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AJAs 2020 Finalists


Thunderstruck


 

Slug/Label
Date Aired or Published March 2020
Media outlet where first aired or published: Halifax Magazine
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location:
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

This was assigned as a straightforward story introducing readers to the sport of lacrosse and Halifax's new team. Due to the creative reporting and insightful interviewing of journalist Ameeta Vohra, it evolved into a thoughtful and in-depth exploration of the healing powers of sport and lacrosse's importance in First Nations culture, and in particular its deeply personal impact on team captain Cody Jamieson. "The angle for me was the obstacle and challenge because with sports stories, you want to make it something that resonates with everyone," explains Vohra. "While I interviewed Cody asking him standard sports questions going in and thinking this was a clear-cut profile on the captain, what ultimately unraveled was a story of how this sport led him to a better way of life. Lacrosse was a health healing tool for him. It guided him through a rough patch in his life. It's also prompted him to help others facing the same issues he did in life. The accomplishment was good storytelling that went beyond the sport itself, talking about life lessons and First Nations culture."

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

Like most small regional publications, Halifax Magazine relies on freelance journalists and has an extremely tight budget for stories and photography (just $2,500 total per issue). Editorial space is tightly limited as well. Trusting in Ameeta's talents, we assigned this story at longer-than-usual length, successfully gambling much of our budget and space on the belief that it would capture readers' interest For in-house photographer Bruce Murray, the challenge was adapting his skills and going beyond that comfort zone to take a dynamic shots that reflected the excitement of lacrosse, and specifically highlighted Cody Jamieson, while still making the sport accessible to non-fans. With creativity, good timing, and a bit of luck, Murray more than accomplished this. When the time came to finalize the layout, art director Shawn Dalton's biggest challenge was just choosing from the many strong options.

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