Vancouver’s Stanley Cup Riot #2
The Province Page 1 Headline after riot in 1994: “Mayhem”
The Province Page 1 Headline after riot in 2011: “Mayhem”
Newspaper coverage of the hockey-related riots may have been the same but in the digital age, everything else changed. In 1994 I recall hearing the mayhem unfold by listening live to Dan Russell’s SportsTalk on CKNW, and catching some images on the 11 p.m. TV newscast. This year we watched the riots live on television and on Twitter. I was able to flip between coverage on CTV and CBC, and a constant stream of tweets to get a variety of perspectives.
Both CTV and CBC are positioned downtown and were set to broadcast the Canucks celebration live. When it turned ugly, they had the technology and manpower in place to cover it. For more than three hours both broadcasters were live with various reporters and cameramen sending reports and pictures.
CTV had two outstanding advantages in their coverage. Chopper 9 fed live aerial images between 8:30 p.m. and midnight. It provided a great overview of the police movements and looting. On the ground, Rob Brown moved through the streets for several hours with security by his side, a gas mask in his hand and a camera man shooting fires, looting and violence. He was articulate, in control and the best at describing what it was like on the ground.
Vancouver’s leading news station Global News was noticeably absent from the coverage. To wait for their 11 p.m. newscast timeslot made them irrelevant. CTV won many viewers last night . . . and many will stay.
It was interesting to watch CTV’s anchors Mike Killeen and Tamara Taggart checking their tweets throughout the evening and reporting “unsubstantiated” tweets on air. Various reporters and news organizations had newsworthy tweets during the night. CTV and 24 Hours were the most current of the local media.
On CNN at 6 a.m. PST Thursday morning, the headline of their North American news coverage was: “Hockey fans go nuts in Vancouver as their team loses.”
The riot was a huge negative for the City of Vancouver. The Olympics and the international coverage of the Stanley Cup only continued to show off “Beautiful B.C.” A lot of the deposits to the bank of goodwill were withdrawn last night.