Tease the day: the story of John Cawley

Readers help the Citizen tell the story of a soldier who died on Vimy Ridge


Fred Chartrand/CP

It’s not every day a newspaper asks its readers to help it write a story. But that’s what the Ottawa Citizen did yesterday, and its front page this morning is the result of a fascinating crowdsourcing project. Glen McGregor, a leading data journalist, created a Twitter account—@WeAreTheDead—that tweets the name of a Canadian serviceman or servicewoman who died in the line of duty. Every single hour, a name pops up. For the second year in a row, the Citizen pledged to profile the name tweeted at 11:11 a.m. on Remembrance Day, and asked its readers to help build that profile. McGregor tracked information, as it arrived from readers, in a blog post. This morning, gracing the Citizen’s front cover, is McGregor’s polished piece of reporting: a profile of Private John Cawley, an Irish-born farmer in Saskatchewan who died on Vimy Ridge. Kudos to the Citizen for inviting readers behind the scenes.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with China’s shift in political leadership. The National Post fronts the life sentence handed to convicted murderer Peer Khairi. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Gerard Kennedy’s entry into the Ontario Liberal leadership race. The Ottawa Citizen leads with its crowdsourced profile of Pte. John Cawley, a Canadian soldier who died at Vimy Ridge. iPolitics fronts the news that American oil output will surpass Saudia Arabia by 2020. National Newswatch showcases The Globe and Mail‘s story about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s dreary approval ratings.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Tax evaders. P.E.I. Senator Percy Downe is pushing the federal government to pursue tax evaders overseas. Downe says the Canada Revenue Agency needs a tough new commissioner. 2. Bid-rigging. The federal competition bureau says it’s investigating several corruption-related files in Quebec and keeping a close eye on revelations out of the Charbonneau Commission.
3. Court martial. Major Darryl Watts, an army reservist who served in Afghanistan, is under fire for the death of a fellow soldier. Watts is accused of exploding a landmine negligently. 4. Furniture takeover. You’ve seen their competing commercials for years. Yesterday, Leon’s announced its $700-million acquisition of The Brick. The real question: Was it no money down?

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