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BTS with CTV News Vancouver
35 minutes | Dec 5, 2020
"Disaster for democracy" as reporters kept at a distance
The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated major changes to everyone's workplace, virtually overnight, and it took some time to get adjusted to the new reality where isolation is the safest option. But it's had tremendous, negative consequences for journalists reporting on every aspect of the pandemic -- from vaccine availability to the safety of school openings to the dating scene. Instead of being in the room to look decision-makers in the eye and hold them to account, BC's reporters are more often than not restricted by calling their questions in an opaque queuing system where no one knows who's being chosen to speak, nor why. BTS with CTV Vancouver podcast producer/host and reporter, Penny Daflos, dives into the reality for reporters in British Columbia with CTV's legislative bureau chief, Bhinder Sajan, who describes the inner workings and political considerations that have kept journalist's arms-length from the province's top doctor and policymakers, while investigative reporter, Jon Woodward, colourfully describes the impacts of limiting reporters on the campaign trail as a Metro Vancouver mayor hits the mute button on an uncomfortable question.
32 minutes | May 5, 2020
"No more handshakes": Safety and storytelling during a pandemic
When health officials declared a global pandemic, it quickly became obvious it would have an impact on our lives. Just as every industry and family had to adapt to the rapidly-changing public health orders and advice, so have TV news journalists. From microphones on hockey sticks to dinner-table interviews, journalists have changed the way we work to stay in the field in a way that's safe for us as well as the people whose stories we're telling. BTS with CTV Vancouver host and producer Penny Daflos has a frank and open discussion with colleagues, St John Alexander and Shannon Paterson, on the immense workload, the social rituals we're still struggling to avoid, and what they do with all their gear at the end of the day.
30 minutes | Feb 23, 2020
Solidarity, Disruption and Spin: Covering Canada-Wide Demonstrations
For weeks, demonstrations in support of hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation in northern British Columbia have resulted in in unprecedented rallies, blockaded railroads and intentionally disrupted commuter routes for drivers and transit users alike -- not to mention attempts to stall legislators in the capitol and even taking their placards to the premier's own home. The issue of whether or not to allow the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline has deeply fractured the Wet'suwet'en community and Canadians at large have been divided on whether protests are lawful and acceptable expressions of support for First Nations or illegal acts of disruption that should result in arrest. As the days go on, the impacts are increasingly felt by people across the country. Hard at work to report on the daily goings-on and the larger picture of what's at play are journalists scrambling to get to the latest barricade, protest and sit-in -- despite increasing hostility from the demonstrators themselves. It's a challenging but important task, so reporters and videographers are getting creative in order to cover all aspects of the developments, despite significant logistical and geographic hurdles. BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos discusses the complexities of reporting on this issue with reporter Allison Hurst and their colleague, Melanie Nagy, Vancouver bureau chief for CTV National News.
23 minutes | Jan 24, 2020
Flight 752: Finding & Telling the Victims' Stories
The world was shocked when a Ukrainian Airlines flight went down near Tehran, but when officials confirmed dozens of Canadians were on board our nation was stunned -- as journalists sprang into action to tell the stories of the innocent lives taken too soon. With so many victims in the Lower Mainland, CTV Vancouver journalists were inundated with heart-wrenching stories as communities mourned the tragedy. BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos and reporter Shannon Paterson describe the difficult steps in finding the loved ones left behind, then respectfully conveying the loss felt by their families, friends, and communities. This is, quite simply, one of the toughest jobs reporters have, but they are often a welcome conduit for grieving loved ones to express their loss.
25 minutes | Dec 19, 2019
"It's not funny": When Journalists are Harassed, Slapped and Even Punched on the Job
When an American journalist was slapped on the butt as she was reporting live during a run, it went viral for many reasons. Most saw it for the on-the-job physical assault that it was, but a few didn't think it was a big deal and that she should "lighten up." For broadcast journalists who've experienced that kind of violation, it's not something you easily forget -- and that's not even the worst example. BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos sits down with her colleagues, Shannon Paterson, Mi-Jung Lee and Scott Roberts as they describe similar situations where they were accosted on and off the air. From shouts of FHRITP to punches flying outside a courthouse, they discuss the difficult situations they've been in, and why there seems to be a different expectation of what's acceptable behaviour toward journalists than other working professionals.
2 minutes | Nov 29, 2019
A Horrific Dragging MVI Begins and Ends with Mystery
What started as a routine pedestrian accident quickly took several unusual turns as Vancouver Police revealed the driver didn't know he'd dragged a young woman for nearly six blocks. How was that possible? When an American punk band was later connected and witnesses began coming forward with their stories, the situation only became more confusing as the victim clung to life in hospital, unaware that she would need major reconstructive surgery, a prosthetic eye and a lifetime of recovery. BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos and reporter Emad Agahi take listeners step by step through the twists and turns of this story to the surprising conclusion of what happened that autumn night, a development that still has them baffled.
36 minutes | Oct 22, 2019
The Berry Trial: Sisters Murdered by Dad on Christmas
The heart-wrenching details instantly made headlines across the country: two young sisters found dead in their beds, their Christmas presents sitting unopened under the tree. Their father, Andrew Berry, was covered in blood and claimed he was attacked by mysterious loan sharks who must've killed his daughters for some unfathomable reason. The trial that followed, spanning 5 months and including riveting testimony, made headlines as the sad and often strange details emerged.BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos and reporter Maria Weisgarber delve into the complexities journalists faced in reporting on a long and complex trial before a jury. Maria outlines the many twists and turns from the start of the trial to its dramatic conclusion, which paints a picture of the challenges of court reporting as well as the inner workings of Canada's justice system.
24 minutes | Sep 15, 2019
"It was grating my bones": A Grizzly Attack Survivor's Story
There are few people who could survive a harrowing attack by an apex predator and fewer still who are willing to tell the tale of how they tried to pull a grizzly bear's teeth off their limbs as the animal started eating them alive -- just days after it happened. But Powell River's Colin Dowler did just that, in a bedside interview at a Vancouver hospital in front of a swarm of captivated reporters.BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos was one of the journalists hanging on Dowler's every word -- and then tasked with taking 20 minutes of his compelling interview and condensing it into a story for TV and online. She includes large portions of the interview and explains how it all came together, with some blurring to keep the stomach-churning images of Dowler's wounds acceptable for a 6:00 TV audience.Watch and read her story here: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/i-could-hear-the-grating-grizzly-attack-victim-fought-to-survive-in-back-country-1.4533823
34 minutes | Aug 16, 2019
The Fugitives: A Manhunt Drawing International Attention
A young couple found dead, a middle-aged man's body near a burnt-out camper, two teens missing after leaving home to look for work: these storylines would all converge in the remote landscape of northern British Columbia, culminating in a manhunt that would put the spotlight on a bizarre manhunt swirling in mystery, fear and warnings with journalists scrambling to keep up with the twists and turns.BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos discusses the disappearances of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, the discovery of UBC lecturer Leonard Dyck's body and the missing persons case-turned manhunt of Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod with reporter Shannon Paterson. They delve into the challenges of a massive and constantly-changing case that put huge demands on our newsroom as the story grew broader and moved across the country.
32 minutes | Jul 16, 2019
The Spotlight on "Bare Knuckle Politics" in Surrey
Municipal politics generally don't capture the attention of constituents, much less observers outside the city in question, but that's definitely not the case in Surrey. Less than a year after winning a landslide victory, the mayor of Metro Vancouver's fastest-growing suburb is seeing support on city council crumble as he continues to stand by his election promises, using his political muscle to do so. BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos and reporter Jon Woodward dig into the fiery goings-on at Surrey city hall, exploring the clash between rival political factions and what it means for a massive decision before those policymakers: whether or not to overhaul their policing model, a move that comes with considerable risk and cost.
26 minutes | Jun 19, 2019
A Cloud Over the VPD: Serious Allegations from a Struggling Officer
VPD Const. Nicole Chan has been with the force for a decade when she went on leave amid struggles with her own mental health and an internal investigation triggered by serious allegations around senior officers. In January, she took her own life and her family began searching for answers in a complex case that only came to light after other officers came forward to speak with a CTV News journalist. BTS with CTV News host Penny Daflos discusses the story with CTV News at Six co-host Scott Roberts as he describes months of investigative journalism into disciplinary proceedings and a case that’s opening up more disclosure from other officers unhappy about what they’re seeing within their own ranks.
27 minutes | Jun 12, 2019
The MSJ Transformation Underway: A Difficult Newsroom Transition
In January, CTV Vancouver employees got a huge shock at an all-newsroom meeting: the station would be combining jobs and cross-training journalists working in the field so that they could do everything. Highly skilled videographers would start writing for online and broadcast while on-air reporters would learn the technical ins and outs of shooting and editing, with online content a priority.Other stations have tried to make the move to what's known as MSJ or MMJ (multi-skilled or multi-media journalism) before with mixed results. How would a busy newsroom in a major Canadian city fare?Months into the training and transition, BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos and news director Les Staff discuss why the station is making the move and how the "video vocabulary" played into the decision, while long-time reporter St. John Alexander and veteran cameraman, Murray Titus, sit down for a round table discussion about how their jobs have changed and what they've lost and gained as a result.
28 minutes | May 29, 2019
The TV News Control Room: Technical Triumphs and Occasional Cursing
It's an uncomfortable fact for the technical crew of TV newsrooms that a flawless broadcast will go unnoticed by viewers at home, but a technical snafu will probably make the blooper reel and go viral online. That's why the technical wizards behind each broadcast work so hard to make everything look flawless -- including sometimes keeping the on air journalists in the dark about chaos unfolding in the control room.BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos sits down with Supervising Director, Alex Huang, for an unvarnished look at the modern-day control room -- one dominated by automation where even the smallest error can result in the kind of cringe-worthy on-air mishaps that prompt colouful language behind the scenes.
23 minutes | May 24, 2019
A Mid-Air Plane Crash in the Alaskan Wilderness
When two float planes collided mid-air, plummeting into a remove inlet and killing a number of cruise ship passengers on board, CTV Vancouver sent a crew north to Alaska to learn more about the crash. Not only had their ship left from the port of Vancouver days earlier, but a metro Vancouver husband and wife died aboard one of the sea-planes.BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos and reporter Allison Hurst discuss the logistics of getting to Ketchikan and the George Inlet where the planes went down, as well as the delicate task of reporting in a community awash in grief.
30 minutes | May 6, 2019
‘Tis a cutthroat business, sometimes
Hollywood movies and TV shows like to feature the journalist who will all but draw blood in his or her thirst to be the first, the best, the one with the exclusive interview. That’s the kind of hyperbole and stereotyping that make real reporters cringe, while reluctantly acknowledging there is a kernel of truth to the trope. Though there’s a certain code and “gentleman’s agreement” that guide us, that’s sometimes thrown by the wayside when the elbows come up.BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos and reporters Breanna Karstens-Smith and Maria Weisgarber provide several unvarnished examples of the battle to land big interviews while being ethical, and why is reality is generally the opposite of the iconic fight scene from Anchorman.
31 minutes | Apr 18, 2019
The Silent Mayor: Pushing for Answers
When a Vancouver suburb was grappling with an increasingly complex homelessness crisis centred around a growing tent city, residents and journalists alike turned to the city’s mayor for answers about what was being done. But Mike Morden avoided interview requests, leaving reporters little option but to approach him at public event. Eventually the mayor decided to hire a public relations company for a controlled interview — a strategy that backfired in spectacular fashion as the mayor described the city’s homeless population as “raping and pillaging” his community.In this detailed podcast, BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos and reporters Maria Weisgarber, Sheila Scott and Ben Miljure weigh the mayor’s preference for press release statements with the accountability and live answers expected from our public officials.
30 minutes | Apr 9, 2019
"It's a Tough Call": Complexities Around Medical & Health Reporting
Personal health and medical treatment are among the most intimate and sensitive issues, so discussing them in public -- on a TV broadcast, no less -- usually only happens when someone is having a serious issue with the medical system, a practitioner or treatment. Choosing which stories to cover and how is incredibly difficult because they often turn into a "he said, she said" see-saw between the patient and/or their family and the other side, whether it be the entire healthcare system or a particular person or company.In this far-reaching podcast, BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos and CTV Vancouver Managing Editor Ethan Faber discuss the intricacies around health and medical reporting, with a focus on two recent stories exposing issues in the current system of home-based support for people with severe epilepsy and debilitating illnesses like ALS while living in remote communities.
26 minutes | Mar 27, 2019
"We're out of burgers!" Stranded Passengers, Drunk Onlookers and a Scrambling News Team
Underwater inspectors probed a waylaid BC Ferries vessel as two Coast Guard crews and a pair of heavy-duty tugboats waited for word it'd be safe to try and manoeuvre up and off a section of a ferry terminal -- as more than 200 passengers waited hours on board the Queen of Surrey, running out of food and patience.BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos was the reporter dispatched to the scene with veteran videographer Pete Cline, and their first challenge was how to get to a serious maritime mishap with the ferry terminal closed and the extent of the damage uncertain. This is a tale of helicopters, frustrated passengers and weary travellers -- plus the drunk guy who got himself on TV despite Pete's best efforts.
24 minutes | Mar 13, 2019
"You Seemed So Nice": Reporting While Female
It's now been decades since women began regularly reporting on the full range of news topics rather than just "fluff" pieces, but there are still certain expectations and double standards for female reporters. Criticisms range from being too aggressive to not aggressive enough, with plenty of sexist comments around makeup and clothing thrown in. While a lot of progress has been made, sexism remains an ongoing issue for women, particularly in the field.BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos discusses the change in the reporting landscape with veteran journalist and CTV News at Six co-host, Mi-Jung Lee, in this thought-provoking episode -- with examples that'll have listeners cringing.
24 minutes | Feb 28, 2019
A Measles Outbreak Raises Questions
In February, several Vancouver schoolchildren tested positive for measles, the first of several people who'd traveled overseas and become infected with the virus. Health officials termed it an outbreak and warned the public about possible exposure sites, which triggered a wave of public anger against families who refuse to get their children vaccinated. Anti-vaxxers became more vocal, making the issue a contentious one in the region.BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos discusses the developments with reporter Shannon Paterson, delving into the real people affected by a disease that had been all but eradicated in Canada until vaccine hesitancy began to rise.
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