Cetaceans vs Bush

Publisher:
ABC Radio National
Citation:
ABC - Radio Eye, 2005
Issue Date:
2005-01
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Cetaceans Vs Bush http://www.abc.net.au/rn/radioeye/stories/2006/1748854.htm Produced by Eurydice Aroney and Kirsty Lee Background A radio documentary produced for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Aroney, Lee, 2005). This work involved the research and retrieval of underwater audio recordings from specialized scientific and military sites and the sourcing and broadcast of a recorded court hearing in the U.S - a lawsuit taken against the U.S President by a group of cetaceans arguing that low frequency sonar was damaging their acoustic underwater environment. Interviews with the lawyer defending the cetaceans took place over two years. The producers' goal was to combine factual reporting with creative narrative techniques as a way of re-invigorating environmental reporting. Contribution The explosion of online audio databases has expanded opportunities for radio journalists to radically re-think their approach to production and research material. This documentary embraced the online audio database in an attempt to explore new sources for in depth news reporting. Using creative techniques - both technical and editorial- listeners were asked to experience the acoustic world of cetaceans through identification with the narrator, a fictional 'whale' played by an indigenous Australian. Significance Digital delivery platforms and online databases for journalism necessarily affect the medium and format of journalistic research and production. Audiences expect new formats that engage and embrace technological change and creative innovative practice. Although this work took risks in the way it combined news and narrative techniques it was awarded a Silver World Medal in the New York Radio Festival (2006) in the environmental reporting category. This category includes scientific and environmental journalism of a high standard from across the world.
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