AJA Logo

2013 Atlantic Journalism Awards Finalists


Slug/Label Jody Hale Trial
Date Aired or Published April -August of 2013
Media outlet where first aired or published: VOCM
Name of Program: VOCM News / Jody Hale Trial
If co-produced, list partner: n/a
Location: Newfoundland
List awards, grants: n/a
Running time (TV/Radio): 8:00

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

Jody Hale, 41, was charged after he allegedly lured his then 14-year-old student between 2011 and 2012 using his computer. He was a teacher at Cottrell’s Cove Academy, a small school in central Newfoundland, at the time. The victim was in his homeroom class. The trial was held in Grand Falls-Windsor Provincial Court. VOCMs Central Reporter Renell LeGrow covered the trial from start to finish. The courts combed through thousands of messages sent online, video chats, gifts he gave the student in school, and a number of key witnesses. On Dec. 13, 2012, Gander Provincial Court Judge Jackie Jenkins found Jody Hale guilty of one count of using his computer to lure his student. During coverage, Renell only had access to a smartphone for communications with the newsroom and Twitter coverage of the case, and a notebook to collect details of what was happening inside the courtroom. Hale will be sentenced March 3, 2014. Hale is also facing another count of luring. It’s alleged he used his computer to lure his then 16-year-old female student at a school in Bishop’s Falls in 2009. The trial in that case hasn’t started.

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. Renell works out of the Grand Falls Windsor Station CKCM. She reports on all stories from the central region of Newfoundland. She researched, wrote, voiced, and edited all stories submitted.

Return to list of finalists