It’s times like these I wish I was still a newspaper reporter

Longing for the days of pen and notepaper. Photo: Eilis Quinn, Radio Canada International.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

Weather: Sunny, temperature hovering around -25c

Going out on the land during winter in the Arctic requires so much stuff: massive Sorel boots, socks, gloves, under gloves, goggles, a balaclava, hats, scarves, snowpants, long underwear, layers of thick sweaters …  The list goes on and on.

My kit for going out on the land needs its own suitcase and it’s really, really heavy. So because I’m going to be jumping in and out of a lot of small planes on this trip I wanted to keep things simple and cut down on equipment.

Then I had the clever idea of stuffing all my recording and camera equipment into the pockets of my Arctic parka and eliminating the need for an extra bag.

Well at least it seemed like a good idea at the time. 

I regretted it almost as soon as we left Montreal. Not only were gear and wires spilling out of my coat pockets but the weight and bulk of it all rendered me almost completely immobile. 

Case in point: our plane was late landing in Winnipeg so we had only six minutes to make the connection to Edmonton. The flight attendant told all Edmonton passengers to debord first and run to the gate so they wouldn’t miss the connecting flight. The other passengers took off out of the plane as soon as the ramp was set up. 

The best I could muster was a brisk waddle.

I told a fellow passenger in her 60s to go on without me and tell the crew I was coming as fast as I could.

It’s days like that, that make me wish I was still a newspaper reporter with nothing other than pen and paper to worry about.

Write to Eilis Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)





Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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