Who Would I Interview?

If I had to pick anybody in the world to interview, I would pick George Strait. He’s one of the all time most famous country music artists. With 60 number one hits in his career, he is at the top of the category in his genre.

The reasons why I would want to interview him are many. He is one of my favourite country music artists. He’s continued a career that has lasted 30 years and his music is some of the best that has ever been produced.

By having a music career that has lasted that long, he has had to keep a fan base along with competing with other artists who may appeal more to the younger generation. George recently showed that he is still relevant in the country music scene as he won the “Entertainer of the Year” at the American Country Music awards this past Sunday.

What I would want to ask Strait would be:

-What motivated you to start a country music career?

-Who were some of your early musical inspirations?

-What types of things inspire you to write some of your lyrics?

-How have you adapted to the changing music industry over the years?

-How have you kept pushing on during such a long music career?

 

Those are just a few of the questions that I would ask him but I do feel that his answers would definitely lead me to ask further questions. I’ve watched many of his interviews and he seems like such a great guy to interview.

Story Structure Assignment

Faraday Township’s reeve and council were at the helm of criticism from members of the community during their meeting on September 25.

Bob Smith, a firefighter from Station Two Paudash and resident Orville Ford, made it clear that they were very unhappy with the dismissal of former fire chief Bob Boardman.

Smith, who was supported by a group of firefighters from his station, told reeve Fred Maxwell and council, that the station had no input about Boardman’s performance which was the subject of his firing.

“We liked his leadership,” Boardman stated. “We liked his vision for the future.”

The other issues on the minds of the firefighters from Station Two were the “secret” meetings conducted by council and members of Station 1 just before Boardman was let go.

Smith said that his department wasn’t allowed to be made aware of what was discussed in these meetings. Concerning for Smith was councillor Frank Baker’s role in these meetings as he is also a member of Station 1.

“We feel it is a conflict of interest to have a member of council voting for both sides of the issue, are you a councillor first or a firefighter?” Smith questioned Baker.

What was brought to attention by Smith was the fact that some members of Station 1 were resisting the training program put in place by Boardman. “We need to have our training current and all corresponding administration brought up to date, for everyone, regardless of rank, time of service or role in the department.” Smith told council.

After the concerns were expressed by Smith, Orville Ford addressed council. He said that council has been a “dysfunctional and divided group” as he went onto list all of the issues that has taken place ever since the group was elected.

In regards to the dismissal of Boardman, Ford felt he wasn’t given a fair shot. He also questioned reeve Maxwell’s failure to address the personal attacks the former fire chief faced about the draft burning bylaw. “You have hung this man out as a scapegoat,” Ford exclaimed to the reeve.

At the end of his statement, Ford asked for Maxwell to be “transparent and accountable” and to “show the integrity to resign”.

Maxwell, who has been reeve for seven years, said he has no plans to resign.

 

 

 

Tracking the News: February 28, 2014

The story I will be analyzing is titled “Jason Collins: Meeting Matthew Shepard’s parents ‘one of those cool treats in life.’ It was written by Arnie Stapleton and was published on February 28, 2014 in the Toronto Star.

My gut reaction after reading this story was of mixed emotions. The story is about Jason Collins, a centre for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and also the NBA’s first openly gay player. People questioned his number of choice on his jersey which is number 98. It is an unusual number so most people wanted to know if there was a background story behind the choice. Collins picked the number in respect to a college student from Wyoming who was tortured and killed because he was gay back in 1998. After his game, Colllins met with Matthew Sheppard’s parents and gave them a jersey with the number 98 on it. Collins called it “one of those cool treats in life”. My mixed emotions were based on sadness but also happiness. The sadness came from hearing the story of Sheppard and how he was killed because of his sexual preference. What was also sad was that I had never heard of the story of Sheppard and was only informed because of the fact that Collins decided to recognize him in this tribute, which is where the emotion of happiness came from. The issues this article obviously raises is that we shouldn’t go to the extreme of making fun of someone because they are gay, especially to the extent that Sheppard suffered through. However, it is nice to see the world moving forward in terms of recognizing that some people are gay and that it isn’t a bad thing. Whether you are a sports fan or not, reading this story and others about Jason Collins make you realize that even though there is criticism towards him, there is also a lot of positives that go into this situation.

Story Pitch

My follow up story would be on what the professional sporting leagues are doing in order to incorporate gay athletes into their sports, if they are doing anything. The significance of this story would be that gay athletes coming out to the public is becoming a hot button topic. The reader should care because the world is doing the best to adapt to this trend. With sports such a dominant factor in North American culture, it is important to know whether or not the big four professional leagues in North America (MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA) are doing their best to make sure that closet gay athletes are okay with coming out to the public. Every reader is affected by this topic. This story is worth covering now because of the emergence of Jason Collins. He could be the motivation to other gay athletes to come out to the world and feel comfortable to let everyone know that they are gay. Athletes coming out wasn’t exactly a big topic in the past like it is now because Jason Collins only came out recently which made him the first gay athlete in the big four sporting leagues. My subtopics would be: the foundation Jason Collins is building, the stigma of gay athletes in locker rooms and what these professional leagues are doing for the gay athletes in terms of support. Resources that I would use would be interviewing gay athletes, reading about the initial coverage of Jason Collins compared to the coverage now,  and interviewing straight athletes about their comfort with gay teammates on and off the field. I would use television and print for this story. I feel like I could find powerful images that could be used for television along with some strong quotes and statistics that could be incorporated into a print story. Social media would be used for getting other people’s opinions through Twitter and Facebook along with promotion of the story.

 

Tracking the News- February 14, 2014

My analysis will be on the topic of “Is the Good Old Hockey Game only for the rich?” It was discussed on the CBC Radio show, The Current, on December 3, 2013.

When I first listened to this discussion, it made me a little upset that Canada’s national pastime was slowly becoming something that most people in Canada can’t afford. Hockey is easily the most expensive sport for parents to put their kids in. Even one hockey stick costs more than a whole set of gear for a kid wanting to playing soccer. Although their are many great programs such as Canadian Tire’s JumpStart program, that help parents out with the costs, sometimes that just isn’t enough. One of the members of the panel that discussed the topic was Karl Subban, the father to P.K, and NHL star for the Montreal Canadiens, along with his two other sons, Jordan and Malcolm, both young prospects drafted to the NHL. Subban wasn’t exactly a wealthy man while putting his three boys through hockey as they grew up in the town of Rexdale, Ontario, he faced obstacles along the way. This experience led to him lending a hand to oldest son, PK, as they partnered with Hyundai Hockey Helpers, a program that helps at least 1000 kids across Canada get started in hockey. As great as these programs are, it is very unfortunate that it seems only the rich can play hockey. Hockey is a sport that I would say most Canadians enjoy. It is a sport that unites us all as our country battles it out at the Olympics or when our favourite teams are playing on Saturday nights. I think that all of the hierarchy of the sport need to reconsider the amount of money that some parents have to put in to have their kids play a sport they love. Until this happens, hockey will slowly lose its flare and won’t be recognized as our game. 

Add a story pitch for a possible follow up on this story.

  1. A story that I would tell as a follow up would be about the costs of hockey and the struggle that parents go through. I would use comparisons of costs between hockey and other sports. I would also look at how some of the best young players that the game produces, all come from rich families which gives them the resources to become great players.
  2. My story would be significant because I would be able to truly break down the costs of hockey compared to another sport like baseball or soccer. People that would care would be the parents that have to go through the financial struggle to support a child wanting to play hockey.
  3. I think something that would be surprising for the reader to know would be looking at the financial class some of the best hockey players in the world come from compared to 20 years ago. I have heard stories of top players like Connor McDavid who comes from such a rich family that they can afford every single resource that he needs or needed to get him where he is today. I don’t think that was a factor 20 years ago mostly because the attitude around the sport has changed along with the costs.  
  4. Three subtopics I would use for this story would be the cost comparison to other sports, a look back at the past of hockey and the costs then, the struggle some parents go through to pay for hockey, and lastly, some of the programs that help parents pay for the costs.
  5. Sources I would use would be reports on the sport’s cost, interviewing hockey parents, and interviewing a representative from Hockey Canada.
  6. I would tell the story through television because I would be able to get some good visuals but I also feel like I could tell this story through radio. I feel like if I was interviewing a parent who struggles to pay for the sport, hearing that voice would be easier to relate to instead of reading the quotes. However, I could use print to present different statistics like the cost comparison of sports across Canada.

Tracking the News #5

 

The story I am analyzing is titled “There’s nothing here Russian beer can’t fix” by Cathal Kelly. The story was published in the Toronto Star on Thursday, February 6, 2014.

Critical thinking/Gut reaction:

This story was a very interesting one. It is about the journey of sports journalist Cathal Kelly as he makes his way to cover the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As the story begins, he talks about the sights of Russia and how the Olympics don’t seem to be too promising. The sights of Sochi aren’t exactly the most appealing. With many volunteers waiting for people like Kelly to get off their planes, although very helpful, many don’t know what they are doing. The struggle that Kelly faced to find his hotel was a struggle itself. After many bus rides, he finally managed to find his quarters. Once there, the people seemed to be very upset with the situation they were in. Clearly, the obstacles that are being faced by some in Russia aren’t exactly easy to overcome. The positive at the end of this journey was how Kelly managed to find comfort along with other journalists at the hotel bar. The Russian beer he was drinking was what made him realize that his time in Russia will be made enjoyable. The issues this story raises for the audience is obviously the setting of the Olympics. As the Olympics are now underway, people across the world are questioning Russia’s ability to be a host for such a huge event. Between the anti-gay laws in the country and the setting in some areas, it seems the only positives that will come out these Games will be the results of the sports. This is truly unfortunate as athletes competing in the Games spend four years waiting for an experience that comes with participating in the Olympics. Time will only tell how Russia handles its responsibilities as a host to the world, but through Kelly’s story, it doesn’t look promising.

A story pitch for this story would be to follow up on some of the participants in the Olympics to see if their experience at the Games has gotten better as the event has gone on. Maybe their initial reaction towards Russia was negative, but as time goes, that opinion may change.

  1. The question I would use for this story would be: Has the Olympic experience in Russia gotten better or worse since you’ve arrived?

 

2.  The significance of this story would be that it is a first person view of how others are experiencing the Games. While most feel that Russia is the worst place to host the Games, the athletes along with journalists, may be able to confirm that it isn’t a good experience or that maybe Russia isn’t so bad. The audience would care because the people interviewed for the story are the ones who are experiencing Russia first hand.

3.  This story is worth covering because it is the beginning of the Olympics. For the past while, speculation has led to the opinion that Russia isn’t right for the Games. Now that the Games have begun, people’s opinions may change. The reader may be surprised by some of the responses from the athletes or there may be another event like Kelly’s that will take place that I can use for my story.

4.    My key topics would include the setting of Russia, athlete/journalist opinions on Russia being the host, the experience of those in Russia, and finally I would include why or why not Russia isn’t/is the place to host the Games.

5.     What sources/resources do you plan to use to prepare this story? List a few sources you plan to draw on (e.g. Interviewing John Doe, analyzing reports, analyzing recent coverage from media outlets) and media tools you plan to use.

Sources that I would use for this story would include interviewing athletes and other journalists, gathering the public’s opinion on the Games, and including some coverage from other journalists. A media tool I could use would be a blog or through social media.

6. The platform that would be best suited for this story would be through television. I would choose this platform because I could get use the visuals that Sochi would provide. If the experience of the people I interview is bad, then I could shoot some of the visuals that have led to this being their opinion. I would use social media by telling about the experiences of journalists covering the Games along with athlete experiences.

Tracking the News #3

The headline of the story that I am analyzing is “Dogecoin helping pay for Jamaican bobsled team to compete in Sochi” by Jordan Chittley.  The article was published on CTV News on January 20.

 

Timeliness- The article is very timely because the Olympic qualifying events are taking place now ahead of the Games in Sochi a few weeks away. The Jamaican bobsled team is currently searching for the funds to send them to the Games.

 

Importance- The story is important because it truly is an odd situation but also a feel good story. Not too often does a team like Jamaica place themselves into the Winter Olympics, mostly because of their warm climate. With Jamaica’s bobsled team qualifying for Sochi, they had to provide the funds, approximately $80,000, in order to make it to Russia. This company, Dogecoin, provided the country with those funds.

 

Prominence-Jamaica isn’t exactly near Canada but this story about their bobsled team certainly does make headlines across the world. The other unusual part of this story is where the funding to send them to Sochi is coming from, making this a prominent story.

 

 Oddity- There is two oddities in this story. The first oddity is the Jamaican bobsled team qualifying for the Winter Olympics. The second one is the background of how they are getting the funds to get to Russia. This company, Dogecoin, is a company with their own currency based on an internet character. The character is a picture of a Shiba Inu dog that is featured on internet memes.

 

My reaction to the article was that I found it a bit this story a bit humorous.  When I heard that the Jamaican bobsled team qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics, I thought it was a great feat. A country that doesn’t have the climate featuring cold weather puts their bobsled team on display for the world to see this February. The humorous part to this article is how they are going to be getting to Russia. The team had to pay $80,000 to get to the Olympics. With the country not having the funds to send the team to the Games, they had to really look into other resources. Paying their 80,000 fee was Dogecoin. A company that has produced a currency based on a picture of Japanese Shiba Inu dog that has floated around the internet. The pictures created feature the dog’s head with different captions that go along with the picture. First of all, the background that I learned about Dogecoin is ridiculous. What is the point in creating a currency based on a picture of a dog; it truly is a stupid idea to me. When I thought about this article and how the Jamaican bobsled team is getting their funding, the first thing I thought of was the 1993 film, Cool Runnings. That movie was loosely based on the story of the Jamaican bobsled team that qualified for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. In the movie, members of the team try everything to raise money. From preforming musical acts in the streets to setting up kissing booths, they did what they could to try and get to Calgary. I guess the point of the story is doesn’t matter how you get to where you want to go, just as long as you get there.

Tracking the News #2

The headline of the story that I am analyzing is “Pakistani schoolboy who died stopping bomber recommended for bravery award” by Jibran Ahmad. The article was published in the Globe and Mail on January 10, 2014.

Timeliness- This article is very timely as it is very recent news. The event had only happened a couple of days before the article came out.

Importance- This article is extremely important. It is about a Pakistani teenager who sacrificed his life by tackling a suicide bomber before he could harm the boy’s village. The boy deserves an award of some sort. To have the courage to sacrifice your life for many others is truly amazing.

Prominence- Although the event took place in an other continent far away from here, it is still a prominent event. It is a story that deserves to be heard around the world.

Oddity- The oddity in the story is the event itself. I haven’t heard of many events like this. This event stands out because of the fact that although there is many different bombings that take place in the Middle East, a teenager doesn’t sacrifice their life everyday to do something like this boy did.

My reaction to the article was shock. It is truly amazing what this boy did. For someone his age at 17, it is such a mature and courageous thing for him to do. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what was going through his mind when he was in the situation that he was in. This boy deserves recognition all around the world and it seems like he is getting it. Any kind of award that symbolizes his bravery would be more than well deserved. The unfortunate thing about this story is the fact that the boy had to sacrifice his life. The crisis in the Middle East seems to be never ending. The news everyday is a constant update on the terror that takes place in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq or Pakistan. With these terrible stories, heroes emerge. They are the lesser known citizens, small pieces of the puzzle that is the war in these countries. Yet what these people do for their country trying to protect their people is so brave. In Canada, we are so fortunate to not be in the position that others are in. We have so much freedom, so much to be thankful for, yet I think we only seem to realize this when we read stories like this one. Unfortunately with all of that we posses, we seem to take for granted what we truly have, and in the case of this boy in Pakistan, what they would die for.

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