AJAs 2018 Finalists


Date Aired or Published March 9, 2018
Media outlet where first aired or published: Telegraph-Journal
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Grand Bay-Westfield, N.B.
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

Telegraph-Journal reporter/photographer Michael Robinson had to first earn the trust of his subject prior to taking this shot. The resulting image of Saint John firefighter Mark McCormick reflecting on the loss of his bother Kevin - a paramedic who died by suicide - is a powerful one due to the silent but focused expression on his face. The story tells the picture of loss without relying on typical memorial portraits where survivors hold onto photos of their loves ones. Robinson asked McCormick to grasp one of his most significant possessions - the paramedic helmet of his brother - instead. The resulting image was the front page photo summarizing a series on paramedic working condition, mental health injuries sustained on the job and questions raised over the type and availability of support for those who belong to the intensive and stressful profession. The photo was the most poignant of a year-long investigation by Robinson into the life-and-death consequences stemming from New Brunswick’s paramedic shortage. Caption: Mark McCormick, a senior firefighter with the Saint John Fire Department, lost his younger brother, Quispamsis-based primary care paramedic Kevin McCormick, to suicide in September 2017. In his hands is Kevin's paramedic work helmet, which features his numbers 4229. Mark keeps it on his bedroom dresser.

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

The newsroom had 5 reporters at the time. Robinson conducted several pre-interview phone calls with this subject prior to earning their trust to be in a photo. This photo was also a handful of months in the making as Robinson had to give the family time to grieve following the death of Kevin McCormick in Fall 2017 (the photo was not taken until Spring 2018).

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