Blog Post 8:

•September 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

First of three children, I still consider myself the test child. So when this weeks topic was media regulations in the household, I believe I was the perfect candidate as the collective efforts of my parents and myself shaped the path for my brother and sister.

So what kind of things were restricted for me? Well not a whole lot. My parents did however follow the National Classification Scheme quite closely and didn’t let me play or watch and MA+15 content til they had first screened it.
I do however vividly remember at the age of 13 my mum introduced me to her favorite genre of film-Horror. Mum, Dad and I all cuddled up on a cold Saturday night with our popcorn for a movie night in to watch my first ever “scary”movie titled ‘The seed of Chucky.’ For those of you who are interested, this is one of the scenes below:
So some of you may watch that and think “oh my god that is horrific,” which brings me on to my next point of context. Context can be defined as the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood. You watch that clip out of context and it seems quite horrifying that someone dying from hydrochloric acid is funny,  but place it into the context of a fictional movie and it provides a setting and a theme or horror.
A better example of real-life context can be seen in the most recent scandal of Australian Senator Jacqui Lambie who shared the following photo on her Facebook page:
Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 3.16.09 PM
Now on first impressions, this image portrays a woman wearing a burqa, pointing a gun, highlighting the fact that a terror attack is likely and we need to ban the burqa. What you might not know is that the woman photographed in this image is Malalai Kakar, Afghanistan’s first female policewoman who the Taliban gunned down in her car in 2008.
This is literally a picture-perfect example of how something used out of context can completely construe and alter the intended meaning.
So what about social anxieties and moral panic in regards to regulation in the household?
My parents were never the type to believe that if I watched a movie involving murder, that I would feel it is socially or morally acceptable to in fact murder. I do however believe that they felt it was necessary to monitor and regulate the content I did access and what was allowed to be accessed.
One game series that did not get the tick of approval from my parents were the Grand Theft Auto series. For those of you who are not familiar with the series it is  focused around many different protagonists who attempt to rise through the ranks of the criminal underworld. The series has gained a lot of controversy due to its adult and violent nature. Here is a look into one of the most horrific missions of the game:
I sat down with my dad last night at the dinner table to gain a better insight into why I wasn’t allowed to play the series at a young age and whether it had anything to do with moral panic and the games context.
“The fact that this game is appealing is worrying enough. No I didn’t think that if you played this game you would want to engage into criminal activity but it most definitely does not promote positive behavior. There is no right or wrong context with Grand Theft Auto. Younger demographics should not be playing this game until a more mature and better understanding of the world around them is taught” Gonzalo Del Pozo said.

The Future of Journalism!

•April 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

It is impossible to grasp an idea of what journalism will be like 20 years in the future. The field of journalism continues to grow and change with every given day as new ways to communicate are being developed. No longer does traditional media rule the journalistic world, we now have multifaceted interfaces such as social media, online blogs and online news that have driven journalism to newfound platforms. With these new platforms journalists have been given the opportunity to reach a much wider audience than ever before. With a simple click a status, post or tweet can be shared with millions of potential viewers which was has never before been possible. Content you are creating shares the ability to be accessed by almost anyone online and before you know it your ideas and thoughts, are being liked, commented on, shared, followed and subscribed. This daunting world of new journalism has changed the way people communicate forever.

 Despite the amazing positive growth journalism has received, some hardships have followed in the fields of journalism in regards to actual journalists and their careers. Award winning journalist Carrie Ching shared her views on future journalism in an article titled “How news can compete with cat videos: 6 lessons for multimedia journalists.” Throughout the article Carrie shares some life lessons she has learnt over her past years working in multimedia journalism and offers tips too future journalists. The article was an extremely interesting read and targets areas I had never thought to think about, considering I one day would like to be a journalist.

 Some key aspects I took from the article were, you need to build your dream job, experiment with your ideas, market yourself throughout social media, cater your content to the audience you are targeting, think of obstacles as positive challenges and if you believe you have a winning idea stick with it and make it happen. Overall, I was truly inspired by the words of Carrie and she completely opened my mind in regards to how I can pursue a career in journalism but not disadvantage myself in the process.

The public sphere of imagination!

•March 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Journalism as we know is a dynamic yet critical industry that supplies an audience with particular messages. These messages over time have been manipulated by the mass media to contain bias and spin that consequently gives the audience only what it wants to hear. Journalism no longer helps society in regards to learning new things but instead provides a sheltered view of the world around us.

 

Is the public sphere becoming a passive audience that is accepting information rather than challenging it? Has online posting strengthened the public sphere and its ability to reach larger audiences ? That’s what I aimed to discover.

 

Dan Berkowitz writer of “Journalism in the broader cultural mediascape,” shares a lot of the same ideologies I believe. Berkowtiz shares through his writing a number of fundamental aspects, which needed to be taken into consideration about the wonderful world of Journalism. Popular culture and journalism used to be two very distinct separate things that have now infused together changing traditional journalism. With the integration of journalism and popular culture, mass media has developed its approach to selling news. No longer are stories just containing the facts or information to enhance the viewers knowledge but includes angle, bias and spin in order to sell a story, for example in the more recent tragedy of Malaysian flight MH370. Mass media has jumped at the chance to sell a story and instead of delivering news and up to date facts has taken their audience on a money making journey. In more recent articles no new information is being shared, rather just new theories and adaptations of the same story just reiterated in a different way. With every given the day the media would leak a tiny bit of information to enthrall the reader further which consequently had them hooked.

 

This then had a domino effect in regards to the public sphere and the MH370 flight became a worldwide phenomenon. People on social media were re-posting articles, writing their own theories, debunking other peoples theories and making good use of the “#” key.

 

 

 

This evidence suggests that despite the rising power of mass media, the public spheres imagination remains creative and has not become passive and robot-like. The range of social media platforms have significantly consolidated the public sphere against mass media giving them two-way channels that can be utilised in sharing information.

Audio Report: Emotional history

•September 1, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Assessment 1 audio report has been an interesting assignment that has let me adapt and learn new skills. There were plenty of obstacles to overcome and in the early stages I found this task quite daunting and didn’t know where to start.

I originally had a few ideas about whom I wanted to interview and the range of emotions I wanted to portray but I just couldn’t decide. I ended up selecting my brother Ayden as the subject and the ball started rolling which led to some strong ideas. My brother who is only 9 years old has survived open-heart surgery and a life threatening fall from a two-story window. The audio clip focuses on the window incident that affected everyone around him and led him to become the celebrity of the street with newspaper articles and him being featured on the news. After his tremendous recovery he was back to normal, acting completely oblivious to what had happened. He speaks of the accident in such a light-hearted nature it is sometimes difficult to understand the severity of the situation.

I believe Ayden was the perfect candidate for the assignment because despite the tragic events that took place I could still encapsulate the innocence of a young child, who is still alive and happy today.

Before the interviewing process even begun I had to familiarise myself with the correct recording and editing equipment such as the program Hindenburg. Learning all the new shortcuts for Hindenburg (whilst tedious) was of a huge benefit that led me to completing my assignment on time. Being familiar with the editing software Audacity proved difficult because I was extremely tempted to use that platform instead of Hindenburg. However, with the help of Youtube videos and hand out sheets in class, I felt comfortable enough to produce an audio clip I was proud of.

It was finally time to conduct my interview and I feel as if I was well prepared. I had done some research on happiness as an emotion and read through several of the newspaper articles featuring Ayden. I decided to do the interview in my room away from house hold activities taking place so that Ayden’s voice was the prime focus of the recording. I asked a lot of open-ended questions so that he could feel free to talk at his own pace instead of feeling pressured. He spoke very confidently and talked about both accidents as if they didn’t even phase him. His cheeky remarks and laughter added the essential vibe of happiness that could not have been scripted. Overall, I was really happy with how the interview process went and would not have changed a thing.

The post-interview process was heavily dominated by time consuming editing that focussed on cropping the most interesting dialogue. Once the dialogue had been cut, sound effects were needed to enhance the audio experience. The sound effects of sirens, helicopters and a heart monitor juxtaposed against the innocence of Ayden’s voice suggested ones ability to bounce back and still live a normal happy life.

As a whole, the project was a fun experience that took me well out of my comfort zone, and as a result I learnt some valuable skills. This assignment gave me the perfect insight into the world of broadcast journalism and the hard work that follows. The countless of hours of editing, the attention to detail, finding appropriate and the sound effects to accompany the audio are just a few of the barriers I had to overcome as an aspiring journalist.

Below is the link to the audio file:

 

Ashley is on a roll

•October 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Ashley Berrington at the age of 8 wanted to be the world’s best ballerina. She attended a little dance academy in rural Western Australia before moving to Sydney to attend University at the age of 18. With two loving parents and a world of support her dreams and aspirations seemed to be living up to what she had hoped. Year after year her dancing achievements would pile high and the move to Sydney was a massive leap forward for not only her education but for her dancing career.            

 

 

Whilst studying a Bachelor of Science at university she continued to dance in Sydney at Star Dance School where she made plenty of new friends. As she describes “The transition from Western Australia to Sydney was made so easy through my new friends. My best friend Rhiannon is my rock, she has been there for me in everyway possible.” So after being in Sydney for a little over two years her 21st birthday was coming up. Her friends had decided to put together a night out that involved pre-drinks and big night out in “the cross.” Unfortunately this was going to be the night that changed Ashley’s life forever.

 

They were just leaving Soho nightclub in Kings Cross after a huge night of drinks and whilst Ashley did not partake in any drug use, the crowd she was with during the course of the night had been. By this time trains has stopped, the line for a taxi was halfway down the street and the “nightrider” bus only departed from Town Hall station. A friend of Ashley’s friend had driven to the city that night and offered to drive them home since “he was ok to drive”. Ashley was sitting in the front passenger seat and after ten minutes, the car swerved off the road, down an embankment and into a tree. Ashley woke up two days later in hospital with the life changing news that she had suffered several cracked vertebrae in her lower spine causing paralysis of the legs. “Obviously it was a massive shock that turned my world upside down. I was overrun with every negative emotion I can think of as tears rolled down my face all I could think about was my dancing.”

 

 

 

As weeks turned into months Ashley’s full recovery was nearly complete and had adjusted well to rolling through life. Now comes the extraordinary part of her life changing experience. Not only does Ashley have a big smile on her face but for the past 6 months has been traveling Australia speaking to teenagers about her life changing experience and how a mix of alcohol, drugs and transport is a recipe for disaster. Furthermore, Ashley’s passion and drive for dance did not disappear at all. She now undertakes competition wheelchair dancing and wishes to compete at the IPC Wheelchair dance competition in Europe. Ashley left me with something she lives by saying “Every morning I wake up with a smile on my face, despite everything that has happened if you surround yourself with happy people that love and care for you, you will live a long and happy life.”

 

 

Kings Cross Nightclubs, THE place to party?

•October 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Kings cross is home to nightclubs, restaurants, bars and strip clubs. For many this can be seen as a clubbing paradise that caters for the young and old and delivers a broad range of music and experiences. But despite this party atmosphere, a cloud of negativity and judgement has surrounded the cross, perceiving it as more of a threat than a place to party on the weekends. This is due to the number of drug and alcohol related incidents that have occurred over the past few years.

 

But after conducting some research on the “Cross” it was discovered that after the “black strike” program was launched, only 12 venues have recorded a single strike against them with none of these being in the “Cross”. So if the clubs aren’t the problem what is?  I decided to open up a poll to the people on Facebook and ask, “What is the MAIN cause of assaults and incidents in the cross?” more than 80% of the people who answered blamed the lack of late night transport. I interviewed Michael Jennings a responder to the poll who quoted “between the hours of 2am-5am people are wandering the streets looking for a way home. The last train to catch home is 1.30 and the first being 5.30 in the morning. I refuse to pay the outrageous taxi fees or catch the ‘nightrider’ bus.”

 

This goes to show how the lack of transportation in Kings Cross results in heavily populated streets with alcohol and drug fueled individuals. With this being said it is clear to say that whilst alcohol and drug use may contribute to a vast majority of assaults and incidents, it really stems down to the heavily populated streets, containing individuals searching for a way home. Kings Cross is not a place to be avoided but to be approached with caution when partying.

KONY 2012

•March 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This video speaks for itself. Lost for words.