AJAs 2018 Finalists


Slug/Label Grieving family of 4 children dead in N.S. house fire 'overwhelmed' by support
Date Aired or Published January 9, 2018
Media outlet where first aired or published: CBC Nova Scotia
Name of Program: cbc.ca/ns
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: southwestern Nova Scotia
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

Reporter Elizabeth McMillan was in touch with Ervin Olsen, who she interviewed about an unrelated story just days before, the morning of the Pubnico house fire without knowing his connection. He confirmed to us early on Sunday that four children died because he felt it was important for people to have accurate information about the tragedy. Mr. Olsen was open to speaking with us and Elizabeth travelled to Yarmouth with videographer Steve Lawrence to sit down with him at his home in the evening of Jan. 8, the day after the fire. Mr. Olsen said he was motivated to share his perspective because he felt so overwhelmed by the compassion of strangers -- not just the first responders and people in the Yarmouth and Pubnico area but across the province. People were dropping off care packages at his home for his granddaughter and her husband. We were the first outlet to share one of the family member’s perspectives. Mr. Olsen wanted to share a little about his beloved great granddaughter, Jayla, and the extent of the losses. Investigators were still at the rubble of the burned home that evening and there was little information about what went wrong. The story also highlighted the local fishing communities efforts to fundraise for the family, an effort that continued for months.

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

Breaking news story filed remotely from the road with support from copy editor / assignment producer in Halifax.

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