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Interview: 'Investigative journalism is here to stay.' Dan Box talks about 'The Queen & Zak Grieve'

Updated: May 12, 2022

Zoe Samios, Umbrella, 27 July, 2017

Investigative journalism isn’t anywhere near dead with new “incredible” mediums to tell stories, The Australian’s award-winning national crime reporter, Dan Box has said.

Speaking with Mumbrella ahead of the launch of his new vodcast documentary series, The Queen & Zak Grieve, Box said while there was less “traditional, old-fashioned journalism”, new mediums will “breathe a little more life” into investigative journalism. “I don’t think investigative journalism is anywhere near dead. Things have changed and newspapers have changed, there’s fewer staff, we have less time, but we are also doing things like this.”

Box, who was also behind the Walkley award-winning podcast, Bowraville, which has been downloaded more than half a million times, has been off his news-desk for more than two months, working on the project with Ivan O’Mahoney, producer and director, and Nial Fulton, executive producer, from In Films.

O’Mahoney and Fulton have won awards for Hitting Home, Borderland and Matilda and Me.

The six 10-minute films, which will be available to stream daily from August 28 until September 2, tell the story of a young indigenous man, Zak, who has been convicted of murder and is facing a life in prison as a result of the Northern Territory’s mandatory sentencing laws.

Produced by Infilms, The Queen & Zak Grieve is funded by Screen Australia, and will also appear on The Australian’s website. It will then be reformatted as a one-hour documentary feature on Foxtel’s Crime and Investigation channel on September 27 at 7:30pm.

“It’s never been done in Australia before [ a vodcast series], I think the New Yorker has done it once, and so that was our only model.

“It was very fortunate on my part that they [Infilms] came to us with the idea for the presentation and it obviously really suits the newspaper, because the newspaper is both a really powerful platform for telling stories and is increasingly interested in the last few years under Paul Whittaker, in finding new particularly digital ways of telling stories.” Read more here

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