UTS Journalism launches regional reporting project
Four teams of UTS Journalism students have been deployed across NSW to discover how people in harshly impacted regions are mitigating the effects of climate change.
A number of Journalism students - from all stages of the program, including the postgraduate Master of Advanced Journalism - have been reporting from North, South, West and New England NSW as part of the first Regional Reporting Project. Each group has been spending four days at their destination, working on stories they have planned in advance or discovered along the way.
Whilst in the various regions, the students have been meeting with community members, including RFS volunteers, farmers, local politicians, school students and climate change protestors. These interviews have given the students valuable insight into how towns hit by drought, bushfires, dust storms and floods are adapting to climate change.
The student journalists have also had the opportunity to visit and write stories for local news media outlets, including The Northern Daily Leader (Tamworth), Daily Liberal (Dubbo), Bega Disctrict News (Bega) and The Manning River Times (Taree). The Dubbo team was also interviewed on the local radio station, Dubbo Community FM (DCFM 88.9). The full interview is available on SoundCloud.
Each team has been travelling by train and/or bus so that they can speak with locals and witness the scenery change from city, to burnt bush, empty dams and dry paddocks.
- To develop empathetic future journalists by taking them out of the city and into country towns crippled by drought, to witness the environmental and social consequences of global warming.
- To discover first-hand how regional Australia views and prioritises action on climate change and in doing so, learn more about the disconnect - if any - between regional and metropolitan climate reporting.
- To gain a better understanding of why regional Australia continues to vote for a government widely criticised for its climate policy.
Where possible, the stories produced by students will be shared by local news outlets, as well as The Junction, 2SER radio station and UTS Central News. UTS Journalism lecturer, Helen Vatsikopolous, will be producing the video stories as well as a documentary about the experience.
The Regional Reporting Project has been made possible by the generous philanthropic support of Mike Cannon-Brookes, CEO of Atlassian.