Journalism: Stories That Matter

They say pictures paint a thousand words. But pictures don’t always tell the whole story. A formally trained and experienced journalist can get to the heart of an issue when others can’t. I’m that journalist.

Besides being a dad, a partner, a Canadian Armed Forces veteran, and who knows what else, I’m also an award-winning journalist and former newspaper editor.

After being trained in Mount Royal University’s Journalism program, I then spent decades in the news field in Alberta and British Columbia. My stories have been published in newspapers and magazines across Canada as I covered the people, places and things that make our great nation so rich and diverse.

Along my journey my work has appeared as:

  • newspaper articles
  • full feature news stories
  • editorial columns
  • business and staff profiles
  • biographical profiles

Jeff can listen to an argument and with respect and a few words offer a return of “Have you ever thought to look at this another way?”  Jeff`s continuing life experience offers an everyday man`s comprehensive investigation into a world that is seen from under his bushy eyebrows.  A good read to say the least.

Dave Cochrane
Morin Heights, Quebec

Trained and practiced

Trained in Canadian Press style, and with a commitment to getting all sides of a story even when they are not obvious, I’ve always tried to present the facts objectively and in a balanced way.

Meticulous, thorough research forms the basis for good news writing, leaving nothing uncovered. For me I’ve come to rely on decades of sources in the hunt for those crucial behind-the-scenes details. A full understanding of various online and in-person methods of research means I’m able to drill down into the fascinating details of any story worth telling.

The gold is in being able to dig up surprising tidbits of story details. I’m naturally curious about backgrounds, so I seem to instinctively know which rabbit holes to follow, and when I’ve hit on one that is going to be big.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Jeff Vircoe for almost 50 years. Insightful, enduring, fair minded, empathic and accurate are just a few of the descriptives that he is more than eligible of accruing.  He hits the mark every time.  Sharp and on the money.

Maurice Raymond 
Calgary, Alberta

With formal training as a journalist, I understand the importance of being faithful to answering the most basic of questions in every story – the five Ws: who, where, what, when and why. With 30 plus years of practicing the time-tested, Journalism 101 formula of the inverted pyramid when storytelling, I write in a way that informs but doesn’t overload. This means using:

  • A lede, or introduction that easily entices the reader to go deeper.
  • Laying out the value of the story: adding interesting quotes and supporting, contextual info.
  • And, always, an alternative perspective to allow the reader to make a decision as to what they’ll do with the information.

More than just an average journalist

The storytelling process is a fun mix of fact and flow. A compelling cadence and rhythm must keep the reader engaged and interested. I believe it is important to get ideas out there in a way that readers will not just understand but feel and experience them, too.

Jeff has contributed to my personal perspective on many topics, ranging from music to politics to mental health issues. Jeff has strong moral values and defends his beliefs and perceptions with statistical facts, training and personal experience. He is always willing to consider both sides of a situation, and serves as a great ‘sounding board’ for new ideas and thoughts. He is clear, concise and committed in his expression of opinion and belief. I am grateful for his input in my life.

Tyler Jerhoff
Kihei, Maui, USA

So far, so good. Along with many in-house newspaper chain kudos, I’ve had the honour of having my stories win some prestigious awards over the years:

  • 1995 Editorial of the Year in the CCNA Better Newspaper Competition
  • 1997 Stuart Keate Memorial Award for writing from the BC Newspaper Foundation
  • 1992 Citizen of the Year from the Cochrane and District Chamber of Commerce while editor of Cochrane This Week
  • 2004 Parksville Qualicum News won the Big Business of the Year award from the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce while Jeff was editor

Times change. Into the second decade of this new millennium, I’m now offering not just journalism but compelling, accurate stories, articles, columns, blogs, editorials, business profiles, staff profiles, and methodology pieces.

Welcome to our world of words. Let’s tell your story, shall we?

Get in touch and let me know how I can help you.