Friday, March 21, 2008

The story behind a Canadian Cyclist

Some months ago, I was asked to do a one-on-one interview with reporter Alain Gravel, host of Radio Canada's investigative reporting programme "Enquête". Gravel, as you may recall, is the reporter who broke the story of Quebec's biggest doping scandal. After many months of pushing, cyclist Geneviève Jeanson admitted to Gravel and his team that she had in fact taken drugs and had been doing so from a very young age.

The interview was published in Media Magazine, the publication put out by the Canadian Association of Journalists. Ironically, Gravel was, at the time of the interview, the president of the Fédération Professionelle des Journalistes du Québec.

This interview was particularly tough to write up, not because of the translation work required, but because of the sheer amount of content that the interview provided. Originally, I had planned on a 15 to 30 minute interview - MAX. Instead, I had just over an hour of tape to listen and sort through. Plus, the story itself was very complex, as there was a lot of back and forth before Gravel and his team were able to get a confession out of Jeanson. In fact, the story was so complicated that even Gravel had to think hard about the timing and sequence of the events leading up to his scoop. Not to mention that the story and the pursuit of the story were both very interesting and full of juicy details.

All in all, I was very satisfied with the article and with the editing job - with one exception. Near the end of the second page, the text mentions that "a Canadian cyclist had written about a marriage certificate" when it should instead say "Canadian Cyclist had written about a marriage certificate", meaning the industry magazine Canadian Cyclist.

Without further ado, here I am, on page 18!

Stay tuned for more goodies...


  1. Thanks so much for posting this! I have been following Jeanson's story since my boss (a French-Canadian former cycling official) told me about her. The Enquete thing is on YouTube, but as I don't speak French, it was hard to follow...although Google Translator helped! :-) Your interview with Gravel was of luck in journalism!