AJAs 2017 Finalists


Date Aired or Published December 7 2017
Media outlet where first aired or published: CBC New Brunswick
Name of Program: CBC New Brunswick news
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: SAINT JOHN
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio): 2:18 embedded within online story

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

Note: At loggerheads appears to be a regular print-style online news feature. Scroll down to find embedded video and interactive graphics. It cannot be converted to a PDF. At Loggerheads is the New Brunswick business story no one else would take on. It deals with a complicated topic that is difficult to explain, and yet its relevance to the lives of everyday people is immense. The struggle of the province’s private woodlot owners and their marketing boards looms large in the trade dispute with Washington that saw softwood lumber duties of 21 percent slapped on every mill not owned by J.D. Irving Ltd. This is also a story of government inaction. New Brunswick’s forestry sector is not a free market, there are layers of regulation in an industry where half the wood comes from publicly owned, Crown land. So much Crown wood is available to the large companies that the woodlot marketing boards were created in the late 1970’s by an Act of the legislature to ensure small players could still find access to markets and get a reasonable price for their wood. Even so, two successive governments, one Liberal and one Conservative, have stood by while the boards are being attacked by big industry. At Loggerheads required months of research. Several dozen people in the province’s forestry sector were interviewed on and off record, including four former ministers of Natural Resources. It took five requests and months of waiting to secure a statement from JDI. Hundreds of pages of court documents and commission transcripts were reviewed. The ground covered is entirely new. At a critical public hearing of the New Brunswick Forest Products Commission in August, CBC was the only news organization present. In the final final stages reporter Connell Smith was joined by a team that included a producer, copy editor, videographer, web designer, and photographer. Their task was to plan and execute a multi-platform story that fully engaged readers with the addition of video, graphics and animation.

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

Early research for this story began in January 2017. We began to work on it as a special project in July 2017. Reporter Connell Smith put in 6-8 weeks full time on the project. Paul Hantiuk, 1 week, videographer Brian Chisholm 3 days, photographer Maria-Jose Burgos days. Producer Elaine Bateman 5 days, copy editor Connie Camp 2 days. About $500 was put in to purchase NB Forest Products Commission and court transcripts.

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