Media Program

Crews with video and stills camera
Film crews at Wilkins Runway (Photo: Don Hudspeth)

Informing the public about our science and operations programs is important to us and we recognise that the media play a crucial role in shaping public attitudes to science.

As well as providing information to journalists, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) offers opportunities for media representatives to travel to Antarctica during the polar summer to report on research activities in the field and in the Southern Ocean.

Supporting journalists

The AAD Public Affairs staff can assist journalists with resources to research stories, arrange interviews with experts and provide broadcast quality footage and images. Journalists are welcome to arrange to visit the AAD offices and laboratories in Kingston.

Phone: (03) 6232 3514
Email: media@aad.gov.au

Media visits to Antarctica

The Australian Antarctic Division’s 2014/15 Media Program has closed. Applications for the 2015/16 season will close on 28 February 2015.

Australia’s Antarctic Media Program is open to:

  • Television and radio journalists and news crews
  • Print journalists and photographers
  • Freelance writers and photographers
  • Film makers
  • Documentary makers

Applicants should be well regarded in their field with demonstrated skills and abilities to deliver on the proposed project.

The AAD is a leader in scientific and environmental research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and has a broad range of collaborative partners.

Criteria

In choosing participants for the Media Program, the AAD will be looking for applicants who can:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of Australia's engagement in Antarctica.
  • Raise awareness of Australia's research activities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
  • Reach a broad audience and preferably multi-channel audience (i.e. a range of media) with the finished product.
  • Contribute to a broad understanding of Australia's Antarctic program.

Applications will be considered in line with:

  1. Demonstrated capabilities, professional reputation and track record of the applicant.
  2. The novelty and innovation of the approach.
  3. The relevance to scientific research.
  4. The feasibility of the proposed outcome.
  5. The potential for a significant audience and the efforts made to reach it.

Application process

Applicants must address the selection criteria and include evidence from editors or broadcasters on company letterhead of a firm commitment to publish or broadcast the proposed work via nominated networks or publications.

Target audiences and potential audience reach should be clearly defined.

Once selected, successful candidates will work with the AAD to develop an appropriate story plan. Australian Antarctic program research projects vary from year to year and may influence story ideas.

Given the long lead times for planning and carrying out work in Antarctica, and the uncertainty of access, applicants will need to be very flexible in their planning.

In deciding where you wish to go and how long you might wish to spend at any particular site, some familiarity with AAD field operations would be useful. Further information can be obtained from the AAD web site. Please note that the Media Program can only support visits within the normal working area of AAD field operations where logistics and opportunity allow.

What the program includes and requires

The AAD offers seats on its Airbus A319 or berths on its research and resupply ship Aurora Australis. Both depart from Hobart.

Media Program participants are responsible for their own transport to and from Hobart and for any accommodation costs incurred prior to departure to Antarctica and on return.

The AAD will provide transport to and from Antarctica, and accommodation and food in Antarctica. It will also provide, on loan, all outer clothing and footwear. Successful applicants will be required to attend pre-departure training and briefings at the AAD in Hobart. The AAD does not provide insurance cover for the loss/damage of equipment or personal effects.

Every effort will be made to provide all the necessary support for successful applications but recipients must accept that the primary purpose of logistics in Antarctica is to enable and support the scientific research programs. Operational requirements of these programs may unfortunately limit opportunities at some times.

The costs of completing the work and publishing or exhibiting it will be the responsibility of the successful applicants. The originator of any work resulting from Australia’s Antarctic Media Program will retain full copyright over the work but the successful applicants will be required to enter into an agreement with the AAD to:

  • deposit with the Division a copy of any images or footage obtained en route to and from and during time in Antarctica;
  • provide two copies of any printed, published or broadcast work;
  • agree to use of any such material for the AAD’s own purposes; and
  • agree to acknowledge the AAD in credits and promotional material. In the case of TV programs, documentaries or other publicly-screened program this means a full-screen acknowledgment which will be along appropriate lines as outlined in any signed contract.

Medical examinations are required by all people travelling to Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Division. These examinations are generally carried out by the Government Medical Officer, or equivalent, in your local region. The cost of the examination is borne by the applicant. Some medical conditions may preclude travel to Antarctica. Please refer to the medical checklist [PDF], and the Media Program application form [Word].

Participants supported by the AAD Media Program will need to follow the command structure on AAD aircraft, ships and stations, and comply with Australian legislation regarding Health and Safety. Environmental impacts may also need to be specially considered for some types of projects.

Hints for applicants

Antarctica attracts considerable interest among media organisations and individuals. Demand for positions is at a premium. In considering applications, the AAD will give preference to those people with a proven track record in consistently high quality work. It is up to the applicant to convince the panel of this and that a significant audience exists for their work.

Applications will be accepted in hard copy only. Supporting material on CD and DVD is welcome.

Applications should be posted to:

Media Program
Corporate Communications
Australian Antarctic Division
203 Channel Highway
Kingston TAS 7050

Evaluation of applications

Applications will be assessed on a competitive basis by a review panel against the criteria and supporting evidence.

The decision by the AAD is final.

If you would like to discuss the Media Program, contact the Corporate Communications section:

Phone: (03) 6232 3514
Email: media@aad.gov.au

This page was last modified on 3 May 2013.