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Get the insider scoop on news reporting in 2016

Ian MacLeod

Ian MacLeod

The Feb. 10 meeting topic and speaker are mysteries no more.

Ian MacLeod, long-time and much-awarded Ottawa Citizen reporter and editor, will be discussing what it takes to uncover and write the news in the age of Twitter and a dying newspaper industry.

MacLeod began at the Ottawa Citizen in 1978 as copy boy. He soon moved to the police desk and later spent more than a decade as the paper’s senior crime reporter stationed at Ottawa police headquarters.

He subsequently served as the paper’s assignment editor and deputy city editor, elections editor, feature writer, senior investigative reporter, national security correspondent and nuclear and aviation affairs writer. He now works at the Postmedia Parliamentary Bureau covering national security and justice issues, the Supreme Court of Canada and the NDP.
Over his 38-year career, MacLeod has covered many major national and international news events. He was one of the few mainstream journalists to report on the 1990 Oka Crisis from behind Mohawk Warrior lines. Months later from aboard the Canadian Navy battleship “HMCS Athabaska” and other locales in the Middle East, he covered the build-up to the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In 1998, he filed the initial breaking coverage from the scene of the downing of Swiss Air Flight 111 off the Nova Scotia coast.

On Sept. 11, 2001, he was one of the first Canadian journalists to reach ground-zero in Lower Manhattan.

From Washington, he provided extensive coverage of the 2002 drive-by snipers terrorizing the capital and, in 2003, on the opening strikes of the Iraq War, with coverage from the White House, Pentagon and State Department.

His investigative reporting led him to the 2005 discovery and repatriation from Belgium of Canada’s long-lost, first official Maple Leaf flag, now enshrined at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

The same year, he covered the transit suicide bombings in London and, later, the high-profile Old Bailey trial of seven jihadi terrorists who plotted to bomb the British capital. He was the leading reporter on the landmark Ottawa case and trial of Momin Khawaja, Canada’s first post-9/11 terrorism conviction.

MacLeod, 55, has won numerous journalism awards, including as the three-time winner of Canada’s top journalism prize for science writing for his stories on genomics, artificial intelligence and neurology. He has been nominated for three National Newspaper Awards, Canada’s highest journalism honour, and for investigative reporting by the Canadian Association of Journalists. Most recently, the association named MacLeod as a 2012 finalist for a national investigative reporting award for his revelations about the enormous stockpiles of radioactive waste hidden around Canada.

He lives in Ottawa with his journalist wife, their two children and the family dog and cat.

Awards and honors

  • Association of Journalists, national investigative reporting finalist, 2004, for “The Quiet Epidemic.”
  • National Newspaper Award finalist, 2002, for an in-depth narrative detailing how Canada’s air-traffic controllers cleared the skies of hundreds of U.S-bound jets on Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Heath Care Public Relations Society of Canada, Hollobon Award for outstanding medical reporting, 2002, for “Bracing for Germ Warfare,” a feature-length look at Canada’s preparations for a global influenza pandemic.
  • Council for Advancement and Support of Education, health and science media fellowship, 2002, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario.
  • Canadian Science Writers’ Association, Society in Science Award, 2001, “Searching for HAL,” about the evolution of artificial intelligence.
  • Canadian Science Writers’ Association, Technology and Innovation Award, 2000, for “Genesis Inc.” about the commercialization of the human genome.
  • Canadian Association of Journalists, national investigative reporting award finalist, 2000, “Genesis Inc.”
  • Health Care Public Relations Society of Canada, Hollobon Award for outstanding medical reporting, 2000, “Genesis Inc.”
  • Ottawa Life Sciences Council, reporting award, 1999, “Genesis Inc.”
  • Gloucester Police Service civilian citation, 1993, for investigative reporting that led to a re-opening and conviction in the unsolved 1981 Janice Schaefler murder case.
  • Southam President’s Prize, 1992, for outstanding coverage of the 1990 Oka Crisis.
    Crime Stoppers (North America) top crime-writing awards, 1987, 1986.

Recap:

  • Speaker: Ian MacLeod
  • Topic: News reporting in 2016: What it takes to uncover and write the news in the age of Twitter and a dying newspaper industry
  • Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016
  • 7 p.m.
  • Honeywell Room (second floor) at Ottawa City Hall
  • 110 Laurier Avenue West