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Field Notes

Flood watch: How CTV Calgary covered catastrophe

Days after devastating floods ripped through Calgary, some parts of the city are still in a state of emergency. Here on J-Source, CTV Calgary's Karen Owen shares her story of what it was like to produce hours of breaking, live, television news coverage as the drama unfolded.

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The universal challenge of digital news: Why working as an online journalist isn’t all that different in Canada and Ghana

Travelling to West Africa to work as a digital journalist, Global News online editor Ashley Terry expected there would be differences in how reporters get and tell stories. But what she didn't expect was to face some of the same challenges that online journalists see here in Canada.

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Spirit Dancing: How two UBC students gained access to report on this secretive Aboriginal tradition

The relationship between media and First Nations peoples in Canada has not always been a positive one. And in many ways, two UBC students say they felt they were paying for the mistakes made by reporters who came before came. They reported on the secretive tradition of spirit dancing in B.C. and their final report aired on CBC The Early Edition in Vancouver. Rachel Bergen and Stephanie Kelly report. 

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Reporting on terror: CBC’s David Common on covering the Boston bombing

David Common was CBC's lead reporter on the ground in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, and during an unprecedented search for the two suspects. Here in J-Source, he shares his experience following this breaking story that gripped the world.

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Why Global’s Mark McAllister broadcast his own story of epilepsy

Journalists tell stories every day, but what happens when a journalist becomes the story? Here in J-source, Global Toronto's Mark McAllister describes the events leading up to his much publicized on-air seizure; how he dealt with the media scrutiny that followed; and why a medical condition doesn't stop a reporter from being a reporter.

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The story behind CBC’s offshore “tax havens” series

CBC explains how it got the tax haven series, which all began when almost a year ago when Frederic Zalac, a reporter for the Radio-Canada program Enquete and our Special Investigations Unit, was approached by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

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Honour among thieves: Putting the story before your ego

What's more important: exclusivity or a great story? A new model of cooperative journalism being developed at the Toronto Star is helping to break news, and the traditional practice of keeping information from competitors. Here in J-source, Star investigative reporter Robert Cribb explains how sharing resources led to better journalism in a series on underage Cuban sex workers.

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Exposing Canada’s back door: How a King’s journalism class got an NNA nomination for their investigation into P.E.I’s cash-for-residency immigration policy

J-Source goes behind the story of the National Newspaper Award-nominated story “Cashing In: Inside PEI’s Controversial Immigrant Partner Programs.” Laura Armstrong, a graduate of University of King’s College journalism program and deputy editor for “Cashing In,” explains how their student investigative workshop exposed the inner workings of the province's immigration program.

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Are journalists shitbags? (Or, how to avoid sensationalism)

Renee Wilson was surprised to hear someone describe journalists as "shitbags" at a recent conference, and grew concerned when that statement was backed up with plenty of examples of subpar shock journalism being passed off as news. Here in J-Source, she explores a solution for sensationalism: "genuine conversation."

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There is ‘no such thing as an uninteresting or insignificant life’ – excerpt from Sandra Martin’s Working the Dead Beat

You may think chronicling the lives of the dead is either the first or the last job you could have on a newspaper. But after years of writing obituaries for The Globe and MailSandra Martin argues that it taught her there’s “no such thing as an uninteresting or insignificant life.”  Martin reflects on how she applied her journalistic approach, pushing for context, insight into strangers’ lives, in her new book, Working the Dead Beat.

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