Diverse Cape Breton Communities Benefit from Telile-CACTUS Partnership

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LJI Journalist Name
LJI Partner Name
Telile Community Televison
Arichat NS

ARICHAT - Nearly three decades after it set up shop as part of a strategy to revitalize an area devastated by the downturn in the Atlantic ground fishery, Telile Community Television is reaching far beyond its original coverage area as a result of its participation in the Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) as administered by the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS). 

Officially inducted into the LJI as Telile journalist Adam Cooke and former station manager Cora LeBlanc took part in a week-long CACTUS training exercise in Wakefield, Quebec in January 2020, the station's flagship series - the hourlong magazine show TELILE 24/7, which will mark its 100th episode this August - is now joined by three half-hour interview series. The newest show, the immigrant/newcomer-targeted program The Front Porch, joins the weekly panel-discussion series Roundtable and the French-language program Notre Cote. 

In creating these programs with the help of LJI resources provided by CACTUS, Cooke and his Telile colleagues have captured several cultural and demographic communities within the 9,000 residents that currently make up Richmond County's population. These include the French-Acadian and indigenous Mi'kmaq regions as well as the large number of seniors within the county, with those over the age of 65 making up 27.7 per cent of the county's population. 

In addition to filming of events in Richmond County communities as far removed as Potlotek First Nation, Petit de Grat and West Bay Road, Cooke and his Telile programs also cover municipal affairs for the nearby Town of Port Hawkesbury, with regular visits to Inverness County and the Town of Mulgrave, which is found on the mainland side of the Canso Causeway. 

All of this captured the eye of the LJI coordinator for CACTUS, Victoria Fenner, when she visited the Telile facilities in Arichat in late June and was given an extensive tour of the different parts of Cooke's LJI coverage area by the current station and program manager, Becky Bourinot. 

"I come from a small rural community myself, so I wasn't really surprised to see how spread out the communities are, but I was really surprised to find out that Richmond County only has eight or nine thousand people living here - that's really not a lot of people for such a large area," Fenner told Cooke during an interview for TELILE 24/7 at the station's Arichat studio.

"But it also showed me what some of the challenges might be in covering this area, when you have all these small communities that are so spread out." 

About LJI

LJI Impact is the section of commediaportal.ca where the journalists and their organizations participating in CACTUS' Local Journalism Initiative can share their greatest successes.

Through the written stories, photos and videos you see in the LJI Impact section, you'll be able to read first hand accounts about how the presence of a community journalist is making a difference in communities across Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative and the Community Media Portal.

The Community Media Portal is a gateway to the audio-visual media created by community media centres across Canada. These include traditional community TV and radio stations, as well as online and new media production centres.

Community media are not-for-profit production hubs owned and operated by the communities they serve, established both to provide local content and reflection for their communities, as well as media training and access for ordinary citizens to the latest tools of media production, whether traditional TV and radio, social and online media, virtual reality, augmented reality or video games.

The Community Media Portal has been funded by the Local Journalism Initiative (the LJI) of the Department of Canadian Heritage, and administered by the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) in association with the Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec (the Fédération). Under the LJI, over 100 journalists have been placed in underserved communities and asked to produce civic content that underpins Canadian democratic life.

Administered by Cactus

Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec

Funded by the Government of Canada