AJAs 2017 Finalists


Date Aired or Published Dec. 18, 2017
Media outlet where first aired or published: Times & Transcript
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Rogersville, N.B.
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

In trying to track down information on a religious community outside of the city, I discovered a Trappist monastery an hour north of Moncton. There was plenty of information online about the abbey, including a copy of their daily schedule, which begins before dawn - at 3:20 a.m. each day. I was intrigued and knew readers would be too. What is life like for modern monks? I decided to find out and take readers behind closed door for a unique and compelling look at how a small group of private, devout monks weave centuries-old tradition into life in 2017. I stayed overnight in the monastery's guest house, and beginning at 3:40 a.m., attended each of the daily prayer services. I profiled many of the monks, telling the reader how they ended up at the abbey, how they spend their time and what draws them to monastic life. After 24 hours of the rigid schedule of prayer and work, I decided a timeline was the perfect way to frame the story and truly show readers a day in the life.

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

I was able to spend almost two work days at the monastery, leaving in the morning to drive the hour north, and spending the afternoon, evening and entire next day at the abbey. In addition I was given plenty of writing time; it probably amounted to the better part of a week, as I wove together interviews with five different monks. Brunswick News provided a rental car for the trip and covered the cost of an overnight stay in the abbey guesthouse.

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