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Field Notes

Five questions for Robert MacNeil

Robert MacNeil’s four-decade long journalism career is full of well-deserved accolades. Now, the former NewsHour host will add another to the list. J-Source talks to tonight’s Canadian Journalism Annual Awards Gala Honorary Tribute winner about his return to reporting 15 years after retirement, why, after 50 years, he finally brought his family into the story, and how technology is — and isn’t — changing the way journalists tell stories.
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APTN sharpens its investigative chops

From a tip about a former advisor in the PMO’s office to one of the juiciest political scandals of the year. David McKie talks with Paul Barnsley, executive producer of APTN Investigates about the Bruce Carson story. This Q&A is the first in a series of articles J-Source will feature as part of our new content-sharing agreement with Media Magazine.
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“Occasional screams reminded me of where I was”: Reuters journalist held in Syria

Reuters journalist Suleiman al-Khalidi, a Jordanian citizen, was arrested and held in Syria for four days nearly two months ago. Today, Reuters published a story by Al-Khalidi describing his experience at the “Mukhabarat”, his treatment by Syrian intelligence services — and the scenes of torture he witnessed.
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Is content really king?

Yesterday, we told J-Source readers to go check out Ira Basen‘s new article in Maisonneuve about algorithms and content farms. Today, Basen shares his thoughts on the top farm, Demand Media, and a little bit more of his experiences working for them.

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Capturing Canada vote: CBC’s election night coverage

Director Steve Pennie captures CBC’s election coverage step-by-step, from the drop of the writ till the lights go out election night. 
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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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