Identity…. why it isn’t a crisis

If there is anything more confusing than the theories of how human life came about and why, it’s probably who we are as individuals and how do we “label” ourselves as such…. Or ….finding Wally in those posters on the ceiling you look at sitting in the Dentists chair as a kid.

As cliché as it sounds, one of the biggest wonders of the world is finding out who you are, how you establish yourself in society and how others perceive you. To some, this is an extremely important part of life, effecting their reputation, thoughts, and opinions on themselves and how others might see them. The rush and anxiety associated with identifying yourself to the world has a significant impact on society.

But what if we simply weren’t fussed with “finding” our self, the action when regarding identity is not just an action, it’s an emotion. A sense of contentment is what the three talents in this assignment convey. It may be a scary thought not knowing who you are, but you can turn this notion of scariness into a thrilling adventure which many of us fail to recognise through the obsession to put ourselves into a category. Every day brings something new to learn, to see, to speak. The opportunities we have young and old are endless but it is truly “Mind over Matter”

The video includes numerous “Where’s Wally/Waldo” elements, designed to make the talent stand out among the black white contrast signifying that this is one person… in one world.. of a seven billion populated Earth. These extraordinary individuals don’t mind that there identity is not known to themselves or to others, because they are enjoying the process of it.

Your identity defines who you are but it doesn’t have to define you for life. Keep your mind open, but not too open, toward change. Your identity can adapt to whatever developmental tasks come your way.

It wouldn’t be fair to write this and not explain who I think I am. I know that I am human and that I am always open to understanding new principles to live by, an open mind enables me to explore diversity, but a balance prevents me from getting lost in the depths of a so called “identity crisis”. 

We catch a glimpse and then it’s gone. A metaphor for the meaning of life and identity, there is only one Waldo, but we find him in many forms.

 

Challenges Of Convergent Journalism: Project Analysis

Contemporary times have altered the way we produce stories and engage with our audience as journalists. The field of journalism with the advancement of technology has enabled extraordinary opportunities to create “the next thing” in story telling. Online projects such as “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” by the New York Times, and similar stories of it’s kind have challenged traditional methods of storytelling. The influence digital media has upon the way we advance the field of journalism is endless.

Described as “An interactive documentary”, the 2013 Canada’s National Film Board produced the multi-award winning online story ‘Highrise’. ‘Highrise’ portrays a visual exhibition of 2500 years of “vertical living” in four short documentaries: Mud, Concrete, Glass and Home. Being a highly interactive story, Highrise exploits a qualitative use of convergent media. It uses a variety of techniques to capture the audience which is what worked so well for me when viewing it. An archive of the history of architecture and developments, the images and sources, help understand the story and further engage us. The use of ambient sound, and having a narrators voice establishes a well rounded use of multimedia without becoming overwhelming. Communication with the audience is easily found with the option at any time for the viewer to click at the link at the bottom of the screen and find out more information regarding a specific subject within the story. Simple to navigate and excellent photography, ‘Highrise’ has acheieved its highest potential in the field of journalism relating to online media. I found it incredibly interesting.

http://highrise.nfb.ca/shorthistory/

High Rise

marlboro-marine

Marlboro Marine depicts the tale of the US marine, James Blake Miller, and his life with the military and its controversial effects. His story was presented by photojournalist Luis Sinco’s images in a 16 minute video. The video consisted of pictures and voice over narration by Miller, rather than actual video footage. This worked well for the video, however was not nearly as interactive with the audience as other multimedia projects we have seen. The video flows quite well with almost every image evoking some sort of emotion, not through the graphics itself but with some of its simplistic and reoccurring characteristics it has, such as a cigarette in almost every photo Blake is in. Little details explore Blake’s haunted life post war, it captures the real events soldiers go through when returning rather than portraying them as a hero who returns to live a normal life.

The only criticism I have for this piece is that it is only a video of images with narration. For some that works, you can sit down and listen, I think it is highly effective and I loved it. However, for the purpose of convergent media practices, other projects seem stronger and more engaging.

Animal Kingdom

We are not the only species that freely roam the world enjoying each other’s company. Alongside a volunteering position at Taronga Zoo, Jacob Stek’s animal studies course assists his connection with some of the most beautiful wildlife Australia has to offer. His knowledge and curiosity originally was passed down through a hobby of fishing, by his grand-dad, father and uncle. From catching butterflies as a child, owning two pythons as pets, diving with sharks and correctly naming every reptile that comes on when watching National Geographic, there isn’t much Jacob doesn’t know about the extraordinary creatures we co-exist with in this incredible universe. 

Home Away From Home

Chloe’s traveled ten hours away from home to study at Wollongong University. Her connection from her old beach at Yamba, to her new surroundings living on campus accommodation has been a swift transition through her calming practice of the Ukelele, an instrument she has recently taught herself to play this year.

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                     Yamba Beach

chloes room

Welcome to Your New Home

love for travel

Chloe’s possibilities to travel are endless, a passion she has always had

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                    Cosy Set Up

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                       Jamming

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Chloe has recently purchased her second Ukelele one is at home in Yamba, and the other is in her new residence, Wollongong

  

Convergent media

Convergent media is making headlines throughout the world with innovative story telling effectively changing the way we produce and view the news. Check out my Storify post in the link below.
https://storify.com/sallz16/actionable-information

The Great Ethic Debate

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil. From left to right: Ellen Haak, Blair Arnold, Chantelle Mayo

 

 

“Ethical reporting is definitely becoming more prevalent in the industry. In the face of the social media boom, it seems journalists are reporting only to present the breaking news which comes at the cost of news integrity”, says Chantelle Mayo, a Univeristy of Wollongong journalism student, in an effort to shine importance on how ethical concern for journalists is apparent today. A continuing debate often burdens journalists and their struggle to pursue a career in a tough industry. Informing the public requires a method of practice constantly scrutinised by their audiences. Micheal Kunczik discusses that “In different countries, a variety of elements form the focus of the ethical debate”. Weather that be the press in the UK constantly writing on the Royal family, the US reporting on the mental health of teen killers and even Australia and their opinion on Tony Abbot, the way journalists go about their approach to these news stories, raises issues with their motives.

Quantity over quality is a major factor when regarding the ethical standards of some journalists. “I would ensure that I always presented an accurate account of a story, and obtained the information in transparent ways that didn’t infringe on the subjects privacy” Maneesha Todd, journalism student of UOW describes some of her own ethical standards when producing a news story. For some editors and media moguls, profit prioritises over the quality of their employees work. Undermining content is an issue of morals when the job to inform people of the truth is substituted with gossip and misrepresentations to attract scandal.

Freedom of speech inherits ethical concerns for journalists who use the media as a platform to spread propaganda causing chain reactions and public outrage segregating truths and fictions.  “It’s a fine line we need to tread. We have the right to say what we want but that doesn’t mean we should. People still need to be respectful and mindful of other peoples sensibilities, using common sense and reasoning is in my opinion the best way to navigate any ethically iffy situations”, Says aspiring journalist Jake Cupitt. Students of the University of Wollongong have continued to develop their understanding of what some ethical issues are present in today’s society. Their ethical standards are similar compared to the University of Wisconsin-Madison school of journalism and media.  Understanding, reasoning, reforming, promoting and discussing journalism ethics is significant and should be applied by all aspiring journalists.

“Everything I do must be morally justifiable. As a journalist, I would want to carefully consider the purpose of my actions” Nichole Johnstone elaborates. It is a continuing debate as how to approach news investigation and reporting in regards to ethics. The journalists from UOW describe their possible future careers to be full of obstacles challenging their code of ethics but remain hopeful to deal with these issues in the most manner able and professional way, a trait in which will continue to be practiced globally.

 

Thomas the Surf Engine

Up close and personal to an inspiring young man

Up close and personal to an inspiring young man

“I know the question asks one thing, but I can’t help but feel that there are two equal life changing experiences in my life.” Those words continue today in shaping Tom Mitchelhills new life and adventures. Originally from a tiny town between Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay called Wooli, Tom describes his transition to the City Of Wollongong to be a different vibe, “The uni lifestyle and the punchy surf…pretty loose.” Other than his laid back vocabulary and his skill on the waves, his balance for academics and travel complement one another.

Travelling to Nepal and living life through the eyes of the Sherpas, Tom was exposed to people, places and knowledge about the world and felt “If I’d remained in my sheltered lifestyle, I wouldn’t be remotely the person I am today.” Toms parents being avid globe trotters enabled him to explore and learn from a perspective not many can attain. Aside from Nepal, Tom has been to a staggering amount of countries and cities in just his seventeen years of life, including; Vanuatu, Hong Kong, New York, Maine, Canada, Alaska, Italy, Austria (apparently the best hot chocolate in some shabby ski lodge), Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Singapore and soon New Zealand. Having struggled through severe anxiety at the delicate age of sixteen, Tom explains that there is no greater self-help than travelling and being brave enough to be honest with yourself.

Seventeen going on twenty five maybe?, Toms impressive maturity not only can be seen from the fact that he skipped grade four and today excels in his double degree of Law and Journalism, but from what he identifies as his second life changing experience… becoming an older brother. “My little brother’s nine now and I know he looks up to me in a way that isn’t paralleled by anyone else, and it’s a big responsibility on my half”. Having moved away from home to study at the University of Wollongong, Tom now lives on campus residence. Aiming to aspire, protect, and teach his little brother as he grows is relatable to many older siblings who fear the influential role, “I don’t want him to become me, but if he can avoid some of the mistakes I made, I’ve definitely done my job.

Toms adrenalin rush is through his passion for surfing, “I was always kind of keen on surfing from a young age, but I didn’t get really good until I was around twelve or thirteen” The hobby gives Tom something to focus on developing the skill whilst taking him away from stress of the university workload. Support from his parents and younger brother has largely contributed to Toms personal growth, “It’s always good to have people that can support and help you but in the end, it was the experiences and the knowledge of the bigger picture that helped me conquer my own issues by myself”. Tom is an extraordinary example of how taking advantage to learn in your youth can prosper your growth of the mind, body and spirit.

Tom is thankful for some of the waves North Wollongong beach has given him since moving here

Tom is thankful for some of the waves North Wollongong beach has given him since moving here

The Method is Objective, Not the Journalist

To be objective as a journalist stems multiple practices to attain a level of honesty when reporting on news. Objectivity accumulates criticism, some arguing it does not exist as all humans are influenced by experiences there by the notion of being objective is impossible. Yet, objectivity does not require that journalists be blank slates free of bias, but that objectivity is necessary because they are biased.

The Elements of Journalism: What News People Should Know and the Public Should Expect, by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, describe what they call the “lost meaning of objectivity”. It called for journalists to develop a method of testing information and discipline so that personal and cultural biases would not undermine the accuracy of their work.

A large problem and reality that objectivity struggles with is editorial independence. Many corporations pressure their employers to conform to their political agendas, and this is seen through publications of their work. Rupert Murdoch and his stance on the liberal party can be noted heavily throughout editions of the Sydney Morning Herald. As journalists seek to bring truth to news stories they do so by bringing out the best possible evidence, in good faith, can find.

Avoiding propaganda through government regulations and limited media ownership proves the struggle for the ideology of objectivity to prevail. Nevertheless an industry built on gathering factual news stories to inform and alert to its audience make do regardless. Giving all sides their respective points of few, fosters fairness and allows a journalist to balance out a news story to the best of their ability.  In the belief of Brent Cunningham, reporters must understand their inevitable biases, so they can understand what the accepted narratives are, and to work against them as much as possible.

Citizen journalism, curse or blessing ?

Never before has society been able to access information on a global scale as today. The television, radio and newspaper, are no longer primary methods by which consumers get their news. Social media has become extremely significant in the advancing history of journalism practices, with its recent form of citizen journalism.

People in conflict zones such as Syria continue to use social media for a wide variety of reasons. Brave citizens documenting attacks on their towns, capturing explicit images of events as they happen enable news corporations to gain access to information they are unable to reach. This course of action can although inform the wider community to potentially promote action, a number of ethical, economical and verification issues are apparent.

To cut journalistic corners it is tempting to publish the fastest, quick access and readily available news stories. Journalists must find credible and verifiable sources which citizen journalism poses a potential threat to, with many of the online source material to be staged and false. CNN’s iReport was targeted for false information when one of its posts reported that Steve Jobs was rushed to a hospital after suffering a heart attack that morning. Critics of open systems argue that “The ideology of open participation has revolutionized media, but that same ideology is often quite naive.”

Blurring the lines between what is condoned as professional journalism, citizen journalism disrupts the standards that paid journalists are required to adhere to and the publication of their work acknowledged. The separation between both remains, however, it is clear that online platforms need to be embraced with a balanced approach viewed with excitement for the future of journalism. Working towards shared values of professionalism, ethics and objectivity essential to producing the truth, citizen and professional journalism can co-exist.

New wave of journalists

Claudia Poposki, first year journalism student at the University of Wollongong, sat down, by the ducks, to talk about her transition from high school to university. Relaxed and comfortable, the interview gives us an insight into a simple girl with big aspirations for the future. Claudia, fortunately, was bought into my life as the first person I met on an information day at the university before our course had started. Claudia has been nothing but  a helpful friend. With both our intentions to survive first year nerves, Claudia has done an exceptional job so far !