paulcrosstoronto’s Podcast

Cross Talk extra: Season Four, Episode 15 reload

April 20, 2021

In April 2021 there has been a great deal of coverage on podcasts, radio and tv of the one-year anniversary of the mass murder in rural Nova Scotia: April 18 and 19, 2020. For an in-depth examination of the case I highly recommend the series 13 Hours: Inside the Nova Scotia Massacre from CuriousCast.  Episode six is particularly valuable for its examination and exposure of communication and coordination failures by the RCMP.  But I want to return to an examination of the news industry in Nova Scotia.  The news media missed the story Saturday night after the the first tweet by the RCMP.  The story could have, should have been on the radio and on newsroom social feeds late Saturday night.  On-call reporters could have inserted cut-ins on radio; information could have appeared on tv.  A year later, I'm still did the news media miss it?  Many newsrooms seemed to be aware of nothing about the case until a follow-up tweet from the RCMP Sunday morning; more than eight hours after the first.  I'm left to believe that not one single person who works in media in Nova Scotia -- news, production, programming, music, sales, promotion, management, creative, administration -- caught a very unusually-worded tweet from the police before midnight on a Saturday night.  Because it was unusual enough that anyone with any connection to any form of news media should have contacted someone else from their workplace about it.  Newsrooms could have been on the story hours earlier; it could have been running overnight and much earlier Sunday morning. But newsrooms missed it...and too many are playing the game of blaming the RCMP for not doing more.  Yes, it should have.  But where was the media for eight hours?

Updated from April 30, 2020 with one small edit: I originally mis-identified the opening emergency audio as being from the RCMP; it's other first-responders arriving at the scene Saturday night.

There's more detail in this post, too:

Regarding any conflict in timing of communications: The timeline appears to be 11:32pm local time for the first RCMP tweet, and 8:02am for the second.

The photo shows the timing of the first time the story appears on the Canadian Press newswire feed that would go to radio stations: 9:10am Toronto time, Sunday April 19th.

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