College Confidential: 2012 Fleming Drive Riots

Update (March 2017): I have re-uploaded the two parts with redone voice overs and some script tweaks. I was never happy with how it sounded. That being said, you should know that I haven’t updated the documentary, so it’s still dated for March 2014.

Part 1 (11:50) [Download]

Part 2 (14:41) [Download]

In the second year of Fanshawe’s journalism program, students are placed on a series of four to five week stints — “rotations” — where they do one particular thing for that time period. For example, a student may spend five weeks as a reporter covering a particular beat, while the subsequent five weeks will be spent newscasting

At some point, a student will serve as a ‘current affairs/documentary’ producer for one rotation. Said rotation is made up of several week-long sub-rotations, where you a) make three four-minute radio documentaries, b) host the show that airs said documentaries, c) make a video documentary, and d) produce a 26-minute feature.

Last week, I was tasked to do d), and since last week was also the week St. Patrick’s Day took place, I decided to revisit the infamous 2012 St. Patrick’s Day riots that occurred around Fleming Drive.

Around 1,000 people were involved in the mayhem that stretched into the early morning hours. By the end, there were multiple arrests, injuries, and $100,000 in reported damage. The city and Fanshawe College suffered major black eyes from the incident as the story began to appear in regional, national, and then international media.

One of the more notorious moments of the riots was the overturning and subsequent torching of a news truck belonging to CTV London.

The piece, which was assembled in about 3 and a half days, is in two segments, which you can listen to above.

Thanks to London Police Chief Brad Duncan, former XFM’er Marty Thompson, CTV London’s Chuck Dickson, and FSU President Adam Gourlay for speaking with me.

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