Impressive hours for 24-60, the day Putin attacked Ukraine

10:45 a.m.: first production meeting. Some team members, like host Anne-Marie Dussault, participate in virtual mode from home. Others are already at the Nouvelle Maison de Radio-Canada (NMRC) in Montreal. This is the case of one of the journalists in search, Marie-Claude Montambault, who has already stretched the first poles towards possible guests.

Oh my God, elles ne dormiront pas encore”,”text”:”Oh my God, elles ne dormiront pas encore”}}”>Oh Lord, they still won’t sleep, is moved when he finds out that Marie-Eve Bédard and Tamara Alteresco will participate in the show. It is already late at night in the Ukraine and Russia, where the Radio-Canada correspondents are.

24/60. Ah bon, Rosalie sera là!”,”text”:”J’ai demandé du renfort à la recherche, annonce Hugues Riopel, rédacteur en chef par intérim de 24/60. Ah bon, Rosalie sera là!”}}”>I asked for reinforcements in the investigation, announces Hugues Riopel, interim editor-in-chief of 24/60. Oh well, Rosalie will be there! he exclaims immediately, having read a message.

Ideas flow. From what angles should we approach this upheaval in the world order? Other guest names are mentioned in quick succession. Marie-Claude Montambault and her investigative journalist colleague, Nathalie Lemieux, barely consult their notes to say who they are and where they are: Warsaw, Brussels, Geneva, or even here in the countryside.

The other dimension is the economic one. Shall we do a Gérald too? asks Anne-Marie Dussault. It would be funny, replies the editor. It’s decided: Gérald Fillion will be on the show.

« You have to have many possibilities, many angles, knowing, for example, who speaks French in Moscow and who will be available tonight, at such a precise moment. »

a quote from Nathalie Lemieux, investigative journalist at 24/60
Two women in front of their respective computers in a room decorated with green plants.

Nathalie Lemieux and Marie-Claude Montambault, journalists investigating the 24/60 program, working at Radio-Canada’s Nouvelle Maison in Montreal.

Photo: Radio-Canada / IVANOH DEMERS

During the meeting, the menu is redesigned with strong colors: yellow for pending, green for available, and pink for give up.

The menu is the canvas of the line up (lineup) that contains all the elements of the program with their duration and the order in which they will be presented. Music, headlines, visual effects, sets, presentation texts, excerpts, interviews, commercial breaks…

the lineup – a stage, a promise of continuity in the subjectas Anne-Marie Dussault explains, it is placed in the director.

As its name suggests, this computerized roadmap will guide the entire team and will play a crucial role during the broadcast. In particular for the switcher-director who manages the work of several cameramen on the main set, on external sets and on the ground where the correspondents are located. Not to mention the interviewees who use Facetime, Skype, Jitsi Meet; technical remedies that the pandemic has made essential.

The switcher-director must press the button at the right time to get the correct image.explains Anne-Marie Dussault.

In case of unforeseen events, we adjust. line-up!”,”text”:”Je change le line-up!”}}”>change the line up! sometimes he throws out Liliane Lemay, director of 24/60 for nine years.

A hand is about to press a button on a television console.

The switcher-producer of the 24/60 program is in constant communication with the rest of the management team during the transmission of the program.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Ivanoh Demers

« My job is to take everyone’s work and bring it to the driver to air at the right time. »

a quote from Liliane Lemay, director of 24/60

Two hours of broadcast is actually 70 minutes of content, once the pauses have been removed. Time management is the biggest limitation of 24/60. is my biggest stressacknowledges Anne-Marie Dussault.

18:48: The team is still sitting at their desks. The driver touched up her makeup. In the afternoon she recorded promos 24/60“,”text”:”Ce soir à 24/60″}}”>tonight at 24/60 and one or two interviews to be included in the program.

18:55: the director and the switcher-director arrive, out of breath, at control room 22, bathed in the bluish light of a wall full of screens connected to RDI, LCN, CBC, CNN… Five other colleagues are already posted in front of your computer and… other screens. Alone, the switcher-director has eight under the eyes.

The director asks an assistant to call a guest on WhatsApp: Tell him it’s Radio-Canada, can you tune in please?

The opening theme of the program plays. Anne-Marie Dussault announces: 24/60“,”text”:”jeudi, 24 février, une émission spéciale de 24/60″}}”>Thursday, February 24, a special broadcast of 24/60.

He went away.

A man's hands on a console in a television studio.

The mandate of the 24/60 program is to transmit the events that marked the news of the day.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Ivanoh Demers

The theme gives way to the sirens that deafen Kyiv. We see the city, its buildings, its uncertain sky. Then President Putin, flanked by flags, predicts in Russian Consequences you have never experienced before..

Two worlds coexist: what is in the air and what happens in control. A filter separates them. Anne-Marie Dussault never looks at the driver: it confuses me too much! She trusts her handwritten notes. All day she documented herself, building this story with a thousand ramifications in her head.

« My job is to transform the subject to make it accessible to the public. »

a quote from Anne-Marie Dussault, host of 24/60

We are unable to communicate with a guest who is in kyiv. She may be on the run, suggests Anne-Marie Dussault in management. The spectators don’t hear him, the switch has cut off the sound that goes on the air. On the screen, the tanks parade.

Things get complicated: a presentation text has disappeared in the score, a block it has been moved… During harrowing moments, nothing goes right, no one knows where we are.

The director clears up the mystery: without anyone knowing why or how, the lines have multiplied on the roadmap. In an unanswerable tone, he brings everyone back. on line 179.

Behind the scenes

Do you want to know more about the work of Radio-Canada journalists, the standards that guide us and how the media works in general? This new section is here for you..

The commercial break is coming to an end… Liliane Lemay explains to the driver who asks for this or that thing that there has been a mistake. What is the problem? Anne-Marie Dussault asks calmly, her lips pursed because the makeup artist is touching up her lips.

He then reappears in the air as if nothing had happened. The show escapes, a silent transatlantic in a context of war.

Liliane Lemay, at her job.

Liliane Lemay, director of 24/60a daily program broadcast on ICI RDI every afternoon from Monday to Friday at 7:00 p.m.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Ivanoh Demers

« I don’t have to worry about what is happening now, but what is to come. From the block to come. »

a quote from Liliane Lemay, director of 24/60

New suspense, it’s three in the morning in Lviv and the former Canadian ambassador to Ukraine, who was going to set the alarm clock for the interview, is still offline. I can’t overwhelm the Téléjournal, warns the director. When it’s over, it’s over.

Victoria: It’s plugged in. In front of his computer, he hurriedly combs his hair just before going on air.

This is now the end of the show.

We remain hopeful for Ukraine. That’s all ladies and gentlemen, that’s all for tonight, see you tomorrowsays Anne-Marie Dussault.

eh yes Tomorrow we start again.

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