ABC News recently launched a unique ABC Gallipoli Twitter project. Seeking to reflect live tweeting of key events in the days leading up to the Gallipoli landing and the events shortly after, @ABCNews1915 represents the Twitter accounts of more than 60 real sources from the time – 100 years on.
“The soldier Twitter accounts will tweet in ‘real time’ as such,” said ABC Editor of News Specials Eric Napper, who curated the project. “We’ve sourced historical records that provide the true thoughts and comments from people recorded 100 years ago, at the time. A majority of the tweets will link to personal diary accounts, interviews with veterans, Hansard records and newspapers of the day.
“We have been able to bring to life the reflections of a range of people who were there at Gallipoli, in a modern day format, from larrikin commentary and the thoughts of military leaders to speeches in Parliament. We have aimed to schedule the tweets as close as possible to a century after the events took place.”
The project was done in partnership with the Australian War Memorial, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, the National Library of Australia and Twitter Australia.
Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, said social media enables the experiences and stories of the people there at these momentous events to be brought into the modern consciousness.
“The Australian War Memorial’s mission is to find new ways to tell the remarkable stories of the 102,700 people who died in service of our nation,” Dr Nelson said. “This is yet another way to engage a broad, contemporary audience and make our history live. This is our nation’s story and I urge all Twitter users to connect with it.”
“Today, we take for granted the immediacy of news,” said Daryl Karp, Director of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. “Hansard (the transcripts of parliamentary debates) from 1915 shows that the Australian Parliament had to wait, along with the rest of the world, to find out what was happening to their soldiers on the front line.”
Director-General of the National Library of Australia, Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, said the Library welcomed this collaboration with the ABC. “The @ABCNews1915 project uses the strengths of our national collection to be a voice for those who are no longer with us to tell the story of Gallipoli to a contemporary audience,” she said
The content within the project has been verified by historians at the Australian War Memorial and the Museum of Australian Democracy.
This original social media narrative of first person accounts has been activated today and will continue in the lead up to Anzac Day and the days following.
Follow @ABCNews1915 and subscribe to the tweets here. Use hashtags #Anzac100 and #AnzacABC.