AJAs 2017 Finalists


Date Aired or Published April 11, 2017
Media outlet where first aired or published: The Canadian Press national wire, final version on CTV Atlantic website
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner: Kieran Leavitt
Location: Halifax
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

When news broke that four people had died in a house fire in southwestern New Brunswick, Canadian Press journalists Michael MacDonald and Kieran Leavitt were assigned to find out what happened, late on a Tuesday afternoon. Seeking out friends, neighbours and local officials, the pair were able to quickly piece together a compelling story about an unusual family tragedy that left the small town of St. George grief-stricken. With little to go on from the police, the two rapidly landed interviews with witnesses and neighbours who spoke of an elderly woman caring for her three grown sons, all of whom had mental challenges. Audio reports were quickly filed. Then a local municipal official confirmed that one of the men killed in the fire was an honorary firefighter who was well known in the community. Another neighbour said the other men rarely left the house. Within a few hours, MacDonald and Leavitt had crafted a touching story about the tragedy, which included key details from the local member of the provincial legislature. "Davey always wore his (firefighter's) uniform, the formal uniform -- I swear he wore it day in day out," Rick Doucet said. "Winter, spring, summer, fall -- you'd see Davey going ... All the crews, the fire chiefs, all the firefighters took a lot of pride in that ... He was part of the team, no matter what." The Canadian Press respectfully submits this story for consideration in the Breaking News category for print and online outlets. The initial News Alert and subsequent updates are included as they appeared on The Canadian Press national wire. These stories would be quickly replaced online, which is why there are no examples from websites or in print. The final version, as it appeared on the CTV website, is included in the submission.

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

Return to list of finalists