Second Week

My second week was just as entertaining as my first.

I heard one name a lot on Thursday: Ogie Ogilthorpe. One of Radio-Canada’s reporters, Jean-Francois Poirier, had gone to Kingston where Bill “Goldie” Goldthorpe, the former hockey g0on that inspired the character in the cult-classic Slap Shot, was signing autographs and meeting fans.

I had the chance to spend the day with Poirier from 9 am to 5 pm while he was making his reporter pak. Radio-Canada asked for two paks: a short, 2-min pak for TV and another 8-min, longform one, for the web.

It was interesting to see what would be left out of the TV pak since it was six minutes shorter than the other one, but also how the angle for the two were going to differ.

In the morning, Poirier watched his clips and wrote down which clips were important to his report and then cut those clips. I helped him narrow down his clips to only keep the important ones.

Then, in the afternoon, we went in the editing room with a video editor. Poirier worked for TVA in the past where things were much different, he told me. There were no video editor: reports produced and edited their own paks.

At Radio-Canada, as I’ve mentioned in the previous blog post, there’s a video editor whose job is to listen to the journalist or the producer (if the journalist doesn’t produce and edit the pak himself) and move clips around on iNews.

The clip was hilarious, you can watch it here

On Friday, my second day there that week, I really had the chance to work just like an employee. In the morning, Jacques-Alexis Bernardin, my supervisor, asked me to follow Luc Fortin, a researcher.

One part of Fortin’s job is to prepare documents for journalists before they head out on assignments. The researcher will also do some pre-interviews with individuals the journalist might need to talk to.

In this case, Fortin was helping out for a report on the trial of Bertrand Charest. Charest, the former coach of the Canadian National Junior Ski team, is facing 57 charges, including sexual assault.

Fortin and Bernardin wanted to bring context to the video pak so they planned on getting an official from the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) to explain what training coaches have to go through in regards to ethical limits between themselves and their athletes.

I called Michel Hachey, the manager of communications at the CAC, for a pre-interview because Fortin was going to interview Hachey’s colleague the next week.

I was also asked to find a coach that would be interviewed during a training to talk about the coach-athlete relationship. Since Radio-Canada’s journalist needed to go onMonday afternoon, I thought about contacting high schools.

I contacted numerous schools around the Montreal area to ask them if any of their coaches would want to be interviewed.

It was a great first experience and it was fun to accomplish something for the department. One of the high schools I contacted is in my hometown.

Ultimately, it worked out with them. The journalist went there on Monday to talk to the coach, former Montreal Alouettes player Sylvain Girard. I spoke to Girard on Sunday, the day before, to make sure he knew what he was going to discuss with the journalist the next day.

When my shift ended, Bernardin insisted that I keep contacts I spoke to today.

“Contacts are everything, keep them, find a way to have them all at the same place and don’t lose them.”

It couldn’t have asked for a better learning experiment.