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A behind-the-scenes look at the stories behind the stories from the CTV Vancouver newsroom. Penny Daflos discusses the stressful, inspiring, irritating and heartbreaking moments that never make it on TV in unfiltered conversations with her colleagues – including other reporters, anchors, videographers, technicians and producers who battle the clock each day to make deadline.
 
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The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated major changes to everyone's workplace, virtually overnight, and it took some time to get adjusted to the new reality where isolation is the safest option. But it's had tremendous, negative consequences for journalists reporting on every aspect of the pandemic -- from vaccine availability to the safety of school op…
 
When health officials declared a global pandemic, it quickly became obvious it would have an impact on our lives. Just as every industry and family had to adapt to the rapidly-changing public health orders and advice, so have TV news journalists. From microphones on hockey sticks to dinner-table interviews, journalists have changed the way we work …
 
For weeks, demonstrations in support of hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation in northern British Columbia have resulted in in unprecedented rallies, blockaded railroads and intentionally disrupted commuter routes for drivers and transit users alike -- not to mention attempts to stall legislators in the capitol and even taking their pl…
 
The world was shocked when a Ukrainian Airlines flight went down near Tehran, but when officials confirmed dozens of Canadians were on board our nation was stunned -- as journalists sprang into action to tell the stories of the innocent lives taken too soon. With so many victims in the Lower Mainland, CTV Vancouver journalists were inundated with h…
 
When an American journalist was slapped on the butt as she was reporting live during a run, it went viral for many reasons. Most saw it for the on-the-job physical assault that it was, but a few didn't think it was a big deal and that she should "lighten up." For broadcast journalists who've experienced that kind of violation, it's not something yo…
 
What started as a routine pedestrian accident quickly took several unusual turns as Vancouver Police revealed the driver didn't know he'd dragged a young woman for nearly six blocks. How was that possible? When an American punk band was later connected and witnesses began coming forward with their stories, the situation only became more confusing a…
 
The heart-wrenching details instantly made headlines across the country: two young sisters found dead in their beds, their Christmas presents sitting unopened under the tree. Their father, Andrew Berry, was covered in blood and claimed he was attacked by mysterious loan sharks who must've killed his daughters for some unfathomable reason. The trial…
 
There are few people who could survive a harrowing attack by an apex predator and fewer still who are willing to tell the tale of how they tried to pull a grizzly bear's teeth off their limbs as the animal started eating them alive -- just days after it happened. But Powell River's Colin Dowler did just that, in a bedside interview at a Vancouver h…
 
A young couple found dead, a middle-aged man's body near a burnt-out camper, two teens missing after leaving home to look for work: these storylines would all converge in the remote landscape of northern British Columbia, culminating in a manhunt that would put the spotlight on a bizarre manhunt swirling in mystery, fear and warnings with journalis…
 
Municipal politics generally don't capture the attention of constituents, much less observers outside the city in question, but that's definitely not the case in Surrey. Less than a year after winning a landslide victory, the mayor of Metro Vancouver's fastest-growing suburb is seeing support on city council crumble as he continues to stand by his …
 
VPD Const. Nicole Chan has been with the force for a decade when she went on leave amid struggles with her own mental health and an internal investigation triggered by serious allegations around senior officers. In January, she took her own life and her family began searching for answers in a complex case that only came to light after other officer…
 
In January, CTV Vancouver employees got a huge shock at an all-newsroom meeting: the station would be combining jobs and cross-training journalists working in the field so that they could do everything. Highly skilled videographers would start writing for online and broadcast while on-air reporters would learn the technical ins and outs of shooting…
 
It's an uncomfortable fact for the technical crew of TV newsrooms that a flawless broadcast will go unnoticed by viewers at home, but a technical snafu will probably make the blooper reel and go viral online. That's why the technical wizards behind each broadcast work so hard to make everything look flawless -- including sometimes keeping the on ai…
 
When two float planes collided mid-air, plummeting into a remove inlet and killing a number of cruise ship passengers on board, CTV Vancouver sent a crew north to Alaska to learn more about the crash. Not only had their ship left from the port of Vancouver days earlier, but a metro Vancouver husband and wife died aboard one of the sea-planes. BTS w…
 
Hollywood movies and TV shows like to feature the journalist who will all but draw blood in his or her thirst to be the first, the best, the one with the exclusive interview. That’s the kind of hyperbole and stereotyping that make real reporters cringe, while reluctantly acknowledging there is a kernel of truth to the trope. Though there’s a certai…
 
When a Vancouver suburb was grappling with an increasingly complex homelessness crisis centred around a growing tent city, residents and journalists alike turned to the city’s mayor for answers about what was being done. But Mike Morden avoided interview requests, leaving reporters little option but to approach him at public event. Eventually the m…
 
Personal health and medical treatment are among the most intimate and sensitive issues, so discussing them in public -- on a TV broadcast, no less -- usually only happens when someone is having a serious issue with the medical system, a practitioner or treatment. Choosing which stories to cover and how is incredibly difficult because they often tur…
 
Underwater inspectors probed a waylaid BC Ferries vessel as two Coast Guard crews and a pair of heavy-duty tugboats waited for word it'd be safe to try and manoeuvre up and off a section of a ferry terminal -- as more than 200 passengers waited hours on board the Queen of Surrey, running out of food and patience. BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny D…
 
It's now been decades since women began regularly reporting on the full range of news topics rather than just "fluff" pieces, but there are still certain expectations and double standards for female reporters. Criticisms range from being too aggressive to not aggressive enough, with plenty of sexist comments around makeup and clothing thrown in. Wh…
 
In February, several Vancouver schoolchildren tested positive for measles, the first of several people who'd traveled overseas and become infected with the virus. Health officials termed it an outbreak and warned the public about possible exposure sites, which triggered a wave of public anger against families who refuse to get their children vaccin…
 
As the winter winds to a close, the snow-pack becomes increasingly unstable and the risk of avalanches skyrockets. On February 18th, a snow slide rushed down one of the North Shore mountains, sending rescuers into treacherous terrain to find the two men who'd been hiking nearby. Reporters would spend nearly three days documenting the rescue efforts…
 
CTV Vancouver viewers saw reporters braving snow, ice and blowing wind this week to track a series of fierce winter storms that battered Metro Vancouver, grinding traffic to a halt and shutting down schools and businesses throughout the region. BTS with CTV Vancouver host Penny Daflos was one of those reporters and recorded this podcast in the fiel…
 
After nearly two months of secrecy, the Speaker of the House released a 76-page bombshell report outlining alleged questionable spending by two of BC’s top legislative officials: luxury hotel stays, pricey suits and a truckload of missing alcohol included. Speaker Darryl Plecas and his special advisor suggest that’s the tip of the iceberg, with mor…
 
When Karen Wang came under the spotlight for racially-tinged comments on a Chinese-language social messaging app, she stepped down from the Liberal Party of Canada within hours. But after she'd slept on the decision, she decided she wanted back in the race with an explanation as to why bringing up her opponent's ethnicity was a non-issue. Wang's la…
 
It sure wasn't pretty to look at, but it garnered a lot of attention: a short video of what appeared to be the limp body of a cooked rat, spooned out of a bowl of chowder as someone recorded the exact moment of discovery. Some viewers immediately denounced it as a phony, while others spread the Instagram video far and wide as online commenters buri…
 
While many families are taking a little time away from work and school to dive into the holiday season, CTV Vancouver's team is still busy gathering local news stories to bring the 6:00 newscast to air every day. At this time of year, many of the stories our viewers watch follow themes of giving or loss, but there are always tales that stand out fo…
 
When Meng Wanzhou was taken into police custody at Vancouver International Airport, no one watching would have realized the move would lead to an international incident, with media from across the globe flocking to BC Supreme Court to see whether she would get bail. As one of the top executives of China's most high-profile technology company, Huawe…
 
It sounds like the premise of a bizarre screenplay: a voracious otter attracts international attention for terrorizing a Vancouver garden, snacking on pricey koi fish and eluding Park Board traps while swiping the bait. But for nearly two weeks, the river otter did just that, with daily developments keeping the story alive and a public appetite for…
 
When the two senior administrators of the British Columbia Legislature were suspended and removed from the compound by police amidst allegations of criminal wrongdoing, it was a political bombshell the likes of which have been rarely seen in the province. The ensuing secrecy and unexpected characters that took centre stage in the drama were right o…
 
For a journalist, there are few things more stimulating than being in the field on an election night. Witnessing and reporting on the human drama while immersed in delighted cheers and disappointed groans is a milestone experience -- and a powerful way to convey to viewers the stakes for the real people involved in what can seem a cold and mechanic…
 
Elections are often called "news olympics" by journalists and the province-wide municipal elections on October 20th was no exception for the dedicated team at CTV Vancouver. In Part 1 of our Election Special, host Penny Daflos discusses the challenges of anchoring a fast-moving and scriptless multi-hour broadcast with co-hosts Mi-Jung Lee and Scott…
 
Working the phones, elbows out at pressers, not backing down in the face of a minister dodging questions: just a typical day in the life of CTV Vancouver's legislative bureau chief, Bhinder Sajan, who holds down the fort in Victoria. She's tough but fair and has to be extremely organized to know the difference between a new government announcement …
 
The legalization of marijuana in Canada has taken years of discussion and planning by policymakers and politicians -- with journalists documenting each step of the process and giving voice to the concerns of citizens and businesspeople impacted by those decisions. As cannabis legalization approached reality, our editorial coverage became more focus…
 
Usually interviews are scheduled with a consenting subject, but sometimes people avoiding media attention find themselves face-to-face with a camera anyhow. It's a delicate balance between reporter and videographer as they work to hold accountable those who may not want tough questions posed to them; sometimes it's politicians avoiding scrutiny, ot…
 
When the sex workers aren't real people, what are the issues around a sex doll "mansion" opening in the city of Vancouver? While the idea of silicone sex dolls for rent at a specialty brothel prompted much joking and snickering, the implications of such a business opening actually prompt a lot of serious journalistic scrutiny: What are the potentia…
 
Some days are hard, pulling teeth to get information and interviews on stories that be easy. Other times the opposite is true and we fall into great, memorable interviews, stories and visuals without really trying. In newsroom parlance, we call that being smiled on by the News Gods. host Penny Daflos discusses a graphic police takedown and other ex…
 
When a body was found in a popular park in a Metro Vancouver community, journalists knew the five Ws would take time -- who, what, when, where, why. What they hadn't anticipated was that the victim would be a young teen, seemingly targeted at random by a mystery killer who didn't leave a trace. 14 long months after Marrisa Shen was found dead, a wa…
 
There isn't a single person in our community who isn't impacted by technology on one level or another, but how do you choose which tech and trends to report on with such a large and diverse audience? How do you make a story relatable to middle-aged or older viewers who typically make up a TV news audience, while making the story engaging and intere…
 
Social media has become such a huge part of our lives, it's easy to forget how much work goes into the content you see from the journalists toiling in newsrooms across Canada. But every post is carefully phrased and summarized both to educate and engage. Journalists also make good use of social media platforms to learn about what's happening in the…
 
Every time you see a breaking news item on , there's been a lot of careful writing, fact-checking and coordination to get it on the broadcast. It takes a lot of people to make that happen, but two team members are key: the Breaking News Producer and Show Producer, who are in constant communication about how and when to air fresh, breaking informati…
 
Most days, journalists and police know where the boundaries are and respect each others' work and their space to do it. But the dismantling of a longtime protest site that had grown to a dangerous extent prompted a clash that culminated in RCMP threatening reporters and camera operators with arrest if they didn't comply with their demands to leave.…
 
Some of the most memorable TV news stories revolve around the smallest subject: little kids and animals. But documenting those characters can prove a real challenge for videographers, who have to chase, convince or wait-out the most entertaining and heartwarming but also unpredictable subjects. host Penny Daflos discusses the techniques, secrets an…
 
Some things you can't unsee. Most of us are lucky in that we'll likely only ever have a handful of graphic, gory or unpleasant things pass in front of our eyes, but for news shooters it's a regular occurrence. The bloody fallout of gang turf wars, the catastrophic results of car accidents and the cruel luck that can come with back country mishaps a…
 
Canadian courtrooms and inquests are almost always closed to cameras, meaning the process is often opaque and difficult for the public to understand and connect with. CTV News is always trying to access video and photo evidence available in open court to better explain to our viewers and readers what happened, who was responsible and why changes ma…
 
It isn't all sunshine and roses for our field crews -- sometimes it's sewage and corpse flowers! host Penny Daflos talks about the most putrid, repellent and malodorous assignments of their careers with the station's reporters and videographers. Here are the inside stories of the work that had them turning green (and even passing out!) from the ste…
 
Structure fires are a sadly common on local newscasts, but they require a sensitivity and tact on the part of the reporters covering them, no matter how often they occur. host Penny Daflos discusses two recent fires that left families homeless and a small business-people without their livelihoods with her colleagues Jon Woodward and Sarah MacDonald…
 
Should personal privacy rights trump the public interest when it comes to police-involved shootings? The director of the agency overseeing British Columbia's police watchdog says that's the case -- but the answer is much more complicated and nuanced than that. Host Penny Daflos discusses the issue and the growing battle for timely information with …
 
CTV host Ann Luu’s popular “In Your Shoes” series has seen her set on fire by one of the world’s best stuntmen, battling motion sickness on the water with some of the most dedicated volunteers in the country, and taking a crash course in policing that had her heart racing. host Penny Daflos also got the answer to how Ann manages to memorize the mou…
 
Being objective and removed from a subject are cardinal rules for journalists, but it is impossible to speak with a grieving family member and not be moved and even deeply wounded by their pain. Reporter Shannon Paterson joins host Penny Daflos to discuss what was likely the hardest interview of her career, speaking with a young teen who’d lost his…
 
In this special edition of podcast, host and reporter Penny Daflos asks newsroom colleagues about their most memorable adrenaline rushes in the field. Producers, reporters, and videographers share experiences ranging from high-flying adventures in a fighter jet to chasing an accused pimp to capturing unforgettable video of notorious and violent rio…
 
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