Friday, March 23, 2012

Journey for Justice: how project angel cracked the Candace Derken case - analysis

An assignment for the Creative Communications; reading Journey for Justice, how project Angel cracked the Candace Derksen case by Mike McIntyre, was a good lesson in journalistic literature; how to structure a non-fiction story, how much detail to include and when to use those details.  McIntyre used a good amount of details, which isn't the easiest thing to do in a non-fiction book, because they have to be accurate. The details helped paint a picture, but didn't drag on unnecessarily, much like I noticed in McIntyre's To The Grave, where some conversations and descriptions dragged on unnecessarily in my opinion, like when the undercover police officer and the suspect talked about American Idol. The style of writing was very similar, same author of course, but something I really enjoyed in To the Grave was the parts detailing the efforts made by police. When they met with the suspect as part of a sting operation, where a cop went undercover and acted as part of a criminal organization which payed big money, but they needed to know they could trust him, in an effort to make him confess his murder. I liked the behind the scenes look at how the police actually cracked the case. I was disappointed that Journey for Justice didn't take the sawn approach, considering the subtitle of the book: how project angel cracked the Candace Derksen case. I guess I was expecting.... To actually find out how the cops cracked the case?? Well, that would've been nice. But now, to what I did like about Journey for Justice. The first part of Journey for Justice was my favorite in the book; I felt for the family, as the tragedy unfolded. I felt almost in their shoes and compelled to turn the next page. It was surreal reading about it taking place, so close to where I've spent a lot of time. Talbot street and MBCI were daily sights in my life back in high school, so i had a nice visual to associate with the story and made it seem more real. However, I found this style and pace didn't hold true for the rest of the book. While the selection of the jury was informative, I just wasn't interested, as the pace really dragged on in this part. And while I feel it's important to include this information in any detailed analysis or report of the trial, it prompted myself to ponder a question: who was McIntyre writing this book for? And quite frankly, even after his presentation to our class, I haven't found an answer. In fact, due to his personal connection to the Derksens and the case, which helped prompt him to write the book, I can only assume two motivations: 1) to tell a tragic story of someone close to him that he's passionate about, and 2) to sell books.  And while he denied the latter, I deemed that to be at least partially untrue, because of course that was a motivating factor; it is for anyone producing a book. As far as what we can take from the book, it's definitely a good blueprint of how to structure a non-fiction novel. Most of the dialogue is believable and I found his descriptions to be better than that in To the Grave.  But some of what I took from McIntyre came from his presentation; did whatever he could to get the story he felt conveyed what he wanted, in regards to the luncheon at the end of the book. He was allow to attend as long as he didn't bring his notebook. He talked to people and made mental nots, and took people's contact information so he could later ask them to repeat what they said while they were there. That's what I took from it; doing what it takes to get the story, being nice to people and understanding them goes a long way to them cooperating with your journalistic goals. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tilted Magazine makes it's debut!

Hi one and all, this post is a far cry from the usual subject matter I cover on this blog – and that’s probably a good thing.

This post describes the magazine me and my group produced called “Tilted” magazine, all about spotlighting local Winnipeg filmmaking talent and giving a behind-the-scenes look at filmmaking.

In our debut issue we give readers a behind-the-scenes look of the making of “The Divide”, filmed in Winnipeg; a stunt man on fire; acting tips; how to transition from theatre to TV or film; movie reviews and more.

Our magazine will make its debut on Friday, March 30th in the Atrium of the Red River College Princess Campus/Exchange district Campus, from 12 to 4.

This will be in conjunction with a plethora of magazines also making their debut.

“It’s a festive and carnival atmosphere,” RRC Instructor Kenton Larsen spoke about the annual event.

In years past theirs been a tonne of free food, from popcorn and cupcakes to even alcoholic beverages (but don’t tell anyone).

So come on down and check out Tilted, get the inside and behind-the0-scenes look at our magazines debut issue.

It’s greatly appreciated, you’ll see a lot of new magazines, and let’s face it – it’s a freaking party, come on down!

Checkout the team's blogs!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bell eats Astral Pie

So, BCE Inc. (owns Bell Media) bought Astral Media this week. I’ve noticed lately that a lot of media I consume is Bell Media. It’s interesting to think of the advertising, PR, and propaganda possibilities with such a conglomerate. So, here’s a snippet from a Toronto Star article to explain the purchase, followed by my rant. Yay!  
BCE Inc.
The telecom giant has been moving into the media space to ensure content ownership in Canada, as it competes with Rogers Communications and Quebecor.
Last year, it bought 100 per cent of CTV and started Bell Media, a new business unit to make television programming available on smartphones and computers.
Bell Media operates 28 conventional stations as well as 30 specialty channels, including Business News Network, Discovery Channel, Much, MTV, The Comedy Network, Space, and TSN and RDS.
It also owns 32 radio stations, including TSN Radio, and Dome Productions, a mobile broadcast facilities provider, and dozens of news, sports and entertainment websites including
It also has acquired a minority stake in the Montreal Canadiens, and it is joining with rival Rogers Communications to buy a chunk of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which is due to close in mid-2012.
Astral Media
Astral is Montreal-based company founded in 1961. It owns many familiar television channels such as Family, Disney Junior, Teletoon, to premium channels such as The Movie Network and HBO Canada. In Quebec, it operates 13 French-language channels Canal Vie, Canal D, VRAK TV and MusiquePlus.
Astral also has 84 radio stations in 50 markets, including CJOB 680 and QX 104.
It also has 9,500 outdoor traditional and digital billboards in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, which Bell sees as a growing market.
While this acquisition is an example of capitalism, it is also an example of corporatism—well not yet, but a step in that direction. See, it would be different if the people governed the people; however we have career politicians that are influenced by big business’s lobbying and influence.
I suppose my concerns are mostly unjustified, in BCE Inc. at least, it’s more of a philosophical issue. And even though this is the natural progression of capitalism… it’s like all businesses circle around a drain—like in a bathtub. The rich get richer, and buy up the poorer, until everything is in the hands of two or three corporations in that sector with a myriad of divisions and subsections so you don’t start thinking “hmmm… you know, everything I like to watch and listen to is owned by Bell Media.”
See, that’s what I’ve been finding I’ve been saying to myself. I love the Jets, so I watch TSN and the Jets channel—all owned by Bell Media. I also like to listen to them, and TSN 1290 owns the broadcast rights—Bell owns TSN 1290.
Bell also owns CTV, which broadcasts my favorite local TV news program, of course, CTV News… with Gord Leclerc, lol.
And when I’m not consumed by Jets or news, I like to sit back and watch some Big Bang Theory or South Park on Comedy Network or American Pickers or some documentary on History Channel or Discovery. Oh… Bell Media owns all those eh?
Just a tad bit concerning when the majority of the media I consume comes from one place. And I sure hope there is a high level of trust in an organization with that much control in the greatest propaganda tools known to man.