Troops in Terror Zone 'cutting edge' in journalism

Members of the Special Operations Task Group prepare to embark on a night time operation in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan, June 2008. Picture: Supplied
Special Operations Task Group members prepare for a night-time operation in Oruzgan, Afghanistan. Picture: Supplied

Monash University’s journalism and multimedia students have joined forces with The Australian editorial team to produce a digital interactive, Troops in Terror Zone.

The digital interactive, which features cutting-edge technology, tells the story of Australia’s military involvement in the Afghanistan War.

Troops in Terror Zone has been published on The Australian website in the national affairs section.

Second-year journalism student, Warren Clark, directed the project and also wrote the original music with Gavin Butcher.

Master of Multimedia lecturers Jeff Janet and Neil Minott teamed with digital journalism coordinator Julie Tullberg to guide the post-graduate and undergraduate students during first semester.

View Troops in Terror Zone here

Mr Clark said the most rewarding part of this project was having the chance to lead groups of students in the design and creation of the interactive.

“There were many instances where the rationale of design was at odds with journalistic values and this led the group to finding solutions that satisfied both schools of though,” he said.

“I also really enjoyed the challenge that comes with the pressure of a deadline. Trying to maintain a level of clear-mindedness under pressure is crucial and having the chance to experience this first hand was invaluable.”

Monash University’s Head of Journalism, Associate Professor Phil Chubb, congratulated students and staff on the innovative digital production.

“Taking advantage of the new storytelling opportunities available for journalists is a key part of what we teach at Monash,” Assoc Professor Chubb said.

“This is a great example of what that means. Congratulations to the students involved, staff member Julie Tullberg, and our colleagues over in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.”

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The troops worked in tough conditions, while having the spoils of snow-capped mountain views in Afghanistan. Picture: Defence

Mojo executive editor Bill Birnbauer said Troops in the Terror Zone was a wonderful tribute but also represented the fairly recent trend of collaboration in the production of outstanding journalism.

“The project drew in Monash University journalism and arts and design students and staff, a key mainstream media organisation, historians and other players,” Mr Birnbauer said.

“It shows that an international media organisation was ready to work with and trust the staff and students at Monash journalism to produce accurate, entertaining and informative content.

“Once again, it highlights that student journalists working under supervision are both students in the traditional sense but also a resource that is capable of producing great work and doing so at the cutting edge of online technology, as this project shows.

“I know Monash journalism students will continue to produce amazing content that enhances their job prospects.”

An Australian troop on patrol in Afghanistan.