Maria’s news report proposal

17 09 2009
Bustling India

Bustling India

The news report that I am going to research and develop on is about the disabled Australian tourist, George Dobson who was stranded in India after an accident. With no money to go back to Australia after not purchasing travel insurance, the 65 year old Rockhamptoner is now relying on his family to bring him home.

The two main documentary sources that I intend to use are video news reports on the story and the website http://www.bringgeorgeback.com/, which his family members set up to raise funds to bring him home. The website also provides photos of George and the family and substantial information on the incident and even current updates to his condition in India as well.

One of the two confirmed face-to-face interviews that I intend to use is Melissa from STA Travel, who works as a travel advisor there. The second person that I will be interviewing would be Sarah Wong, a student who just returned from a three week trip to India. However, I am considering also interviewing either an Indian from the area who is currently in Melbourne or a representative from the Australian Embassy in India or a representative from the Indian Embassy in Australia for more views on this issue and also to find out more about how the governments are dealing with the situation.

One news values of the story is proximity. With the victim coming from Queensland, it will also strike a chord with fellow Australians emotionally and add the element of humanity into the story when they read about the donations coming in from other Australians. Other news values are human interest and conflict because the issue of being stuck in India due to the lack of insurance is definitely a debatable one.

There is a combination of tools that I intend to use for researching and developing my story. The first would be various video news reports. Videos are also useful as they would be able to show me visuals of the family, the accident site and maybe even interviews with George himself. Visual to the reader, it allows the website to be more interactive and would definitely have a higher level of engaging the audience. I could also add a video on travel insurance to educate readers and potential travelers on how to obtain their own insurance should they need it in the future.

Another tool that is of great help for the development of the story would be the website http://www.bringgeorgeback.com/ as well, because it will reveal possible new angles and allows me to contact the family for more information as well. The website also has large amounts of substantial information on the current situation, providing constant updates and essential background information of the whole incident. This mix of media would be able to provide engaging and comprehensive information for the reader and add layers of interest to the story.

The other resources that I intend to use are written news articles on the incident, to view different angles of the story and in doing so be able to form my own angle as well. I will also research on past incidents of a similar nature and add the hyperlink of those articles on the website so that readers can explore more for themselves, increasing the level of interactivity between the blog and the reader and also increasing the provision of information.

Another tool I can use would be Google maps. Including a map on the location where the accident happened can also give readers a more visual experience of the story and give them a better idea of the whole scenario. Vox pops can also be conducted to gather different opinions of the general public or of tourists and travelers in Australia to show various views towards the incident. Based on this, I can also add a feedback forum or poll on the blog to get readers’ opinions towards the issue (e.g whether they think George was wrong in not buying Insurance or just a harmless tourist who should be let home), creating human interest to the story at the same time.

Using the interviews mentioned above is also crucial to the research and development of my story, as including these interviews would add credibility and authority to the story as well.

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