Difficulties with Piracy
This was an incredibly hard article to write and a very difficult accompanying audio slideshow to complete.
I originally had two ideas in which I wanted to explore. One was the differences between public and private high school education, and whether or not it had an effect in University learning. I wanted very much for this to be an experiment in vox pops and interviewing regular people and students.
The second idea was to interview music industry professionals about the effects and impact of piracy.
However I realised that I kind of had it backwards. So instead I decided to change the news angle on the music industry piece and focus it on the Australian Youth.
I figured it would be a much more interesting piece if I could do vox pops of regular Australian young adults and teenagers and their take on online piracy, seeing as how most young Australians, and youth in general, are partial to downloading their music illegally.
So in order to properly represent Australian youth I decided to conduct as many interviews as possible with all interviewees being of differing ages. In the end I managed to gather seven interviewees with the youngest being 16 and the oldest being 25.
The interviews themselves went quite well, I had managed to polish my interviewing techniques and preparing a standard set of questions to ask all my interviewees helped. I had learnt that everyone has an opinion on everything and that the key was to just to let the subject talk, giving the odd prompt here or there, but to mainly let them express themselves, and that's how the story unfolds.
However while I was writing the article I realised that I didn't have a clear cut news angle. This is something that I think I need to work on, content generation being my greatest weakness when it comes to journalism. I lack practice when it comes to finding the appropriate news angle when it comes to a story.
Whereas my production skills are quite good, I still lack that journalistic sniffer ability to properly generate a good story. I can only hope that this is something that I will get better at in the future.
In the audio slideshow I also realised I didn't take enough pictures. It was difficult to take "action shots" of online piracy when it was all rather mundane. So in the end I was forced to extend the pictures themselves to around 7 or 8 seconds each, which is a large change to the 4 seconds I had in my previous audio slideshow.
Also I came up with the idea of posting various other images which weren't photos taken by me, but snippets of the advertisements that the government had used in the past, as well as images that most of target audience would recognise. Such as a screenshot of iTunes, or the screenshot of a popular website which provides illegal downloads for music which can't often be found in iTunes.
When it came to editting audio, that was relatively easy. I think I've developed better flow when it comes to managing the content I have and trying to put it together in a bite sized format.
However my weakness in generatino a coherent news angle shows throughout and it's something I seriously need to work on.
The end result can be found here.
The Last Week of E-Journalism....
Sadly, no picture today. That picture would be ineffectual in expressing the 1000 words of sadness that we all feel due to this being the last tutorial of this class.
So a few presentation went up today, one of which starred the absolutely lovable me. Hopefully didn't do too badly, seeing as how I mainly yammered on about my glorious moustache.
Although the main points about today's class was about the need to exercise multimedia practice, and the development of a good news understanding. Unfortunately, as Susan noted, we didn't spend too much time on content generation. I personally know that I kind of suck at doing that sort of thing, but hey, at least I managed to get some stories unlike my last journliasm units.
Some of you may have noticed the change in lay out of my page.
In order for it to be "appear more professional" I chose a new layout. In my personal opinion it's a little bland, but hey it's what those business types want. And unfortunately professional standard leaves very little room for creativity when you aren't a genius graphics designer.
Also the upcoming final assessment is well...upcoming, and one of the requirements is to provide external and internal links and a high degree of hyptertexuality within the web site.
To all those that are unfamiliar with the term: hypertexuality I shall try to describe it as best I can. Hypertexuality is when multiple media formats and texts essentially "layer" on top of each other. On a website this is most commonly achieved with the use of hyperlinks.
Unfortunately a distinct lack of content leads to some problems with creating an extensive hypertexuality, it does remain a lot more cohesive than large new outlet sites.
Either way, this is a sad day and I must hurry off to continue my last two articles for my final assessment because for some reason the video editting software on my computer has switched its language to Chinese. A language which I have no ability to read or write in. The irony is not lost on me.
Local news stories...and unions
So Week 10 of this blog...where for 10 weeks...or roughly about, I have blogged about the goings on within this class and what we're learning and all that. So...basically...this shall henceforth be a guide to every person who is even considering taking E-Journalism in the future.
My only advice: RUN! RUN CHILDREN! RUN!!!!!!
But no seriously, although this might be a blog of mainly personal opinion this is actually a pretty good class when it comes to learning about Journalism and the new digital world it's entering.
But back to what about today's lesson was about. Today's lesson mainly focused on the number of presentations people did today about their own weebly websites, obviously none as fabulous as mine, but still...quite nice.
However there was a nice little segway into journalism topics when Susan fully encouraged us to find local news stories, and the grander themes behind them. It was interesting to see Susan's take on this, since I, and I expect a fair few others in my class, to find local news stories to be kind of dry and boring. But it was really interesting to see how the news stories could virtually be found anywhere, as long as you took a step back and asked the right questions.
Questioning everything around you is the best way to find local news stories, or news angles that you haven't even considered before.
Also there was a slight debate and rant about Unions and their purpose, it was kind of awesome.
The ethics behind journalism....DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!!!
One of the greatest debates about journalism, is it ethical?
So today in Week 9 of E-Journalism we learned a few things today about the ethics of Journalism. Looking at case studies of Chris Mitchell, Rupert Murdoch, the Australian and the general responsibilities when it comes to being a journalist and reporting the news.
Possibly the newest player into the field of journalism is the role of social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook. This is the latest player that's come from left field where there are absolutely no set rules. No set policies for journalists to follow, the place where you can get THE direct mouth-to-news immediately. This is where the kid gloves come off.
One of the most amazing things bout journalism is that it's not a 9 to 5 job. This isn't something that you clock off and just forget about. News happens every moment of every second of our lives. Journalists aren't allowed to just "clock off", they have to be switched on at all times when it comes to gathering information. With the advent of social media, and especially Twitter, when does a reporter stop reporting news and is just expressing personal opinion? If journalism is meant to be a 24/7 type of job, then at what point is anything that you post that could be seen as public, be a private or personal opinion? That is the crux of the problem, I believe, when it comes to journalists coming to Twitter. The crazy thing about Twitter is that the constant immediate short bites of news that come out of everyday life can be possibly inflammatory. But whether or not it can be considered something that isn't serious because it's Twitter?
All these hypothetical questions make me want to head desk. *BAM*
Yep I just did a head desk. It hurt, wasn't the smartest choice.
Journalism on religion. What about it?
Gathering information for media kit assignment
For once I'm not doing a blog post in the middle of class.
So far I've employed a number of skills taught to me in class. Such as the information gathering skills in interviewing people and using internet resources, and the technical skills such as using a digital SLR camera and the construction of an audio slideshow.
On the information gathering aspect I chose a subject where I have a personal vested interest in: Martial Arts. I recently read an article about two armed attackers attempted to mug someone. What they didn't know was that the person they were attempting to extort money from happened to be a trained mixed martial arts instructor. The would-be victim managed to subdue both of his attackers by concussing one and breaking the ribs of another. However in the ruling, the judge believed that the instructor, as a result of his training, should have been aware of the damage he was going to inflict and is currently serving prison time for intentionally causing grievous bodily harm.
I found this to be very interesting as the right to self-defense is a very grey area. There are numerous mitigating factors that are involved, so I decided to focus on the one where I knew I would have a wealth of information ready for me.
Firstly I went to do some basic research on the technicalities of Australian law. The internet providing a wealth of material for me and allowing me to see different angles that I hadn't even considered before. I wanted to continue my research into the technical side of the law by setting up interviews with a representative of the Victorian police and a lawyer. Unfortunately I had no such luck as the official enquiry I made into interviewing a police officer took too long to process and I was unable to set up a time where the lawyer would be free to be interviewed.
As a martial artist myself, I set about to interview my trainer in Kombatan Arnis. A Phillipino self defence system cannot be considered a martial art as it is not a sport, but a combatives. Designed for the purpose of self defence and attacking, and with the intention causing bodily harm to the other.
I came across a hurdle in my interview with Andy Elliott, my combative trainer. The hurdle being that due to a negative experience he had with a former journalist. So I ensured that before I would upload the video and accompanying article I would allow Andythe ability to give the final say on the video in regards to content if he felt that any part of the story could be seen as negative towards himself, his reputation or his establishment. This is an interesting case in where, in order to acquire information, I had to co-operate fully with my interviewee's demands.
Luckily he also let me take photos of the multiple training sessions that were occuring. This allowed me to practice my skills with an SLR camera. All in all I don't think the photos were that bad.
My last interviee was to be security officer Jonathan Ngai. From him I expected to find the most information about the technicalities of the law as part of his profession actively deals with violence and part of his training included memorising and understanding certain parts of the law. Especially the parts whre I was most interested in for the purposes of this assignment.
Unexpectedly I found that many other security officers on the night were more than willing to be interviewd as well. Not that I'm complaining. I was even able to interview a fellow mixed martial arts fighter who just happened to be at the club that night as well as being able to interview the bar manager on her views on security, I found her opinions to be more refreshing as she was a foreigner and would have a fresh perspective on the issue. I was also able to obtain permission to photograph the club and security officers as well.
Although I was more than a little dissapointed when I unable to take photos of the security officers stopping a fight between two people and escorting them out. Not because of any technical or legal difficulties. But I had left the camera in my car. Learning a very valuable lesson in always being prepared as a result.
An interesting distinction between the two major interviews I conducted was that my interview with Anthony Elliot was a lot more formal and standard. I was in a private area, I would ask questions and they would be answered. My interviews with the security officers were much more relaxed and friendly. With other security officers frequently jumping in at odd intervals to add their opinions or going on completely random tangents. More of a conversation than an interview.
The next, and final, step was to edit it all together to create an audio slideshow. This was a time consuming and arduous process as I had to use Audacity as I had no other program available. But it served it's purpose, despite the clunky interface, in cutting and manipulating audio.
I found each recording I made with the Zoom recorder to have a new problem I had to deal with. The interview with Anthony Elliot went for over 12 minutes alone and the finished product had to be under five minutes in order to be effective. Not to mention the other interviews I had conducted and the opening I had still yet to record. A problem with the interviews with the security officers was it was in a loud club setting. A lot of excess noise was going on in the background so I had to make great efforts in cleaning up the background noise.
The first rough cut, which took me three hours to do, ended up being around 7 minutes long. I believed I had made a decent effort but I needed to clean it up some more, to get it down to a more managable length. As listeners, even myself, found it grow very boring towards the middle and struggling to keep focus in the last third.
So I cut out all the audio of me asking questions and had to seriously reconsider what other audio I had to cut out. I thought that all the information I had retained was essential and neccessary, but in the interest of time I had to cut that too. When I believed the key message was delivered I would cut out the rest. In the end I believed that the answers gave a pretty clear idea of what the question was, for the listener, in the first place, and that doing this I would be able to keep a much better flow with the audio.
Here I faced a problem with journalistic ethics and integrity. In choosing the information I used I had to extend a certain bias, which may or may not reflect positively or negatively on the interviewee. Especially in the shuffling of audio and it's placement. I had to ensure that I would be unbiased as possible while still maintaining the cohesive flow of my audio slideshow and the integrity of my key message and news angle. This meant cutting out a lot of audio which I would have loved to keep in. Such as: the multiple hypothetical examples that Andy Elliott used and the many anecdotes that the security officers relayed to me.
However at the end of the day, I do sincerely hope that the finished product is worth something of a-(HDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHHDHDHDHD subliminal messaging)-quality grade. But in the end I am satisfied that I did a fairly good job and am proud of my finished work.
The end result can be found here.