February 3, 2020 / 4:18 PM / 21 days ago

How a Reuters journalist captured the Australian bushfires from all angles

Jill Gralow covering the Australian bushfires

Since September, bushfires of unprecedented scale and duration have scorched more than 27 million acres of land across eastern Australia and destroyed habitats of more than 1,400 species. Reuters video journalist Jill Gralow has been on the ground capturing the devastation in text, picture and video.

Utilizing her multi-reporting skills, Jill has provided Reuters with content of about 250 video edits – visible to several billion people on TV and online in nearly 80 countries.

Having covered numerous natural disasters, Jill described this experience as “eye opening.” She overcame obstacles, such as needing power to charge her equipment and to pump gas into her car, finding ways to communicate, as well as maneuvering around roadblocks to get to the front line of the fires.

When describing the situation, Jill said, “I knew it was going to be bad, I just didn’t realize how bad until I saw it firsthand. I packed my camera kit, safety gear and hit the road. I didn’t have to look very hard – just follow the smoke. It was everywhere.”

“I would go to the local Rural Fire Station (RFS) and introduce myself to the Incident Controller to get an understanding of the situation on the ground. You have to show your RFS media accreditation and safety gear and try to get a “ride along” with a fire crew, which wasn’t easy as they were obviously concerned about safety and very often had a full truck.”

Read more about Jill’s experience covering Australia’s bushfires in this week’s Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A here.

[Reuters PR Blog Post]

Heather Carpenter

heather.carpenter @ thomsonreuters.com

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