Fairfax Media's Behind the Stories - The Sunflower Project

August 24, 2015

Fairfax Media has held a special “Behind the Stories” event for marketers and media agencies offering a unique insight into some of the world’s biggest news stories as seen through the eyes of SMH journalists and photographers.

Speaking at the fourth Behind the Stories event, renowned Fairfax photographer Kate Geraghty talked about the devastation she witnessed first-hand covering the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy. Along with foreign correspondent Paul McGeogh, Geraghty created a special tribute of sunflower seeds from the crash site for each of the victims’ families to remember their loved ones.

More than 80 people attended the invitation-only breakfast, held at Sydney’s The Mint on Thursday 13 August 2015 and a special video of the Behind the Stories event has been created (see below).

Geraghty shared many of her powerful photographs taken at the MH17 crash site and said: "Looking at these images still gives me goosebumps because of the carnage in such a beautiful landscape. 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."

The Sydney Morning Herald News Director Judith Whelan said: “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. 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.”

Fairfax Media Commercial and Marketing Services Director Tom Armstrong said: “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 story telling at its best and this event had particular poignancy for our audience.”

The Sydney Morning Herald also hosts regular ‘SMH Live’ events for subscribers that feature journalists and editors speaking on various topics. The next SMH Live, “Science & Innovation”, is on Thursday 27 August at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Details can be found here.

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