The Outhouse
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Reporting On Evacuations

Reporting On Evacuations


Hello from Fort Simpson. It’s Ollie. First of all, we hope you’re doing OK.

That’s how we have to start each day, lately. The Northwest Territories is going through a lot, and so are all of us, the residents.

It’s our job to tell that story – and it became our job this month to help national media outlets tell it, too.

In this podcast, our assistant editor Emily Blake joins me to talk about what it’s been like to report on the evacuations of multiple NWT communities, the opportunities and challenges that come with national media attention, and the impact of Meta (and the CRTC) on access to timely, important news in the North.

From left: Ollie Williams, Liny Lamberink (CBC reporter and Ollie’s partner), Mike Canney, Lynn Canney and Emily Blake at dinner. Mike and Lynn are hosting this small team of evacuee journalists, for which we’re eternally grateful.

In the podcast you’ll hear clips from two other shows. Here are links if you want to listen to those in full:

The Big Story: A remote evacuation scramble as the Northwest Territories burns (recorded with Emily before Yellowknife evacuated)

Canadaland: Yellowknife’s Cabin Radio Fever (recorded with Ollie)

We’ve been interviewed various times over the past 10 days about Meta’s ban on news, how people in the NWT are coping with that ban, and how Cabin Radio has approached reporting on the evacuations. Here are links to some of that reporting:

New York Times: Canadian Officials Condemn Facebook for News Ban as Wildfires Burn

NPR: Yellowknife residents wonder if wildfires are the new normal as western Canada burns

Associated Press: Canada wildfire evacuees can’t get news media on Facebook and Instagram. Some find workarounds

CTV: Local journalism help keeps N.W.T evacuees in the loop

Canadian Press: Former BBC reporter keeps NWT local news alive with Cabin Radio

One of the topics in this podcast is: what do we need to report on next? What kind of journalism is going to be the most helpful to thousands of evacuees in this uncertain future of ours?

I’m interested in what you think about that. In the comments, tell us what reporters are missing, right now, and where we can do good.

The Outhouse
Sounds From The Outhouse
Cabin Radio's best audio journalism. Interviews, news analysis and voices from across northern Canada.