The article was about what candidates in the upcoming provincial election in the St. Vital riding are going to do to ensure housing and programs for the thousands of newcomers settling in St. Vital every year. I also did a election script and clip radio story last week for 92.9 KICK FM's election night coverage this Tuesday, October 4th.
Doing this election coverage meant that I had to interview politicians. Out of the four candidates that I interviewed, three of them or their campaign managers asked for the questions or topics I would be asking about up front--before the interview.
As a young journalist who hasn't interviewed many politicians I thought this was standard. I thought it would make the answers the candidates gave during the interview better and my story better. However, what I didn't realize at first was that if I did provide the exact questions up front I wouldn't get the opportunity to properly evaluate the candidates' answers unrehearsed and how much they truly know about the issues.
As a I learned from our journalism radio instructor Dan when discussing how our election script and clip assignments went, journalists are not required to provide questions up front. If someone doesn't want to participate in an interview, it's their loss that they don't get to get media coverage, which isn't what most politicians want especially around election time.
Although potentially losing an interview may be scary for a young journalist it is always best to keep in mind that a journalist's job is not to make an interviewee look good or make it easy for them to answer your questions, but to ask questions and fairly report the answers people you interview give.
On another note, there were some facts that weren't able to be included in the article that I thought were quite interesting.
According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s most recent numbers from April, the
neighbourhood’s vacancy rate was 0.7 per cent.
Of the 20,528 2-bedroom apartments in Winnipeg, only 142 were available in April 2011. Of the 1,060
apartments with 3 or more bedrooms, only 5 were available.
13,518 immigrants landed in Manitoba in 2009.
Here is the article I wrote for the Lance.