(Some) media return to the scene of the Dawson crime

One year later, Dawson is remembering. A ceremony starts at 12:30, timed to coincide with the incident. Let’s see how the TV networks are covering it.


CTV News Montreal today is reliving the Dawson nightmare, live from campus for both the noon and 6pm newscasts. Mutsumi Takahashi is sitting on a chair on the sidewalk, trying to ignore the sounds of traffic as interview subjects get swapped through the chair next to her one by one.

The first interview? Reporter Tania Krywiak. (Why go for the story when you can go after the meta-story?) She introduces a package about the victims:

“20 people were injured that day … one day none of them will ever forget.”

Technically, those 20 include Anastasia De Sousa. Whether she’ll forget this is, I suppose, more of a metaphysical question.

Following the necessary interview with a Dawson student and a detached psychologist, Mits goes to interview the five police officers and De Sousa’s parents with the most sincere-looking concerned/supportive expression she can muster.

The day’s poll: “Should Ottawa make gun control a priority?” (And if you say “no”, it’s because you wanted Anastasia to die?)

An entirely respectable 20 minutes at the top of the newscast before moving to other news. Unfortunately, their timing is horrendous, and they end up being last to the party in covering the ceremony. The newscast ends normally at 1pm, followed by an eTalk Daily show on Matt Damon.


CBC runs national news at noon, but they do have Amanda Pfeffer (‘The Pfeff”) live on the scene with a long package. No doubt they’ll give it more coverage on the local newscast at 6. The national newscast covers the ceremony live. Oh, the irony: Nancy Wilson cuts coverage to talk about someone being arrested at an Ontario school with a gun. At 1pm, we have Living in Montreal about organic cotton.


Global doesn’t have a noon newscast. During the ceremony, we watch “Great Taste No Money”.


Regular news package treatment. Their poll is also about gun control. During the ceremony, a panel of journalists is talking Quebec politics and abortion. François Paradis is looking straight into the camera and overacting like an idiot while mentioning Dawson. During live coverage which eventually takes over, a speech is interrupted and silenced so that Paradis can show video from a year ago (in case we forget) and read comments from viewers. This is ridiculous. Now more talking into the camera! Someone get François Paradis off the air.


Regular news package treatment. Live coverage of the ceremony is relegated to RDI.


Regular news package treatment. Michel Gauthier is talking non-Dawson politics with the president of Première Moisson. “Now looking at the news, one thing that hit me…” bad choice of words Michel. Oh, he’s talking about Jean Chrétien.


Bazzo isn’t talking about Dawson. No live ceremony coverage.


RDI also has an hour-and-a-half special on the anniversary. And again, they start off interviewing their own reporter. More interviews are matched with live video of today’s ceremonies at Dawson, timed to coincide with the minute the shooting started. The network stays live between events.


Simulcasting the TVA noon-hour program, which mentions Dawson only in passing. Breaks away just before 12:30 for some live footage as the ceremony begins. Their interview with the De Sousas is more stoic than CTV’s, as they mention how tiring the constant media coverage is. (The two parents were hounded after the shooting and for quite a while refused to give interviews.)

CBC Newsworld

Simulcasting CBC’s noon newscast. The 1pm newscast leads with Dawson and The Pfeff, but doesn’t cut away for live coverage of the outdoor ceremony.

CTV Newsnet

Regular newscast with brief mention of Dawson. Live coverage of the outdoor ceremony at 1:15. Cuts away less than 10 minutes later after the mayor’s speech to cover other headlines.


I was going to make a mention of how the French networks weren’t covering the story with the same enthusiasm as the English ones. But then, after the noon-hour newscasts, only the four all-news networks covered the outdoor ceremony live, and of them only the French ones covered them live in their entirety. All the broadcast networks continued with their crappy 1pm programming.

The winner: RDI, with a solid 2 hours of live coverage, lasting 20 minutes longer than everyone else.

The loser: Global, who didn’t cover even one second of the live ceremony.

UPDATE: Global National gave 10 minutes of coverage to the anniversary, and the local Global news was live from Dawson. Jamie Orchard has a giant headset on, which looks sincere except when you remember that Global didn’t cover the ceremony itself live. What’s the point of being live now?

Oh, and Jamie’s first interview? You guessed it: the Global reporter, Amanda Jelowicki. And they’re both discussing what a hero she is. How touching. After another report, another live interview with a reporter, this time Dominic Fazioli, talking about how he’s a hero. To be fair, they called just about everyone a hero except for Kimveer Gill. But are the reporters who we should be focusing on here?

One interesting tidbit about the Global coverage: They found, in their tapes, a short video from the night of Sept. 13, 2006, of a concerned mother asking her daughter to call her. (With the cellphone network disrupted and all the chaos, there were many such parents trying to find their kids.) The mother was Louise De Sousa, who would find out a bit later that her daughter didn’t survive.

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