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Field Notes

When the game ignores your deadline: Freelancing to the buzzer

When freelancer Chris Fox agreed to cover the Ontario University Athletics Women’s hockey final for the Kingston Whig-Standard, he didn’t realize what kind of commitment he was making. The historic game went into six overtimes, left Fox scrambling to make his deadline, and get to his next assignment.

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Covering the Heritage Classic: When a sports event becomes a news story

When sports becomes news the rules of the game become blurred. CTV reporter and anchor Reg Hampton reflects on the peculiarities of covering The Heritage Classic in Calgary, and the frustration of dealing with the NHL machine.
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The real Twitter revolution: Changing coverage on the ground in Egypt

Wilf Dinnick has reported stories from around the world, but as events unfold in Egypt he’s using Twitter for minute-by-minute accounts of what journalists on the ground are experiencing–including his own wife’s detention by Egyptian authorities.
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The Liberation Treatment: How the audience is changing health reporting

How do you wrap a medical story when the medical community won’t talk about it? You turn to the audience. CTV health reporter Karen Owen explores the practical and ethical challenges of covering the controversial Multiple Sclerosis Liberation Treatment.

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Tracking a Tiger: The multimedia lifecycle of a Calgary Herald story

From e-mailed press release to front page news, Calgary Herald web producer David Hedley tracks the coverage of a baby tiger’s death at the Calgary Zoo. This is the story of the multimedia lifecycle of a typical cityside assignment. But it’s also the story of the successes and challenges faced by a Postmedia Network newsroom as it undergoes a transformation from a traditional to a digital, multiplatform operation.
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Social media and news: Tapping into the digital audience

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Colin Steward (courtesy of Yahoo News)When a severe snowstorm swept into Southern Ontario in December it stranded hundreds of people on a highway near Sarnia, including Colin Stewart. While waiting to be rescued, Stewart used his BlackBerry to update friends and family on Facebook. As a result of some techsavvy reporting– and before rescuers even reached the scene — Canadian Press reporters got in touch with Stewart and acquired exclusive eye witness photos, video and interviews. Sneha Kulkarni outlines how journalists can work with the audience to enhance a news story.
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Horrors vs. taste: CBC producer describes the newsroom debate

Broadcasters and publishers know they can count on at least two responses to portraying graphic images of death and destruction: complaints about disgusting or invasive displays of blood and gore; and, journalists writing stories about media’s insensitivity or sensationalism.   

According to one broadcaster, the gatekeepers are constantly debating the responsibility of revealing the cruelty and anguish of the earthquake, trying to weigh the horrors versus the conventions of taste. The senior program producer for CBC TV’s The National, Michael Gruzuk, described that process in an interview with CBC Radio’s Rita Celli on Ontario Today, on Jan. 21.
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When national media descends on a small town story

Missing_StaffordWhen big, national media showed up in Woodstock, Ont. to cover the abduction of Victoria (Tori) Stafford, the story changed. There was a desire among local journos, writes Bruce Urquhart, from the Woodstock Sentinel-Review, not to be scooped by out-of-town reporters that, unfortunately, pushed them toward pack journalism.
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