The Royal Watchers

You’ll find my first royal wedding blog post for Postmedia here.

And a behind-the-scenes shot of the making of this blog post here:

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a snapshot of how to cover an election campaign

I love this column/how-to guide for political reporters, written by Graham Thomson at The Journal. If I were to sum up the basic tips everyone should take from this:

  1. To get a real snapshot of an election campaign, don’t call ahead.
  2. Do show up, do ask to speak to the candidate, and do be patient enough to wait out the volunteers as necessary.
  3. If being hustled out the door, ask campaign volunteers for directions to the other campaign office.

Seriously, as someone who has traipsed after politicians as they knocked on the doors of “cherry-picked” neighbourhoods (my most memorable example is following Rahim Jaffer’s campaign in 2008, although in fairness Edmonton-Strathcona is a deeply divided riding), I think Graham’s tips belong in everyone’s toolbox.

Of course, this plan of action is better suited to columnists than news reporters. Journalists don’t line up interviews in campaign offices or pre-arrange door-knocking tag-alongs in order to make nice with politicians; we generally have deadlines to meet, and little opportunity to opine in print.

Nonetheless, love it.

In other news on news, the Canadian Association of Journalists just published this open letter to journalists, which demands attention.

Scribd!

There’s really nothing like the pressure of writing four essays in four weeks to get you thinking about innovative (but not so new) social media platforms. Today a colleague and I at POLIS were struggling to upload a document to the think tank’s web site when we — really, she — realized it would be much easier to create a Scribd account. So, here is the new POLIS Scribd account, which we’ll be populating over the next few weeks, and here is my new and totally empty (for now) account.

Something new….

On the weekend I spent a number of hours experimenting with online audio editing and posting platforms…. To be honest, I haven’t edited audio since I was in my third year of university at Carleton! But after some frustrating stops and starts I think I figured out a few tricks…. I’ll post the results when they are published. In the meantime, here is my new Audioboo profile and a very, very rough posting of audio from a recent trip to Malta.