Tens of thousands have sought out multimedia Anzac Day coverage from the country’s two largest publishers, with both News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media reporting huge engagement with their Gallipoli centenary content.
A multimedia feature incorporating more than 140 archival photographs and extensive historical video is among the most popular pieces of coverage from Fairfax, while News will ramp up its Anzac Live social media re-enactments which have seen more than 30,000 Facebook accounts engaged.
“Our approach is to have our live-on-the-ground reporters covering the event as news reporters should, and our Anzac Live platform … to do something completely innovative,” News Corp Australia group editorial director Campbell Reid said.
Anzac Live uses social media accounts to recount the personal experience of people involved in the Dardanelles landing in their own voice, drawing on diary entries and historical documents. The accounts are run by teams of journalists.
Mr Reid said the Anzac Live hashtag had reached 20 million social accounts and had been seen by five to six million people.
“We have active people in the UK, and Canada, in New Zealand, in Turkey as well as Australia and we have some extraordinary stories of families in the UK rediscovering the story of their relatives,” he said.
“We have the 90-year-old descendants and daughters of some of the Anzac veterans on Facebook talking to their relatives in real time.”
Mr Reid said Anzac Live would be News Corp Australia’s key focus this weekend, although it has sent a combined 15 journalists and photographers to the commemoration. In addition, The Daily Telegraph’s Janet Fife Yeomans will travel with war widows to the site and network reporter Mike Colman will file from London.
Fairfax Media will send The Age national affairs editor Tony Wright, columnist Peter Fitzsimons and Middle East correspondent Ruth Pollard to the Gallipoli commemoration site. All will file video in addition to their usual role. Photographer Joe Armao and videographer Tim Doldissen will be there to capture the event.
An interactive feature explaining the Gallipoli campaign is the centrepiece of Fairfax’s centenary coverage. The Story Of Gallipoli was produced over the course of a year and features historical video, 144 pictures individually colourised by a team in the Melbourne office and input from historian Dr Jonathan King.
“As we got more into it, it became more and more video-focused because we were seeking clarity in the way we explain it. And because we got hold of so many beautiful images, and because we colourised 144 of those images, it sort of made sense to do it [visually],” Fairfax Media’s presentation editor Matt Martel said.
The interactive has seen around 15,000 Facebook shares, according to Mr Martel.
There’s also a 1.7 metre-long graphic set to appear in Fairfax’s Saturday papers – that’s about the size of four broadsheet pages. Printed on one side will be a map of Anzac Cove and the hills, and explainers around the broader context of the Gallipoli battle.
On the other side is a list of the names of all the soldiers killed at Gallipoli, Mr Martel said.
The Age and the Herald featured a 16-page souvenir wrap on Friday ahead of the anniversary, followed by a special commemorative poster on Saturday and an eight-page liftout in The Sunday Age. The liftout will be 12 pages in The Sun-Herald.
From News, the Herald Sun published a glossy 48-page magazine last Saturday, The Australian featured a colour magazine produced with the Australian War Memorial last weekend and on Sunday all papers will be Anzac Day commemorative editions. On Friday, The Courier-Mail published a heritage edition with the design of a old-style newspaper, designed to remind readers that on the day before the Gallipoli landings, Queenslanders were reading an ordinary newspaper without any idea of the events set to unfold over the next 24 hours.
Reporting from Gallipoli:
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA:
Liliana Molina – The Courier-Mail
Patrick Carlyon – Herald Sun
Sam Ruttyn – The Daily Telegraph
Charles Miranda – network
Ella Pellegrini – network
David Caird – Herald Sun
Andrew Carswell – The Daily Telegraph
James Law – news.com.au
Cameron Stewart – The Australian
Lyndon Mechielsen – The Australian
Jamie Walker – The Australian
Dennis Shanahan – network
Paul Kelly – The Australian
Mark Day – network
Mike Colman – network (in London)
Janet Fife Yeomans – The Daily Telegraph (travelling with war widows)
Tony Wright – The Age
Peter FitzSimons – The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald
Ruth Pollard – network
Joe Armao – photographer
Tim Doldissen – videographer
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