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2013 Atlantic Journalism Awards Finalists


Slug/Label barricades
Date Aired or Published Oct 18 2103
Media outlet where first aired or published: Telegraph-Journal
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

Spot news is about being where it counts when it counts. Adam Huras did both when he found himself as the only reporter in the thick of an intense clash – arguably the story of the year in New Brunswick – between police and encamped shale gas protesters in Rexton in the pre-dawn of Oct. 17 of 2013. Adam was there because well-cultivated sources indicated something might happen. Relying on few details and his intuition, Adam drove through the night from Fredericton after working a 12-hour shift at the provincial legislature on Oct. 16 and stopped in at the encampment on Route 134 where opponents of shale-gas exploration had blocked access to so-called thumper trucks. He spoke to protesters masked in camouflage gear and grabbed some colour. Then he spent most of the night waiting in his car along Rexton’s main street, roused awake every time a truck went by. An hour before sunrise he headed back to the camp. The only light to brighten the dark night sky was the intense flood lights from a compound filled with shale gas exploration equipment, muted only by a gate brandished now with anti-shale gas banners and a red-and-white Mi’kmaq flag. But in an instant a convoy of vehicles sped in carrying scores of officers in tactical gear. Huras found himself behind their lines. His reporting – with early details sent in before his laptop battery died and further reporting called in by cell phone – meant the TJ was first with the story online, with a full story available before many media outlets had even arrived to cover the day’s events. Huras even made contact with entrenched protesters by cell phone as they were completely surrounded by police threatening their arrest. The reporting he did throughout the day, despite threats of arrest by police and violence by protesters, close calls with rubber bullets, burning cars, and pepper spray, meant our story for the next day’s paper was thorough and complete, with all the colour and detail about the events, and the issue including a first-person account of what he saw.

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

One day and a trip from Fredericton to Rexton

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