Sydney Morning Herald photographer Kate Geraghty shared her first-hand account of covering the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy at Fairfax Media’s fourth “Behind the Stories” event.
More than 80 people from media agencies and the marketing industry gathered at The Mint in Sydney earlier this month for the function.
“Looking at these images still gives me goose-bumps because of the carnage in such a beautiful landscape,” she said.
A special tribute of sunflower seeds was created by Ms Geraghty, and foreign correspondent Paul McGeogh, for the victims’ families.
“As we drove to the crash site every day, we were surrounded by golden sunflower fields and we thought if the families can’t get here, then what can we do to bring something back for them after experiencing such a devastating and tragic loss,” Ms Geraghty said.
SMH news director Judith Whelan believes that powerful and evocative stories such as these are what sets the SMH apart from others.
“Kate and Paul’s idea to collect sunflower seeds from the MH17 crash scene has resonated, and packets of sunflower seeds have now been sent to many victims’ families both in Australia and around the world,” she said in a statement.
“Kate’s haunting yet beautiful photography of twisted fragments of the aircraft in fields of sunflowers brought special meaning to the story. It is stories like this that truly showcase our unrivalled, quality, independent journalism.”
When storytelling is done well, it has the ability to move readers, according to Fairfax Media Commercial and Marketing Services Director Tom Armstrong.
“Our ‘Behind the Stories’ events give advertisers and media agencies a unique insight into our stories, through the eyes of our journalists and photographers. It is storytelling at its best and this event had particular poignancy for our audience,” he said.
The Sydney Morning Herald also hosts regular ‘SMH Live’ events for subscribers, with journalists and editors talking about various topics.
The next SMH Live will be on “Science & Innovation”. It will be held on Thursday at the Australian National Maritime Museum.