Posts Tagged ‘Derek Spalding’

News I missed: death, politics and transfers

October 21, 2011 1 comment

While I was away, I missed writing about the deaths of a couple prominent B.C. newspaper folk. Unfortunately it wasn’t all good stuff.

Black Press VP Jim Ainsley died last week at the age of 64 from complications linked to lung cancer.

From Black Press:

Ainsley moved to Abbotsford in the early 1980s and began working for Hacker Press [1] – a predecessor to Black Press. Later that decade, he became more involved in the human resources side, including union negotiations, labour issues and capital projects.

“Jim was known as gruff with a big heart, but at the end of the day he was a very level-headed guy who could bring parties together and find common ground,” said Bruce Tennant, Ainsley’s co-worker and friend.


[1] I love that there was a middle-of-the-road pre-Internet newspaper group called Hacker Press.

And last month Peace Arch News publisher Linda Klitch died suddenly after surgery to remove a benign tumor on her pancreas. Klitch—who was a longtime publisher of Kamloops This Week in the 90s— had been a board member of the B.C.-Yukon Community Newspaper Association.

From Kamloops This Week:

“We have lost a very loving women who will be sadly missed,” said KTW publisher Kelly Hall.

“Linda Hooton was a very compassionate lady who convinced me to climb into the newspaper industry back in the early 1990s. Linda’s commitment to our community and the people of our community was very evident each day she lived in Kamloops.


In less sad news, Nanaimo Daily News reporter Derek Spalding took a job at the Victoria Times-Colonist. Before he left, he wrote his last arts column, urging readers to attend a rap show in Nanaimo. Yep.

Also, Lake Cowichan Gazette editor Tyler Clarke has announced his departure. He’s moving onto a job at the Prince Albert Daily Herald [2] [3], a paper notable for its extraordinary high turnover rate (you may remember it as the paper that claimed it was in Alberta in its job posting). Maybe Tyler will help fix that. Anyways, his last Lake Cowichan comment is here. Of note, he answers the pressing question: “Why the hell would anybody move to Prince Albert?”

Why, then, am I leaving?

There are a number of reasons, including but not limited to the following: A desire to report on a larger centre; to work within a newsroom greater than one person; Saskatchewan housing prices 1/4 those of the Cowichan Lake area; much greater job availability for my partner (Tabatha); a general interest in returning to the prairies.

I guess that about covers it.


Tyler will be missed, if only because he penned one of the better ledes this year. “Fondly referred to as Pretty Boy, and not-so-fondly known as Stinky and a more expletive-filled nick-name, a well-known Youbou elk has been killed.”

[2] Prince Albert was the third most violent city in Canada last year. For a reporter, I guess that’s a good thing. For a reporter’s spouse, maybe not so much.

[3] Three of the top nine most violent cities in the country have “Prince” in their name. So yeah…

Finally, George Affleck, general manager of the B.C./Yukon Community Newspaper Association, is running for city council in Vancouver as a NPA candidate. George is currently president and CEO of Curve Communications, a Vancouver PR firm.

From the bio on his website:

Before launching his career in marketing, George worked as a journalist at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and reported for community newspapers across BC. His book “Paper Trails,” a history of newspapers in British Columbia was published in 1998. George’s work as a reporter has provided him with a healthy respect for government accountability and a desire to listen before taking action—convictions which he intends to bring to City Hall.



Nanaimo Daily News goes on offensive

January 18, 2011 Comments off

While Mounties investigate whether the Nanaimo Daily News breached a publication ban by publishing the name of an accused in a recent court case, the paper is making a strong case in print that the cops are full of shit.

They’ve even got the lawyer for the outed criminal on their side:

An RCMP investigation of the Nanaimo Daily News for allegedly breaching a publication ban is a “tempest in a teapot” likely designed to protect the force’s image, a Nanaimo defence lawyer says.

Stephen Taylor said the ban was in place to protect his client’s right to a fair trial, and that neither he nor his client was concerned by the Daily News’ coverage of the case.

“Who’s the victim?” Taylor asked. “I mean, police investigate crime. Crime implies a victim. Who’s the victim? [My client] certainly isn’t complaining. So I think it’s hurt feelings; I don’t think the RCMP appreciates the way they’re portrayed.”


Nanaimo Daily News managing editor Cale Cowan also says that the article in question was lawyered before going to print. They say the publication ban clearly applies to the witnesses and victims in the case, not the accused.

In yesterday’s story, Cale said that police are investigating only because the original article — written by Danielle Bell and Derek Spalding — called into question the RCMP’s ability to protect confidential informants.

Nanaimo Daily News under investigation, says cops have “egg on their faces”

January 17, 2011 Comments off

Mounties are investigating whether the Nanaimo Daily News and reporters Danielle Bell and Derek Spalding breached a publication ban with a recent article. Here’s the release:

Nanaimo RCMP have initiated an investigation into a Breach of Publication Ban under Sec. 517 of Criminal Code. The investigation was initiated after discussion with Crown Counsel. This occurred after an article appeared in the Nanaimo Daily News, on January 14, 2011, titled, “Exposed police informants victims of violent attacks”.

A Publication Ban was requested by defense counsel during the Bail Hearing for Shane Long and was in place since January 10, 2011. The Ban, in regards to this matter, is based on the need to ensure the safety of the participants and witnesses in this matter.

Cpl. Elly YOUNG
Call Manager C Watch
Nanaimo RCMP Detachment

The Daily News didn’t name an informant, but rather one of those charged in a recent attack. Now the cops say there may have been a publication ban on his name, which seems strange to me, and apparently the folks at the NDN too. They’ve come back swinging at the cops.

Here’s a Nanaimo Daily News story about the investigation:

Cpl. Darren Lagan said there were discussions between Crown prosecutors and the RCMP about the story both before and after the story was published in print and online.

“I think ultimately the Crown and the police believe there was a breach of the publication ban,” said Lagan. “These are things that aren’t taken lightly.”

He said the investigation is now being handled by the Nanaimo RCMP serious crimes unit and advised speaking with Staff Sgt. Doug Chisolm today for more information on how police will proceed.

Lagan also pointed out that there were discussions between the RCMP and the Daily News before the story ran outlining concerns of the police. Managing editor Cale Cowan said that Chisolm emphasized the concern over the safety of the informants the day before the story ran.


That story includes the following defense by NDN managing editor Cale Cowan:

“We haven’t breached any publication ban,” said Cowan. “Any information we have, we obtained through our own sources, which are clearly identified in the story.

“We stand by our story because it’s true. We believe the only reason the police have launched this investigation is because they have egg on their faces and they are trying to deflect criticism.”

Hoekstra, Spalding win at Websters

December 3, 2010 1 comment

Derek Spalding

Corrected: awards happened Nov. 1, not Dec. 1, as I had falsely written.

I’m a little very late on this, but awards can slip under the radar if you’re not nominated I should catch up with some important awards that were handed out not long before this blog came into existence. The Jack Webster Awards took place Wednesday Nov. 1 and a couple of community reporters were up for prizes.

Derek Spalding of the Nanaimo Daily News won the community reporting award for his story “Outbreak Exposure,” for, as the Daily News put it “for his hard-hitting coverage of an extended outbreak of Clostridium difficile at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.”

Spalding began the story after going to the hospital in 2008 for an unrelated assignment and seeing signs indicating a C. difficile outbreak was under way.

Efforts to obtain accurate information from the Vancouver Island Health Authority then led Spalding on a two-year odyssey under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

He eventually learned that the health authority was deliberately withholding his requested information.

Documents he obtained showed that VIHA intended to put out its own information to the public before releasing his requested documents to soften what he was about to reveal.

“It feels good that it’s recognized, but it’s an important story for the people of Nanaimo. It shows how important freedom of information laws are and demonstrates how important it is for the media to continue scrutinizing public bodies,” said Spalding.


Spalding beat out Kamloops This Week reporter Tim Petruk‘s “East Side Stories” along with the CFJC TV Kamloops news team.

Gordon Hoekstra

Gordon Hoekstra of the Prince George Citizen won the Jack Webster Business, Industry & Economics Award for “Pipeline Promise? A Prince George Citizen Special Report,” which the Citizen described “a three-part series about Enbridge’s proposal to build a pipeline across northern B.C.” Hoekstra beat out the Victoria Times Colonist and the Vancouver Sun for his award. While Hoekstra did pose for a photo of his award, I prefer this one from a past awards gala.

Naoibh O’Connor of the Vancouver Courier was nominated for the best print feature story for her Jan. 14 story on private schools in Vancouver. Alas, she was defeated by The Province, which won a team award for its massive Operation Phoenix series. One suspects the presenters were worried about having to pronounce her name.

Find a full list of award winners, along with links to photos and videos from the gala, here.

If anyone can find online versions of Hoekstra and Petruk’s story, please leave a comment with a link.

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