, Bruce said he likes to     politics to sports to movie            with. He doesn’t go halfway with      Italy.
Bruce loved sports and urged him       cover that sport the most, along       reviews, he always has the appro-      anything.”                               “I would say I travel 25 times a
to apply.                              with tennis. Tennis star Roger         priate tone, she said.                   “He’ll come on my show and          year for my job,” he said.
  Forty-two people auditioned for      Federer is one of his favourite          “The job I have now is ideal,”       I’ll go on his,” he said.                Although his wife, Kendra
the sports position along side         players to watch.                      Bruce said.                              It’s great to be around someone     MacGillvray, and son, Mark,
Bruce’s co-worker, who read the           “If I get either, I’m happy.”         Matt couldn’t be happier with        like that, Matt said.                 don’t travel with him often, he
weather.                                  But hockey is a huge thing in       where his brother ended up.              Pitt said one of Bruce’s greatest   said that’s his goal when Mark is
  “I always thought she tried a lit-   Canada, so covering it is always         “Who would have thought we’d         skills is he makes it look so easy.   a little older.
tle harder with me because she         fun as well, he said.                  end up in the same place. To have        “He remains unflustered in all         At 18 months, he’s too little to
wanted me to get it,” he said of          Besides sports, Bruce said he       a brother, who’s also a best friend,   kinds of hectic situations.”          take on long trips.
Page 9                                                                      HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                                   Dec. 17, 2007




 Graphic images part of daily diet
    By STACEY MURRAY                                                                                                                                       paper had to decide whether to
                                                                                                                                                           print photographs of the wreck-
   Following a 2004 tsunami in                                                                                                                             age.
South East Asia, a group of men                                                                                                                              With media outlets around the
wearing masks lined up orange                                                                                                                              world covering the tragedy, the
and black body bags along a par-                                                                                                                           paper opted not to run its most
tially flooded mud road.                                                                                                                                   graphic images of body parts,
   A row of stores stood behind                                                                                                                            instead describing the scene
them, damaged by water. Debris                                                                                                                             through words.
surrounded them for miles.                                                                                                                                   The paper’s readership reacted
  Andre Forget captured this                                                                                                                               negatively, even without the
image in a photograph during his                                                                                                                           graphic images that could have
time in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.                                                                                                                             accompanied the story.
  While he had been to several                                                                                                                               “Of course, it was a pretty
violent and devastating events                                                                                                                             graphic thing.”
over the years, the smell as he                                                                                                                              Still, the paper stood by its deci-
stepped off the plane in Indonesia                                                                                                                         sion, Oickle said.
would stay with him, even years                                                                                                                              “I’m in the opinion that tragic
later.                                                                                                                                                     events, while they’re sad, are still
  “If you don’t expect it, it’s gut                                                                                                                        important to record.”
wrenching,” he said.                                                                                                                                         In cases where they do decide to
  Now chief photographer at the                                                                                                                            run a controversial photograph, he
Halifax Daily News, Forget has                                                                                                                             tries to prepare for the negative
traveled to Haiti, Northern Ire-                                                                                                                           feedback.
land, Mexico and Bosnia for                                                                                                                                  “I make a decision that I can
shoots in the past. Working as a                                                                                                                           defend.”
photographer for over a decade,                                                                                                                              To Oickle, a newspaper serves
he has worked for Reuters, the                                                                                                                             as the historic document for the
Canadian Press and for several                                                                                                                             area it covers, and history isn’t
publications in Montreal, includ-                                                                                                                          always positive.
ing La Presse.                                                                                                                                               “It’s not always a good thing.
  At times in his career, the shock                                                                                                                        It’s not always rosy.”
of events has led him to photo-                                                                                                                              Forget said in many cases,
graph graphic images by instinct.                                                                                                                          newspapers in larger cities tend to
  Many times, the scenes before                                                                                                                            print more graphic photos because
him were too compelling not to         Holland College photography instructor Alex Murchison said the increase of violent images                           more things happen.
record, he said.                       might be due to an increasing number of media outlets. Murray photo-illustration.                                     “In bigger cities, you get closer
  “Sometimes you photograph                                                                                                                                to certain scenes.”
and look at it at another time.”         “In rural New Brunswick,               “Some of that stuff is more vio-       “I think the big move has been        In Vancouver, for example, For-
  Forget said there have been          you’re not allowed to show a bare      lent than reality.”                   with digital technology. It has        get photographed scenes from the
many occasions where his photo-        breast. In the Globe and Mail you        Creagen agreed, saying shows        allowed us to see more out there,”     ongoing drug problem in the city.
graphs haven’t made it to print –      can – and you can also show dead       like CSI account for a lot of the     Murchison said. “We’re fed a             “Sometimes it can be right in
by choice.                             bodies.”                               most graphic images people see.       constant diet of imagery.”             your backyard.”
  “I censor some of the graphic          Because the decision lies with         “These are some pretty grue-           This diet has led to people           More recently, he photographed
images myself…I simply won’t           editors, some of the most thought-     some shows.”                          believing the world has become         a cyclist who had been hit and
send them.”                            provoking images don’t see the           Forget said the Internet has also   more dangerous, he said.               killed by a truck. The body was
  Michael Creagen, photojournal-       light of day, he said.                 accounted to the increase of             “It tends to make us think it’s a   covered by a tarp.
ism instructor at Kings College in       “Sometimes the best work does-       graphic images. Some of the most      more violent world, but I think          While it hit close to home for
Halifax, had a similar philosophy      n’t get shown.”                        graphic images of the Net are         it’s how we perceive it.”              many in the city, Forget said it
when he photographed graphic             Generally, media outlets have        posted by citizen journalists, who       From the publications he’s seen,    was important for The Daily
images.                                eased the rules on what is accept-     may not think about the impact        Europe tends to print the most         News to publish it.
  “I could choose to send what I       able for print when it comes to        certain images can have.              violent and sexually explicit pho-       “It’s a gentle reminder to appre-
want.”                                 violent and explicit images,             “Events in this time are possibly   tographs, while the Maritimes          ciate life.”
  Still, when he arrived at a scene,   Creagen said.                          more violent – or more broad-         takes a softer approach.                 Creagen said, in many ways,
Creagen photographed everything          “I would say the business is         cast.”                                   The Bridgewater Bulletin, a         North America is sheltered from
he saw and didn’t try to censor        allowed to print more graphic            Holland College photography         weekly newspaper on the south          many gruesome events. While we
the events of the day.                 photographs.”                          instructor Alex Murchison said he     shore of Nova Scotia, has printed      see the photographs, readers can’t
  “(A photographer’s) job is not         Forget said over the years, vio-     doesn’t think the media is printing   graphic images under special cir-      understand the experience on a
to judge what’s in front of them.      lence has become more prominent        more violent images.                  cumstances, said editor Vernon         deeper level.
It’s to record,” he said.              in the media.                            “I think we see more because        Oickle.                                  His mother lived in Japan dur-
  It’s ultimately up to editors to       “There’s certainly been desensi-     there is more media.”                    “It has to be pretty amazing for    ing the Second World War.
decide what makes it into news-        tization with violent images.”           With a daily dose of imagery        us to run it.”                           Her experience is much differ-
papers. Whether to print a photo-        It has come from television and      from television, local newspapers,       In 1998, the paper came face to     ent than the majority of North
graph can depend on geography          its inaccurate portrayal of some       the Internet and dozens of import-    face with gruesome images fol-         Americans, he said.
and the overall nature of the          violent events, not the media, he      ed publications, there are more       lowing the Swiss Air Flight 111          “She’s lived through that kind
paper, he said.                        said.                                  violent images to see, he said.       crash off Peggy’s Cove. The            of violence.”
Page 10                                               HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                                                     Dec. 17, 2007




              The man behind the scenes
           Show must always go on for 30-year veteran of Compass on CBC TV
      By STEPHEN BRUN                                                                                                                                   of sorting digital versions of sto-
                                                                                                                                                        ries to make them easier to find
  CBC reporter Erin Moore is                                                                                                                            and access, said TV reporter Ian
struggling through a preview for                                                                                                                        Petrie.
P.E.I.’s evening news program,                                                                                                                            “He has this amazing capacity
Compass, in the Charlottetown                                                                                                                           for innovation, particularly for the
studio.                                                                                                                                                 computers.
  The feed isn’t live though, it’s                                                                                                                        “I find Brian’s very creative and
being taped to air at noon and 5                                                                                                                        innovative when it comes to
p.m. – a lucky thing for Moore,                                                                                                                         graphics as well. A lot of people
whose choice words after a flub                                                                                                                         will just slap them down on a
wouldn’t pass most censors.                                                                                                                             piece of paper, but he’s very
  “She’s got the story locked on                                                                                                                        detailed in what he does.”
her desktop, so I can’t get in to                                                                                                                         One of the problems with a
edit it,” said Compass director                                                                                                                         largely computerized newscast is
Brian MacRae, who speaks to                                                                                                                             the room for human error in the
Moore over a headset from the                                                                                                                           programming.
control room.                                                                                                                                             “When you have a home com-
  “She’s trying to remember to                                                                                                                          puter, every once in a while you
put a word in that’s not there.”                                                                                                                        have to hit the power switch. That
  Couple that challenge with hav-                                                                                                                       happens here too,” said MacRae.
ing to say the tongue-twister                                                                                                                             On Moore’s very first broadcast
“cheap Chinese cold crops” and                                                                                                                          as a substitute for usual anchor
Moore starts to wonder if she’ll                                                                                                                        Bruce Rainnie, MacRae and his
ever get the minute-long take fin-                                                                                                                      crew had what he describes as his
ished by noon.                                                                                                                                          most memorable meltdown in the
  “Are you getting worried yet                                                                                                                          control room.
Brian?” she asks into the camera.                                                                                                                         A mistake in the programming
  “It’s Friday, it’s OK,” said                                                                                                                          of the show caused the video to
                                     Brian MacRae, director of CBC News: Compass on Prince Edward Island, surveys the array of                          freeze and the audio to continue
MacRae. “Deep breath and we’ll
go again in 15.”                     computers and LCD screens he uses to produce the nightly news show. Brun photo                                     playing.
  It’s this calm and experience                                                                                                                           The crew went to commercial,
that makes MacRae such a valu-       to digital news pieces the              But the training ultimately did-     back now. We’re back to an            but there were moments of panic
able parts of the team at CBC        reporters can edit from their own     n’t go very far with MacRae, who       hour.”                                the viewers at home may not have
News: Compass, watched by            desks, MacRae’s job as a director     preferred to stay behind the             In late 2006, CBC decided to        realized.
thousands of Islanders every         has become easier in some ways        scenes.                                cancel Canada Now and allow the         “It blew up spectacularly. We
weeknight.                           and more difficult in others.           In the mid-1990s, he became          local news programs to supple-        limped through the rest of the
  “The whole program rests on          “[The technology] hasn’t got        the director of the supper-hour        ment the second half hour with        show,” said MacRae.
his shoulders,” said Moore after     simpler either. It’s more compli-     news program, but tough times          nationally-produced items.              “The little mistakes we see here,
finally nailing the promo.           cated. What you can do in an edit-    and uncertainty were ahead for           Switching to the computer arts      I don’t know if the viewer would
  Ten minutes later, the preview     ing suite now compared to 10-20       the network.                           control room almost five years        notice most of them. If you dwell
of the night’s news is broadcast     years ago is pretty phenomenal.”        In 2000, CBC cut its one-hour        ago meant a few less people pro-      on the mistake that just happened,
on a four-second delay from            A few years after starting with     regional news programs in half to      ducing the show, but they’re now      then you just made another one.”
Toronto, where MacRae was able       CBC, MacRae got into full-time        create Canada Now, a single            free to help gather news, said          It would be silly to wish CBC
to send it in the nick of time.      camera work after editing tech-       cross-country broadcast of nation-     MacRae.                               didn’t have the more advanced
  No less than 10 computer           niques for Compass changed and        al and international news.               “It’s probably because of the       technology, said Petrie, but the
screens line the desk in the con-    jobs were shuffled.                     Keeping even the half-hour por-      technology that we have an hour       Charlottetown bureau is fortunate
trol room and several large LCD        As the equipment became             tion of local news was largely due     show now.”                            to have experienced technicians
screens show different camera        lighter, the network decided to       to protests and outcry by the pub-       The host is now the only person     on the job if things go wrong.
angles from the studio and outside   train some of its camera personnel    lic and CBC employees in the           in the studio, surrounded by            “With this digital switcher,
the building where Kevin             and reporters to become video         Maritimes, said MacRae.                robotic cameras, while MacRae         when things go bad, they go real-
“Boomer” Gallant does his weath-     journalists. MacRae was one of          “The original plan was to cancel     and a few others monitor things       ly bad,” he said.
er forecast.                         the first to take a course that       all supper-hour shows. P.E.I. and      from the control room.                  “[Brian’s] riding on the edge of
  To the casual observer, though,    paired an equal number of jour-       Newfoundland in particular put           “You have to keep on top of         a razor blade to begin with.”
you’d hardly know the deadline to    nalists and cameramen and let         quite a bit of pressure on, so they    [the technology]. You think your        The nature of live TV and pro-
relay the preview to Toronto was     them go to work.                      backed off and compromised to a        education’s done when you leave       ducing the news means being
so tight given the apparent ease       “They’d try to train the journal-   half hour. That was a hard time.”      college, but to keep on top of this   busy when people in other jobs
with which MacRae does his job.      ists to shoot and the cameramen         Many people at CBC either lost       stuff you’re always learning.”        are starting to think about sitting
  Since starting at CBC in 1977      to write,” he said. “It was a very    their jobs or decided to retire ear-     While the learning is constant,     down to dinner, said MacRae.
                                     humbling experience, after shoot-     lier than they would have, he          MacRae is no slouch when it             “The time you have to be the
as a radio technician, MacRae has
                                     ing and working with the journal-     said.                                  comes to developing technology        most focused and the busiest is
seen a huge change in the tech-
                                     ists, to actually sit down and try      “There was a great growth peri-      to make the job easier.               the last hour of your shift.
nology used to gather and broad-
                                     to do a story. To write a story and   od in the early 70s and 80s [at          He was the first to come up           “There’s no winding down. The
cast news.
                                     structure a story is very challeng-   CBC] and then there was a down-        with a system – now used in CBC       hour comes and goes no matter
  From two-inch videotape, run
                                     ing.”                                 hill slide for a while. It’s coming    newsrooms across the country –        what you do.”
through two huge VTR machines,
Dec. 17, 2007                                                                          HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                           Page 11




Irving media empire has its share of critics
   By NATHAN ROCHFORD                                                                                                                                    locally, sold locally and most
                                                                                                                                                         communities had one.
   When Ken Langdon had trouble                                                                                                                             But over time that changed.
starting his newspaper earlier this                                                                                                                         He eventually sold his paper to
fal,l it wasn’t because of the usual                                                                                                                     Irving and retired from the pub-
problems.                                                                                                                                                lishing business.
   With roughly 10 years in the                                                                                                                             Cadogan said like the man
newspaper business experience                                                                                                                            cooking hamburgers in his back
wasn’t a problem. Neither was                                                                                                                            yard trying to compete with
getting a bank loan or finding the                                                                                                                       McDonalds, the newspaper indus-
perfect location.                                                                                                                                        try had met corporatization.
   Instead, the problem was the                                                                                                                             “You lose something in the cor-
competition. Brunswick News,                                                                                                                             poratization of it,” he said. “They
the Irving-owned media chain,                                                                                                                            all have a similar mantra - cut
sought an injunction against                                                                                                                             costs, cuts costs, cut costs.”
Langdon and his paper because of                                                                                                                            His concern with media concen-
files Langdon had on his comput-                                                                                                                         tration is not censorship, but with
er from the period when he                                                                                                                               a newspaper losing its focus, he
worked as the publisher at The                                                                                                                           said.
Bugle Observer in Woodstock,                                                                                                                                “There’s always an unspoken
New Brunswick.                                                                                                                                           concern on part of the reporters to
   The company said the files                                                                                                                            be careful not to offend the peo-
would give Langdon an unfair                                                                                                                             ple they work for,” he said. “No
advantage starting up his newspa-                                                                                                                        different than any other publisher,
per.                                                                                                                                                     except with the Irvings there isn’t
   Langdon said he erased the files                                                                                                                      much else a person can do.”
when he left Brunswick News and                                                                                                                             He, like Langdon, said the dif-
hadn’t had contact with them                                                                                                                             ference between New Brunswick
since.                                                                                                                                                   and any other media centre in the
   The dispute ended up in court                                                                                                                         country is that Irving owns other
and after weeks of fighting the                                                                                                                          industries as well.
injunction, Langdon was allowed                                                                                                                             The result, Langdon said,
to publish the first issue of his                                                                                                                        became obvious recently when
newspaper The Carleton Free                                                                                                                              Irving announced it was dividing
Press, the only independent Eng-                                                                                                                         the empire into different sectors.
lish newspaper in the province.                                                                                                                             Oil would be controlled sepa-
   Now with his newspaper up and       Along with oil and forestry, Irving owns the majority of media in New Brunswick, a potent says Ken                rately from forestry and the media
running, Langdon considers the         Langdon, publisher of the Carleton Free Press. Rochford photo.                                                    outlets.
ordeal an example of what can          The Halifax Daily News.                  “I don’t think there’s as much        The more voices the better, said      The problem was the first place
happen in places where there is          “Every paper looks at things         investigative journalism in this      Paul MacNeill, the publisher of      Langdon read the story was The
little to no diversification in the    differently.”.                         province as there should be.”         the Eastern Graphic and West         Globe and Mail.
media, a problem faced daily by          The difference in how the two          When a company owns all the         Prince Graphic, the two independ-       “It’s just a huge important story
communities across Canada.             papers ran a story about a man         alternative places you could work,    ent weekly newspapers on P.E.I.      for this province,” he said.
   For years, for example, Can-        who died after being tasered in        you’d be more likely to side with       MacNeill said a variety of voic-      Langdon said he has barely read
West News owned much of the            Halifax was one example.               the company, said Senator Sheila      es in the media helps communi-       any coverage in the New
media in western Canada. At one          Johnston said her paper led with     Fraser, who initiated an investiga-   ties learn and improve, but when     Brunswick newspapers.
point the company had the news-        the officers at the jail not being     tion into Irving’s media monopoly     big corporations are involved,          “Maybe a couple of columns in
papers it owned take a general         told the man was tasered.              at roughly the same time Langdon      there can be a threat to the news-   the Telegraph Journal, but that’s
editorial stance on subjects.            The Herald led with the death        went to court.                        paper’s credibility, he said.        it.”
sparking protests from some com-       and only mentioned the miscom-           “That’s only human nature.”           “The danger is losing local           As well, coverage of Langdon’s
mentators.                             munication at the jail at the end of     The answer to the problem is        autonomy, of becoming more of a      battle with Brunswick News came
   In P.E.I. the two major dailies     the story.                             diversity in voices, which she said   profit centre for a corporation      into question by media critics in a
are owned by Transcontinental,           There isn’t the same level of        comes back pretty quickly to          than a source of information for a   CBC story Oct. 25.
which also owns most of the            competition in New Brunswick as        diversity in ownership.               community.”                             The critics, including Kim Kier-
papers in Nova Scotia, The Hali-       the three major English dailies as       “The state has no business in         For David Cadogan, former          ans, a journalism professor at
fax Herald being an exception.         well as 22 other publications          the newsroom.”                        publisher and co-owner of the        King’s College in Halifax, said
   With a population of 120,000        including community newspapers           Which is why Langdon opened         Miramichi Leader in New              the coverage from New
the city is slightly larger than       across the province are owned by       his paper.                            Brunswick, that danger became        Brunswick papers was one-sided.
Moncton, New Brunswick, and            the Irving-run Brunswick News.           “I felt we needed different         more prevalent in the last 20           “I think this case, more than any
yet unlike anywhere in New               That’s a problem, said Langdon,      points of view,” Langdon said.        years.                               other case in the country, illus-
Brunswick the two major daily          because Irving also plays a major        Attempts to get a response from       Cadogan grew up in the news-       trates the danger of media con-
newspapers, The Halifax Daily          economic role in the province          the Irving chain were unsuccess-      paper business at a time when        centration,” Langdon said.
News and The Herald, are in            with interests in oil, forestry and    ful.                                  media concentration was more of         “In a situation where a company
competition.                           shipbuilding.                            Other independent publishers        a distant thought than a reality.    controls the economy and the
   That’s a strange thing for a city     “I think there’s a certain amount    from the Maritimes agree with the       Newspapers were a community        media it’s a dangerous, unhealthy
so small, but a good thing, said       of self-censorship,” he said.          need for diversity.                   service, owned locally, published    situation.”
Beth Johnston, a reporter with
                        Turning to Facebook
Page 12                                                                  HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                                  Dec. 17, 2007




   Reporters find Internet site handy tool in search for sources
     BY MARGIE HOLMES                                                                                             the belt.”                           who’d appreciate you doing that
                                                                                                                    She has doubts about Face-         every day,” he said.
  Every day there is a new appli-                                                                                 book’s future in the next few          Gooding doesn’t see a problem
cation, photo, or note waiting for                                                                                years and thinks it could be closed with a reporter using the site, but
you on Facebook - and after a                                                                                     to the journalistic world because    he has reservations about them
while it can get repetitive.                                                                                      of issues like the similar page      spending time on Facebook when
  You know if you really need to                                                                                  Myspace. But there are ways          they could be out picking up story
find someone’s phone number, or                                                                                   around everything, she said.         ideas.
their plans for the weekend, you                                                                                    “It’s just another tool and there    A good news story must always
can easily do it and go on with                                                                                   is always the Internet.”             have a human element, he said.
your day.                                                                                                           Some people may have thought         “It says a lot to sit across from
  And young people aren’t the                                                                                     Facebook would be a flash in the     someone and witness their body
only ones taking advantage of the                                                                                 pan and once the hype died down      language as they talk, or call them
simplicity and usefulness of the                                                                                  Myspace would rule again.            and listen to which words they
social networking site on the                                                                                       Chris Gooding, editor of the       give emphasis on. You won’t get
Internet.                                                                                                         Springhill Parrsboro Record,         that using Facebook.”
  Reporters and journalists are                                                                                   thought the same thing, but since      He doesn’t see Facebook affect-
catching onto the Facebook phe-                                                                                   he joined Facebook a year ago he     ing journalism anymore than an
nomenon by joining groups and                                                                                     rarely uses Myspace and can’t        address book, it can give you an
scrolling through surnames.                                                                                       remember the last time he updated edge in getting contacts, but it
  Nigel Armstrong, a Guardian                                                                                     his account.                                              doesn’t replace
newspaper reporter in Charlotte-                                                                                    He was able to                                          hard work and
town, P.E.I. heard the buzz about                                                                                 find a classmate        “You have to be                   first contact.
Facebook at work, but he wasn’t                                                                                   who served in                                               “Pen and
able to get onto it for a while                                                                                   Afghanistan and         careful. Using                    paper, timeless
                                                                                                                  was given a                                               and effective
because it was blocked by a fire-
wall.                                                                                                             head’s up about a           personal                      regardless of
                                                                                                                  band through                                              where you are
  His reason for wanting it avail-
able in the newsroom was simple.                                                                                  Facebook.
                                                                                                                                          information on                    in the world
  “That’s where people are and
we need to be there too.”
                                                                                                                    It was helpful
                                                                                                                  tool for the basics
                                                                                                                                           a person from                    and what
                                                                                                                                                                            resources you
  This past summer, when Gage
Prevost was killed by a train in
                                                                                                                  of a story, but he
                                                                                                                  is careful not to
                                                                                                                                             Facebook                       have with you.”
                                                                                                                                                                              For people
Calgary, Armstrong wanted to add                                                                                  give the site too
                                                                                                                  much credit.
                                                                                                                                          is hitting below                  involved with
                                                                                                                                                                            the education of
some perspective to the story
since the 17-year-old had family                                                                                    “While both              the belt.”                     young people, it
connections to P.E.I.                Editorial page editor Roseanne MacDonald and reporter Wayne                  Facebook con-                                             can be hard to
  He turned to Facebook to help      Thibodeau discuss the day’s paper and work in the Guardian                   tacts did material-                                       keep up with
him find contacts on the Island.                                                                                  ize into print arti-    - reporter Beth Johnston the technology
                                     newsroom. Holmes Photo.
  Armstrong joined a group on                                                                                     cles, I was net-           Halifax Daily News             of today.
Facebook dedicated to the memo-                                                                                   working within                                              Richard Kur-
                                     that still see that type of technolo-   boys in Thailand this year, John-
ry of Prevost and began looking                                                                                   my own life expe-                                         ial, dean of arts
                                     gy as a waste of time.”                 ston joined a Facebook group for
for someone who wanted to add                                                                                     riences to flesh out story ideas.”   at UPEI, has a Facebook account
                                       Another downside to Facebook          Greenwood, N.S. air cadets,
their voice to his story.                                                                                           A negative side to Facebook is     but doesn’t use it often.
                                     is finding ways to squeeze it into      where the suspect was once a
  He was surprised with one                                                                                       the loss of anonymity, which sur-      “The engagement process just
                                     a reporter’s busy day.                  chaplain, and began sending mes-
response he got.                                                                                                  prised and angered Gooding.          takes up too much of my time.”
                                       “It kept me focused on the Pre-       sages.
  “The person wanted me to give                                                                                     “I was infuriated after I realized   Facebook could be an advantage
                                     vost story, but I did find I had to       “I ended up using most of the
more clarification about who I                                                                                    my personal information became       if it allows you faster communica-
                                     constantly justify my time when I       quotes for the story from a former
was and what I was looking for,                                                                                   my profile rather than giving me     tion to a news story, he said.
                                     was using it,” he said.                 teacher of his, but the group did
which I found rather odd since I                                                                                  the choice up front to have a          “If it can connect you to main
                                       Another reporter who finds            help narrow my search.”
was upfront about who I was.”                                                                                     screen name.”                        players for a news story, then it
                                     Facebook helpful is Beth John-            Johnston said reporters must be
  Facebook wasn’t helpful with                                                                                      Using Facebook as a way to         could be an advantage, like text
                                     ston with the Halifax Daily News.       careful when using Facebook as a
that story, but it did give Arm-                                                                                  find story ideas and leads can be    messaging.”
                                       She uses it to search for ideas       tool for a story. She recently
strong a reality check about tech-                                                                                compared to going to a coffee          Even if he had more time to get
                                     and for people willing to talk. She     heard of a CBC reporter who had
nology and youth today.                                                                                           shop and chatting with the locals,   re-acquainted with Facebook,
                                     finds the thousands of groups on        his account closed by Facebook
  “It brought home the fact of the                                                                                said Gooding.                        there are some tricky social barri-
                                     Facebook helpful for both.              because someone complained
gap between a 45-year-old                                                                                           You could spend the better part    ers to manoeuvre, he said.
                                       “It’s like walking into a room        when they were approached for an
reporter and Facebook users.”                                                                                     of a day going through profiles        “I feel bad if I don’t reply to
                                     full of people,” she said.              interview.
  Facebook is underused and mis-                                                                                  and threads, like talking to every   someone, there are some innuen-
                                       When Christopher Paul Neil, a           “You have to be careful. Using
understood at the Guardian, which                                                                                 person in a coffee shop.             dos and they might think I don’t
                                     Canadian, was arrested for              personal information on a person
isn’t surprising for Armstrong.                                                                                     “You could, but it is highly       want to be their friend.”
                                     allegedly sexually abusing young        from Facebook is hitting below
  “There are definitely newsrooms                                                                                 unlikely you’d find an editor
Dec. 17, 2007                                                              HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                                              Page 13




                                      Covering trauma:
    By LINDSAY CARROLL                                                                                                                                        have been put in that kind of situ-
                                                                                                                                                              ation.
  Bruce Shapiro was lying in a                                                                                                                                  There are more than two dozen
hospital bed waking up from sur-                                                                                                                              schools in the U.S that have
gery for a stab wound that could                                                                                                                              incorporated instruction on deal-




                                      Reporters, victims
have killed him when the phone                                                                                                                                ing with victims into their ethics
rang. It was a reporter. He started                                                                                                                           or foreign reporting classes, said
asking Shapiro questions.                                                                                                                                     Shapiro.
  Still groggy from the morphine,                                                                                                                               At the University of Washing-
Shapiro was in no mood to talk.                                                                                                                               ton, it's covered in News Ethics,
  "Go **** yourself," Shapiro                                                                                                                                 which is the way it should be,




                                       struggle to cope
said to him.                                                                                                                                                  said Shapiro.
  A few days later he got a call                                                                                                                                Most journalists will have to
from another reporter. It was a                                                                                                                               report on rape or murder at some
local guy who inquired about his                                                                                                                              point, so it shouldn’t be taught in
family, was respectful, and asked                                                                                                                             a separate class, he said.
Shapiro's permission to tell his                                                                                                                                "I don't want it to be thought of
side of the story, putting him at                                                                                                                             as a separate field of journalism."
ease.                                 different, and how journalists can       ism Forum on Violence & Trau-           said Kays.                               The closest thing Carleton Uni-
  "He gave me some choices, " he      be affected by reporting on trau-        ma, allied with the Dart Centre.          "You know you've got to get out      versity’s journalism program i
said during an interview.             matic events, said Shapiro.                They are hoping to attract inter-     of there and get your tape back."      Ottawa offers is a day-and-a-half
  Shapiro, a reporter and profes-        It's not uncommon for journal-        ested people with a new website           But she still recalls the faces of   lecture covering issues in report-
sor of investigative journalism at    ists to suffer from post traumatic       created in October, and they are        the victims of war.                    ing on war, said Chris Waddell,
Yale, covered crime for years.        stress disorder                          hosting a two-day conference              "What struck me most, and still      associate director of journalism.
  He was at a coffee shop in New         (PTSD) which can cause                called Journalism In A Violent          does, is their lack of outrage."         "These issues should come up in
Haven, Connecticut with some          depression, anxiety and substance        World on Feb. 9-10 at the Uni-            Kays refused to attack victims       the regular courses you have to
colleagues in 1994 when a man         abuse, said Shapiro.                     versity of Western Ontario.             with TV cameras asking, "How           do.”
stabbed him and six others.              He suffered from the disorder           It will feature journalists telling   do you feel," because she consid-        Only about a quarter of the jour-
  After he became a victim, he        after he was stabbed.                    their own stories, and academics        ers asking that stupid and insensi-    nalism undergraduate students
realized there was a need for            "I couldn't concentrate. I'd get to   reporting on research.                  tive.                                  will go on to work in the field, so
reporters to become more sensi-       the end of a story and forgot what         Lonsdale is still haunted today         " I think that just turns people     an entire course on dealing with
tive to victims, he said.             had happened at the beginning."          by a traumatic event that hap-          against journalists."                  trauma isn't necessary, said Wad-
  "We don't want to hurt the peo-        Most journalists think they are       pened many years ago. He                  Instead, she approached them as      dell.
ple we're reporting on."              weak if they are affected, said          thought he had forgotten about it,      a person, not just a subject.            He said many reporters will not
  Reporters can lose sight of the     Shapiro.                                 but recently it has resurfaced.           "You still get your answers, but     be faced with daily traumatic
human element in reporting, said          Cliff Lonsdale agrees.                 When Lonsdale was in the Mid-         in a different way, without being a    events.
Shapiro.                                 He’s a professor of television        dle East, his car was stopped and       vulture."                                Shapiro disagrees. Just because
  "Sometimes when people write        broadcasting at of the University        a child soldier held a gun to his         When she began journalism in         you’re not covering war does not
stories of trials or wars, they see   of Western Ontario.                      head.                                   the late 1960s, it was a male dom-     mean you won’t be in traumatic
the people affected by it primarily      Reporters are often told to 'suck       "You could see the gleam in his       inated environment with a differ-      situations.. He briefs his inves-
as sources of quotes or colour."      it up' and are afraid to admit when      eyes, saying 'I wonder what             ent mentality.                         tigative journalism class on the
  This isn't a new issue, but it's    they can't because it will be seen       would happen if I shot him.’”             "I came out of the rough and         impact of trauma on victims and
only now becoming more preva-         as a sign of weakness, he said.            His heart raced, while he             tumble school, all of that has         reporters.
lent because of recent world             Lonsdale had 40 years of jour-        remained completely still. A near-      changed now."                            "You're not in the frontlines of
events, said Shapiro.                 nalism experience as a former            by man grabbed the child, and the         Society has changed since then       war, you are on the front lines of
   "We are learning how to report     CBC-TV news executive and                car continued on, but the memory        too, she said.                         people suffering."
on mass death and terrorism on a      print reporter.                          still affects Lonsdale.                   "We're living in a much more           Ross Howard teaches ethics at
scale never known before with            "News happens in a hurry.               Although he never talked to a         violent world in every possible        Langara University in British
wars and terrorism increasing         You're thrown out the door and           counselor, he laughed and said          way, school shootings may have         Columbia. Like Carleton, there is
around the world."                    there could be body parts in the         maybe he should have. Although          happened, but they were never as       no course on victims or personal
  Shapiro is the executive director   road."                                   he is on his second marriage, and       common back then."                     stress, but Howard said it would
for the Dart Centre for Journalism       Journalists have a high rate of       has left a drinking problem               Although she never had training      be a good idea.
and Trauma in Seattle.                substance abuse because they deal        behind him, he said he's one of         in how to deal with victims, she         "We've been aware of a need for
  It's an international resource      with job stress by drinking too          the lucky ones.                         said it would have been an excel-      sensitivity training for a while."
with offices in London and Aus-       much, said Lonsdale.                       Doreen Kays was as a TV for-          lent idea.                               If journalism was a four-year
tralasia designed to help journal-       He has had to help 'dry-out'          eign correspondent since the              Lonsdale agrees.                     course, instead of two years, that
ists with victims and personal        many friends, as well as himself         1960s. She retired last summer to         At 19, he was reporting for a        kind of course would be more
trauma.                               when he realized he had a drink-         Charlottetown.                          British newspaper when he was          likely to exist, he said.
  The Internet site has tips on       ing problem 16 years ago.                  It was the people affected by         he told to go to the house of a          Shapiro said Canada is not that
how to talk to victims, case stud-       Police get special counseling,        war that got to her, she said dur-      young woman who had died in a          far behind the U.S.
ies and personal accounts of trau-    however, journalists are expected        ing an interview.                       car crash to get a photo of her.         "The Dart Centre was only
ma.                                   to deal with it on their own,              When Saddam Hussein invaded           Her mother answered the door           established in 1999, we're still
  Shapiro said he feels more          which doesn't make sense, he             Kuwait, hundreds of thousands of        with a smile.                          babies here too."
empathy for people after being a      said.                                    people became refugees.                   His heart sank.                        Many Canadians helped create
victim.                                  "We are all human beings and            "That was the saddest thing to          "Please earth, open up and swal-     the centre, however, these things
  "I think I'm much more patient,     we shouldn't be letting ourselves        see. The facilities were no more        low me, she doesn't know," he          can take time, he said.
I've been trying for the last         suffer in silence."                      than tents. I was in tears then."       thought to himself.                      "It always takes a while to trick-
decade to have a more victim-            There is no Canadian resource           She pulled herself together             He said her daughter was dead,       le down,” he said.
centered approach."                   for journalists like the Dart cen-       because she had a job to do.            adding he hoped it was a mistake.        Lonsdale said the new resource
  The aim of the Dart Centre is to    tre, so Lonsdale and his wife,             If you're the kind of person that       She collapsed in a heap. He had      is just what Canada needs.
educate journalists on victim         Jane Hawkes, decided to create           is too affected by your emotions,       no idea what to do.                      "We're ripe to do this. It's an
responses, which can be wildly        one called The Canadian Journal-         you shouldn't be in the business,         Today he knows he should not         idea whose time has come."
Page 14                                                                  HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURALISM REVIEW                                                                   Dec. 17, 2007




      Power of Internet raises power of opinion
    By MATTHEW DAYE                                                                                              likely to send him encouraging        ister Steven] Harper should pay
                                                                                                                 e-mails, but not post in the          more attention to General [Rick]
    The rise of the Internet has                                                                                 forum attached to each blog,          Hillier,” McRobb said.
created new avenues for jour-                                                                                    while his attackers seem to react          Despite the fun and interac-
nalists and average citizens to                                                                                  entirely in open forum.               tion the blog gets, O’Dwyer
be heard and to interact with                                                                                         “I think a big part of the       said he’s still not sure how it fits
their readers.                                                                                                   type of responses I get is            in with other media. “I’m not so
    Michael O’Dwyer was a                                                                                        because of the relative anonymi-      sure that it provides a service,
journalist for 20 years, practis-                                                                                ty the Internet gives them.”          but I think it does.”
ing the trade in Victoria, B.C.                                                                                       His years as a journalist             The service is to instill ideas
and New Zealand. Now he runs                                                                                     have allowed him to shrug off         and personal debate in his read-
an import business in Sydney,                                                                                    most of the attackers. “I have a      ers, to raise interesting ideas.
Nova Scotia, but there he con-                                                                                   thick skin and I don’t take it             “Quietly, in the dead of
tinues to write through blogs for                                                                                personally, to me it’s transpar-      night, they’ll be thinking of
the Cape Breton Post, the local                                                                                  ent. Calling me names doesn’t         these issues.”
newspaper.                                                                                                       tell me or anyone else why they            He writes the blog, but it
    O’Dwyer uses the freedom                                                                                     feel strongly about the subject,”     doesn’t mean it is about him, he
both the web and the loose for-                                                                                  O’Dwyer said.                         said. “I’m very interested in
mat of blogs - a kind of                                                                                              Despite the control he has       knowing what other people have
diary/website on the Internet -                                                                                  over the system, he has only          to say. I am looking for dialogue
to do a general interest blog for                                                                                ever deleted one entry. It was an     for me and other people.”
the paper. “There’s news writ-                                                                                   attacker going after a supporter.          So is Elke Semerad. The
ing, which is factual and unbi-                                                                                  “Abuse me all you want, but           associate producer and techni-
ased, then there are editorials,                                                                                 don’t abuse other people.”            cian at CBC in Halifax is also
which are opinion based, “ said                                                                                       He continues to blog for the     looking for dialogue over the
O’Dwyer. “I approach blogs the                                                                                   enjoyment of it. “I like blogging     podcast. “There were no num-
same way I do for editorials.”                                                                                   because it’s fun. It’s a lot looser   bers on what people wanted to
    Despite using the editorial                                                                                  than a carefully researched news      listen to, so we’ve been flying
method for writing his blogs,                                                                                    piece.”                               blind,” Semerad said of the pro-
they don’t read like most edito-     Michael O’Dwyer writes a controversal blog for the Cape                          Part of the fun is coming up     gram start-up three years ago.
rials. “The difference between a     Breton Post news paper. Steve Wadden Photo.                                 with new things to post with. “I           CBC wanted to stay ahead
blog and an editorial is that                                                                                    post things that I think are wor-     of the technology curve and
blogs can provocative. I’m not                                                                                   thy of discussion and are             wanted Semerad involved.“I
shy about being provocative.”             COMMENTS SENT TO MICHAEL O’DWYER                                       provocative. I talk about things      was charged initially with start-
    Provocative seems to work        The Good                                                                    that I want to talk about.”           ing the program, but I got to
for him. He seems to draw the          • “I always like to read the comments on news stories,but                      He has gone weeks when he        involved in it and had to step
most comments of all the blogs       yours is the first one I've replied to. Some of the comments I              can’t think of anything impor-        back.”
hosted on the site. “I have a pas-   agree with,and some I don't. It seems some of the people com-               tant to say. “I choose things that         The science show Quirks
sion for addressing meaningful       menting have a grudge against the world and they're just vent-              are specifically provocative,         and Quarks was the first podcast
issues and encouraging readers       ing off.”                                                                   otherwise why do it.”                 CBC produced. She was respon-
to respond to them.”                    • “Mr.O'Dwyer,.. the fish seem to be in a frenzy, and it looks                Robby McRobb, a retired          sible for the podcast Maritimes
    But some of the comments         like you're lunch. For all it's worth, I do stand on your side.”            sergeant in the Canadian Armed        This Week. “My job was to
he receives are not always posi-                                                                                 Forces, writes a military-based       make an interesting half hour
tive or constructive. “I found       The Bad                                                                     blog for The Guardian in Char-        radio for the Internet.”
that some people use the blogs         • “Michael O'Dwyer your intellect is that of a 5th grader. It             lottetown, P.E.I. He does it for           What people get is a show
to vent. I just wish more people     amazes me how you can keep a job when you put those                         the troops. “I do it unpaid           made up of the best or popular
were able to respond more            thoughts to paper!”                                                         because I feel it’s good for the      show segments through out the
rationally or lucidly.”                • “Michael you're just another IDIOT with a blog. Thankfully              troops and good for the people        week, with the show updating
    One person, who replied to       you're stuck in one small corner of the universe out of harms               to voice their opinion. I’m sur-      once a week. “The production
O’Dwyer’s most recent entry,         way and out of the mainstream.”                                             prised at the hits and comments       [of the Maritimes This Week]
seemed to have a personal                                                                                        I get. Some good, some not so         was actually passed around,
grudge. “Michael you’re just         The Ugly                                                                    good.”                                from Halifax, to Fredericton, to
another IDIOT with a blog.             • “You sir exhibit the brains of horse. What garbage, you could                He called the newspaper a        Saint John. So there was always
Thankfully you’re stuck in one       however be writing for the N.Y. Times as truth and honestly in              year ago asking if it would like      a fresh delivery and fresh mate-
small corner of the universe out     reporting are not required for employment. Is it possible that              someone to write a military col-      rial.”
of harm’s way and out of the         the filth spewing from those twin towers at Lingan have affected            umn. In January, they said they            But as with all new technol-
mainstream,” the writer said.        the little brains you appear to use, make an appointment with a             loved the idea, but they were         ogy, there was a problem.
    These kinds of messages          Specialist, ooops forgot, in Canada that might take a year or               going to do it digitally. McRobb           “It’s a funny thing, because
seem to continually pop up           more, by then the last remaining brain cell would have ceased               submits his blogs through the         it’s a technology that’s supposed
whenever he posts a new blog,        to exist for you.”                                                          paper. “I didn’t get into blog-       to let anyone produce their own
no matter the topic. “They’re all                                                                                ging as blogging.”                    show, but with the CBC it is all
pretty much the same. You can        to his blogs. The attackers seem          Another pattern he has                 Despite the unusual start to     uniform. It had to be.”
feel the spittle as you read         to react quickest, but supporters     noticed is how the attackers and      his blogging, which he does                The show started out well,
them,” O’Dwyer said. “I think        eventually jump in and then it        supporters interact with              when he’s not working four oth-       quickly rising above the viewer-
the ‘You have the brain of a         tends to become more civil. “I        him.“You don’t see the e-mails I      er jobs, he has managed to eke        ship of CBC’s regular radio
fifth grader’ is the best one.”      get as much from the dynamics         get personally. It’s like there are   out some success.                     shows, before falling to a lower
    He has already noticed a         as much as the content of the         two camps.”                                “The one I got the most hits     rate than other shows. Its view-
pattern in how people respond        responses.”                               His supporters are more           for was about how [Prime Min-         ership is now stable.
Dec. 17, 2007   HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW   Page 15
Page 16                                                                     HOLLAND COLLEGE JOURNALISM REVIEW                                                                  Dec. 17, 2007



     News must evolve to attract a new generation
 By CHRISTY MARSTERS                                                                                                 It’s possible the industry won’t     one else, have a role to play.”
                                                                                                                   even survive should hiring                Young reporters who join the
  An elderly lady once stopped                                                                                     freezes, old ideas and youth intol-    publications bring new ideas and
her vehicle in the middle of the                                                                                   erance within the business contin-     gain experience from veteran
street, recognized Chris LeBlanc,                                                                                  ue because it’s youth who can          journalists whose credentials are
and called him over to her car                                                                                     offer the only real glimpse into       extensive, said Sgambati.
window as traffic backed up                                                                                        this new marketplace, Thornton           “There’s a meeting of the minds
behind her.                                                                                                        said.                                  in every instance, a sharing of old
  “I had to tell you I just love                                                                                     “But what do people honestly         and new making the total experi-
your columns,” she said before                                                                                     expect when all the decisions in       ence come alive. It’s pretty excit-
driving away.                                                                                                      the news industry are made by          ing for me as an editor.”
  People are frequently compli-                                                                                    old, white males? It’s news that          It’s sometimes tough for media
menting him, says editor Scott                                                                                     appeals to old, white males.”          to appreciate a changing genera-
Doherty of the Sackville Tribune                                                                                     The younger generations want         tion, but there’s no doubt young
Post in New Brunswick. The                                                                                         more modern ways of consuming          people are eager to learn what’s
community can’t get enough.                                                                                        news because most of them seek         happening in the world around
  The students he hired for his                                                                                    news online and many newspa-           them, he said.
paper usually come from Holland                                                                                    pers are not really prepared to          “It’s important to listen to what
College, Doherty said.                                                                                             deliver, he said.                      they say. Once you know what
  LeBlanc was an exception.                                                                                          “I don’t know any people my          they want, the challenge is to go
  He started writing columns as a                                                                                  age that subscribe to print publi-     out and get it. Then deliver it in a
co-op student in high school, but                                                                                  cations. If you don’t have a strong    package appealing to their sensi-
because of his unique writing                                                                                      online or mobile product, you          bility.”
style he was hired as a regular                                                                                    aren’t attracting the younger peo-       Technology has allowed young
columnist after completing the                                                                                     ple.”                                  people to get news and informa-
work placement.                                                                                                      It’s even worse when newspa-         tion in a much more immediate
  Today, LeBlanc attends St.                                                                                       pers put out alternative publica-      manner than ever before as instant
Francis Xavier University, but he                                                                                  tions meant to attract an edgier       messaging, social networks and
continues writing first-hand opin-                                                                                 and more youthful crowd because        online video archives have broad-
ion pieces from the perspective of                                                                                 young people want real news, not       ened the playing field, Sgambati
a student.                             Mateo Cheverie looks through an issue of the Holland College                fluff, he said.                        said.
  Everyone, no matter the age,         Surveyor Nov. 30. Newspapers face an unclear transition as they               “It’s not people’s fault if your       “It is incumbent traditional
likes his writing because it comes     try to keep a new generation reading the news. Marsters photo               product isn’t popular – it’s your      media understands the sense of
across as very tongue-in-cheek in                                                                                  own. If you build a product that is    immediacy and responds to it.”
a good way, allowing the paper to      to what they want and change          Stars and Stripes in Washington,      attractive to people, they will con-     Transcontinental’s Nova Scotia
show a less solemn side, Doherty       with the times.”                      D.C. The daily paper is distrib-      sume it. It’s that simple.”            weeklies have reacted by creating
said.                                    Aside from hiring LeBlanc, the      uted throughout the American            Managing editor Fred Sgambati,       a daily news website called
  “He’s just hilarious. However,       paper has shortened articles,         military.                             working with the Transcontinental      NovaNewsNow.com to provide
for such a young person, he does       added more visuals and worked           Younger generations care about      Media chain of community news-         the same information from a
take his job seriously.”               with the newspaper on-line to         the world around them. And the        papers in Kentville, Nova Scotia,      weekly print product though a
  And it’s important for papers to     reach out to the younger audi-        issues many papers face when try-     agrees the onus is on newspapers       daily web product.
find different ways of getting         ence, Doherty said.                   ing to attract youth have little to   to find a way to communicate to           Reporters working at weekly
more youth involved as it                 “It’s important because they’re    do with them not liking news and      youth in a meaningful and rele-        papers across the provinces have
becomes an increasing challenge        going to be the future of the         more to do with the news itself,      vant way.                              bought into the concept and are
to keep young people, influenced       paper.”                               Thornton said in an online inter-       Newspapers are a vital meeting       posting to the site faithfully,
by the Internet, interested and          Patrick Thornton agrees. The        view.                                 place to connect the community,        Sgambati said.
attracted to the news, Doherty said.   23-year-old works as a web con-         “Most mainstream media is           Sgambati said.                           “It has proven to be extremely
  “We have to start listening more     tent editor for a newspaper called    geared towards older generations.”      “Young people, as much as any-       successful.”


                     Christy Marsters asks: How do you get the news?



       Hessel Altenburg – 19                    Zoë Novaczek – 21                     Brenton Ives – 18                   Heather Wotton – 19                     Nicky Wichers – 21
“I get news from the Internet or       “I’ll often turn on the radio when    “I get news from just the Internet.   “I get it from TV and I listen to      “I get news from the radio and I
cause I can get it whenever I want     I’m driving around, but I also        I don’t watch TV and I don’t lis-     the radio in the morning before I      read the newspaper. The radio I
and the TV because I see it when       pick it up from various other         ten to the radio, but I’m on the      go to school.”                         can listen to while I’m doing oth-
I flip through channels.”              things like the Internet and          Internet a lot.”                                                             er things and the newspaper I’ll
                                       through talking to friends.”                                                                                       read when I’m at work.”

				
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