Category Archives: Online Journalism Portfolio

“Finding Leads For Your (News) Feed” Or What I’d Like To Call ‘Things Eilish Has Learnt in KJB222/235’

Image: Getty Images

As this semester comes to a close, it is time to really buckle down stories and find talent for KJB222’s last assessment: The Original Story.

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My Online News Story – let’s be real here.

I thought it was fitting to do such a post considering I have not yet found talent for my original story yet (The key word being ‘yet’).

In an extremely helpful blog post by Online Journalism Blog, there are all sorts of ways for finding talent.

From utilising your Google search bar to stalking your insta’s geotagging system. There is endless opportunities to find your ultimate source.

In my course so far, I have learnt a thing or two about finding sources. My radio prac for KJB235 had me searching left, right and centre for professionals in many fields.

Which leads me to talk about Experguide.com. This site is the holy grail for finding experts in any field.

All it requires is a simple search of the type of professional you are looking for, and up pops many professionals which you can contact. The site is very journalist friendly.

(Beware however, as some users haven’t been active since 2005). 

Another thing to remember for finding sources is that anyone is a source…or can help find other sources.

If you work in retail, it actually doesn’t hurt to talk to Crazy Joe. Crazy Joe might actually know some pretty high up people in the type of industry you’re looking to do a story on.

Just remember to be nice to everyone, and keep in touch.

Phonecalls. Yes, ringing people up and talking to them in person.

I know… phone calls freak me out as well, but they’re kind of necessary for this type of industry.

Journalism was fundamentally built on the telephone (Okay, maybe the typewriter but you get what I mean).

Now what I found helped the most when talking on the phone to potential sources is that it went a long way to simply ask how they were doing on the phone.

Most of them are pretty surprised when you ask them. It brings in the human element, and reminds us all that at the end of the day we are all just human beings.

Some of them actually helped me out by giving me more sources to talk to which ended up in my favour.

It is also important to remember to not get too friendly with your sources, which counteracts what I just wrote.

What I mean is if you become good friends with your source, it might end up detrimental as the line between what is right and wrong may become significantly blurred.

Our jobs as journalists is to seek the truth.

Overall, finding sources is pretty easy, you just have open your mind as they are all around you. Hey, even asking your mum might get you somewhere!

 

The Future of Journalism- ROBOTS! No seriously…

Banner image courtesy of  

Recently, Channel Nine’s Sydney bulletin had a bit of a mix up with their television programme. Camera one was switching to camera two, reporters were unprepared and stories were running off command.

Basically it was a big ol’ mess.

Check out the video below.

 

Luckily, presenter Peter Overton was pretty professional and told viewers to ‘bare with them please’ whilst the regular schedule went back to normal.

But it makes you question… is ‘robot-run’ journalism the future for TV and Radio?

According to ABC, the transition to automating computer systems in newsrooms is already happening.

With Newspoll sacking more than 100 staff members for the automative system, and 130 jobs now completed by using computers.

An article by news.com states these computer systems have replaced many functions of a studio crew and directors, resulting in a loss of jobs for channel nine’s studio staff.

Essentially, the role of a journalist is no longer needed.

But with videos emerging such as the one above, it shows there is no replacing the human element that is needed for news stories.

With the ever-changing media landscape, there is no doubt the future for journalism holds much more advance technology.

… and with the introduction of actual human robots it seems likely journalism would be run by robots one day.

 

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Seriously…these are what my nightmares are made of. 

But journalism needs to rely on people, rather than computers.

Without that human element, stories would feel like something out of George Orwell’s 1984 novel.

Overall, news is basically ‘for the people, by the people’ and no computer would ever give the human element needed for journalism.

They say video killed the radio star but with the introduction of robots I think they’re both dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Niche Writing is Actually A Good Thing!

Banner image courtesy of Francesca Nicasio

Niche writing is a love/hate relationship for majority of journalists.

Some believe it is the best thing for freelance journalists as you get too really hone into topics you’re interested in.

While others feel niche writing is like ‘someone tying their hands behind their back’ (Strain, 2016).

According to iche writing is an area where the writer is knowledgeable about a particular type of industry, has an solid understanding of needs, is up-to-date on trends, and has firm connections with industry experts.

Contrary to what some journalists think, niche writing may actually be a good thing when it comes to journalism.

Imagine your favourite thing in the world. Now imagine being able to write about it and have a group of people being equally excited about your favourite thing.

It all comes down the audience. What do they think? What do they want? Do they care?

Niche writing helps journalists to focus on a particular topic, and allows them to market their type of writing to a specific type of audience.

The main challenge writers face is marketing a small topic to a big audience.

A blog post from Otaku Journalist, gives aspiring niche writers three tips to go by.

  1. Ditch the terminology – allows more people to see your content! 
  2. Don’t just scratch the surface – by going into depth in your content, people want to read will want to read more! 
  3. …and to remember everyone is a potential fan – enough said! 

In summary, niche writing is a break away from the hard-hitting journalism and it gives journalists a chance to enjoy what they write!

I mean, if you’re a fan of alien conspiracy theories…I guarantee you someone else is a fan as well and would want to read it!

 

 

 

 

A Journalist’s Guide to Ethics

(Banner Image courtesy to gamesnosh

Journalism (noun): the activity or profession of writing for newspapers or magazines or of broadcasting news on radio or television.

Ethics (noun): moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity.

Journalism Ethics (noun): Something all journalists need to know and learn. 

Now…i’m not going to beat around the bush here and ramble why journalists should follow a code of ethics but rather i’m going to discuss why journalists need to follow a code of ethics.

Ethics is extremely important for all journalists. It allows them to establish a trust between reader and writer, and uphold a worthy reputation within the industry.

An opinion piece written by Leslie Cannold pretty much sums up why journalists need to follow a code of ethics.

"Journalism relies on public trust, and trust between individual journalists and their sources. Without trust, the Media Alliance's Code of Ethics reminds us, journalists do not fulfill their public responsibilities"

There is an unspoken rule that a journalist’s duty is to tell the truth, and what the reader reads is the truth (and nothing but the truth!).

And might I add, the reader’s trust is why we have jobs in the first place.

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Journo’s who don’t follow a code obviously can’t!

Our duty as journos is to deliver news in the most truthful and unbiased way. Without a code of ethics, it is pretty easy for a journo to stray from a path of right and wrong.

ABC Radio’s Manager,  Kellie Riordan came to QUT’s Online Journalism lecture this morning to discuss the importance of ethics.

Riordan brought up interesting points involving the online world.

Nowadays, news sites like Mamamia and the Guardian do sponsored posts which conclusively blurs the lines between journalism and native advertising.

Riordan said sponsored content and opinion pieces need to be signposted so readers know whether the content their reading is factual and not swayed by any outside influence.

(Hint: it’s money!)

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@JennyArchdall liveblogs this mornings lecture, highling an important note on sponspored content

Overall, it is better for journalists to be transparent when it comes sponsored posts. A code of ethics allows journalists to keep in check.

Without a code of ethics and trust, journalists do not fulfil their public responsibilities.

There is no doubt ethics requires conscientious decision-making, but a journalist just has to think before they publish a post if it would make or break them career-wise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Storytelling: The Way of The Future

Image: Getty Images

The world of the journalism industry is forever expanding with different ways of communication, and it is very important for future journalists like myself to keep up with those trends.

When ABC’s editor of Interactive Digital Storytelling Matt Liddy came to QUT’s KJB222 Lecture,  I was captivated to say the least about the ways of digital storytelling.

This form of journalism is basically, as it names suggests, ‘tells a story’ in a digital and interactive way. (Wow Eilish, you truly are the Ernest Hemingway of your generation!) 

One of the main forms of digital journalism is the form of data journalism.

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@snoozen live-tweets lecture with @mattliddy

Data journalism, essentially is numerical data used in a production and distribution of information in digital journalism.

What is really important about data journalism is the fact aspiring journalists like myself would have to learn coding for data journalism

‘Data journalism’ only differs from ‘words journalism’ in that we use a different kit. We all sniff out, report, and relate stories for a living. It’s like ‘photo journalism’; just swap the camera for a laptop.
Brian Boyer, Chicago Tribune

…And when I hear the words data journalism and coding, all I can think about is math.

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@Me

Jokes aside, data journalism is very important due to the way the industry is changing and how audiences view content.

This piece written by Data Journalism Handbook, shares why we need data journalism.

Basically, the journalism industry is under siege as in the past the printing press has “relied on being the only ones operating a technology to multiply and distribute what had happened over night”.

'The printing press served as a gateway, if anybody wanted reach the people of a city or region the next morning, they would turn to newspapers. This is over.'

Currently, news stories are constantly flowing into news rooms as they happen. Unfortunately, due to the filtering vast network of social connections, news is often ignored.

 

This is why data journalism is so important. Gathering, filtering and visualizing what is happening beyond what the eye can see has a growing value.

So for my students peers, here are a few websites to help us get acquainted with data journalism and all things coding. Enjoy!

https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/

https://www.codecademy.com/

https://www.python.org/

 

 

 

White Privilege in a Journalist’s World

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Image Source: Allan B West/Getty Images

Being a 19-year-old aspiring journalist, my ideologies of what is right and wrong is definitely going change whilst i’m studying at university.

Now there is no denying white privilege exists. It exists and I doubt it is going away anytime soon, which is unfortunate.

As a young white woman, the fact that I have more of a chance at succeeding in this industry compared to my peers from different backgrounds, is a little sad when they are equally or even more capable than i’ll ever be.

A British Study from the City University London reveals that the British journalism industry is 94% white, 86% university-educated and 55% male. 

With only 0.4% of British journalists being Muslim, and 0.2% are black (The Guardian, 2016).

The study also revealed that 65% of journalists were female, however whilst the women remained underpaid and under-promoted, almost all ethnic groups and religions were significantly under-represented within the industry.

So I think it is safe to assume Australia doesn’t stray too far from its British cousin.

I mean, news bulletins like Channel Nine and Seven provide enough evidence to know the journalism industry within Australia is majority made up of white people.

Journalists such as Lee Lin Chin and Waleed are the only two journalists I can think of that do represent other ethnic backgrounds in the industry…two journalists out of the thousands currently in Australia.

Robert Jensen, writer of “White people need to acknowledge benefits of unearned privilege” pretty much hit the nail on the head when it comes to white privilege.

He says white privilege is “the dirty secret that we white people carry around with us every day: in a world of white privilege, some of what we have is unearned”.

Although I can’t deny the colour of my skin and what privilege it brings me, my aim is to be the change this industry needs.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I do not and should not want to rely on my white privilege to ‘snag’ a job.

I want to someone to hire me purely because I am good at what I do, and not what I represent.

 

 

 

 

 

Wait…I can get paid for blogging?

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Zoella is the embodiment of a successful blogger, building an empire of 11 million subscribers and a net worth of $3.5 million.

Yesterday’s lecture hosted Nikki Parkinson, author of the renowned blog ‘Styling You’, a blog dedicated to helping women “get out the door each day looking and feeling the best they can”.

The main theme in yesterday’s lecture was blogging, more so the power of blogging. We live in an age where people as young as twenty-five can live off a whooping income of $12 million made from posting YouTube videos, and where viral cat videos can earn you some cash as well.

The truth is, anyone can be a blogger, a YouTuber, an influencer in the media, anyone with internet really! It really comes down to a formula Parkinson told us yesterday which attributes to most bloggers success.

That is,

Authenticity + Audience + Engagement + Trust = Influence 

(When it comes to success in the blogosphere, this formula is key according to Parkinson)

The formula is pretty straight forward. Basically, if one were to follow it you could garner a mass audience and influence in the media.

Influence in the media is something a lot of people either know how to handle extremely well or extremely badly…

But in this case, I decided to use YouTube Blogger Zoella (Zoe Sugg) as an example of someone who uses their influence for good, and does a bloody good job of maintaining an image despite mass media manipulation!

From being a small town girl to one of the biggest celebrities in the UK, Zoella has created an empire of 11 million subscribers on YouTube.

But before she was “Zoella”, Sugg was just an ordinary 19 year-old-girl with a shitty blog (much like this one) and an internet connection.

(Please note, she has definitely changed her blog since 2009 and it is definitely not shitty now, despite what the haters say! #zoellafangurl101)

Sugg was able to create a trust between her readers as she talked about things she enjoyed, and she simply did so because she wanted too and not because she was paid.

Once more people clocked on to her blog, eventually she moved platforms to YouTube which blew up resulting in her success today.

In conclusion, there are definitely signs Zoella followed the formula for influence.

Her engagement and trust with her viewers has definitely resulted in her influence as a creator.

Who knows? Maybe I can be just as successful as Sugg in the future… that is if I keep a consistent posting schedule- yikes!