Firing Up the Airwaves in Moose Cree

Eli Chilton, a JHR partner from Moose Cree, said the program has shifted his perspective on news reporting entirely. He works as a DJ at 107.1 FM CJFI The Island, and was only playing music and reading the occasional community bulletin until he went through the JHR program. JHR partner Eli Chilton training at his desk in Moose Cree 107.1 FM radio station. Photo courtesy of Danny Kresnyak. “What JHR gave me was focus … how to do interviews on air with guests and get at the news, or say if I’m reading about a water main break, then thinking about questions like when will the boil water advisory be over, how long should we broadcast this bulletin,” Chilton said. “It was a way of connecting the dots, so that it didn’t seem like an impossible monstrosity of a task.”       Dormant prior to JHR’s intervention, Moose Cree’s radio station, 107.1 The Island, is now an active voice within the community, airing daily news and longer journalistic features regularly in the remote northern Indigenous community       Eli Chilton, pictured here, manages the station and acts as lead reporter, reporting for mainstream media outside the station as well. Eli is now training  a group of co-op students in radio journalism production. JHR has had a number of successes throughout the last 8 months of our one-year pilot program. One of those successes was JHR’s work supporting the launch of community media outlets that share community news in all 3 Aboriginal reserve communities. Before JHR’s intervention Moose Cree’s radio station, 107.1 The Island, rarely ever went to air  and when it did, it was only to play music. Now 107.1 is an active voice within the community, airing daily news and longer journalistic features regularly in Moose Cree. JHR’s trainer worked with the station to develop a mandate and program directive, and ensure that news, stories and information was being shared. The re-launch of the station is helping to improve information flow within the community and providing basic media literacy training to all of the communities residents. Eli Chilton, pictured here now manages the station and acts as lead reporter, reporting for mainstream media outside the station as well. Eli is now training a group of students in radio journalism production – ensuring their issues are being broadly discussed and providing them with valuable work experience for a future in broadcast journalism.

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