Wikinews writer reports from Paralympics

UC Wikinews writer reports from Paralympics

Alison Dance

Laura Hale

Laura Hale recently returned to Australia after reporting at the Paralympics. Photo courtesy of Laura Hale

26 September 2012: A University of Canberra PhD student has recently returned to Australia after working as a reporter for Wikinews at the Paralympic Games in London.

Laura Hale has been involved in Wikinews since December last year and was driven to cover the Paralympics by her love of sport.

“The Paralympics interest me because I love sport, and because you feel like you can make a difference as a reporter and historian when documenting the Paralympic movement. I also wanted to report on it because the level of sport is spectacular,” Ms Hale said.

She also hoped her writing might encourage other people with disability to take part in sporting activities.

“People with disabilities may be inspired by learning more about others involved, they could then work to improve their own health by becoming involved with sport themselves,” she said.

One of her coverage highlights was interviewing Trischa Zorn, who made history when she won her 55th Paralympic medal in swimming.

Ms Hale said thanks to the support from the Faculty of Arts & Design and the University she was able to cover the Paralympics.

“I had the opportunity to do the Paralympic project because people in my department believed in my work and assisted in providing this opportunity,” she said.  

Ms Hale completed her PhD at the University of Canberra in June. Her work at the Games interrelated with her thesis topic on the 'demographic and social characteristics of Australian sport fans online in response to events' as she said she “applied some of the methodologies in her research for the Games”.

Ms Hale said the experience also helped her discover options for her future.

“This confirms there are paths available to do work I find meaningful to benefit women and people with disabilities by drawing attention to the fantastic things they do, things that have wider implications for health and welfare in greater society.”  

To view some of Ms Hale’s work visit: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Category:LauraHale_%28Wikinewsie%29