Assignment 3: Keyboard Warriors. (3880655)

Everyday we see social network campaigns attempting to create awareness on certain issues or events. Although these trends go crazy, it seems more than often they last for about a month then they die down drastically. Although this may be the case, we can thank these campaigns for informing us on events or issues that are happening all over the world. The term that has been given to these people who are so active online is “slactivists’. Slactivism is defined by Rotmal et al. ‘as low-risk, low-cost activity via social media, whose purpose is to raise awareness, produce change, or grant satisfaction to the person engaged in the activity’. This new trend has has taken the world by storm, and many people think that this is enough on their part to make a difference. Although this maybe true in some way, there are many examples of horrific events that have been in the publics eye and easily forgotten about as people think they have done their part by putting up a photo with a hashtag on it. Take for example the horrible event in Nigeria when over 300 teenage girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram, a gang of armed Jihadists, on the night of April 14, 2014. It was not until May 3 and 4 that the entire world joined in on the hunt for the terrorist group. This search was not started by a bunch of tweets, hashtags and status updates, it was initiated by non-violent protests which the Internet merely helped the news spread.

Cara Delevingne showing her support by righting a hashtag on a piece of paper.

Those girls will live torturous lives under oppression, and there won’t be any more “#bringbackourgirls” hashtags, because the next big issue will be the new # trend. Although around half of the girls that were taken have been found after going through horrible experiences such as multiple gang rapes and now pregnancy the new trend seems to be western societies insisting they have the right to abort these unborn babies. ‘They took turns having sex with me,’ one of the girls had said after being found. One, this isnt our decision to make for them, two it will not fix the hardship they have endured and three, these girls all come from catholic families where it is frowned upon to get abortions. This frustrates me more as not only do we think we can help them through the use of celebrity hashtags and status updates, but now western societies are attempting to dictate how these girls must deal with everything they have been through. Social issues/events can use technology mediated social participation as mentioned above because it helps in spreading news or information. Many have suggested that grassroot organisations should use the internet as an effective tool for political change. Individual use of the Internet may create awareness that is needed but we cannot rely on the click of a mouse to fix all the worlds problems. For me this is not a medium we should use to clear our conscience or tell others how to fix all their problems. It is something we should use to make a change.


Assignment 3: Philosophy of journalism statement: Diana Nixon, 3880655

“Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” Katherine Whitehorn

Day dreaming here in front of the computer searching and sifting through all the amazing people throughout the world has stretched my views on what I could do after university towards what I should do. Not just a profession but a hobby, a passion. I know that first year out of university we don’t have always have a basket full of options. But if I could do something creative and capture a side of the world that everyone is not familiar with, say nature I could sleep well at night. The environment is such an important part of our world and caring for it should be a priority of everyone.

The National Geographic was initially a magazine that focused on the physical and human geography of nations. It allowed people to understand other sides of the world and the wild world of nature. A group of amazing photographers and journalists have allowed the continuation of this great magazine, which has now turned into a website and still hold many followers. Paul Nicklen is one of these photographers. As a young boy, Paul, a Canadian-born Arctic ecosystem specialist and marine biologist, moved to Baffin Island and spent his childhood among the Inuit people. From them he learned the love of nature, the understanding of icy ecosystems, and the survival skills. He focuses on sharing stories that cover a variety of issues related to conservation and natural history.

Paul Nicklen's passion is to capture beautiful creatures in icy waters.
Paul Nicklen’s passion is to capture beautiful creatures in icy waters.

Now I am not saying I want to dive into icy waters and come face to face with sea leopards but through the use of photographs Nicklen help touch people’s emotions and help the public at large connect with Earth’s marine and polar realms. Animals are one of the most fascinating things to me and have been a large part of my life. Although it would be impossible to step straight into the same profession as Nicklen, but maybe I can do something that I am passionate for such as a photographer to show people the amazing things of the world.

This is no walk in the park for anyone. Here I am talking about a man who goes to huge lengths to get a good picture, fighting the almighty rathe of nature and I am worried about being able to find my way in this wild world of journalism. I think the best thing to do it to start in the area I like. Its a harsh reality but we all have to start at the bottom of the chain somewhere so I may as well do it for something I believe in. Taking a journalism class has showed me many different medium and devices I can use to and it has really made it exciting! I love the power photography holds when you are telling a story and the quirky ways to use videos to address a certain topic. To be brutally honest I was not that keen on journalism. I am not that good at writing and I feel like I am more a visual person. I was quick to assume that I am not that creative, well creative enough to compete with all those glasses wearing, poetic, law degree having know-it-alls. But you know what! It’s a total stereotype! I now believe I can be a journalist, a type that suits me and makes me happy! All I need to do after this semester is find a job… ahhhhh crap!

Assignment 3: Somewhere over the rainbow of journalism. (3880655)

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” —Bob Dylan

Passion is something that every person has and should follow. It is a common misconception that work should be boring, but if you choose the right profession then you may be able to still pay the bills and actually enjoy what you do. Journalism has grown from a one channel communication to a whole new concept. People are now interested in what is happening all over the world and can search anything at the click of the mouse. Hannah Anderson, Madison Lord, Hannah Higgins and Chris Moginie all are key examples of the inspiration and variety the world of journalism can offer.

Photo journalism is a mostly unrocognised part of journalism with many assuming it is more focused on writing. But in recent events such as the war in Afghanistan there has been an increase of photo journalism in order to show the world the realities of certain situations. Hannah Anderson is a journalism student that has chosen photography as her main focus. Hannah adds that she would be happy with ‘going somewhere strange and taking photos’ to tell a story about something someone is not familiar with. Hannah’s choice of life is to not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to risk her life, to set out across the world, and to make a name for herself. Photography becomes a way for her to travel with a purpose.

The world is getting smaller and smaller each day due to the increased use of the Internet. With the click of a mouse we can see the world news and we can listen to millions of peoples opinions. Weblogs are these kind of mediums that allow anyone to have an opinion and easily deliver it to whoever. To Madison Lord it is a way to share her passion for beauty care and engage with others who may want help, reviews or just general chit chat. Madison has only just started beauty writing. She hopes to give a “fresh perspective on everything new in the hair, makeup and skin” and provide reviews that make it easy to determine the types of products best-suited for the readers specific needs. Madison sees Weblogs as the paper to her pen and although she understands at this point it is not something that pays well, she loves it none the less.

Journalism has spread so much you don’t even have to be a professional journalist as there is someone out there that will always listen to what you have to say. Hannah Higgins has just started a job with a publication called the Eastsider which is a grass-roots publication for the suburbs of eastern Sydney. They rely on citizen journalism to create insightful and informative content. Hannah finds being a journalist challenging but rewarding at the same time. She explained that many of the stories they tell are about people who may have been ‘down on their luck’ and telling their stories makes them feel special and important. Hannah believes writing is a great way to express yourself, she added that “[she] like to ask questions and talk to people, so if [she] can get paid for that then [she is] winning”.

Hannah Higgins loves asking the important questions to form a story.
Hannah Higgins loves asking the important questions for a story

Also loving writing yet taking a completely different path, Chris Moginie finds his joy in commenting on films. This could be the music, a particular scene, the plot, the actors or even the costumes. Chris explains that it all started when watching a film review show around 4 years ago and he realised that the critic completly missed the whole point of a movie. “I can’t remember which film it was but every since that day I find myself criticising those who are criticising the films”. There is now a vast amount of film critics and the Internet has helped the spread. Chris admits he has never attempted to start putting his ideas on paper yet he believes that his opinion is as good as anyone.

These four amazing young people are the key example of how much opportunity may come from journalism. Journalism has moulded into a broad concept that can give enough stretch to those who want to experiment and try new ways to communicate with people.

Assignment 3: Never say never. (3880655)

Many athletes have suffered horrible injuries that have stop them from doing what they love. It is something that I and many others have never experienced. Annabel Blake grew up with a mother who, as a young athlete, had hoped to represent Australia in the 1988 Winter Olympics. But this dream was broken when a training accident left her permanently disabled. Having experienced all of this and still wanting more action, Janine Shepherd has taught her children how to live on the edge.

Speaking with Annabel it is easy to see although she received a lot of her courage and drive from her mother, her spirit that shows that says nothing is too big to tackle. Annabel since she was young has always been into sport, “sport was the thing to keep [her] in check,” she explained, yet admitted she connected most with skiing. Growing up she was told about her mother’s passion for cross country skiing and her dream of going the Winter Olympics. Janine in a training session was cycling from Sydney to the Blue Mountains which is around a 6 hour ride when a speeding truck hit her. Her body was broken. Janine broke her neck and back in 6 place and had severe head injuries. After many painful operations and months in hospital, Janine was told she would never be able to walk again or have children. Annabel explained that her mum was severely depressed as physical activity was such a huge part of her life, so Janine fought back. Teaching herself to walk again and getting her pilot license gave her back the freedom and happiness she had lost. Despite these setbacks, Janine raised three children to follow their passions and demonstrated through her own challenging life that nothing is impossible. Annabel is a key example of this.

The family then decided to move to Bowral and Annabel loved it, “living on a farm allowed me to understand and deal with pain“. When jumping of these massive ski jumps I asked what goes through Annabel’s head when she is about to throw herself into a flip. “Each time my body is saying no, no, but my head it saying yes, we are going to do this again!”. Following the snow around the world has lead to many injuries, recently Annabel had torn her ACL which held her back and left her recovering in hospital for quite some time. But when speaking to Annabel about this, her bubbly presence did not dampen. Everything to Annabel is an experience that must be had.

Annabel taking a hard fall on her knee which led to another surgery.

Annabel’s family background is such an inspiring story of how the human spirit is not broken from a couple of injuries, if love something do it. For this family it has always been about dedication and hope. Annabel will continue skiing and her mother Janine is still active and travels around the world to share her experience in hope to encourage others to take everything in stride. Annabel expressed that “the biggest gift mum has given [her] is that I have an innate belief that anything is possible,” and for Annabel I don’t doubt that.  Although Janine could not reach her dream to represent her country in the winter olympics, Annabel’s still lives on.

Assignment 3: Are we making writing as abundant as air? (3880655)

Each day non-professionals are creating and sharing stories, news events and other forms of citizen journalism with ease through the internet. The internet imposes no barriers to entry, no economies of scale, no limits on supply. This does pose problems for those whose professions are providing a service that people are able to easily get online and generally for free. The term mass amateurisation suggests that anyone can produce and distribute their ideas as long as they have a computer and a connection to the Internet. This technological innovation has empowered the voice of the average users but it undermines the value of the profession. Although the internet does not make everyone journalists, it in some ways undermines the concept of journalism and turns it into a financially worthless activity.

Oxygen is more vital to human life than gold but air is abundant, oxygen is free.

Weblogs make writing abundant as air, with the same effect on price.

Chris Shirky

Weblogs are everywhere and there are rarely filters or barriers. Anyone who has an opinion or an idea is using the internet to publish this. Traditional journalism contained many filters, but Weblogs have none. Everyone is happy to put their deep and darkest secrets online with millions of people as an audience. Everyone is guilty of this, maybe not through the weblog channel but through Facebook and other social media sites. We can look at the issue it poses to professional journalists but there are also many examples where citizen journalism has helped the news and also the public get information about important events.

Take for example the London bombings in 2005 where a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks took place. Three attacks aboard the London Underground trains and one more on a London double decker bus in Tavistock square. Around 52 civilians were killed and more that 700 people injured. As these attacks were so hard to get to by news teams so therefore there was no coverage. Citizens with mobile phones and other recording devices were able to share with the world the information about the attack and the terror that was had by all in the attacks. So the large issue here is how do we control this issue of professional journalists are being replaced by anyone with a phone or computer? As we should be thankful for some of the stories and news worthy information that has come from regular joe’s but is this goodbye for journalism itself?

Cyberterrorist or hero?

You can either be informed and your own rulers,

or you can be ignorant and have someone else, who is not ignorant, rule over you.

-Julian Assange

With recent happenings around the world, terrorism is a common word that is loosing its meaning as people often jump to conclusions about someone because of their appearances. But looking more into the definition of terrorism I find that there are a lot of different types such as Cyberterrorism which is getting more popular due to technological developments. Cyberterrorism to some is often confused with the term Cyberliberty. Cyberliberty is the idea that all nodes (users) are equal, all users can broadcast and all have the right to share and receive information. As most of you know, Julian Assange was a firm believer in this culture, ‘not sharing with others is dishonerable’ Assange once stated in an interview and clearly stands by what he says. Assange (I still cant believe an Australian created this much controversy) shared certain information about governments, politicians and corporations to everyone believing that ‘bringing information to people was very important’. From Assanges point of view, the government was hiding information that was needed to be spread about.

Julian Assange on the cover of Time magazine.
Julian Assange on the cover of Time magazine.

The FBI believes a good way to look at cyberterrorism is as a “cyber threat“. So this means any threat that may be apparent towards any organisation or country. Assange is well known for his creation of Wikileaks where he realised many classified videos and files. One of the most well known releases was footage showing US soldiers shooting dead 18 civilians from a helicopter in Iraq in 2006 which made headlines around the world. This mistreatment of civilians is a good example used in the debate if Assange did the right thing. If he didn’t leak this video and other information we would be blind of the injustice that is happening around the world but did it cause more harm that good? Is that a good enough reason to classify Assange as a cyberterrorist?

Assignment 2 (2 Photos of University Life): University Students… A super race?

Each year happy little first years enrol in university to try and sort some part of their life out after high school and finally being let out of the cage of their parents. But no matter how long you have been studying university life can be different for everyone whether their focus is on studying or they are more interested in nailing the art of drinking. But one common thing we do all go through is procrastination!  It is a sly devilish thing. It can destroy your planned productive study day, your overall marks or your ability to keep on track with a conversation without bringing up the latest YouTube video of weird animal friendships. We are all guilty of watching a video at the same time as working on an assignment.
Procrastination at its best. Many students often have movies going at the same time as completing an assignment.
But dont worry if the evil spawn of procrastination is harming you as being in the university student cult teaches you that we never judge each other. The library is always full of  people accepting the fact that someone might be asleep on the table or using their hour break to sit down and have a bit of hangover me-time. The thing that amazes me the most is that no matter how feral we get at the Grand or how many videos we watch on YouTube we still pass our exams that leads to graduation. I think we should be all proud of that.


University students having a big night out in Wollongong

Assignment 2 (3 photos of class mate): Hannah the Hound

Hannah Anderson wants to go to unique places and take photos.


Imagine living in one of the most beautiful beach areas in Australia, with the joy of looking at all those bronzed bodies, great views and good looking surfers. Every day waking up to Bondi beach to one side and the city of Sydney on the other and starting your day with a smooth coffee down on Campbell Parade. I am not sure we can imagine why you want to leave Bondi as how could somewhere be possibly better? Hannah Anderson is one of these lucky Bondi people, but weird enough Hannah does leave heaven to come all the way to Wollongong for University each week. Upon asking why Hannah would want to come down this way she simply explained that she wanted to broaden her horizons after finishing her course doing commercial photography in Sydney. Hannah thought a journalism degree at UOW may help her reach her dream of ‘going somewhere strange and taking photos’.

photo 2
Hannah shares what being a surfer is all about

But Hannah does not see the commute as a negative aspect. Being a keen surfer since she was young, Hannah was very adamant that ‘the waves are better in Wollongong’. Although Hannah won’t admit she is not too shabby on a board I know that she tears it up and gives all those long hair locals a run for their money.

photo 1
Hannah just relaxing and chilling at university


Talking to Hannah I did notice that she seemed a little under the weather. Hannah informed me, in her hungover state from the day before she was on a boat ‘shotgunning tinies of XXXX, it was classy’. Due to the cheeky weekend partying Hannah does along with working at the Paddington Inn in Sydney Hannah admits that alcohol has become a large part of her life. After work Hannah enjoys the occasional cocktail to calm down after a busy shift. It seems that this cool, calm and collected surfer girl doesn’t need to change anything to be happy and it is clear her aim in life compliments her completely.