AJAs 2018 Finalists


Date Aired or Published June 1, 2018
Media outlet where first aired or published: The Signal
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner: The Walrus co-published the story
Location: Halifax
List awards, grants: None
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

This package emerged from research done in advance of the annual King's investigative workshop by King's student Aviva Jacob. She had been looking into the pervasiveness of data collection by companies such as Google and Facebook and the implications for user privacy. When the team began working on this project, the issue was not then in the news. Part way through the workshop, stories about Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook data broke in major international media. From there, the students were competing with journalists from around the world. Despite the intense pressure, the students put their heads down and continued to research their own story, while keeping an ear to the almost daily breaks in the broader news media. The students drew from a wide variety of sources, including more than two dozen interviews, online data and numerous public records. The result was an extraordinary piece of explanatory journalism that told the sobering story of how we have all become the product of large internet companies. Along with the written material, a video produced by the students, interactive elements, and a map made this a compelling and original package. All of the material to be judged can be accessed from the links provided. The video is embedded in the main story.

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

The student group had six weeks to complete the reporting and writing of the story and the production of the video and interactive map and timeline. They had access to the computers and office space of the journalism school but no financial resources other than their own. Editorial leadership was provided by student deputy editor Taryn Grant and King's professor Fred Vallance-Jones. All line editors were students. Copy editing and fact checking were shared by Vallance-Jones and the Walrus.

Return to list of finalists