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AJAs 2016 Finalists


Date Aired or Published Dec. 17 2020
Media outlet where first aired or published: Saltwire.com/Chronicle Herald/Tri-County Vanguard
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Yarmouth
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

On Dec. 15 came word that the Scallop dragger Chief William Saulis with its 6-man crew had sank on its way home to port. Throughout the day an active search, more then 120 km from where I was located, took place in search of the missing fishermen. As the day went on and especially into the evening, we were learning that many of the crew members were from Yarmouth. I knew that not only would I be tasked in to write a story, but it would likely be a story of tragedy for our community where everyone has a direct or indirect contact to a fisherman. Myself included. My husband and son are both lobster fishermen. By evening came word the body of one of the fishermen had been found. This incident had a tremendous emotional impact on me. It is every fishing family’s nightmare. Your family goes fishing, but they don’t come home. Because my plate was full with several other stories I was already working on that we would also need for production of the Vanguard in a couple of days, I worked until 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 16 to finish the other things I was working on so I could devote myself to this story when dawn broke on Dec. 16. I cried during most of the night and truly dreaded having to cover this story that was unfolding in my community. I went to bed at 4 a.m. Set my alarm for 7:30 a.m. and that morning starting working on the story on what was an very emotional day for our community – six fishermen lost at sea. So much sadness was happening in my hometown. Just a terrible story to have to cover. I cried most of the day writing it and even begged my husband not to go fishing the next day. He stayed home.

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

The resources were me. Other reporters in our company were focusing on the ongoing active search. I was to write a story about the impact of the incident on my hometown. Our newsroom has been closed since March 2020 due to COVID so I work from home. My resources were my laptop and my iPhone. No budget. The story ran in our next print edition in the Tri-County Vanguard, but was posted online on Saltwire.com on Dec. 16 and ran in the Chronicle Herald on Dec. 17 so I was working against a 4 p.m. deadline after only having slept 3 and a half hours in two days. The story also ran in the next issue of the Tri-County Vanguard. I was writing it as a Vanguard staffer.

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