AJAs 2016 Finalists


Slug/Label (Campus-Images-Debauchery); (Halifax-Racial-Conversation);
Date Aired or Published April 25, 2016; June 14, 2015; Aug. 29, 2016
Media outlet where first aired or published: The Canadian Press
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Halifax; Halifax; Bridgewater
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

Adina Bresge is a journalist based in Halifax. Adina has worked at The Canadian Press covering the Atlantic region for eight months as the current weekend staffer and a full-time reporter during the summer. She has also reported locally as a contributor to Metro Halifax and The Coast. Some background on the three stories submitted herein: “Snapchat accounts re-post debauchery at universities for all to see” Over the course of several weeks, Adina investigated student-run accounts on Snapchat and similar apps that re-posted self-destructing photos of collegiate debauchery at schools across the country, raising questions about child pornography, invasions of privacy and sexuality in the digital age. First hearing about one of these accounts on campus as a student at University of King’s College, Adina found an app that lets users upload photos and videos to campus-wide accounts, based on their location. Adina crowd-sourced her investigation by asking students across Canada to download the app and send her a screenshot of the list of schools and number of users in their area. She aggregated this data to determine that at least 26 universities and colleges had “channels” on the app, with a collective following of more than 25,000 users as of April 2016. She spoke to university officials, a cyberbullying expert, and made multiple requests for comment to the technology companies behind these apps to put this information in context. After a version of the article was posted online, a Snapchat spokesperson contacted her to clarify how the company monitors accounts for questionable content. The article was the most-viewed story on the Globe and Mail website the day it was published, and topped CBC Nova Scotia the next. The article was also cited in a book about digital privacy by journalists Jim Bronskill and David McKie. “Black Halifax candidate forces racial conversation in a city that has avoided it” In June 2016, Adina wrote a feature piece framing a Halifax city council race within the national conversation about minority representation, gentrification and a generational shift in the politics of race. Following a call for more diversity in municipal government by then-councillor Jennifer Watts, Adina focused on two front-runners in the race to succeed her – both political rookies, one white and one black. She interviewed Lindell Smith, a 26-year-old African-Nova Scotian and native son of Halifax’s north-end, whose push to make race a part of the municipal conversation would prove to be successful when he won last October. Adina intermittently reported the piece over several weeks while carrying out her regular duties. She spoke to several stakeholders in the municipal race and conducted historical and demographic research to situate Smith’s candidacy within the wider context of Halifax’s relationship with its African-Nova Scotian minority. “Despite conviction of assailant, woman regrets reporting sexual assault” Over the course of the summer, Adina reviewed court documents, researched statistics and spoke to lawyers, government officials and advocates to piece together the story of a 22-year-old woman’s tumultuous two-year journey through Nova Scotia’s justice system despite the successful conviction of the man she accused of sexually assaulting her. Before publication, the piece was closely scrutinized to protect the legal and privacy rights of all parties involved, while preserving the emotional resonance of Shannon Graham’s account about being treated like “a piece of evidence” as the complainant in a sexual assault trial and why she wouldn’t come forward if she had the chance to do it all again

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

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