Rebecca’s news report proposal

17 09 2009
Sunset over Tasmania's Bay of Fires

Sunset over Tasmania's Bay of Fires

The story I have chosen to investigate is that of the argument between the Australian Aboriginal society and the state authorities over the Bay of Fires. The issue has been hotly contested and both parties want to conserve the land in their own way – the Aborigines feel affronted as they feel they rightfully own the land and the State of Tasmania feels the land should become a National Park, so as to protect it from an influx of tourists.

To faithfully and fairly cover this issue from all angles, I have gotten in touch with a Tasmanian Tourism association, who are quite happy to speak about the issue. I’ve also gotten in contact with Melissa Castan, a lecturer on Aboriginal Rights, part of Monash’s Law faculty. Lastly, I would like to speak with someone who could speak from the Aboriginal point of view, to fully cover all perspectives, but this may be difficult, given that they would be in Tasmania and I cannot physically reach them. This interview could possibly be performed via the phone though.

The tools I plan on using for the publication go my Bay of Fires based story are Google maps, Flickr, possibly youtube or video of some sort, articles on the issue, video and sound recorders.

Google maps will be an excellent way of visually showing where Tasmania’s Bay of Fires actually is; particularly for international readers, who would be skint of knowledge of the geography of Tasmania.

Flickr and youtube are good resources to mine for images of the area and already recorded news reports. The videos can be used for research and, if they are applicable, be imbedded/linked to the blog. The images and video would be an excellent way of showing the complexities involved in the issue – it is a beautiful area, which needs to be preserved, but the Aborigines feel it’s theirs to own, not the states (the videos could contain information from their point of view.)

Articles already published about the issue could give the some names of personalties or talents worth interviewing and the media devices – video cameras and sound recording devices – would be a wonderful way of telling the story without words. It would remove all chances of the reader getting bored by slabs of information and thus, they would be compelled to look into the issue more.

The video and sound recordings could be vox pops, asking the general public of their opinion on the issue of Aboriginal rights versus state preservation actions – the public view would be quite important, given the contentious issue is a debate of the people. The sound recordings could be used in a similar way. I could also ask current tourists of their opinions, how they would feel about Australia as a country in relation to Aboriginal issues. If they were planning to travel to the Bay of Fires, now that Lonely Planet has highlighted it as the ‘it’ place.

All of this would culminate in an interactive and interesting blog/news story for the reader interested in travel. I also plan on including the ability to respond, so that the issue can become public debate within the confines of the blog.




One response

24 09 2009

There must be a way for the two parties to compromise.
The protection of the area in any discussions should be the most important, the arguing over who ‘owns’ the land should be a secondary consideration.

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