ARICHAT - While their relationships with Telile Community Television and Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) participant Adam Cooke predate the launch of the station's partnership with the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS), the Warden of Richmond County and the area's Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) are both grateful for the coverage each has received over the past two and a half years.
Richmond Warden Amanda Mombourquette and Richmond MLA Trevor Boudreau each participated in interviews at Telile's Arichat studio with CACTUS' LJI program coordinator, Victoria Fenner, to help shine the spotlight on Telile's role in raising community awareness of issues stemming from the municipal and provincial arenas that impact county residents.
Warden Mombourquette praised the weekly programs that allow council issues to reach the general public - specifically, the hourlong newsmagazine series TELILE 24/7 and the weekly 30-minute series Roundtable, The Front Porch and Notre Cote. The warden has participated in several post-council interviews with Cooke for TELILE 24/7 and also taken part in panel discussions dealing with municipal accessibility strategies and affordable housing developments on Cooke's Roundtable program.
At the same time, Mombourquette added that Telile's traditional broadcasts of RIchmond Municipal Council's public meetings - via traditional TV airings and live-streaming on Telile's YouTube channel - has been "a big help" in getting the public's attention. The warden shared an anecdote about an elderly constituent from her district in eastern Richmond County.
"He said to me, 'I wake up in the morning and you're on the TV, I go to bed and you're on the TV - you're always on the TV, do you pay them?' But he's not the kind of person that's going to be on the internet or livestreaming,
Warden Mombourquette pointed out. "Community TV has made [council] accessible to him."
While Mombourquette and Boudreau both confirmed that Cooke will ask "hard questions" if necessary, the latter - marking his first anniversary as an MLA in late August - praised the "fair" and "thoughtful" line of questioning that Cooke brings to his interviews with MLAs of all political stripes, cabinet minister and party leaders.
As an example, Boudreau pointed to a TELILE 24/7 interview that Cooke conducted in St. Peter's with him and with visiting PC Opposition Leader Tim Houston, who would become the province's premier only a year after speaking to Cooke on the back deck of the St. Peter's Lions' Club Marina.
"The depth of the information [Cooke] was asking, and how much information [Cooke] had - he was just blown away. And that makes an impression," Boudreau recalled. "They were good questions - of course it was about campaign stuff, but the depth of it and the research that [Cooke] had to have put into it left us leaving that interview saying, 'He did the right job.' And the Premier and I have had that conversation since that time."
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.