AJAs 2017 Finalists


Date Aired or Published May 2017
Media outlet where first aired or published: Halifax Magazine
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Halifax, NS
List awards, grants: N/A
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

I had been doing a lot of independent reading on a number of topics, including climate change, Moore's law and technology ethics, and historic pandemics, among other things. The US was (and still is) in political turmoil, and it felt like a strange sort of time when all kinds of dangers the public generally considers obsolete seemed possible again--with added threats posed by climate change. I had all of this floating around in my mind in January 2017, so I pitched Trevor Adams on the idea of an article that looks at disaster preparedness in Halifax--because I truly had no idea how any of these things would play out if they happened here. Trevor accepted the pitch, and the initial idea is that I would preface the article with a fictional scene that depicts one of these scenarios and then examines how prepared Halifax is for disaster. As I continued to research and the story started to take shape, I became concerned that a dramatic fictionalized section would sensationalize the issues--and I didn't want to create a feeling of panic, I just wanted to shine light on where we currently sit in terms of disaster preparedness in a creative way. So I proposed the idea of a "Choose your own adventure" style article that lets the readers explore our preparedness for different scenarios. It puts readers in a futuristic version of Halifax (based on actual projections of where we'll be as a society in 2057). Readers can explore the scenarios that most interest them by choosing different options. Depending on what they choose, they either access archived "data files," which are actually mini-articles created from the from the interviews I conducted. One of the options links to the "Special Report to the House of Assembly on Pandemic Preparedness.” I'm submitting this article to this particular category because this category doesn't just address the writing--it also looks at the whole presentation, and I feel that's important for me to recognize. The print article had to be colour-coded, while the online version was done using anchor links.

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

As a freelancer, I have limited access to the newsroom, so I'm not sure exactly what this required on their end. This article probably took me about 12 hours to complete from beginning until end. It also required editing by Halifax Magazine, as well as production resources to set up the unusual format and imagery.

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