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2013 Atlantic Journalism Awards Finalists


Slug/Label CBS Double Murder
Date Aired or Published October 15/16, 2013
Media outlet where first aired or published: 590 VOCM
Name of Program: VOCM NEWS
If co-produced, list partner: n/a
Location: St. John's, NL
List awards, grants: n/a
Running time (TV/Radio): 14:42

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

The first call to the newsroom about a shooting came in at about 7:15 on Tuesday, October 15 th. By 8pm Danielle Barron was on the scene doing live reports and Fres Hutton was at the station anchoring live updates. VOCM NEWS was first to report about the shooting, first to report on-air that 2 people had been killed. Police had warned all people in the community of about 20- thousand to stay in their homes, VOCM provided live updates every 10-15 minutes until about 12:30 am. The next morning VOCM continued to cover the event live starting at 7am. Fred Hutton provided live updates all morning, at one point, Hutton was the only reporter at the scene of a what appeared to be an armed standoff. When police left the scene, Hutton found out they had moved to a nearby cemetery where the body of the shooter was found. Hutton was the first to report on-air that the police had found another body and that there was no longer any threat to the general public. It would later be revealed that the shooter and the female victim had been in a relationship. The shooter gunned down his ex-girlfriend and her new fiancé and then took his own life. The shooter was found wearing a bullet proof vest and be had a hand gun, an AK-47 and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. After the stories aired, dozens of callers thanked VOCM for the extensive coverage, which kept them informed about the sorry and the threat to the public while the gunman was at large. This submission includes live reports that began at 8pm on October 15th and ended at 1:30pm on October 16th 2013.

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

The VOCM Newsroom consists of 12 full-time and 3 part-time reporters and news anchors. The newsroom is staffed 24 hours a day for 5 days per week and 19 hours per day on the weekend. VOCM is part of Steele Communications, which operates 15 radio stations across the province. The St. John's newsroom is responsible for providing Network Newscasts to the entire province 3 times per day. At 7:45am, 1:00pm, and 5:30pm. the main newsroom also provides individual newscast to various stations throughout the day. On the evening of the shooting, one person was working in the newsroom, Fred Hutton returned to the station to do live updates, Danielle Barron reported live from the scene, and two other people were in the newsroom, assisting with calls and updating the website. The next morning Fred Hutton went to the scene of the murder and the area where the third body was found. As it was a weekday, the newsroom was fully staffed with 6 people, most of whom were focused on advancing the story.

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