Bringing you the news from the fire front

When news of the fires across NSW began to break, The Daily Telegraph and its editors pulled out the white board.

By Thursday afternoon, they had more than a dozen photographers and journalists scattered across the state, from the Blue Mountains to Wyong.

The Daily Telegraph deputy editor Ben English said the newspaper was ready for the conditions, but what it was not prepared for was its staff actively wanting to go above and beyond the call of duty.

“We had a lot of people who had completed their shifts, who might have started at 6am, who just stayed and kept going,” Mr English said.

Chris McKeen keeps track of photographers during the bush fires in Sydney at News Limited in Surry Hills.

Chris McKeen keeps track of photographers during the bush fires in Sydney at News Limited in Surry Hills.

“The only reason the paper looks this way it does is because people went above and beyond.

“It’s why we do what we do – those sort of days.”

By 5pm on Thursday the pictures were flooding in thick and fast from 12 photographers in the field, and it was clear to The Daily Telegraph’s staff that they had to give the event the coverage it deserved.

The paper moved advertisements from its front seven pages, and dedicated the real estate to the catastrophe .

Mr English said it was important to produce a sombre, yet powerful edition of the newspaper, which spoke to the audience but did not intimidate them.

“We needed to make a special edition with this and the pictures were of such quality that we wanted to wrap up the paper,” Mr English said.

“You don’t want to be too breathless with your reporting because these people have been through the worst circumstances, but still bringing home the full impact through anecdotes.”

With Tom Westbrook

More on newspaper’s coverage of the bushfire crisis:

THE NEW ABC: Regional newspapers taking on the role of the public broadcaster
IN THE THICK OF IT: The Blue Mountains Gazette unites a committee through social media
HELL ON EARTH: Tele photographer John Grainger talks about his experience on the ground
THANK YOU: A masthead’s gratitude goes viral

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