AJAs 2016 Finalists
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|Slug/Label||Richmond Segment 1 / Richmond Segment 2|
|Date Aired or Published||March 11, 2016 / October 3, 2016|
|Media outlet where first aired or published:||CBC|
|Name of Program:||Information Morning Cape Breton|
|If co-produced, list partner:|
|List awards, grants:|
|Running time (TV/Radio):||segment 1: 12:15 / Segment 2: 9:56|
Short explanation of the story and how it developed:Municipal expenses have been a major focus of CBC Nova Scotia's investigative unit in 2016. Joan Weeks' Specific coverage of the situation in Richmond County began with a woman in that community who filed her own FOIPOP to get credit card information for the CAO, finance officer and warden. Joan went to St. Peter's to interview the woman and then began to call other bodies that might be concerned as a result of her findings. One was Nova Scotia's Office of the Ombudsman. Joan discovered they had been contacted by people in Richmond County and had decided to do a much broader investigation into the expense claims of both administrators and councillors. CBC continued to follow this thoroughout the Spring and Summer. Then Just prior to the municipal elections, a draft of the final Ombudsman's report was given to the councillors, the CAO and Warden but was not released publicly. We felt it was important for voters to have this information. The election was days away. Joan reached out to everyone who had received a draft copy by email, phone, text and one of her sources agreed to give us his copy. The source would only provide the documents in person, so Information Morning producer Don Munro drove from Sydney to pick up a copy. Joan, with support from the investigative unit worked throughout the weekend, rolling out the digital treatment including the raw documents Sunday night followed by the radio treatment Monday morning that is entered in this category along with the initial report. In the wake of this story the CAO of Richmond resigned and the new council has decided to post expense claims online. It has also added to the growing groundswell of support for more transparent municipal councils across Nova Scotia.
Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:To complete each of these two stories Joan Weeks was embedded in our Nova Scotia investigative unit and given multiple days to work on the stories with the investigative unit's support.