Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Press box etiquette

During the past few months, I've had the pleasure of interning with the Winnipeg Jets and hanging around the press box at the MTS Centre.

One important thing I've picked up is press box etiquette. You see, I've been to both Leafs games (You all know how big of a fan I am), but I've never gotten up and cheered...but I will admit I did do a small fist pump.

When you are surrounded by media professionals and players from both teams, it seems inappropriate to celebrate or watch the game as a "fan." However, there have been times when different people have gotten up and cheered, or boo'd, or showed their displeasure for a call...and to be honest, it felt really weird.

You are supposed to look and act professionally there and when I see people yelling and screaming, it comes off wrong.

So if you ever have the chance to watch a Winnipeg Jets game from the press box, have fun. But don't come off as that crazed fan, because it is not the place to act like one.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Insiders and Sources

Being a sports fan, you hear insiders reference their "sources" all the time...with them being wrong most of the time. And most notably, a big NHL television personality went on the radio about a month back saying Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry wouldn't be re-signing with the team.

Now, he is one of the most respected analysts in the game, but all he said was that "sources" told him it wouldn't happen. Fast-forward to Monday night and news broke that Corey Perry did in fact choose to re-sign with Anaheim. Whoops.

One thing that has always bugged me about sports journalism has been the "sources." With the NHL trade deadline soon approaching, the three major sports networks (TSN, Sportsnet and The Score) will have their top analysts feeding us rumours from these unnamed sources.

It bugs me because in many cases, they will be wrong during the day and it won't affect anything. The NHL trade deadline is the only example where these journalists can get away with being wrong...not that they try to. The goal is to break every trade first. And if that means they get it wrong - and I've seen them get it wrong many times - then so be it.

As an aspiring sports journalist, I can't stand it...but I also understand the importance of being first on days like the trade deadline. It's really hit and miss. Sports journalism is just a different kind of beast.

Monday, March 11, 2013


It seems like it was years ago when I finally got my IPP, I've Seen the Elephant accepted. Well, it's March and in two days I'll be presenting my IPP at the Convention Centre.

It was a great experience to write a book, edit it, lay it out on InDesign and then host a book launch. I couldn't have done it without the help of Duncan McMonagle and Diane Livingston.

While the IPPP's aren't the end of CreComm, it feels like they are. Anyways, I hope y'all can come out to the Convention Centre on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to see the great work CreCommers have done over the past year.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Have You Seen Candace?

Over the past two years, I've had a chance to learn about Candace Derksen and her disappearance by reading Journey for Justice and Have You Seen Candace?

The story has struck me personally, because I lived near the area where Candace disappeared and it shows that actions like these are not just happening in the core of Winnipeg. Sadly, tragedies like this can happen anywhere.

Although it's hard to choose a book, I felt like I connected more with Wilma's because it was much more personal. It's hard for anyone to get much more personal than writing about their child's death.

I also feel that Mike's book was dry when the focus went on Mark Grant and some of the trial.

Journalists can learn that while it's hard to approach a family that has lost a child, or any other family member in such a terrible way, many people want to get tell their story. So while it may be hard to ask the tough questions, or gather courage to go to their house, or make that phone call, the families of victims usually want to talk to the media and tell them about their family member they lost - and Wilma made that clear when she talked to us last Tuesday.

Wilma's visit was much better this year than last. While I really enjoyed Mike's presence last year, I felt he overshadowed Wilma - and personally - I wanted to hear Wilma's story more than his.

The most enjoyable part of her visit was hearing her talk about her fears when facing the media. Being a former CreComm student, it was interesting to hear her insight into how she dealt with the media when Candace disappeared and when Mark Grant was on trial. It's really true that CreComm can prepare you for almost any life event - and this was no different for her.

It was also interesting to hear about her two other children and how they reacted to Candace's disappearance and to the trial and conviction of Mark Grant.

Looking back, I would have liked to ask a question to Wilma. While I knew she came to talk to the class knowing we read her book, I still felt like it was a really personal topic and hard to ask a question about Candace. I really admire her coming back every year and telling her story to CreComms.