Week 12

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Inquiry: A reflection of my learning journey

Here we are 12 weeks on. It has been an all-round amazing learning experience. From working with different social media platforms to identifying, analysing, writing and editing across many media formats to dissecting the English language through grammar and punctuation. The skills I’ve learned have been invaluable. This course has stretched my capabilities several times over and left me mentally exhausted most days. But, I have loved every minute of it.

The reviewing of other students work was one of the most beneficial parts of the course. It allowed for different perspectives of the weekly tasks and assisted me in evaluating my own work. It was also one of the most challenging parts of the course; the recommendations were sometimes daunting especially when you’ve only freshly grasped a concept.

I have always struggled with written submissions, not so much due to my inability to write but I’m a chronic over-thinker and editor. I’m grateful to have gained the knowledge from Kate’s stages of editing (Week 11 study guide) to give this process some structure. This has changed the way I practice media writing for the better.

Thank you Kate, my fellow learners and others I have dragged along for the ride. It’s been such a great experience, one that has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I look forward to developing my writing skills and extending on my interest in blogging. Stay tuned!

Practical: Response to feedback from assignment one

I was thrilled to have receive a distinction for my assignment one – blog draft. I was not so pleased with my misunderstanding of the assignment’s requirement for the peer review. My overall grade reflected my submission of only three peer reviews completed for week four. This was my initial understanding of what I read in the forum. It was definitely not the case after rereading that post. I have since recovered and have a full 11 weeks of reviews to accompany my blog. It was also suggested I proof read my blog again for minor spelling and punctuation errors which I have done. Fingers crossed, I have put enough polish on my work to maintain this mark.

References

Winnie the Pooh (n.d), digital image, Her Campus, viewed 5 October 2016, http://www.hercampus.com/school/millersville/favorite-disney-quotes-hcmers

Week 11

59e419b25c2514549312a015ed30641aEmergency services outside Eagle Junction train station. Picture: Jasmine Lill

Inquiry: Read the Courier Mail news story

Woman stuck under train at Eagle Junction Train Station, Brisbane

Oh dear, this article reflects badly on the Courier Mail.

images-6Initially, I was curious about the capitalisation of ‘woman’ in the lead sentence. This may be a question of style but it doesn’t appear to be the norm for the Courier Mail. It is also not common practice of journalistic style which limits capitalisation, neither is the use of ‘Wednesday’ for incident occurring on the day and should be written as ‘today’.

I found this story to be very clunky, moving from one idea to another. Adding to the confusion was the update, part way through the story as did the change in tense. This story seems to have missed the vital ‘editing for structure’ stage (Ames 2016).

Guidelines set by the Australian Government’s National Media Initiative Mindframe aims to encourage responsible, accurate and sensitive representation of mental illness and suicide in the Australian mass media. The story meets the overall guidelines however; for online content, direct links to the 24/7 help services are recommend.

Reflection

I found this exercise very interesting. I don’t claim to be an expert in any regard, especially one with the ability to edit stories from a leading Brisbane newspaper. Although, this story is confusing to say the least. I’m pleased I was able to recognise and correct some technical errors from my learning over the past 11 weeks. With my new skills I am more aware of writing succinctly. I no longer just read an article without critiquing it in some way… perhaps the novelty will wear off!

Practical: Rewrite the above article

Here is my version of the Courier Mail news story.

Woman stuck under train in Brisbane

Update: Emergency services report freeing a woman at 12.55pm today after she became stuck under a train at Eagle Junction railway station.

Queensland Ambulance Service said the woman has been taken to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in a serious condition.

Earlier: Emergency services are working to free a woman stuck under a train at Eagle Junction railway station north of Brisbane.

The injured woman believed to be in her 30s became caught under the train shortly after 12pm today.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: ‘The woman is conscious and has lower leg injuries.

“Four fire crews continue their rescue efforts,” she said.

A witness reports the incident unfolding at the platform in front of a train full of people.

Rail services in the area are affected with the Airport and Doomben trains experiencing delays of 40 minutes.

Police are treating the incident as one of self-harm.

If you or anyone you know needs help contact Lifeline 13 11 44, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 or the SANE Helpline 1800 18 SANE (7263)

 

Technical: Quiz 11 – Style

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It was a tremendous relief to have successfully completed the final quiz on my first attempt. Chapter eight of Hicks’, English for Journalists, wasn’t very difficult to process and I enjoyed it which always makes a difference. I will look to develop my writing with the four principal attributes of style; suitability, simplicity, precision and poise.

After reading this chapter, I have become more aware of the variety of stylistic devices used in journalism. It tends to feature prominently in sports writing where metaphors, metonymy and oxymoron are often used without constraint. Variation and the need to repeat or vary words, was most applicable to my own writing style. At times, I am guilty of using variation to avoid repetition but as the chapter states this can be a sign of bad structure.

I have to question, with all that is required to write effectively, exactly how does a journalists ever meet deadlines?

 

 

References

Ames, K 2016, COMM11007 Media Writing: study guide, CQUniversity, Brisbane

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists, Routledge, Oxon.

What’s the difference between proofreading and editing?, digital image, Transpanish, viewed 7 October 2016, http://transpanish.biz/translation_blog/whats-the-difference-between-proofreading-and-editing/

Woohoo quotes, digital image, Quotesgram, viewed 9 October 2016, http://quotesgram.com/img/woo-hoo-quotes/171832/

Week 10

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Practical: Photo essay

Please find my photo essay here: Flattened for fun

Practical: Headline

Three alternative headlines of the Week 8 press release.

Assisting authorities in wake of violence – Since writing news headlines relies on accuracy, I have opted for an accurate statement of what is being actioned as a result of what has occurred at the event.

Security scrutinised at Brisbane event – This option is relevant, as the purpose of a news headline is to summarise the contents of the article, including the subject, verb, and object in a few short words.

Support for victims of vicious attack – It is vital to grab the attention of the audience with a headline which is my reason for choosing this one.

Technical: Quiz 10 – Punctuationtryandtryagain

After the excitement of getting full marks first go last week, this week was a let down. I found some of the questions a little more difficult and my result was 70%. After revisiting the chapter, particularly the correct use of apostrophe ‘s’, I managed 100% on my second attempt.

References

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists, Routledge, Oxon.

Practise makes perfect 2015, digital image, Target Training Associates,viewed 5 October 2016, http://targettrg.co.uk/blog/view/practise-makes-perfect

Week 9

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Inquiry: Review a newsletter

I reviewed the Crocodiles Specialist Group (CSG) April-June 2016 newsletter. The 35-page newsletter included:

  • Minutes from the Annual General Meeting
  • Details of the recent CSG Working Meeting held in South Africa
  • Regional reports
  • Abstracts of recent publications
  • List of the CSG’s committee members

The CSG worldwide network comprises; biologists, wildlife managers, government officials, independent researchers, non-government (NGO) representatives, farmers, traders, tanners, fashion leaders, and private companies. The newsletter was abundant with information about the conservation of crocodiles’ which relates to the interest of its target audience.

I was especially curious about the story of the 22 Venezuelan undergraduate university students of biology, veterinary medicine and natural resource management. In my role as a science journalist, I would be interested in learning more about the student’s personal interest in conservation and whether the students were looking to contribute to this area of work in the future.

I had a few concerns about this newsletter. The 35-page length was overwhelming. Although I am removed from the target audience, it was a lot of information to process. The minutes of the Annual General Meeting and the CSG Working Meeting were not regular items however; checking other newsletters this length was standard. The Annual General Meeting minutes created information overload in my opinion and would be better suited as a stand-alone document as it unnecessarily clutters the newsletter.

The newsletter requires work on its visual design. While the font is appropriate and the use of images support the stories. The balance of white space needs to be considered in the text boxes and the title page. The titles could be improved by changing to a Sans serif font with constancy of the font size across the pages. This will ensure the newsletter is easier on the eye and more visually appealing (Ames 2016).

 

Technical: Quiz 9 – Punctuationhigh-five-clipart-cliparts-of-high-five-free-download-wmf-eps-oi3hun-clipart

While I have a good base knowledge of punctuation, I have to give credit to weeks of constantly assessing my own punctuation and that of others for the 100% score I achieved this week. It certainly helps to be consistently writing and developing these skills. I hope writing is something I’ll continue to do beyond this course.

 

 

References

Ames, K 2016, COMM11007 Media Writing: study guide,  CQUniversity, Brisbane.

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists, Routledge, Oxon.

High five clipart cliparts of high five free download Wmf 2016, digital image, Clip art Kid, viewed 3 October 2016, http://www.clipartkid.com/high-five-clipart-cliparts-of-high-five-free-download-wmf-eps-OI3HUN-clipart/

Joubert, B 2016, How Nile crocodiles are bigger and badder than alligators, digital image, viewed 5 October 2016, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/nile-crocodiles-florida-reptiles-science/

 

Week 8

Practical: Write a media release

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MEDIA RELEASE

2 June

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FAKECOMICCON INVESTIGATES INCIDENT

FakeComicCon will conduct a full investigation into how twelve people were injured when a fight broke out today at the annual Brisbane Convention Centre event.

Eight people were transported to the Royal Brisbane Hospital, one of the injured has since been released.

Seven people remain in hospital including an 18-year-old male from Brisbane and a 23-year-old female from Townsville, both in a critical condition.

A Queensland Police spokesperson confirmed four people had been arrested on a range of charges related to weapons and assault.

FakeComicCon CEO, Casey Smith said our immediate thoughts are with those who have been injured and their families.

“We are working to provide support to the people involved.

“We will continue to assist the relevant authorities to ensure an incident of this nature is not repeated,” Mr Smith said.

The FakeComicCon series is an all-age event held in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth attended by international stars of television and film.

The event in Brisbane has run for three years, attracting more than 30,000 people last year without incident.

“I am very upset that this has happened.

“An incident such as this is not in the spirit of our event,” Mr. Smith said.

The FakeComicCon series aims to give people a safe place to come, play, and meet like-minded people.

ENDS

For further information, contact Jenna Jones, Communications Manager on (07) 1234 5678.

Technical: Quiz 8 – Figures

Not quite 100% on my first attempt but I’m happy to have achieved 90%. I’m more literate than numerate but I’m working on it. I’m pleased I have a good understanding of chapter 11 and had no problems getting full marks on my second attempt.

References

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists, Routledge, Oxon.

New York Comic-Con 2015, Cosplay gallery 2015, digital image, Gamezone, viewed 22 September 2016, http://www.gamezone.com/news/new-york-comic-con-2015-cosplay-gallery-3426147

Week 7

9780415888035Inquiry: Review Chapter 11, of Media Writing (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith)

Writing good copy for broadcast news and media is a skill that requires regular practice. Broadcast copy uses the inverted pyramid structure but due to time constraints details are often cut. Writing to the required length is vital so information is not missed.

To add interest broadcast copy should have rhythm, cadence and an orderly flow and sentences should be brief, simple and energetic. The lead should include the most important aspect of the story. For a change of pace within the newscast a less formal soft lead should also be incorporated as a method of gaining attention.

Strong words and action verbs add impact, colour and interest while formal and difficult words should be avoided. Contractions should be considered for suitability and abbreviations should be spelt out to eliminate confusion for both the reader and audience. Slang and colloquialisms should be kept to a minimal. Never risk insulting the audience by using dialects of nationalities, sections of countries, race or ethnic background and avoid obscenities.

Finally, broadcast copy is not editorialised and does not require a reporter’s opinion. The listener should be left to interpret the news without being prompted.

The key differences between writing for broadcast and print-based media:

  • Radio-TV stories is written for the ear, not the eye.
  • Broadcast copy must reach the heart of the story in a simpler and more direct manner.
  • Broadcast writing is conversationally scripted with the aim of clearly communicating the news to the listener.
  • It is written with the report reader in mind and ease of readability and pronunciation considered.
  • Past tense should be avoided in broadcasting as things happen ‘now’ however verb tenses can be mixed as long as the sentence makes sense.
  • Punctuation for broadcast differ at times, semicolons create overlong sentences and should not be used while the use of a hyphen may be appropriate to create clarity in words that are difficult to pronounce.
  • Numbers and statistics need to be made relevant and understandable to the listener and rounded off whenever possible.
  • The TV/radio audience is generally time poor, lacks in attention or simply demands only essential news. The same broadcast story told in 30 seconds may be expressed by a newspaper writer in eight to ten column inches.

 

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Practical: A broadcast audio visual script

I have created my broadcast audio visual script with the two column script option using the week 4 interview with my son, Rory.

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Technical: Quiz 7 – Wordswords-of-life

Chapter nine, Words has been my favourite read so far. I feel all too many writers, myself included make writing far too complicated by the continues search for a ‘better’ word. Hicks, advice ‘write as you speak’ is almost a relief and certainly makes sense in this genre.

In my haste to complete the quiz I achieved full marks in my second attempt. I found the majority of the questions were reasonably straightforward.

 

 

References

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists, Routledge, Oxon.

Jess Creighton sports reporter 2016, digital image, BBC, viewed 18 September 2016, http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/production/article/art20140627163648041

Two column, split-page script format 2016, School Video News, viewed 18 September 2016, http://schoolvideonews.com/Pre-Production/Two-Column-Split-Page-Script-Format

Whitaker, R, Ramsey, J & Smith, R 2012, Media Writing print, broadcast and public relations, Routledge, New York.

Words of life or excuses of death 2011, digital image, More than a Sunday faith, viewed 18 September 2016, http://www.morethanasundayfaith.com/2012/11/words-of-life-or-excuses-of-death/

 

 

Week 6

Practical A: Create a Storify article

The things that are most important to me 

Reflection

I had a lot of fun completing this activity. I found it relatively easy and had no problems converting my blog story to tweets in order to create the Storify article. I initially spent time planning a sequence, followed by coordinating the tweets to achieve a good flow. It was great to see the story come to life and overall I am pleased with the result.

Practical B: Further event planning for the Storify article

I will be completing my assessment two report on the Peregian Beach Food & Fashion Fiesta. After speaking with the organiser today, it is anticipated 350 to 400 people will attend the September 7 event. While the crowd will be mostly local, it has in the past attracted people 13690835_970869783030769_8245287800019533383_nfrom all over the Sunshine Coast.

Held at the Peregian Beach Village, the event offers a two course lunch and a glass of Sparkling available from seven of the local restaurants. A fashion parade will showcase the latest Spring range from several resident boutiques as well as live music and raffle prizes. The event will also support the Noosa Nippers at Peregian Beach with part proceeds going towards ensuring the programs survival.

The day will be a celebration of all things local and an opportunity for the business community to promote themselves. Attendees will discover (if they’re not already aware) that Peregian Beach has a vibrant culture with incredible shopping, amazing food and a great sense of community spirit.

In order to give my story depth and interest, I plan to include the following:

Interviews – organiser, Vicki Cooper Peregian Beach Business Association Inc., VIP guests, Glenn Elmes MP, Member for Noosa, representative of Peregian Nippers, local business owners, prize winners; raffles and best dressed, attendees

Images – PB entry sign, brochure, PB Village set up, crowd, food and bubbles, happy attendees, Noosa Nippers club house (charity), beach

Videos – live entertainment, fashion parade

The structure of the story will take on the natural progression of the day. I plan to make it very visual supported by appropriate narration. I will use social media; Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as much as possible to give myself plenty to select from when creating the story. The coastal suburb of Peregian Beach is known for its eclectic mix of shore meets sophistication and I hope to convey this in my story.

Technical: Quiz 6 – Spelling

Chapter five, of English for Journalists, really interested me and I took my time to process the content. English is such a fascinating language but oh, so frustrating! This week, I achieved 100% after my second attempt. One very silly error, incorrectly selecting ‘the principle requirement of good communication is writing’ rather than ‘the principal (as in most important) requirement of good communication is writing’.

My second incorrect answer is as below. I’m not convinced this is actually an error as it seems to contradict the book and the feedback. Perhaps, it’s in the way it’s written but I look forward to finding out what others thought of this question.

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References

Blog Activity – Week 5 Quiz 2016, Central Queensland University, viewed 22 August 2016   https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/mod/quiz/review.php?attempt=436362

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists, Routledge, Oxon.

Peregian Food & Fashion 2016, digital image, Peregian Beach Business Association, viewed 31 July 2016, http://peregianbeach.org/foodandfashion

Week 5

Practical: Establish a Storify account

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I had not heard of Storify prior to this course but on viewing the course exemplars I was immediately curious. The setting up of an account was a very simple process. I managed to easily browse through the latest stories, as expected, filled with Olympic coverage. But I did have a few questions. How and where does the Storify concept fit in the world of social media and who is the audience?

I was particularly confused after browsing the ABC News stories and coming across some stories that were simply a collection of images. I found this to be quite unprofessional and untidy in appearance. Again, I was left wondering. How is this platform a good reflection of journalism? Are my expectations are too high and is Storify all about getting spontaneous, unpolished idea out there? Perhaps, there are no rules.

Thankfully, after checking Dr Kate Ames’ profile and her stories, I had renewed faith. When used to its full potential, Storify can be a very clever and unique way of compiling and telling a story, especially for those who appreciate visual presentation.

You can find me on Storify here: https://storify.com/TashMuller

 

Inquiry: Social Media review

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In a world surrounded by social media activity my personal favourite is definitely Instagram. The social networking app used by over 500 million people globally, offers a real-time opportunity to capture a moment through a photograph or video to share with family and friends. The special filters let the average photographer transform a simple mobile phone picture into a beautiful, long-lasting memory.

In my opinion, Instagram provides the sharing of positive, fun and inspiring experiences. Instagram also allows companies to connect with people interested in their products. My own feeds are filled with wholesome eating, fitness and design ideas accessing all the latest and greatest in things that motivate me.

As part of my blog for this course, I recently opened a second Instagram account, which is publicly available. The main reason for doing this was to add another element of interest to my blog, it also allows for my personal account to separated and private.

You can find me on Instagram here: bootsandblueberries

 

Technical: Quiz 5 – Grammar: 10 Common Mistakes

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I did it, 100% on my first attempt at the quiz this week and I’m a little excited. Chapter three was by far the most familiar I had been with the content in this book. It was a great opportunity to refresh the rules and while I was confident I would do well, I took my time in order to achieve the result.

 

References

Blog Activity – Week 5 Quiz 2016, Central Queensland University, viewed 11 August 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/mod/quiz/view.php?id=310064

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists, Routledge, Oxon.

How can journalists use ‘Storify’ in emergencies 2016, digital image, Emergency Journalism, viewed 13 August 2016, http://emergencyjournalism.net/how-can-journalists-use-storify-in-emergencies/

How to know if your Instagram got hacked & more 2016, digital image, Avira, viewed 12 August 2016, https://blog.avira.com/instagram-account-hacked/

Instagram Press News 2016, Instagram, 15 August, 6.45 am, viewed 15 August, https://www.instagram.com/press/

Week 4

Practical: Interview two people and write their speech as a news report

Sister, Angela Cummins, 41 – “Organised chaos, is how I would describe my life.”

 

My sister and my son had some differences on the things that are most important to them.

Seven year old, Rory Ramsden said rugby, family and his best mate Charlie are the most important things to him.

The Noosa Dolphins under sevens player said that he loves to run and score tries.

“Unlike dancing, rugby is fun.

“I get to hang out with my mates and meet people,” Rory said.

Rory attended his first rugby test match in June this year where he watched his favourite Wallabies player Israel Folau score a try.

“I hope to play for the Wallabies one day.

“I just want to play rugby until I’m an old man,” Rory said.

Rory also lists his family as most important to him because apparently, we are the best cheer squad.

“I love you and dad for driving me to rugby each week.

“You give the best kisses and cuddles,” he said.

Recently, Rory has had to adjust to life without regular cuddles from his older sister, Jess, who is studying in Townsville.

“I miss hanging out with her.

“When Jess calls she asks me lots of questions, she’s still very bossy,” he said.

Rory’s enthusiasm for the things most important to him amplifies when talking about his best mate Charlie.

“Charlie likes all the same things I do, that’s why he’s my best mate.

“He is better than me at sport and has the best Nerf guns but I don’t mind,” Rory said.

According to Rory, as long as Charlie doesn’t take up sumo wrestling they will always be friends.

My sister on the other hand said that the most important things to her are the people around her, shared experiences and a good cup of tea.

Forty-one old, Angela Cummins revealed how she had recently had a stark reminder of how valuable family and friends are.

Angela lost her mother in-law to cancer last month, which highlighted to her the importance of surrounding yourself with good people.

“Joan taught us all to be better people.

“Going through difficulties together helps you appreciate your loved ones,” Angela said.

The mother of three believes developing solid relationships during good times means you have a network of support when times are tough.

“Tight bonds are created when we share experiences.

“We are all busy but investing time in each other is important,” she said.

The stay at home mum and business owner is one busy lady.

“Organised chaos, is how I would describe my life.

“I’ve come to accept that there are things I can’t change and I’ve learnt to be OK with that,” she said.

While there’s never enough time in the day, Angela always finds five minutes to grab a cup of tea and sit in silence.

“I want to enjoy the moment.

“I just try and shut my brain down and not think about what’s next,” she said.

We all need to remember our own well-being, Angela said and find a happy balance.

 

Link – Twitter post

 

 

Reflection

I interviewed my son at home and he was definitely the easier interview out of the two. I asked questions in very simple terms and while he did not have a lot to say, he responded with just enough substance for me to get some interesting things down.

My sister who I interviewed over the phone, always has plenty to say. I ended up with three pages of scribble but struggled to create a story. This was very much due to the lack of direction with the questions I asked.

It was interesting to see how simple questions are more likely to lead to simple answers. In both my interviews it quickly became obvious I was under prepared. I wrongly assumed the story would evolve into something interesting.

The exercise made me to realise the importance of research and planning. Interviewing family members allowed me to fill in a few blanks in order to add detail to the story. This is a luxury you clearly don’t have when interviewing strangers.

 

Technical: Quiz 4 – Reporting Speech

Oh dear, 70% my worst result yet. Despite the chapter being brief and tword-bubble-speech-bubble-with-person-pointing-up-clip-art-high-quality-clip-arthe content not too difficult to comprehend, it appears I really missed some key points.

I realised, from the feedback of my incorrect answers, in particular question three, that more than one technical factor may need to be considered when selecting the correct answer. I certainly need to think a little more about my responses.

Despite being disappointed in my results week to week, for me, the quiz is proving a very beneficial way of learning the content. The feedback is extremely helpful and sees me return to the areas of the chapter I did not fully understand the first time.

 

 

References

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalist, Routledge, Oxon.

Word Bubble Clip Art – Image #21611, digital image, Clipartsign, viewed 6 August 2016, http://clipartsign.com/image/21611/