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Reporter selects Hantsport aboiteau coverage as top story of 2018

Bob and Carole MacDonald at their Schurman Road home just outside of Hantsport. They’re concerned that their property may be at risk after an aboiteau at the Halfway River collapsed, which has led to saltwater killing trees near their property.
Bob and Carole MacDonald at their Schurman Road home just outside of Hantsport. They’re concerned that their property may be at risk after an aboiteau at the Halfway River collapsed, which has led to saltwater killing trees near their property. - Colin Chisholm

Quite often we’re tasked with covering complex, confounding stories that seem simple at the outset – an aboiteau has malfunctioned and collapsed, and now saltwater is flowing in. But the impact that has on the community is wide reaching.

To learn of the potential impacts, you have to actually sit down with residents; you can’t be satisfied to just talk to the provincial communications person and move on. It’s important to tell the story of the people who are actually living with what’s happened.

This is why I’m proud of this story, because I did just that, spoke with residents who are (still) dealing with the failure of a small piece of infrastructure that has had numerous impacts and sparked a larger debate.

Valley Journal-Advertiser reporter Colin Chisholm
Valley Journal-Advertiser reporter Colin Chisholm

Read the full story here -

Tides turn on Hantsport aboiteau issue as province waits for railway company to fix structure

I heard from Evan Merks and his partner Courtney Shay, a young couple who were just getting their lives off the ground when saltwater compromised their drinking water and threw their whole lives off track. Bob and Carole MacDonald, long-time residents who watch with fear as the tidewater erodes the bank at the edge of their property, shared their story in hope of being a part of the solution.

Telling these personal stories elevates the news to something more than just an emotionless polished statement prepared for mass circulation. Telling these stories gives people a window into how these things are directly affecting the people who call our communities home – and that’s what local news is all about.

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