New Life or New Threats: Koala Populations After the NSW Bushfire Season

Koala at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital / Kevin LEBRE / Getty Images / Royalty-free

Rescued koalas have begun to be returned to their habitats and populations are recovering months after fires grazed through NSW. Yet, with the approval of logging in key habitat regions, new fears have emerged over continued threats to the species’ survival.

Koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Australia / eeqmcc / Getty Images / Royalty-Free

A Newsworthy Feature

As bushfires swept across NSW last season, the impact on wildlife was a significant issue with high volumes of media coverage. Koalas were especially impacted with a quarter of their habitats destroyed in eastern NSW. The proposed feature will explore the current conditions of koala populations and the potential threats to their survival as the state recovers.

This is a timely issue with a number of developments in NSW in recent weeks including:

This will continue to be timely with the report on the NSW Upper House inquiry into koala populations and habitat due by June 15.

Chosen Publication: The Sydney Morning Herald

The article is proposed to be published in the ‘Environment’ section of the Sydney Morning Herald. The paper reports regularly on environmental protection and conservation issues and has been covering recent developments closely.

The subject matter is expected to appeal to a broad audience. Due to the intensity of the bushfires and the far reaching impact, coverage over the last summer was popular across multiple demographics. The Sydney Morning Herald grew its digital and print readership to 8 million in December last year during its coverage of the fires and their impacts on wildlife. It therefore is a prime publication to reach a broad target audience interested in the topic.

Sources of Information

I intend to collect information from a wide range of sources to represent the differing views on the issue. These will include interviews with individuals and organisations who are involved in koala conservation and rehabilitation, those who oppose logging in these regions, and those who have approved or support the logging.

Organisations involved in koala conservation and rehabilitation include:

Organisations and individuals opposed to the logging include:

Organisations that have approved or support the logging include:

Other sources of information will include reports and surveys from the NSW government, forestry industry, and animal and environmental organisations on koala populations and conservation, submissions and hearings from the NSW Upper House inquiry into koala populations and habitat, and scientific papers on conservation and forestry management.

Multimedia, Hypertext & Interactivity

The article will contain various types of multimedia, hypertext and interactive features including:

  • Images and videos of koalas being taken care of and released into their natural habitat
  • A geographical map of the koala habitat regions approved to be logged, which users can click on for key information about koala numbers
  • Sliders comparing areal images of forests before and after logging and bushfires
  • Hyperlinks to sources
About Marco Stojanovik 5 Articles
Postgraduate Media Practice student with interests in environmental and social justice issues.

3 Comments

  1. I think this topic is very good. The Australian wildfire is a piece of news that people have paid close attention to for a while ago, and the survival of koala in the fire has also attracted wide public attention. After the fire went out in February, people are very concerned about the current situation of forests and wildlife. I think many people want to get more information.

    The information sources are analyzed from the perspective of different organizations, which is very detailed. I think you might interview some experts and scholars, such as wildlife experts or professors.

    This is a popularization of science news. In order to avoid being difficult to understand and reading, videos and pictures can be added appropriately, some professional terms may need annotation. You can also leave your contact information below the news so that readers can give some feedback easily.

  2. Hi Marco, this proposal looks marvellous. The online delivery seems spot on (informative hyperlinks, ravishing visuals and engaging writing) and the content is very well researched.
    Under the sway of COVID-19 it’d be easy to forget the environmental challenges from last year, and that’s something that your piece would help to avoid by bringing this issue to the spotlight (before the new fire season). Absolutely timely and newsworthy indeed. In this line, perhaps you could think about making a call to action explicit?
    I think getting more information from scientific sources and maybe interviewing an academic would be good ideas to consider.
    Sourcing your own visuals may be difficult, so have you considered creating engaging audio material that you could put on top of the images and videos?
    I look forward to reading the finished article.
    I hope this is useful,
    Martín

  3. Hi, Marco, I really like the theme and angle of your proposal. Since brushfire, people seem to have insufficient channels to learn more about the follow-up situation, and such a feature is in line with the timeliness of news value, and meet the needs of target audience.
    I think your group classification of organisations and individuals’ attitudes towards logging is very specific and logical, and it is also very helpful for the elaboration of features.
    Include in your reference information not only official data, but also elements such as geographic maps that fit the theme. This form is enough for the audience to understand the situation concisely.
    But your proposal seems to have no other form of media than pictures and hyperlinks. I think if you put the map or add more pictures into a slide show in proposal, this proposal must be more attractive.
    Due to the uniqueness of the theme and the recent wildfire events, I think the number of koalas can be a good icon data. In the arrangement of multimedia, maybe adding charts to make data visualisation is a good choice.
    Looking forward to your results, I hope my comments will help you!

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