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AJAs 2020 Finalists

Forest, River, Fish, Winter 2020 ASJ


Date Aired or Published Winter 2020 ASJ
Media outlet where first aired or published: Atlantic Salmon Federation
Name of Program: Publications
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Chamcook, New Brunswick
List awards, grants: Government of Canada, Canada Periodicals Fund
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

In early 2020, Martin Silverstone, editor of the Atlantic Salmon Journal, offered me an assignment on forestry practices and Atlantic salmon. The story was originally meant to be largely anecdotal: accounts from people who have, over their lifetimes, seen declines in Atlantic salmon alongside sweeping changes in forestry practices. But it was soon decided that the article would be stronger with a solid scientific backing. This led me to extensive research on the relationship between forest harvesting and river ecosystems. J.D. Irving Ltd, a major player in the forest industry, offered a tour of the company’s operations. This added another perspective and vastly strengthened journalistic integrity. The article is about diminishing Atlantic salmon numbers, damaged forest and river ecosystems, and an industry at a crossroads. But at its core, it’s the stories of people who have had to watch the slow deterioration of a thing they love. Still, I wanted to leave readers with the hope that things can turn around—a hope that is not unrealistic.

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

The Atlantic Salmon Federation provided travel funds, and also arranged for the helicopter flight that produced the telling images that illustrate the article. Writer and photographer also received freelance fees for their work.

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