Wednesday, September 30, 2009


As you can tell from the sidebar, I may have been a late adopter of Twitter, but it is a journalistic tool that I have embraced fully... even though I just got my glass house shattered.

For a few weeks now, we have been tracking stories with obvious mistakes about Nunavut with the hashtag #Iqualuit. I'm sure you all remember that typo from the Prime Minister's visit here.

Iqaluit means place of many fish. Iqualuit means a particular form of bad personal hygeine that results in a poop odour. Typos about Nunavut match quite nicely with that description, so we tag them #Iqualuit.

Our local National Broadcaster had Nunavut as Nunavet for a few minutes online today, and when it is the local National Broadcaster, the #Iqualuit is even better. Nothing like taking a good shot at your professional friends.

Then, an hour later, the national broadcaster I work for made the same mistake in a Tweet. Nunavet, not Nunavut.... after I had just Tweeted about the others mistake.

As you can imagine, I am now surrounded by the remnants of my glass house. Humility is a lesson I learn over and over and over again.

But, despite that, I still love Twitter. Where else can you crack jokes about having to play the Celtics with Reggie Evans himself? Where else can I get the guys who run Raptors TV to use my suggestions for interviews? Where else can I find out that The Fat Boys are trying to get back together?

I'll clean up a little glass for that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Want my vote?

Iqaluit City Council holds their election on October 19th, and there are 21 candidates for council, and a 1 on 1 battle for the Mayor's Chain of Office.

This election will generate very little interest outside of the territory, so the odds of me having to report on it are slim, so I feel like I can say what I think and not give off any perception of bias in my work.

I've lived here in Iqaluit for four years, and here is my short multi-part plan about what I would like to see from a City Council. The people who agree to do the most from these notes will be the people getting my vote.

Ahhhhhh, democracy.

1 - Stand in between the hair studio and IBC, and draw a line about 300 meters in any direction. Turn that line into a circle, with a radius of 300 m. What is inside that circle? Some business, some offices, and lots and lots of residential apartments. What isn't there? A park for the many children who live around those parts (the little gym set by Inuksagate doesn't count, the baby is almost 2 and he's outgrown that tiny thing). Look at the pile of construction stuff behind the Navigator... good luck, you usually can't see it because it is covered with children using it as a jungle gym. That part of town needs a park, badly.

2 - From the 4 Corners to the intersection just past Joamie school, that road is a mess. Potholes you could go cave diving in, and very few street lights. With people dodging the potholes and the dim lighting, it is hard to see pedestrians, and there are always lots on that stretch.

3 - We need a pool. Last election, there was a vote on getting a loan to build a great new recreation center. Problem was, only rate-payers (read: home owners, not renters) were allowed to vote. The pool was narrowly defeated. When it is working, go to the pool on a weekend. You will see more kids there from families who rent than kids of home owners. We should have a new pool, and EVERYONE in town deserves a vote on it.

4 - Go out past Driving Force and view our unplanned ad hoc vehicle graveyard. This must go, and there must be measures put in place to make sure that it never happens again. It is an eyesore and an environmental hazard.

5 - Loose dirt is not natural in Nunavut. Go on the land, there is grass everywhere.... just not in town. I would like to see a by-law requiring anyone building anything has to plant grass when they are done, or those awesome purple flowers, or anything to keep the dust down. Contractors should also have to fence in their site if it is too big.

6 - We need a City subsidzed bus system, from Apex to the airport. Nothing fancy, just a bus that goes back and forth, from 8 am to 6 pm.

That is it. Six points. Candidates who come closest to this vision (and offer to build me that bloody park so I don't have to haul the kids up to Joamie School every time they want to hit the slide) will receive one of my 8 votes for City Council.

I'm just happy I have 21 choices for council. Democracy ceases to thrive when people do not participate. They bothered to run, now you get out and vote.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gear pigs

Along with our new reporter -- well, actually trailing behind a few days being shipped via cargo -- was some new gear for the TV stuff. If you have ever known TV people (TVmiut?) you know their desperate love of all gear.

I got the few small things I wanted. My mic needed a new mic flag, got that. I needed a reflector to keep the shadows off my face when I'm doing stand-ups, got that. (Before anyone snickers about vain television folks, you try talking at length in front of a live camera while having to face the sun directly, you go blind and squint, looks awful).

We also got some soundproofing to develop a sound booth of sorts. Helps reflect the sound and creates a richer tone. I love to use my voice as a storytelling tool, from excited to sombre, so that made me happy. Then, I start looking around..... we don't really have much room for a soundbooth.


We have a small bathroom in our office, and because our office is a converted apartment, that bathroom has a shower. All we use the shower for is "storage" (basically, the boxes that everything ever came in). Bingo.

We are going to run a sound cable from the studio to the small bathroom (through pre-existing wire holes in the walls) and convert the shower into the most badass little sound booth you have ever seen.

There will be pictures when we are done.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Because it Worked Part II

No, this is not a triumphant post praising all of you for finding me a new house. You haven't yet. Not even a nibble. I am disappointed in you all, you all should be ashamed of yourselves, not doing my work for me.

On that subject (doing my work for me), here is another good idea I ripped off.

When we started this bureau here in Nunavut, my co-worker at the time (who can now be seen on another channel in another city) made up a fax with all the information you need to get in touch with our bureau. Then she faxed it to every municipal fax machine in the territory.

It worked. We got phone calls for months. And now I have a new reporter in this office, and we haven't done the mass faxing in a year and a half, so we are doing it again. Why? Because it Worked, and I like to take good ideas and use them over again.

So, if you have a Nunavut story that needs to be on APTN National News, you can contact us here at (all @ and . changed to text to frustrate info trollers)

kdriscoll -- at -- aptn -- dot -- ca
wrivers -- at -- aptn -- dot -- ca
Phone: 867-979-2907 or 2063
Fax: 867-979-1749
Twitter @kentofthenorth