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.
(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!
When ABC’s 7.30 reporter Leigh Sales says it is recommended for journalists to pursue another qualification other than journalism, it is a little disheartening to think of the size my HECS debt is going to be at the end of my degree.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the future of journalism, according to futurist Amy Webb, newsrooms will just shift their focus to more immersive and interactive forms of journalism.
Which brings us back to what Sales said in the lecture.
Should aspiring journalists look towards a double degree, in order to keep up with the changing media landscape?
Sales said journalists can learn anything to compliment their journalism degree.
As at the end of the day, it is what they can add to the industry which their competitors can’t that would land them a job.
According to journalism.co.uk, journalists should be constantly learning new skills in order to succeed in the fast-paced world of digital journalism.
Some of the skills include Freedom of Information requests, shorthand, editing videos and audio, mobile journalism, crowd-sourcing, social media, coding, data visualisation, and contact gathering.
If you know how to do any of these, you are already at an advantage according to the British website.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some coding to do…
The world of Twitter is a vast landscape of endless opportunity – if you know how to navigate it of course.
Today I learnt in QUT’s KJB222 Online Journalism class that online journalism is just like any other journalism, only it is about finding an innovative ways of sharing news with the public.
Social media platforms like Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook Live (Heck, if someone figures out how to use Pokemon GO as a way of sharing news, it wouldn’t surprise me) are all being used as different ways to sharing news with the public.
To me, online journalism is about trying to keep journalism alive in a world where everything is constantly changing.
As a daily public transport commuter, i’ve never seen someone read an actual newspaper on the bus.
All I see is people glued to their phones which says something about the way journalism is heading in regards to print journalism.
In fact, a June 2016 survey by Sensis reveals about 75% of consumers in Australia access the internet via mobile phone.
Definitely a result of the changing media landscape journalism faces on a daily basis.
Overall, there is always going to be news in the world, it is the way news is presented is what is going to change in the future.
The great debate between journalists and bloggers has been a long withstanding argument in the media, with many journalists stating bloggers are not journalists. With the changing media environment and print media’s downfall, journalists have no choice but transfer to online journalism as their news platform. The following is a background report about whether aspiring journalists should turn to blogging, and if bloggers are considered journalists within the media.
THE DOWNFALL OF PRINT MEDIA HAS LED MORE JOURNALISTS ONLINE
It is no secret the downfall of print media is on its way out resulting in more journalists losing jobs in traditional media. Journalists are finding the shift in traditional media much harder to adapt to the changing media landscape. With job cuts reported in Fairfax Media earlier this year, more than 120 editorial jobs were lost, which resulted in Fairfax staff to ‘take a stand in solidarity’1. The decline of the newspaper industry has felt vast repercussions due to the transition to digital media.
As reported by statista.com2, ‘while the number of subscribers and overall circulation has always been important for newspaper publishers, for much of their history they have been supported primarily through their advertising revenues and despite increasing trends overall, they have largely been unable to capitalize on the continued ad spend growth’.
As reported by ABC News1, the Fairfax cuts was ‘necessary to sustain high quality of journalism’. In a statement to the ABC, Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood said ‘in an ever-changing highly competitive media environment which involves rapid evolution of our publishing model. The initiatives we have proposed today are part of adaptation and are necessary to sustain high-quality journalism”.
Ultimately, the decline in traditional media has resulted in more journalists using digital media, such as social media as their main source of news. Additionally, with more journalists choosing digital media, statistics show the added growth has journalists seeking further training. This is in order to keep up to date with the changing media landscape. In a statistic from Statisa.com4, it shows 30% of journalists are seeking video and editing training within the industry, with 28% of journalists requesting education on social media engagement.
Social Media has increasingly expanded over all mediums of news sharing platforms. As social media continues to consume daily life, it is only natural for digital journalism to adapt to this new medium of sharing. However, with this change of social media arises the ideology social media makes news unreliable. In a 2013 report5, it is revealed 51% of PR professionals worldwide believe social media has made news less reliable as journalists do less or no fact checking.
This belief coincides with the idea bloggers are unprofessional, and according to Jolie O’Dell, bloggers are not considered journalists as they are based on opinion rather than fact. This calls in the question about whether or not, bloggers are deemed unreliable in the media.
ARE BLOGGERS UNRELIABLE- ACCORDING TO JOURNALISTS
Bloggers have reaped controversial attention, particularly from other journalists in the media. The Next Web6 [TNW] states, “In the earliest days of blogging, even the best blogs incorporated a good deal of opinion and were relatively light on actual journalism”. As mentioned above, the belief about the unreliability of bloggers has transferred into today’s media landscape with majority news outlets believing bloggers are rather opinionated, and do not provide factual evidence in their content. According to TNW6, due to the easy access of social media and publishing websites, the result is a large inconsistency in the standards of blog posts, especially those written by bloggers with no journalistic background.
Journalists such as Jolie O’Dell7, Ryan Young8 and Michael Poh9 state there are fundamental differences to distinguish a blogger from a journalist. According to Ryan Young, a journalist must know new, essential and interesting information. All information must be contributed to fact and not fiction. O’Dell states a journalist’s role in media is to ultimately serve the people, while “the blogger serves himself first and has no real social imperative in most cases”, whilst Poh states journalistic blogger’s role is to communicate ideas to your audience.’
To Summarise, O’Dell, Young and Poh view journalists as practitioners in their own right, as journalism requires certain skill-sets. Though, they believe bloggers are not journalists, as they have no training in the industry. Furthermore, TNW6 states ‘those who draw sharp distinctions between blogging and journalism are correct in asserting much of the blogging world has little interest in proper journalism. However, TNW also states ‘the blogging world can be used as training ground for future journalists’.
Fundamentally, the rise of social media has led upcoming journalists to utilize blogging to further their skill-sets for future endeavours. Students in university are taught and encouraged to network, and to start utilizing their skills by writing in their own blogs. As mentioned previously, journalists from the United States in 2013 were asked what type of training was most desired by journalists. It was reported 30 per cent of journalists wanted further training in video editing, whilst 28 per cent wanted training in social media engagement4, clearly indicating the shift to digital journalism has led more journalists to engage online socially.
According to Martin Bryant11, journalism comes down to ethics. Journalism “boils down to ethical, original reporting that respects the reader and tells them something new. It’s worth noting as well many so-called professional journalists have more in common with casual bloggers than anything”. Journalists are trained in ethics. Under the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance Australian Journalists’ Association12 [AJA], journalists must have “respect for truth and the public’s right to know are overriding principles for all journalists”. Essentially, the AJA guidelines indicate the differences between a blogger and journalist, as a journalist must follow this code of ethics whereas a blogger does not have to follow any code.
In summary, blogging has allowed aspiring journalists to learn the necessary skills to become journalists. It has allowed bloggers to organise arguments, form coherent ideas and how to research concepts. Nevertheless, with no guidelines, there are no obligations for bloggers to follow any rules. Thus, indicating the fundamental difference between a journalist and blogger. Conversely, according to the law, bloggers are considered journalists, which challenges the idea of how bloggers are seen in the media.
BLOGGERS ARE JOURNALISTS – ACCORDING TO THE LAW
According to the law in the US, bloggers are deemed as journalists. Robinson Meyer writes in The Atlantic13 about Crystal Cox, an investigative blogger who wrote a series of incensed arguments about a finance group and its partners, alleging the group of tax fraud, money laundering and other crimes. The finance group sued the blogger for alleging defamation.
Oregon district court Judge Marco Hernandez ruled most of the investigative journalists entries were nothing but opinion, thus not considered to be defamation. However, one post was considered factual and Cox was sued for $2.5 million in damages. Cox claimed her sources for the tax fraud claim were secret, and Oregon’s media shield law protected her from revealing them. Judge Hernandez decided Cox was not allegeable for the shield law.
However, the intersection of two pre-existing piece of case law, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan and Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. both indicate the kind of speech which qualifies as a defamation.
In the landmark 1964 Sullivan, Supreme Court ruled public figures can only seek claims for defamation if false information was published with ‘malice’ intention. In 1974’s Gertz, Supreme Court ruled false information about private individuals qualified as defamation if it was negligently published. Together, both cases meant false information about public figures must be published, whilst false information about private figures must be published negligently.
To Summarise, the Supreme Court did not care whether Cox was a trained journalist, but rather because the ‘lines between bloggers and journalists are blurred’. The Supreme Court states, “the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media…the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred,” which basically states bloggers are just as equivalent to any journalist, in the eyes of the law.
In conclusion, there is little to distinguish a blogger from a journalist. A good blogger and journalist use both journalistic skills and a code of ethics in which they use in their content. TNW6 states, “a blogger may inject a little bit more analysis into a post than a journalist does in a news article, but when a blogger tracks down sources, does investigative reporting, and presents the facts clearly and fairly, that is journalism, plain and simple”. Blogging helps aspiring journalists to practice their skills, whilst it is also clear bloggers and journalists are both viewed as professionals in the media. There is no debate however, that both parties must adapt to the digital media, in order to keep up with ever-changing media environment.
In most ways today’s media landscape is more vibrant than ever, offering faster and cheaper distribution networks, fewer barriers to entry, and more ways to consume information (Waldman, 2011). Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are proving to be audience’s main network of accessing daily news, socially interacting and consuming content online. This is proving correct, with content creators such as Casey Neistat who are proving that the changing media landscape is successful. Through analysing Neistat’s career, it is evident that his contribution in convergence and globalisation, and his role to the public sphere and the fourth estate has led to the success as his career as a filmmaker.
YouTube Vlogger and filmmaker Casey Neistat was born in Connecticut, USA on March 25th, 1981. Since withdrawing his enrolment in Ledyard High School in 10th grade, Neistat has worked as a ‘dishwasher’ to support his girlfriend and young son from the ages of 17 until 20 years old (Koster, 2010). In 2001, after splitting with then-girlfriend, Neistat decided to move to New York City to pursue his career in filmmaking. Neistat’s film career began when he started making films with his brother Van, for an artist named Tom Sachs. Throughout the years, Neistat has made a variety of short films, and advertisements for companies such as Nike, Inc., Google, J. Crew and Mercedes-Benz (Nudd, 2013) (Google, 2011). It was March 25th, 2015 when Neistat decided to start daily vlogging that garnered a following of over 2 million subscribers to his channel (Neistat, 20161). In the same year, Neistat launched his very own app, Beme which enables users to product unedited 4-second videos, which are immediately uploaded and shared with other user’s of the app (Beme, 2015).
As a filmmaker, Casey Neistat has evidently been impacted by convergence in the changing media industry, and has utilized convergence to further his career. Terry Flew describes convergence as the “interlinking of computing and ICTs, communication networks, and media content that has occurred with the development and popularisation of the Internet” (Flew, 2008). In their book ‘Media Convergence: Networked Digital Media in Everyday Life, Meikle and Young’ (2011) observe that convergence can be understood in four dimensions: technological, industrial, social and textual. In this case, Neistat has been able to utilize social convergence through the rise of social media such as Twitter, and in particular YouTube. Neistat’s film ‘iPod’s Dirty Secret’ is a specific example of convergence through the use of social media. First publicly shared on iPodsdirtysecret.com (later casey.nyc), this was Neistat’s first ever film to go viral (Davis, 2003). Now shared on his second YouTube Channel Casey Neistat Classics, the film has garnered more response with over 650, 000 views. In the Neistat’s YouTube Video, the description explains how this film was ‘pivotal’ to Neistat’s success, as this film received a ‘crazy amount of press and was a big step’ for his career. Additionally, Neistat uses social media to promote his latest videos on Facebook and Twitter. Social convergence allows Neistat to self promote his work, which is proving successful for Neistat as he has 445 000 twitter followers (Neistat, 2016). Whilst Neistat’s films were receiving global attention on his website back in 2003, it was not until Neistat published them on YouTube and promoted them on sites such as Facebook and Twitter that it allowed audiences to access Neistat’s work. It is therefore clear the convergence has influenced Casey Neistat’s career as a filmmaker.
Through his YouTube videos, Casey Neistat has been able to achieve globalisation. Terry Flew describes globalisation as an expanding scale, growing magnitude and social interaction that links distant communities and expands the reach of media across the globe (2007, 67). Known as ‘vlogging’, Neistat has garnered two million subscribers who watch his videos on a daily basis. Starting in 2015, his channel has grown significantly with Neistat uploading daily rather than occasionally. The result of uploading daily has allowed for a larger global audience and more social interaction on Neistat’s videos. Due to his ever-growing popularity on YouTube, more people from across the world are subscribing to Neistat’s content. YouTube proves to be a critical element for Neistat to achieve globalisation, as it is accessible to millions across the globe. YouTube product manager Brian Truong states that ‘by opening YouTube up to include more languages, their vast library of videos is more accessible to those who want to explore it’ (Buskirk, 2010) therefore, giving Neistat more opportunity for globalisation. In conclusion, the accessibility of YouTube is a strong example of how globalisation has impacted the success of Neistat’s filmmaking career.
Being a creative professional on YouTube, Neistat’s career allows him to express his ideas and opinions with a willing audience and opens discussion across the public sphere. According to Hauser, the public sphere refers to a “discursive space in which individuals and groups associate to discuss matters of mutual interest and, where possible, to reach a common judgement about them” (Hauser, 1999). Through his YouTube channel, Neistat regularly uses the public sphere to discuss matters that involve him. In Neistat’s YouTube video ‘Bike Lanes’2, Neistat discusses the faulty bike lane system in New York City. In the video, Neistat discusses the issue that bike lanes are unsafe for riders and pedestrians as unmovable objects block New York City’s pathways. Neistat’s video sparked an online discussion, which resulted in broad attention from various media outlets as his video went viral.
Similarly, Neistat has used the public sphere to address global issues such as the typhoon in Haiyan. In 2013, Neistat was given the opportunity from 21st Century Fox to promote one of their newly released films with a budget of $25 000. Instead of creating an advertisement however, Neistat decided to use the money to help those affected by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In Neistat’s YouTube video, ‘What would you do with $25 000?’3, Neistat urges to viewers to help out by donating to UNICEF. Through public discussion on his videos, it is evident that Neistat contributes to the public sphere through his YouTube channel.
In today’s society, the “Fourth Estate” is increasingly being applied to non-news media such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter who are progressively becoming a networking fourth estate. According to Thomas Carlyle (1840), the fourth estate is the relationship between the press and its readers, whether the formal constitution is political or societal, genuine political power exists in the informal role of the media (Hampton, 2010). Similarly, American Lawyer Marvin Ammori states, “Traditional media organisations are no longer the only place to find news or make political arguments” (Ingram, 2014) with creative individuals like Neistat using their voice for political debate. Casey Neistat’s role as a social media commentator has allowed him to act as a guardian for public interest for giant corporations such as Apple and American Airlines. Through his contribution of the public sphere, Neistat uses his influence on the media to evaluate the performance and become a ‘watchdog’ on major corporations. In Neistat’s YouTube video, ‘Breaking up is hard to do4’ Neistat discusses how his relationship with American Airlines, which was based on promotion and sponsorship, was dismissed due to Neistat ‘not spending enough money’ with their organisation. Neistat’s video resulted in a public discussion, with his viewers suggesting other airlines and disapproving of American Airlines.
Additionally, in 2003, Neistat has spoken out about Apple’s products in his YouTube video ‘iPod’s Dirty Secret’, which evidently went viral and caused major controversy for the company in the media. In that video, Neistat criticises on Apple’s lack of battery replacement program for the iPod. Neistat’s film received national media exposure and brought broad attention on Apple’s policy towards iPod battery replacement. This clearly shows Casey Neistat’s role as a ‘watchdog’ in the media as he observes social issues through his YouTube videos, and ultimately contributes to the Fourth Estate in society.
Casey Neistat has been able to establish a successful career through motivation, risk-taking and by doing what he enjoys most, which is filmmaking, and inspiring others to be creative. Personally, I aspire to be like Neistat as he is able to enjoy the things that matter most in life. He has been able to establish a stable career from freelance filmmaking, and through his content, he has been able to make a difference in the world. His dedication to projects, and his commitment to projects and organisations such as UNICEF and his involvement in charity is something that I wish to pursue for my future career. It is evident from his career that Neistat has been able to shape his content to evolve with many different platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Casey Neistat’s motivation has certainly attributed to his success as a creator, and his ability to adapt to the changing media landscape is something that anyone can embrace for a successful career. Like Neistat, I aspire to be passionate and motivated in my career, whether it is in the form of writing, or filmmaking.
In summary, it is evident that Casey Neistat’s role in the media and his contribution to society is deeply impacted by his participation in the convergence of the changing media industry, the globalisation of his YouTube videos, and his contribution to the public sphere and fourth estate where he discusses important social issues, and acts as ‘watchdog’ in society. Neistat’s success as a filmmaker can be attributed to the changing shift of today’s media landscape from traditional media outlets to more modern outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Therefore, it can be concluded that Neistat’s career is successful due to the changing media landscape.
Hampton M. A. 2010. “The fourth estate ideal in journalism history.” In S. Allan (Ed.), The Routledge companion to news and journalism (pp. 3). London and New York: Routledge. Accessed March 24, 2016. doi: 9780415669535
Hauser, G. (1999). Vernacular Voices: The Rhetoric of Publics and Public. Volume I, p.61.
It is a very rainy, very humid Sunday today. My eldest brother is finally home after months of working in Western Australia, and my mother has this Sunday off from the markets. So in typical working-mother-fashion, she has decided to spend today cleaning every surface of this house (yay!).
Her bustling efforts to clean the house led me to find my parent’s old red-leather bound honeymoon album. And what a treasure it was to find!
It was the end of winter, 1985, when my parents got married and honeymooned in New Zealand. They said it was an interesting trip cause it was then my mother decided to quit smoking, and my dad had to put up with her quitting cold turkey for two weeks!
My dad told me once that is was then when he realised what he was in for for the next 28 years!
Looking back at these photographs, I felt a sense of nostalgia even know I wasn’t even twinkle in my dad’s eye. There is something so odd about seeing my parents so young and carefree when i’ve only seen them as hard working farmers.
I picked out a few of my favourite photographs, majority of the photos consisting of my parent’s brilliant fashion sense and wacky hairdos (more like hair-don’ts amiright?)
But also of the astonishing beauty of New Zealand. The Snowy Mountains and Icy Blue rivers. My dad’s old film camera just made New Zealand even more mystical than what it already is.
Without further ado, enjoy these very old photographs from my parent’s honeymoon.