What If Winter Never Comes? (Et si l`hiver ne venait plus?)
Climate change is a subject with which broadcast journalists are increasingly attempting to grapple. They—and their audiences—often find its complexities challenging and difficult to comprehend. CBC/Radio-Canada vividly demonstrated how an apparently simple approach can achieve great resonance. What If Winter Never Comes? (Et si l’hiver ne venait plus?) took listeners to Canada’s own northern limits: the Arctic Circle. There, reporter Chantale Lavigne explored not just the physical changes to the flora and fauna of the region but the way these changes already threaten the way of life of the Inuit communities whose traditional culture is founded on a delicate ecological balance. The reporter stood back to allow her subjects to speak in their own words and voices, and in doing so illustrated radio’s continuing power to probe precise details and significant issues at a deeply personal level. The effect of this piece is to create at once a very specific human document, yet one in which the global implications are instantly clear. For this rare achievement, What If Winter Never Comes? (Et si l’hiver ne venait plus?) receives a Peabody Award.
Reporter: Chantale Lavigne