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About Mic Smith

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Like National Geographic but better.

I am a  journalist with a Masters of Journalism from University of Queensland, currently tutoring journalism and PR at Griffith University and lecturing journalism and PR at Griffith College.

My journalism experience includes six years in radio and 10 years in print and online sites. I worked as the environment section editor for Gold Coast music magazine Blank for its first two years.

I write on conservation issues mainly – researching local Gold Coast marine life like whales, dugongs, and coastal birds. I also photograph and video. See a favourite video story on the ABC about shearwaters, “Shearwaters wash up in sheer exhaustion” here. This video “Heron Avenue Locals” was aired on ABC News24 numerous times. Early video work was featured at the St Kilda Film festival.

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Painting by Antoine Josse. Used with permission

Back in the early 2000s, an investigative story for radio (The Dry Lakes Estate about water use in construction during the Queensland drought) with Lucas Moore was a finalist in the Queensland Clarion Awards for journalism. And Good on the Inside which I did with Heather Anderson about women’s health in prison for 4ZZZ FM was a finalist in the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) awards.

After 4zzz, I worked as a newspaper editor in Ho Chi Minh City and reported on wildlife and sports in Vietnam from 2007- 2011.

The wild trade in Ho Chi Minh City caught my attention when the last Vietnam rhino was killed for its horn in 2010 in Cat Tien National Park just a few hours by bus from where I was working in the city.

The Saigon Horn was a long form investigative story that I researched in Ho Chi Minh City. It describes the use of rhino horn by everyday Saigonese and was published online by Ground Report.  It earned me an award from Groundreport. A follow-up story called “The Tao of Saigon Horn” on Groundreport earned a runner up prize in a conservation writing contest in Hanoi run by TRAFFIC. Both stories are now on this blog, as Groundreport is no longer running.

In 2015 I went to South Africa for six weeks to see rhino poaching for myself. What I saw was a game and conservation community that was reeling on several levels from the riches that went with rhino poaching. The story “Amid rhino poaching frenzy, dark days for South African society” was the first of several stories for Mongabay, which I continue to write for. At one point I saw it got 6000 shares. The story was a finalist in the Queensland Clarion Awards freelance category

I write blogs for ABC Open which has been awesome.

ABC News 24Radio National, Australian Longboarder, Overland literary journal, Asia Life, The Saigon Times, Blank Magazine and The Vietnam Communist Party website have  featured my writing.

Writing plays for La Mama theatre has been a continuing obsession of mine. Plays include Silencia, The Award and Our Hitch Hiker. In 2016 I was honored to be a part of the La Mama 50th Birthday Festival and performed a play about rhino and shearwaters called “No Surrender”. I am currently completing a thesis on the news framing of the rhino horn trade.Untitled

 

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2 Comments
  1. Hi mic,

    I heard your story on Radio National this morning and was really happy to hear you are doing well.

    Also enjoyed your piece, bought back lots of memories. (Ahhh!)

    All the best,

    Eric
    Eric.dando@gmail.com

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