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AJAs 2020 Finalists

With 3 students, a New Brunswick island school faces an uncertain future


Slug/Label White Head Island
Date Aired or Published Oct. 14, 2020
Media outlet where first aired or published: CBC New Brunswick
Name of Program: Information Morning Saint John
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: White Head Island
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio): 7:46

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

The story of New Brunswick's smallest school took me to one of the province's most isolated communities. After hearing enrolment had dipped to just three students, I was interested in travelling to White Head Island to learn more. The remote community's uncertain future resembles the challenges faced by fishing communities across the Fundy Coast. This once-thriving island is grappling with a dwindling population. Now, with more swings than students at its elementary school, residents worry it may close. Without it, islanders fear their unique way of life may forever disappear. This story is told through a pak with the experiences and memories of past students and teachers. Sounds collected from the island help set the scene and take listeners to this little-known place. The radio piece was accompanied by a story on our website with photos of the island and the people I talked to.

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

I was provided with one day to travel to the island and gather interviews and one day to write, voice, mix and edit the pak. The web story was written later that week.

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