AJAs 2018 Finalists


Date Aired or Published August, 10, 2018
Media outlet where first aired or published: CBC New Brunswick
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Fredericton
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio): 75 minutes

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

On Aug. 10, 2018, the unthinkable happened: an active shooter in a Fredericton residential neighbourhood. People were hearing gunshots (we later learned it was a gunfight) and were cowering in their homes. Then the chilling tweet from the Fredericton Police Force: multiple fatalities. Our senior editorial team dispatched reporters to the scene. We went to air, live, to relay accurate information as we gathered it and to try to be a voice of calm in a chaotic situation. Host Colleen Kitts-Goguen was filling in for the regular morning show host. After having already hosted Information Morning Fredericton that day, she went live again later that morning with nothing but a notepad — no scripts, no lineup and no idea how long the live news special would last. She conducted interviews with nothing more than a name whispered in her ear from the director or producer, all the while keeping an eye on on social media feeds. We wanted people to know the facts as we confirmed them, difficult with police not saying much as the situation continued to unfold. Acting producer Gary Moore worked the phones, getting people who were in the area to give their accounts. Technician/director Cari Blanchard cut tape on the fly for broadcast as reporters filed interviews conducted on the scene. For the next 75 minutes the program shared information from police and the hospital and from our reporters at the scene. In the aftermath, some listeners sent letters and emails, one even dropped off flowers, saying how much they needed us that day. It made them feel they were not alone. This is the first 29 minutes of that broadcast, the morning four people died in a mass shooting, two of them police officers.

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

This tragic shooting happened in the middle of summer. We had people filling in on positions they don't normally do, working on a story that was unfolding rapidly, with serious consequences. Our executive producer of news and current affairs, Darrow MacIntyre, was in charge with assistance from morning show producer Myfanwy Davies, who was filling in that day on the NB editorial desk as co-ordinating producer. They had to decide when to break into national programming and get us on the air. There was almost no time to line up anything ahead of time. Gary Moore was filling in as morning show producer that day and he worked the phones alone, lining up guests on the fly as we went live, co-ordinating live hits from the three reporters in the field. Gary also had assistance from our studio technician/director Cari Blanchard.

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