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England

Vox Pops and Buckingham Palace

April 17, 2016

It was quieter in the newsroom this week, which worked out great for me since it afforded me a chance to practice a bit more with iNews, Avid, MOG, Aspire, and all the technical stuff that might seem second to practicing journalism, but actually is what journalists rely on to make their stories happen. I also learned how to contact the Toronto resource desk for help. Possibly my most important lesson this week.

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Next week is the Queen’s birthday (90 years old! Way to go, Liz!), so the team has been preparing for how we’re going to cover that. There are civil wars, a migrant crisis, people working every day in poverty and looming food shortages throughout eastern African countries, but hey, people love a good birthday party, amirite? The coverage we produce in the bureau is a compromise between stories the correspondents pitch and want to be told, and what Toronto HQ tells us the audience wants covered.

In any case, we’re headed to Windsor so I was trying to find Canadians who might be living there and attending festivities who we could interview. This is where Facebook’s friends search filtering functions are a great boon to journalists! I searched for people whose hometowns were in Canada but were currently living in Windsor. From that I made contact with a few different families who’ll be attending the birthday festivities and might make good characters for a Canadian audience to relate to.

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On Tuesday I went out with cameraman Ed to shoot a bunch of stock footage of Buckingham Palace to use for the Queen’s birthday as b-roll. This is where I learned the power of the amazing media pass. It’s really hard to film around Buckingham Palace. Even if you have a media pass, but a bit of Canadian charm and luck with police officers, we managed to score a perfect spot right by the gate of the palace during the changing of the guard. We celebrated afterwards with proper British fish and chips.

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Friday was rainy, in typical London fashion, but me and intrepid cameraman Nick set out anyway to do a bunch of streeters about ‘Brexit’ (that’s the upcoming June referendum about whether or not Britain should exit the EU. The first official day of the campaign was on Friday). Fun fact: streeters in Britain are called “vox pops”. Despite the rain, it was great fun. I really love when they send me out with a cameraman. Because you get to act not only like a journalist, talking to people, but a bit like a producer as well (let’s get this shot! Did we get enough B roll?).  The streeters were used in Brexit coverage on CBC News Network and one of them even got put into Nahlah Ayed’s package for the National, so that was a bonus for me! Cut to me texting home to my grandparents, really excited that this small thing I did got included in the National.

Moving up the ladder, one tiny rung at a time!

I also pitched a story next week to do on my own about the recreation of Palmyra’s Triumphal  Arch happening in Trafalgar Square on Tuesday. Palmyra is an ancient city that was pretty much destroyed by a 10-month occupation by ISIS, and the Digital Institute of Archaeology is trying to save importance cultural sites throughout the middle east by scanning and databasing them so they can be reconstructed (essentially 3d printed). Whether or not I get to do it it looks like depends on whether or not I’m needed at the studio on Tuesday. It’s the day before we all pack up and head to Windsor for the Queen’s birthday so things might get a little crazy. Fingers crossed though!

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As I mentioned in my Sunday Sundries, I found out I’ll be going to the Idomeni refugee camp in May with an NGO. And we’ll be staying in tents. One Medecins du Monde doctor interviewed by the BBC called the place “disgusting” and “unhygienic”, so it should be a really good time. I’m putting together some pitches for Idomeni right now, but do you have any ideas for what I should ask people living in Idomeni?

What do you want to know? Put your suggestions below!

p.s. WE GOT MARGARET ON INSTAGRAM!!! I can go back to Canada a happy intern.

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