Old Blog Posts!

Out of complete randomness, I came across my old blog! I thought I lost this, but turns out I just forgot the account password. 😂  I have exported the posts from the old blog, and chucked them in here! You can see them under “Old Blog Posts” in the “Posts” menu at the top. Enjoy!

KJB102 Assignment 3: Three Issues Identified in Journalism Today

INTRODUCTION
A multitude of ever-changing issues exist in today’s journalism, media and communications (JMC) environment. ‘Knowledge is power’ is a common proverb used to explain how equipping one’s self with an understanding can go a long way. The same can be said for journalists, the field I strive to go in. We must be equipped with knowledge, understanding and acknowledgement of issues to be able to ascend and succeed in our journalism careers. This essay will narrow down and explain three issues which I have learned about during my time in KJB102: Introduction to Journalism, Media and Communication. The first issue I encountered is the link between the move towards globalisation in the media, and the representation of minorities in mainstream commercial media. Second, is how media ownership reflects the diversity and the number of the voices available to the public. The final issue explored is the ethical conflict between a journalist’s duty to the fourth estate, and the commercial outlook of their employers.

GLOBALISATION AND ETHNIC REPRESENTATION IN MEDIA
Australia’s national demographic has changed since opening the doors to limited immigration, and the complete abolition of the White Australia Policy. Today, Australia has become a multicultural hotbed. It’s important that our media represents the diverse backgrounds of our population. Gail Phillips (2011, p. 21) says that in a study conducted on the ethnic diversity on Australia’s television news, it is “largely absent unless people from ethnic minorities are posing a social problem of some kind.” She point out that television news is ever as important because it plays a vital role in mediating social and cultural power (Phillips 2011, p. 23). Klocker (2014, p. 37-38) states television remains the leading choice of media consumption in this country, and thus has incredible power in shaping wider community attitudes. As an Australian of Filipino origin, it saddens me that the representation of our background, and minorities in general, is not as “mainstream” as it should be. While the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) is fulfilling its charter obligations to represent the multicultural diversity of Australia (Special Broadcasting Service, 2016), as Gail Phillips (2011) said, it’s clearly not enough. The Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice (2015) makes no reference to promoting, or showcasing, the multicultural society of Australia. Of course, there is some multicultural representation in news media. People like Waleed Aly on The Project, Kumi Taguchi and Karina Carvalho at the ABC and Tracy Vo at Nine News are breaking the cultural barriers for multicultural representation in mainstream Australian news media. However, the media is still dominated by Australians of European background.


(Media and Transport Channel, 2016)

The ABC’s Media Watch (2016) recently did a profile of the ethnicity of the lead anchors of the primetime evening broadcasts right across Australia. Out of the forty news anchors across the Australian capital cities, only three are of non-Caucasian background (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2016). In addition, Gail Phillips (2011, p. 26) states that in a sample of 209 current affairs stories sampled, 139 stories had no representation of ethnic minorities, and that there was rarely any presenters of ethnic background telling the stories. In addition, SBS News anchor Lee Lin Chin’s and The Project anchor Waleed Aly’s nomination for the Gold Logie award also put in to the forefront underlying issues with some sections of the industry. A prominent example is when the Nine Network’s Today Show anchors, lead by Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson, made comments on why Lisa did not make the Gold Logie nominations. Stefanovic made an off-the-cuff remark, stating that Wilkinson was “too white” (Bradley, 2016). News Corporation’s The Daily Telegraph even went far to publishing comments from an ‘industry insider’ that Waleed Aly’s nomination was undeserved (Rawsthorne, 2016). When Waleed Aly won the Gold Logie Award, he was the first person of non-Caucasian background to win the award (Media Watch, 2016).

This trend of immigration and multicultural representation can be also linked to the general trend of the globalisation of media in general. Globalisation is “the expanding scale, growing magnitude, speeding up and deepening impact of transcontinental flows and patterns of social interaction (David Held and Anthony McGrew 2002, p. 1)”. In terms of media locally in Australia, SBS represents this definition of globalisation (Special Broadcasting Service, 2016). However, this ‘underlying stigmatisation’ of multicultural representation on mainstream commercial media, especially broadcast television, somehow persists (Bradley, 2016) (Rawsthorne, 2016). It has left me questioning as to whether a journalism career here in Australia would be sustainable. I have even considered looking at opportunities for work in New Zealand, as I perceive them to have a more accepting commercial media to multiculturalism. However, as part of the next generation of media professionals, we must strive to change the culture. We must stick to the very definition of globalisation that Held and McGrew (2002, p.1) states. We have to be the ones to force the change. This might mean keeping my future career here in Australia. Waleed Aly’s Gold Logie win has brought hope to this, however more needs to be done to break the mould and have Australian news broadcast personalities reflect the population.

MEDIA DIVERSITY, OWNERSHIP AND REGIONAL AUSTRALIA
A sign of a high-standard level of free press is when there are many voices available with differing opinions. Unfortunately in Australia, while our press is guaranteed under freedom of speech conventions handed down by the British, there is a high amount of concentration in mainstream media. Jason Sternberg (2016) states that Australian media is a “national resource” and the conglomerates who own are “expected to operate it in the interests of the nation”. The majority of newspapers in Australia are split between News Corporation, Fairfax and APN (Australian Communication and Media Authority, 2016). Commercial radio ownership is shared between Nova Entertainment, Southern Cross Austereo, Fairfax/Macquarie Media Limited, Grant Broadcasters and Super Radio Network. (Australian Communication and Media Authority, 2016). Television ownership is split between regional Australia and metropolitan Australia. In capital cities, the Seven Network, Nine Network and Network Ten own all commercial television stations across Australia. In regional Australia, the ownership situation is slightly more diverse. The majority of regional television stations are owned by WIN Television, Prime Media Group and Southern Cross Austereo (Australian Communication and Media Authority, 2016). The days where local radio and television stations in regional and metropolitan Australia were owned by people or businesses in the local community are no longer. This issue began with former Prime Minister Hawke’s plan to equalise television access between metropolitan Australians and regional Australians, known as aggregation (Flynn 2008, p. 2). Prior to this, regional Australians only had access to two television channels – the ABC and a local ‘solus’ commercial station (Flynn 2008, p. 2). Aggregation sought to bring the same three commercial stations that the capital cities have to regional Australians (Flynn 2008, p. 2). This is considered the beginning of the relaxing of media diversity laws in Australia.

(Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2015)
(Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2015)

Cross-media laws and media diversity go hand-in-hand. The laws are again being reviewed in Parliament at the moment. Previous reform opportunities from previous governments had always stalled due to lack of political support (Papandrea 2006, p. 302). The laws, as they currently stand, ban media organisations to own all three forms of media in the one market. For example, the Seven Media Holdings owns television station TVW7 and the West Australian newspaper in Perth (Australian Communication and Media Authority, 2016). Current media laws forbid Seven Media Holdings to own a radio station in Perth. However, if the reviews were to be successful, there would be nothing to stop Seven Media Holdings from owning radio stations. Papandrea (2006, p. 301) states that any changes to cross-media regulations would “lead to increased concentration of main media and reduced diversity”. He also states that the current cross-media laws protect consumers by promoting various voices and diverse opinions in our media landscape (Papandrea 2006, p. 302). However, the previous Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan (2007, p. 301) justifies changes to cross-media ownership by saying governments should not “unduly inhibit technological advances or competitive growth opportunities”. She also states that Government regulations have not kept up with increasing media and technological convergence (Coonan 2007, p. 236). However, former Senator Coonan does not address any impact to media diversity due to ‘legislation not keeping up with trends’.

For people like myself, a highly concentrated media landscape is bad for us. Many well-known Australian journalists had their start in regional television or in regional newspapers. The regional media landscapes provide young journalists, like myself, to hone our skills. The dwindling down of media diversity, if the cross-media ownership laws were to pass Federal Parliament, would decrease the number of chances for new journalists to break in to the market. Many overlapping jobs in different markets would be reduced to a few people based in one or two cities (Eltham, 2016). As new journalists, we must be aware of what is happening in commercial media and strive to ‘fill the gaps’ to ensure media diversity is being promoted in this country, and to not let the voices of corporations dictate social and cultural norms (Eltham, 2016). We might have to be innovative and creative in creating new ‘voices’. This includes creating new commercial media entities that accurately reflect today’s demographic in Australia.

FOURTH ESTATE VS. THE NEED TO MAKE A PROFIT
The fourth estate is a key backbone to freedom of the press. It is defined as an obligation to “force governments and corporations at least to consider the public response to their actions (Hampton, 2009)”. The press is essentially the balance and check to the government of the day, and to large corporations. Television programmes such as the ABC’s Four Corners are widely considered the benchmark standard for quality television journalism that contributes to the fourth estate (Schultz, 1998). Newspaper exposes such as the Watergate Scandal by the Washington Post, and the Spotlight findings by the Boston Globe, also contribute to Hampton’s (2009) definition of the fourth estate. However, a constant issue plaguing ‘quality journalism’ is the need to make it profitable compared to their obligation to the fourth estate. Schultz (1998, p. 145) states how there is a challenge in the form of a media organisation’s commercial interest, versus the public interest. She also claims that many Australian journalists are trying to stake their claim to independent editorial control, free from commercial influence (Schultz 1998, p. 146). As a result, journalists have become the gatekeepers of obligation to the fourth estate and journalism in the public interest (Schultz 1998, p. 146).

Fairfax’s trouble in being profitable is an example of this ‘profit vs obligation’ ethical dilemma. Last month, Fairfax announced the cut 120 editorial jobs across its proprieties in Australia and New Zealand (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2016). Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood justified the job cuts as a way to sustain ‘high quality journalism’ (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2016). Director of Havas Media Lab, Umair Haque, argues that newspapers, much like Fairfax, are not playing a vital social role (Harvard Business Review, 2009). He argues that newspaper publishers must shift their thinking from trying to make money, to creating ‘positive outcomes’ (Harvard Business Review, 2009).

For student journalists like myself, we must be aware of this ethical dilemma. Most of us have this ideal picture of our journalism careers, like being a political reporter in Canberra, Washington or London, and asking the hard questions to the government and corporate leaders of the day. However, the realist view is that the stories that we will write, as journalists, will be down to the editorial policy of the media organisations we would work for, and the economic forces that are influencing the organisation that you’re employed at. Petley (2009, p. 602) uses an example of British newspapers, who are “not simply partisan”, but are skewed to the right side of politics. If we were to apply our “journalistic high horse” in that situation, our superiors would shoot it down easily. As new journalists, we must be aware of the economic and political drivers for our employers. However, we must stand up when differences in opinions lead to journalistic ethical issues. The MEAA Code of Ethics (2015) states that journalists must “not allow advertising or other commercial considerations to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence”.


(Newseum, 2014)

CONCLUSION
The three issues in Journalism, Media and Communication I have identified are all linked in some way. Issues about profitability versus fourth estate obligations will be accentuated when the diversity of media decreases. As a result of a decrease of media diversity, the numbers of voices also decrease. This could potentially harm multicultural representation in mainstream commercial media due to issues with profitability. As new journalists, we have to be aware of these issues and work around them. With the issue on multicultural representation and globalisation, new journalists must advocate for change to increase participation by minority groups. In relation to media diversity and ownership, new journalists must be prepared to create new voices and share new opinions to replace ones that have disappeared. Finally, new journalists must not compromise their own journalistic ethical standpoint in order to succumb to commercial interests.

REFERENCES
Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2016. “Australian TV White Wash.” Accessed 2 June 2016. http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4463445.htm.

Australian Communications and Media Authority. 2016. “Media Interests, Seven Group Holdings Ltd.” Accessed 2 June 2016. http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/media-ownership/ACMA_SevenGroupHoldings.pdf

Australian Communications and Media Authority. 2016. “Media Interests, Nine Entertainment Co. Ltd.” Accessed 2 June 2016. http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/media-ownership/ACMA_ChannelNine.pdf.

Australian Communications and Media Authority. 2016. “Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice.” Accessed 2 June 2016. http://www.acma.gov.au/~/media/Broadcasting%20Investigations/Regulation/pdf/Commercial_Television_Industry_Code_of_Practice_2015%20pdf.PDF.

Australian Communications and Media Authority. 2016. “Media Interests Snapshot.” Accessed 2 June 2016. http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/media-interests-snapshot.

Bradley, Michael. 2016. “Waleed Aly, Lee Lin Chin, and the sad ‘jokes’ about the Gold Logie.” Accessed 2 June 2016. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-07/bradley-the-sad-‘jokes’-about-the-gold-logie/7306012.

Coonan, Helen. 2007. “Reforming Australia’s Media Legislation to Meet the Challenge of a Multi-media Revolution.” The University of New South Wales Law Journal 30 (1): 232-245.

Eltham, Ben. 2016. “Good For Moguls, Bad For Journalists: What The Coalition’s Media Reforms Will Do.” Accessed 2 June 2016. https://newmatilda.com/2016/03/02/good-for-moguls-bad-for-journalists-what-the-coalitions-media-reforms-will-do/.

Flew, Terry. 2007. “Globalization and Global Media Corporations.” In Understanding Global Media, 66-97. Houndmill, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Accessed 2 June 2015. https://blackboard.qut.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-6245249-dt-content-rid-5794256_1/xid-5794256_1.

Flynn, John Michael. 2008. “A Case Study of North Queensland Television Before and After Aggregation.” Accessed 2 June 2016. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/16697/1/John_Michael_Flynn_Thesis.pdf.

Hampton, Mark. 2009. “The fourth estate ideal in journalism history.” In The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism, edited by Stewart Allen, 3-12. Hoboken: Routledge.

Harvard Business Review. 2009. “Can Good Journalism Also Be Profitable?” Accessed 2 June 2016. https://hbr.org/2009/11/can-good-journalism-also-be-pr.html.

Held, David and Anthony McGrew. 2007. “Introduction : current controversies about the demise of globalization”. In Globalization/anti-globalization : beyond the great divide. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

Klocker, Natascha. 2014. “Ethnic Diversity within Australian Homes: Has Television Caught up to Social Reality?” Journal of Intercultural Studies 35 (1): 34-52. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07256868.2013.864628.

Papandrea, Franco. 2006. “Media Diversity and Cross‐Media Regulation.” Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation 24 (3). doi: 10.1080/08109020600877675.

Petley, Julian. 2009. “Impartiality in Television News: Profitablity versus Public Service.” In The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism, edited by Stewart Allen, 602-613. Hoboken: Routledge.

Phillips, Gail. 2011. “Reporting diversity: The representation of ethnic minorities in Australia’s television current affairs Programs”. In Media International Australia 5(139). 23-31.

Rawsthorne, Sally. 2016. “The Logies: ‘Embarrassing’ Gold nominees get poor reception from television industry.” Accessed 2 June 2016. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/the-logies-embarrassing-gold-nominees-get-poor-reception-from-television-industry/news-story/c88fa71af2153f8ad3bdcf3b1ca82276.

Schultz, Julianne. 1998. Reviving Australia: Cambridge University Press. Accessed 2nd June 2016. https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Reviving_the_Fourth_Estate.html?id=gWSyb0o8hkoC.

Sternberg, Jason. 2016. KJB102 Week 4 Lecture.

Special Broadcasting Service. 2016. “SBS Code of Practice.” Accessed 2 June 2016. http://www.sbs.com.au/aboutus/corporate/index/id/25/h/sbs-charter.

MULTIMEDIA REFERENCES

Australian Communications and Media Authority. 2016. “Media Interests Snapshot.” Accessed 2 June 2016. http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/media-interests-snapshot.

Media and Transport Channel. 2016. ABC-TV – Media Watch – Nationality of Australian Newsreaders (16/5/2016). Accessed 2 June 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YC8bdyQIEc

Newseum. 2014. Journalism/Works: Power and Purpose of the Fourth Estate. Accessed 2 June 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeUQZqns4Zs

2016 Eurovision Song Contest Wrap-up

2016 Eurovision Song Contest Wrap-up

Well, another year of the Eurovision Song Contest is over. The contest is going to Ukraine after a nail biter in the voting! Being Australian, naturally I was barracking for Dami Im to take the title, but second place is a massive achievement. For a country that’s not in Europe, and has only competed in the Eurovision Song Contest since last year, we did really well. Both Dami and Guy resonated with many Europeans, and in terms of Dami’s performance, the national juries in countries like the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden gave us the coveted douze (12) points! However, it was not meant to be as Jamala’s 1944 took out the top title due to tele-voting. Congratulations to Ukraine and Jamala! The margin of 23 points was extremely slim! It reminded me of the drama when Celine Dion won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest with a margin of 1 point from runner-up the United Kingdom. However, Australia is very proud of Dami Im’s achievement and I’m sure she will receive a hero’s welcome once she arrives back from Stockholm!

Now, I’m going to give my Top Five 2016 Eurovision songs. Of course, I’m disregarding any political connotations of the countries represented and focusing purely on the song and theatrics of the performance. You might think, but the politics is just a part of the Eurovision experience? Yes, there is actually a music contest happening despite the political situations!

Russia – Sergey Lazarev, You Are The Only One

This song came third overall, but this was the frontrunner to win this year’s contest. The video board theatrics might be ‘adapted’ from last year’s winning Eurovision entry, however the implementation is surely different. Sergey climbing the video board surely would have tripped out a few viewers, including myself! It wasn’t till later that I realised that the video board has cut outs where he can climb up, but from front-on it looks flat. Song wise, it’s a catchy little number. It’s not amazing vocally or lyrically, but the tune is catchy enough to be stuck in your head for days. In my case, for months! Easily, in terms of on-stage theatrics, this was the winner.

Azerbaijan – Samra, Miracle

I still don’t get how the flames and the gold theme relates to the song, but that’s Eurovision! I’ve mainly put this performance in due to the song. It’s a catchy post-breakup anthem that anyone could relate to, a song that you’d expect someone like Demi Lovato would sing. The recorded version is worth listening to! Theatrics wise, it’s quite stock standard for a Eurovision song however.

France – Amir, J’ai CherchĂ©

I’m surprised this song didn’t rate higher. Earlier in the year it was tipped to be a Top 5 song. It’s a nice, positive and, of course, catchy song. Theatrics wise, they have taken the approach of focusing on the song rather than the flames, wind machine and every other cliche prop typical of Eurovision songs. It’s such a shame that it only came sixth.

Belgium – Laura Tesoro, What’s The Pressure

This is the song that Australia gave 12 points to in Jury and Tele-voting. I can see why! It’s expected in Eurovision that we get emotional ballads or anthems, but it’s nice now and then to get a really upbeat dance song. This ticks all the boxes. A groovy, disco-esque beat that might remind some people of other songs. The video board projections reflect the disco theme. You can’t help but stand up and dance!

Australia – Dami Im, Sound of Silence

This list is not complete without Australia’s entry, of course. Dami Im absolutely SLAYED that performance!!! This may be my hometown bias in me (Dami comes from a suburb not too far from where I live), but she used her powerful voice to get the emotion of the song across. ‘Sound of Silence’ is about being away from someone. The presentation was simple, just Dami sitting and standing on the stage while singing. The video board projections didn’t distract from the song, and stuck to the Minority Report-like futuristic theme. I’m so proud of Dami! It was a brilliant song, and brought back what Eurovision should be about – the song. The theatrics complimented the song, not dominated it.

Another highlight of the Grand Final was the point where Eurovision became self-aware! Hahaha. An advanced warning, the song is extra cheesy and catchy! If you’re also a regular Eurovision viewer, you’d recognise the sheer amount of references to entries from previous contests.

Hope to see you all next year in Ukraine to do this all again!

How To Succeed in a JMC Profession Without Trying: Secrets to Success

1.0 INTRODUCTION
Journalism, media and communication (JMC) is always evolving. From the birth of the printing press, to the creation of the Internet, the profession has evolved with the technological changes. As a result, the factors to have a successful career in journalism, media and communication also evolve at a rapid rate. What was successful in the mid 20th century may not correlate to what is considered to be factors leading to a successful career in JMC. However, there are three key qualities that remained constant, despite the rapid evolution of the JMC field, to have a successful career. Passion, innovation and adaptation.

2.0 PASSION
In order to have a successful career in Journalism, Media and Communication, let alone in any industry or field, one of the greatest secrets to success is doing work that you are passionate about. Passion is defined by many as, “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something, or about doing something” (Abraham, 2013). Being passionate about the work you do is extremely beneficial for a number of reasons. Passion has the ability to drive many personal qualities which will assist in overall career development. Some of these qualities include motivation, pride, and self-fulfilment (Abraham, 2013).

The first quality derived from passion, is motivation. In a work sense – motivation is an underlying reason to better yourself or reach a particular goal. Research shows that people who are motivated consistently produce work to a higher standard (Yahui & Jian, 2015). Not only this, but motivated professionals also tend to more efficiently utilise the resources available to them (Yahui & Jian, 2015). This trait is particularly important in a JMC career as there will be times where the writer will need gather information in a timely manner, and use the information to efficiently produce an article or story whilst the information is still trending. Consistent, high quality work, delivered in a timely manner – is imperative to not only capture, but maintain an attentive and loyal audience (Van Der Wurff & Schonbach, 2014).

Pride is another quality driven by passion. Having pride in your work means that you are proud, and will stand by your opinions – even when confronted with criticisms and debate (Brox, 2013). Through obtaining these traits, the media professional will not be subject to persuasion of generic, mainstream opinions and ideas. This has the potential to drive diversity, and not only target, but develop a niche market, and will likely increase the attention of the public audience (Brox, 2013).

Self fulfillment is another benefit of being passionate about your work (Dik & Hansen, 2008). Self-fulfillment is a feeling obtained when an individual is truly satisfied in doing something. Self fulfillment drives happiness, and a positive mindset – which can help overcome obstacles and drive continuous improvement in not only the Media Professional’s career, but also their life outside of work (Abraham, 2013). Journalist Stephen Dubner is a JMC professional who established his radio station (Freakonomics) dedicated to trending political issues, whist applying these issues to his passion – economics. Through implementing his creative ideas of which he is passionate about, he is able to target and capture an entire niche market reaching an audience of up to 200,000 listeners every month (Freakonomics, 2016). In order to be successful in the Journalism, Media and Communication industry, there are many other keys that one must grasp, the next key to success is innovation.

3.0 INNOVATION
Innovation is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2016) as “the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods”. The two types of innovation, as defined by Francis and Bessant (2005), are product innovation and process innovation.

3.1 PRODUCT INNOVATION
Regardless if one has a job in journalism, media and communications – or in any other field – innovation will affect one’s working life. According to Tanja and Krumsvik, the very definition of innovation has multiple meanings. However in the majority of cases, innovation is about change. Francis and Bessant (2005) define four types of innovation: product, process, position and paradigmatic innovation. Product innovation can be regarded as the changes in the ways in which products/services are created and delivered (Francis & Bessant, 2005). For example, the iPhone and iPad are examples of evolutionary product innovation. These devices significantly altered media consumption. The iPhone transformed how people communicated by seamlessly linking the internet, apps and multimedia on a phone. When the iPad was released, it during a time where eBooks were becoming more popular because of devices like the Kindle and the Nook. As a result, media like newspapers and magazines also took advantage of this trend. These devices were regarded as a new media platform that could facilitate the innovation of new genres, new business models and a new distribution channel that could enable the reinvention of established genres and business modules (Krumsvik & Tanja, 2012). Leo Laporte is a media personality that has taken advantage of product innovation. He has long been associated with technology journalism – a field which has a rich link with product innovation. In 2005, the technology behind podcasting was being developed – audio files being sent by RSS feed that is updated when a new file is available. Leo Laporte, after leaving the US technology-oriented cable television channel TechTV, started a new media company called This Week in Tech (Milian, 2010). The name came from his original podcast started the same year. From that one podcast, Laporte now runs a digital multimedia empire. The TWiT Network has up to 24 podcasts covering a variety of topics – from food, law, science and video games (Milian, 2010). He was also one of the first people to use Twitter, and champions new technology by using the very devices that change media consumption habits into his programming (Milian, 2010). In a New York Times interview, Leo stated that he didn’t want to be an exact replica of traditional media (Kalish, 2010). As a result of Laporte’s own innovations in making podcasting profitable, the TWiT Network was earning around $5 million dollars a year (Kalish, 2010). In addition, his audience is not limited to just the United States, unlike his endeavours in traditional media (Kalish, 2010). Laporte saw a market through a relatively new product innovation called podcasting, and he was able to create an audience. It can be said that this audience is going to these new platforms, and JMC professionals must be adept in using and understanding the equipment.

Leo Laporte being interviewed on TWiT Show, Triangulation. (This Week in Tech, 2013)

3.2 PROCESS INNOVATION
Innovation has various kinds. Especially, the process innovative influences to the individual successful career. Process innovation means the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method (Vernardakis, 2016). When this process innovation is connecting with the mass communication, it refers to a change in the media delivery system. Changing the information delivery method to the public affects to the society and journalism. At present, the media creates new media continually. It sometimes is connected to the existing media or which may be made to be completely new (Boyd, 2013). The mass communication was possible through the broadcasting station or other transfer messengers in the past, but that is capable of delivery to the public directly in nowadays. Also, sharing the information between some public without some professional messengers is possible. A typical example is the birth of social media. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg has created a new medium called Facebook. This is made easier communication between the public, it became a place where to share information faster in the network. People can easily access the important events in the society more than before. Social media has the main focusing that the speed unlike traditional medias. In addition, a personal website (private website) and blog were established to a space where people can get some specialized information. Due to these, people can find in-depth information tailored to their tastes in the space of the Internet. This promoted to reduce the role of reporter and announcer for the delivery information or events to the public. However, this serves as a benefit from another aspect. By connecting these process innovation and personal success, Kate Adie can be a good example of this case. She introduced some events of the dangerous areas, such as war or conflict to the British people (The journal, 2012). She always transfers the news through the BBC News, but other time except the news time is difficult for convey information to the public directly. However, after she quits the reporter at BBC, she still communicates with the public until currently. It was possible because she used the different media which are her website and radio. It was rather that making more popular more than before to her. Many people thought her as a professional journalist, and they felt a friendliness from her. This was possible because of a revolution in media delivery methods. The direct transfer method without some broadcasting station is a tremendous process innovation. The new scheme brought the public interest, which provided another opportunity for journalists to communicate with the public. The famous journalists including Kate Adie did not get public popularity just by their talent. They had been experienced as a media revolution with changing times. Of course, process innovation is important for succeeded people in other areas as well as mass communication area. Process revolution are present in all areas. Process innovation in the technical field is to bring simplicity of the production process, the process innovation in the social sector leads to a change in the social structure. Therefore, process innovation is an important keyword for success.

Kate Adie talking to ABC News Australia. (ABC News, 2011)

4.0 ADAPTABILITY
Audiences have become fragmented due to the increase of media choices, such as the Internet. Media fragmentation is defined as the “increase in the number of mass media and mass media outlets that have taken place during the past two decades (Turow 2009, p. 158)”. Before the 1990’s, the main forms of communication were radio, television and newspapers. These media necessarily did not cross over unless they had common ownership. Today, the Internet has brought many different ways consumers can get their news, such as YouTube, Snapchat and Periscope. Traditional media such as newspapers are an example of a media that is struggling to adapt to the competition of the Internet. Pena-Fernandez et al. (2016, p. 28) describe the struggles of print journalism in relation to the Internet. Print newspapers have a structure and technique that is rigid due to the “technological and formal evolution of the medium itself over decades (Peña-FernĂĄndez et al. 2016, p. 28). However, digital newspapers break from that structure, having a “simple and vague visual composition” that is unlike the print newspaper (Peña-FernĂĄndez et al. 2016, p. 28). Television and radio are facing the same challenge; from worldwide television news channels being offered live on YouTube, to international radio streams being available to anyone on the TuneIn phone application. Journalists and other media professionals also have to adapt in the same way their forms of dissemination have. If they refuse to change to suit the needs of consumers, and face the challenges of a forever-changing medium, they will be left behind very quickly.

Adaptability can be split into two categories, technological and globalisation. Adaptation via globalisation is when a journalist takes into account different world perspectives to tell their story. This creates which “create politically significant news spaces within social systems, lead to social change, and privilege certain forms of power (Reese 2010, p. 344)”. Hispanic-American journalist Jorge Ramos is an example of a media professional that adapted to new audiences and a new culture. Ramos says Hispanic children don’t watch Spanish-language television because they’re more confident and fluent with the English language (Moyers & Company, 2012) and have different viewing habits to their Spanish-speaking parents (Aiderton, 2014). To address this need, Ramos was key in the launch of an English-language pay-television channel called Fusion. He brought his brand of journalism that he does everyday to a Spanish-language audience, through the program America with Jorge Ramos. He also has a strong social media presence through the use of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Ramos was one of the first people to take advantage of a new video-streaming feature called Facebook Live (Folkenflik, 2016). These live streams, done during US presidential primaries earlier this year, have garnered views of up to four million people (Folkenflik, 2016). Ramos has said through Facebook Live, he is “going to where the audience is (Folkenflik, 2016).” In light of Jorge Ramos’ example, adaptation is highly important for a successful career in Journalism, Media and Communication. One must be able to adapt their viewpoint to suit the diverse cultures that inhibit our society today. In addition, as explained in depth in the next section, media professionals must be willing to learn new technologies and be able to reach new audiences from it.

Live at Facebook/ En vivo en Facebook

Posted by Jorge Ramos on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

(Jorge Ramos, 2016) | If video is not viewable in-context, click here to view.

4.1 TECHNOLOGICAL ADAPTABILITY
Innovation has become the buzzword that every journalist has had to come to terms with, the only term more pronounced in a modern journalist’s life would be social media presence. In a world where you have to hook your audience in 30 words or less and any article without photo and/or video accompaniment is considered old hat, a journalist looking to get their content to their audience must learn how to adapt with the changing times. Adaptability is a virtue that encompasses many different concepts in media from globalisation to convergence but one of the core tenants that any successful media practitioner will have is an ability to use new tools and methods to tell their stories. These tools have recently and ever more increasingly come from the digital space. Facebook has become the go to news feed for millions, while metropolitan newspapers have begun to shrink more and more; Junkee delivers news with a strong emphasis on their younger demographic while physical magazine readers grow older and older. In order for practitioners to adapt to the changing technological landscape while still delivering valuable news they have to learn where and how to evolve their platforms. The physical magazine may be an inconvenience for the more tech-savvy growing audience, but the e-magazine can still deliver that same format with all the social integration and multi-media elements we’ve come to expect from our news. Good journalism will never be out of style but the platform that news is delivered on has changed dramatically. The importance of technological adaptability can be seen when examining media convergence and understanding the technological landscape that the modern journalist will find themselves in. The word convergence is defined as being ”Technological, cultural and societal changes in the way media circulates in our culture” (Henry Jenkins, 2006). When viewed in a media sense convergence is the process in which media are fusing into one new medium, this has been happening increasingly with the advent of the internet that has made print, television, and radio easier to consume and produce than ever before. Broadcasting television can now be a simple matter of recording content on a smartphone and directly uploading that video to YouTube, instead of taking on massive printing costs a person could take that same smartphone and type a blog post alongside an audio recording bypassing the need for expensive recording equipment, theoretically a full range news publication could be run off of a single smartphone. It’s this convergence of medium that journalists have taken advantage of to explore new ways to reach their audience in easier and experimental ways with lower costs and much larger potential audience.


(MIT CMS/W, 2014)

5.0 CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the three key aspects to a successful career in journalism, media and communication are interrelated. These ‘secrets’ can be likened to a ‘circle of life’ – a complete ecosystem where every element is vital for maximum success. For a JMC professional, it has to start with passion. One has to be passionate about what they are doing, and for their audience/market. Passion serves as the inspiration to innovation. A JMC professional would strive to provide new and unique ways to reach audiences or a target a particular market. In light of innovation, comes adaptation. Someone working in the field of journalism, media and communication will be required to adapt to new markets and new technologies as innovation will significantly change the media landscape. Be passionate, be innovative and be able to adapt – the three qualities to have in order to have a successful career in journalism.

6.0 REFERENCES
Abraham, K. 2013. It Starts With Passion. John Wiley & Sons Publishing

Aiderton, Matt. 2014. “Anchor and Activist: Jorge Ramos Uncensored.” Accessed 28 March 2016. http://hispanicexecutive.com/2014/jorge-ramos/

Brox, J. 2013. “5 Traits that Make Passionate Workers Drivers of Success.” Accessed 26 April, 2016. http://www.refreshleadership.com/index.php/2013/07/5-traits-passionate-workers-drivers-success/

Boyd, Bryan. 2013. “Social Media for the Executive.” Accessed 29 April 2016. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=zSnGQy0rtZwC&pg=PT72&dq=media+connect+with+existing+and+new+media&hl=ko&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=media%20connect%20with%20existing%20and%20new%20media&f=false

Dik, B. & Hansen, J. 2008. Following Passionate Interests to Well-Being. Journal Of Career Assessment, 16(1), 86-100. Accessed 26 April, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1069072707305773

Folkenflik, David. 2016. “Univision’s Ramos Seeks New Audiences On Facebook — And Draws Millions.” Accessed 11 April 2016. http://www.npr.org/2016/02/19/467297584/univision-s-ramos-seeks-new-audiences-on-facebook-and-draws-millions.

Francis, D. and Bessant, J. 2005. ‘Targeting Innovation and Implications for Capability Development’. Technovation 25(3):171-183.

Freakonomics. 2016. “Freakonomics: The Hidden Side of Everything.” Acessed 26 April, 2016. http://freakonomics.com/

Grossman, Lev. 2007. “Invention of the Year: The iPhone”. Accessed 30 April 2016. http://content.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1677329_1678542,00.html

Jenkins, Henry. 2006. “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide”. New York: New York University Press.

Kalish, John. 2010. “Talking Tech and Building an Empire From Podcasts”. Accessed 30 April 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/27/technology/27podcast.html

Krumsvik, A.H. 2012. “Impact of V.A.T. on portfolio strategies of media houses” in Journal of Media Business Studies (9)2: 115-128.

Küng-Shankleman, L. 2000. Inside the BBC and CNN: managing media organizations. London, New York: Routledge.

Milian, Mark. 2010. “Podcaster Leo Laporte, the everywhere man” . Accessed 30 April 2016. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/08/leo-laporte.html

Moyers & Company. 2012. “Jorge Ramos and MarĂ­a Elena Salinas on the Rise of Hispanic America.” Accessed 11 April 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAQooCuass8.

Peña-FernĂĄndez, S., Lazkano-Arrillaga, I., & GarcĂ­a-GonzĂĄlez, D. 2016. “European newspapers’ digital transition: New products and new Audiences/La transiciĂłn digital de los diarios europeos: Nuevos productos y nuevas audiencias.” Comunicar 24 (46): 27-35. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3916/C46-2016-03.

Reese, Stephen D. 2010. “Journalism and Globalization.” Sociology Compass 4: 344-353. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2010.00282.x.

The Australian. 2007. “iPhone rush despite mixed reviews”. Accessed 30 April 2016. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it-old/iphone-rush-despite-mixed-reviews/story-e6frgalx-1111113871271.

The Journal. 2012. “Kate Adie to become jewels of the north patron”. Accessed 30 April 2016. http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/kate-adie-become-jewels-north-4400715

Turow, Joseph. 2009. “A world of blurred media boundaries.” In Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication. New York: Routledge.

van der Wurff, R., & Schönbach, K. 2014. Audience expectations of media accountability in the netherlands.Journalism Studies, 15(2), 121-137. doi:10.1080/1461670X.2013.801679

Vernardakis, Nikos. 2016. Innovation and Technology: Business and Economics Approaches. In “Routledge Advanced Texts in Economics and Finance.” Greece: Routledge.

Yahui, S., & Jian, Z. 2015. Does work passion promote work performance? from the perspective of dualistic model of passion. Advances in Management, 8(2), 9-15. Accessed 26 April, 2016. http://gateway.library.qut.edu.au/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1652186758?accountid=13380

6.1 MULTIMEDIA REFERENCES

ABC News. 2011. “Kate Adie talks to ABC News Breakfast”. Accessed 30 April 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPhGDIfJv1k

MIT CMS/W. 2014. “Convergence Journalism: Emerging Documentary and Multimedia Forms of News”. Accessed 30 April 2016. https://soundcloud.com/mit-cmsw/convergence-journalism

Ramos, Jorge. 2016. “Live on Facebook/En vivo en Facebook.” Accessed 30 April 2016. https://www.facebook.com/jorgeramosnews/videos/516589818527109/

This Week in Tech. 2013. “Triangulation 113: Leo Laporte”. Accessed 30 April 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8sDRclECCQ

The Final Fantasy Soundtrack: A Reflection

The Final Fantasy Soundtrack: A Reflection

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It was my birthday in 1999. My father asked me which game to buy. Then, I only knew Final Fantasy VII by one of the games on the box of my PlayStation. Little did I know that it would be the start of a love affair with a whole game franchise. Being a trained classical pianist, I also took note of the music in Final Fantasy VII. I never paid attention to video game music before, but this game changed it. The emotion, the complexity and the recognisable leitmotifs. That’s a hallmark of the music that Nobuo Uematsu composed for the Final Fantasy series. This is a personal reflection on my favourite video game soundtrack of all time – the Final Fantasy Series.

Visit Engadget Public Access to see the full article.

TV Flashback Friday: Unsolved Mysteries

Picture this. You’re around 7-8 and it’s getting late. A programme comes on the television that has a theme song that gives you chills even in your adulthood. That show for me, and probably many of you was Unsolved Mysteries.

Unsolved Mysteries originally debut on NBC in the US, then moved over to CBS. In Australia, the programme was originally aired on the Seven Network, then moved over to Network Ten. When I was a child, I thought this show was more about the paranormal and ‘scary stuff’. This was a judgement based on the theme song. However, once I re-watched some episodes when I was older, I came to the realisation that the programme covered more than just what I thought was ‘scary stuff’. Even then, it was hard to judge when as a little one. The dark cinematography and Robert’s Stack deep voice gave the impression of something ‘sinister’.  The theme song is the essence of sonic branding. You hear it, you instantly know it’s Unsolved Mysteries. I wish I can download the theme song on iTunes one day.

Let me know some of the television programmes that still give you a fright years later!

#JapanTrip13 Memories: The Story About My Pants

#JapanTrip13 Memories: The Story About My Pants

I was at Shinjuku Station en route to Square Enix’s HQ. It was a wet day so my clothing was a little damp. For the whole time, my shoes were not playing nice with me by untying themselves. As you do, I regularly knelt down and tied them up again. Unfortunately, one of those times, this happened…

WP_20130626_006

My first thought – was I was going to be arrested?! Fortunately I was right next to a taxi rank when this happened. I didn’t have to endure a 30 minute train ride back to the hotel.

Moral of the story: Make sure you pants are dry, and wear proper shoes!

How has Wikileaks changed the future of investigative journalism?

How has Wikileaks changed the future of investigative journalism?

This was originally published on October 23rd, 2015 for an assignment for a university unit. I have moved it to my main blog to streamline subdomains.

It sounds like something out of an action movie. An informant has important documents, wanting to reveal the bad deeds of an organisation. With no-where to turn to, they leak those documents through secret channels while being hunted by the organisation trying to silence them. To the surprise of many, that’s what is happening right now. Since the launch of Wikileaks, high profile document leaks have become regular in the news cycle. In addition, numerous other groups have been leaking confidential documents to the public. Formerly, the leaking of such documents had been an exclusive domain to investigative journalists with high-ranking sources. However, the launch of the internet has made this easier for sources. The question remains – how does Wikileaks, and similar organisations, shape the future of investigative journalism?

Let’s start with the history of Wikileaks. The website was registered in October 2006, but the website was not fully launched until December with the first publication leaked. The website was founded by Australian man Julian Assange, a computer hacker-turned-activist. In an interview with the New Yorker, Assange states that he started WikiLeaks out of his anti-establishment sentiment1. He also told reporters that he wanted to WikiLeaks to set a new standard of journalism – where sources of information should be free for anyone to view1. Since then, WikiLeaks has published a high number of classified documents in to the public eye.

Since then, other sites such as The Intercept, and spinoffs such as OpenLeaks, have provided many mediums for whistleblowers to ‘leak’ documents for the general public – and as such, for news organisations to analyse the contents and the data for newsworthiness. Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) contractor Edward Snowden became infamous for his leaking of private documents revealing spying operations by the National Security Agency2. Snowden has been the subject of an international manhunt to be tried on espionage charges because of the leaks2. Wikileaks has fundamentally changed whistleblowing and investigative journalism. As described before, the ‘old method’ was for journalists to obtain high-ranking anonymous sources to seek information from3. If the story was large enough and in the public interest, then the story would be run. It had a sense of exclusivity for the news organisations involved, and could make or break reputation.

Take for example, the Watergate Scandal of 1971. Tipped off by a report about an apparent bugging of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, DC, Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward started to put pieces together in an apparent corruption scandal involving the then-US President Richard Nixon4. Woodward and Bernstein had to depend on an anonymous FBI source, who leaked to them documents crucial to the reporters’ investigations. Woodward got to know the source through a chance meeting in 19705. As a result of this collaboration and uncovering by the Washington Post, it caused the resignation of Nixon.

How is this different from, and related to Wikileaks? The Washington Post was an established newspaper. The story of the Watergate Scandal was assigned to Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, who then put the story together through leaked documents and coincidental events. Wikileaks, while keeping to this same premise, is fundamentally different. WikiLeaks is not a bonafide news organisation. Julian Assange is not a trained journalist. However, because of the liberalisation of information caused by invention of the internet, Wikileaks can offer more. In addition to Wikileaks in-house journalists writing stories based on the leaked data given to them, they release the raw data and information to the public6. Assange claims that this is so the public can make their own judgement of the news6. The press coverage of the Watergate scandal, while revealing similar confidential documents, did not give the public the actual sources of information for their perusal.

So how much information is being released by Wikileaks to the general public? In a span of five years between 2010 and 2015, Wikileaks has released 798,00011 documents via its website.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 6.26.54 PM

The amount of information released by Wikileaks varies, though the public perception is that Wikileaks releases information en masse. However, one release could contain thousands of documents, and another release could only release one and two. In the infographic above, major releases only happened during these releases:

  • July 2010: Iraq War Logs, a detailed recount of the US operation in Iraq between 2004-2009, as told by then-serving United States Army soldiers14.
  • November 2010: US diplomatic cables, secure messages intended only for communication between embassy and home country15.
  • April 2015: The Sony Archives, intelligence documents released after the hack of Sony Pictures16.
  • June 2015: Diplomatic cables from the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry17.

Of those major releases above, the Iraq War Logs and the US Diplomatic Cables caused controversy and gave Wikileaks its notoriety. The sheer amount of information may be overwhelming to journalists. However, Wikileaks makes the effort to categorise the information and to make information retrieval easier. For journalists around the world, only a fraction of the documents would be newsworthy for their intended audience, based on the judgement of that journalist’s news values. For example, in November 2010, Wikileaks released US diplomatic cables. The Guardian released raw data on the breakdown of the cables, from classification to the subject of the cable.  This is the amount of documents by classification from the 2010 release7.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 6.48.45 PM

Even then, the amount of information by each category is still overwhelming. Is this  sheer amount of information released, and the notion of ‘true freedom of information’ that Wikileaks promotes good for journalists and for journalism itself? Wikileaks can be considered as a double edged sword. There is a general belief that a journalist’s role is to inform the public for their good about issues which would affect them greatly. At the same time, what risk is there to the public if the documents were to be revealed? There is considerable debate amongst the field about the contributions of Wikileaks.

In one camp, there is the argument that WikiLeaks is an evolution of the current practices of information gathering that journalists do. Queensland University of Technology senior journalism lecturer Lee Duffield believes Wikileaks is an extension of that journalists have been doing.

In addition, Cardiff University Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen says while WikiLeaks did challenge the traditional methods of information gathering by journalists, it is regarded by many journalists and communications academics as ‘just another source’8.  Lisa Lynch says Wikileaks, in particular the Cablegate releases, created new networks for journalists to forge in reporting for a world audience18. In addition, Ward says that the information leaked by the website makes the old method of freedom of information requests to governments look “passe”9. Activist and journalist Trevor Timm, through a post via the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that Wikileaks use of technology created “anonymous whistleblower platforms” that promotes government transparency12.

However, the other side of the argument relates to the ethics of using documents sourced from Wikileaks. Mr. Duffield warning journalists to not rush in publishing information from Wikileaks, and to consider issues of trust, confidentiality and national security.

University of Wisconsin’s Stephen J.A. Ward says that Wikileaks still has “work to do” when it comes to the organisation’s accountability9. Ward then lists questions that he would ask Wikileaks, which would include:

  Is there any information that should not be made public?9

  Does Wikileaks agree that some information should be kept secret?9

  Would WikiLeaks publish highly sensitive information like nuclear codes, or information that would risk lives?9

  What is your ‘code of ethics’ in handling such ethical dilemmas?9

A press release by the American Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) says that the “the need for information, and balancing the public’s right to know with protecting national security is exceedingly difficult.10” The Society further states that  even though Wikileaks’ true intentions of releasing classified documents is not clear, the organisation showed responsible and ethical journalism.

Activists and journalist Trevor Timm, through a post via the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that there is a risk for journalists living in the United States to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917, a “World War I relic”12. However, the United States Government has swayed away from prosecuting journalists under this law for fear of violating the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States – the right to free speech and freedom of the press. Yale Constitutional Law professor Jack Balkin even goes further by saying the actions of Wikileaks has made journalists at risk of their jobs and their lives13.

vlcsnap-2015-10-27-16h05m24s478In conclusion, Wikileaks and similar websites with the same goal have made information gathering from government or corporate sources much simpler for journalists. What was once a risky operation to find anonymous sources to leak important information, is now a breeze through the internet. The use of Wikileaks, however, comes down to the journalists’ judgement and news values. One must take every ethical consideration to make sure the information they are publishing from Wikileaks is, most importantly, accurate, but also will not put the general public at risk. On the other hand, Wikileaks is an invaluable tool in the sourcing of information. What was a laborious process in finding anonymous sources for a report has become easy with the mass amount of documents being released by Wikileaks. In the scope of the future of investigative journalism, information gathering may have become similar, but at what cost to freedom of the press? 

WORD COUNT: 1,577 Words

RELATED LINKS:

  1. Wikileaks Main Page – http://www.wikileaks.org
  2. The Guardian’s Visualisation of Wikileaks Data – Iraq War Logs – http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/oct/23/wikileaks-iraq-data-journalism
  3. The Guardian’s Visualisation of Wikileaks Data – US Diplomatic Cables – http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/nov/29/wikileaks-cables-data

REFERENCES

1. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/06/07/no-secrets (accessed 21st October 2015)

2. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-23123964 (accessed 21st October 2015)

3. http://www.spj.org/ethics-papers-anonymity.asp (accessed 21st October 2015)

4. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/watergate/part1.html (accessed 21st October 2015)

5. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/watergate/part4.html (accessed 21st October 2015)

6. https://wikileaks.org/About.html (accessed 21st October 2015)

7. http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/nov/29/wikileaks-cables-data (accessed 21st October 2015)

8. http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/2771 (accessed 22nd October 2015)

9. https://ethics.journalism.wisc.edu/2010/08/24/how-to-reveal-secrets/  (accessed 22nd October 2015)

10. http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/109375/spj-ethical-journalism-prevailed-in-reporting-of-latest-wikileaks-release/ (accessed 22nd October 2015)

11. http://www.wikileaks.org (accessed 22nd October 2015)

12. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/11/cablegate-one-year-later-how-wikileaks-has-influenced-foreign-policy-journalism (accessed 22nd October 2015)

13. http://balkin.blogspot.com.au/2010/12/wikileaks-and-mayflower-hotel.html (accessed 22nd October 2015)

14. https://wikileaks.org/irq/ (accessed 22nd October 2015)

15. https://wikileaks.org/cablegate.html (accessed 22nd October 2015)

16. https://wikileaks.org/saudi-cables/ (accessed 22nd October 2015)

17.  https://wikileaks.org/sony/ (accessed 22nd October 2015)

18. http://www.palgraveconnect.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/pc/doifinder/10.1057/9781137275745.0001 (accessed 27th October 2015)

DATA VISUALISATION REFERENCES

  1. http://www.wikileaks.org (accessed 22nd October 2015)
  2. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AonYZs4MzlZbdEdmOURKSlA5SEtWTWlDaUgtODJWVkE&authkey=CPW5uvsF&hl=en&authkey=CPW5uvsF (accessed 22nd October 2015)

The Voice of the Voiceless: A Profile of Jorge Ramos

(Univision News, 2015)

Jorge Ramos might not be a household name outside of the United States, but to many Americans of Hispanic origin, he has been called the Latino equivalent of Walter Cronkite. He, along with co-anchor Maria Elena Salinas, present the nightly news program Noticiero Univision. As the population of migrants from Latin America rises in the United States, so does their influence in everyday life. Jorge Ramos fosters media globalisation by bringing news from Latin America, and a Latin American perspective to US issues. He also wants to cater to Hispanic youths by presenting information via different forms of media. Ramos performs a fourth estate role by holding to account the relevant US leaders on the issues related to Hispanics, like immigration reform. While influential in the Spanish public sphere, he is still making inroads to be influential in the English public sphere.

BIOGRAPHY

(International Center for Journalists, 2016)
(International Center for Journalists, 2016)

Jorge Gilberto Ramos Ávalos was born on the 16th March 1958 in Mexico City (Ramos, n.d). He was raised in the suburbs of Mexico City in a Catholic family. He studied at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and graduated with a degree in communications (Martinez, 2008). After graduating, he worked for local station XEW-TV Televisa on their investigative journalism program 60 Minutos. However, that career was short-lived after he quit due to rampant government censorship (Martinez, 2008). Not satisfied with how his career stalled, Ramos took a risk and migrated to the United States in 1983. He sold his prized Volkswagen Beetle to finance his migration. He studied the University of California in Los Angeles. In 1984, Ramos was employed at Univision’s Los Angeles station, KMEX-TV (Martinez, 2008). Two years later, he was transferred to their flagship Miami station WLTV (Martinez, 2008). In the same year, Ramos was appointed as news anchor for the flagship network news program Noticiero Univision. He became the youngest person to host a national news program in the United States (Ramos, n.d.), a position he holds to this day.

ANALYSIS RATIONALE
Jorge Ramos stands out from his English-language counterparts because of his strong stance on immigration reform in the United States. It is an unwritten rule that network television journalists of his tenure are impartial. However, Jorge Ramos is not afraid to be an advocate for his point of view. It is his life story and passion for this issue that is the main point of interest in this analysis. As an immigrant myself, I want to pattern my journalistic style to Jorge Ramos. He is seen as the voice of the immigrants, something I want to strive to be as a person of Filipino origin. We share many cultural and historical links with Hispanics, and we also share the same struggles in migrating overseas for work. His courage to bring issues relevant to migrants such as immigration reform only inspire me to do the same thing.

MEDIA CONVERGENCE
For Jorge Ramos, media convergence doesn’t just relate to different form of media, but across cultural and language barriers. During a Moyer & Company (2012) interview, Ramos says their children don’t watch us because they’re more comfortable in English. Ramos also states that young Hispanics are breaking the rules of television because of their differing viewing habits (Aiderton, 2014). This is media fragmentation, or the “increase in the number of mass media and mass media outlets that have taken place during the past two decades (Turow 2009, p. 158)”. To try to cater to young Hispanics, a cable channel and web portal joint venture between Univision and the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) called Fusion was created. Ramos has a programme entitled America with Jorge Ramos on Fusion. He has a strong social media presence and is utilising the latest technologies to get his media across. In addition to his appearances on traditional media, Jorge Ramos constantly sends Twitter messages, posts updates on Facebook in Spanish and English and posts photos on Instagram. He also recently he has started using live-streaming technologies on Facebook (Ramos, 2016) . Ramos also publishes commentary and articles through Fusion’s website (Fusion, 2015). Turow (2009, p. 163) describes this as creating content that can be used and appreciated in different media. However, recent Nielsen ratings suggest that Fusion is still struggling to find its audience (Brooks and Barnes, 2015). While he has all the right tools to cater to young Hispanics, it’s yet to be seen if his effort will be rewarded.

Live at Facebook/ En vivo en Facebook

Posted by Jorge Ramos on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

(Jorge Ramos, 2016) | If video is not viewable in-context, click here to view.

GLOBALISATION
Globalisation is defined by David Held and Anthony McGrew (2002, p. 1) as “the expanding scale, growing magnitude, speeding up and deepening impact of transcontinental flows and patterns of social interaction.” According to the Pew Research Center, the number of migrants from Mexico exponentially rose from under a million people in the 1970s, to over twelve million in 2007 – a span of 37 years (Gonzalez-Barrera, 2015). This affected the demographics of the United States. In 2013, people of Hispanic origin overtook African-Americans as the largest minority in the US (United States Census Bureau, 2014). In addition, Spanish has become the most-spoken non-English language, with 37 million native speakers (Lopez and Gonzales-Berrera, 2013). Globalisation in the United States is not just exporting American culture, but also the rising influence of Hispanics in everyday America.

With this shift, the media landscape of the United States has also changed. Reese (2010, p. 344) says how globalisation can support new forms of journalism, which “create politically significant news spaces within social systems, lead to social change, and privilege certain forms of power”. Jorge Ramos was at the ‘right place at the right time’. He became the primary anchor to Univision’s news during the early tail of the migration trend in 1984 (Martinez, 2008), thus building a relationship with his community through showing Latin American news to his migrant audience (Martin, 2001). Ramos aims to do the same thing with next-generation Hispanics who speak English (Moyers & Company, 2012). On his Fusion show America with Jorge Ramos, he justifies this:

CONTRIBUTION TO THE FOURTH ESTATE
The Fourth Estate is an obligation by the press to “force governments and corporations at least to consider the public response to their actions (Hampton, 2009)”. Jorge Ramos is not intimidated to ask the questions on Hispanic issues to various US leaders. In an interview for the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, Ramos says that he has a responsibility as a journalist to speak for those who “do not have a voice” – undocumented migrants (Nieblas and Moreno, 2006). During the 2008 US Presidential Election, Jorge Ramos interviewed presidential candidates. On this platform, Barack Obama outlined his immigration reform policy, such as a path to legalising immigrant workers (Carter et al, 2008). This made him popular with the Hispanic vote (Pew Research Center, 2008). However, once Obama was elected, his administration oversaw the highest number of deportations in 20 years (Reuters, 2015) and caused an upset in the Hispanic community. Ramos brought this to the attention to President Obama in an interview last year (Univision Noticias, 2015), thus providing a check and balance in Hampton’s (2009) definition. Ramos also interviews various Latin American leaders (Ramos, n.d.) to provide a check and balance for expatriate diaspora who fled their country due to extenuating circumstances (Finnegan, 2015).


Jorge Ramos confronting Barack Obama on immigration reform in 2012. (Univision News, 2012)


Jorge Ramos questioning Barack Obama on immigration reform again in 2014. (Fusion, 2014)

INFLUENCE IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE
Garcia-Rios (2015) says that Jorge Ramos’ influence is so strong, it can make or break a presidential campaign – the “Jorge Ramos effect”. He actively encourages his community to vote (Garcia-Rios, 2015). As a result, according to the Pew Research Center (2012), an increasing number of Latinos voted for every elected US President since 1980. However, despite the amount of work by Ramos & Univision, it still remains a back-burner issue in English public forum (Amaya 2013, 70). The public sphere is the forum to debate and challenge issues (Calcutt and Hammond, 2011). Amaya (2013, 70) argues there is a cultural and linguistic difference between the Latino public sphere and the English “mainstream” public sphere. This disconnect can be contributed to the issue of immigration reform failing in the English public sphere. It could be argued Ramos’ efforts in the Hispanic public sphere is a case of “preaching to the converted.” Amaya (2013, p. 86) argues that the US media system is “dominated by capitalist and corporate concerns” and thus hampered the debate on immigration reform and Spanish language media being marginalised (Amaya 2013, p. 87). While Fusion is a step in the right direction in terms of increasing awareness amongst the English-language media, Ramos still has a long way to go to bring it to the forefront.


Jorge Ramos talking to WNYC New York Public Radio’s Brian Lehrer about the Republican and Democratic stances on immigration reform. (Fast Forward to 4:10) (Brian Lehrer, 2012)

CONCLUSION
Jorge Ramos is constantly evolving to the changes in the Latino demographic. While Ramos has become the most influential person in the Hispanic community (Martin, 2001) and helped influence election votes amongst Hispanics, his shift to English-language media has been a difficult road. The result of his use of social media and digital platforms to target young Hispanics is yet to be seen. As immigration reform is a hotly contested issue in recent presidential elections, young Hispanics could change the path for their community. Fusion, while being an excellent platform to reach Hispanic millennials, is not performing to expectations (Brooks and Barnes, 2015). Jorge Ramos, like in 1984, has all the resources at his feet to influence a new generation of Hispanics. Ramos can only hope that his message is reaching Hispanic millennials.

ACADEMIC REFERENCES
Aiderton, Matt. 2014. “Anchor and Activist: Jorge Ramos Uncensored.” Accessed 28 March 2016. http://hispanicexecutive.com/2014/jorge-ramos/

Amaya, Hector. 2013. “Nativism and the 2006 Pro-Immigration Reform Rallies.” In Citizenship Excess: Latino/as, Media and the Nation, 68-94. New York: NYU Press. Accessed 27 March 2015. http://QUT.eblib.com.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1182800.

Barnes, Brooks and Ravi Somaiya. 2015. “Fusion Media Aims at Millennials, but Struggles to Find Its Identity.” Accessed 28 March 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/25/business/media/fusion-media-aims-at-millennials-but-struggles-to-find-its-identity.html

Calcutt, Andrew and Phillip Hammond. 2011. “The Fragmenting Public.” In Journalism Studies: A Critcal Introduction, 149-168. Hoboken: Routledge.

Carter, Shan, Johnathan Ellis, Farhana Hossain and Alan McLean. 2008. “On the Issues: Immigration.” Accessed 28 March 2016. http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/issues/immigration.html

Flew, Terry. 2007. “Globalization and Global Media Corporations.” In Understanding Global Media, 66-97. Houndmill, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Accessed 26 March 2015. https://blackboard.qut.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-6245249-dt-content-rid-5794256_1/xid-5794256_1.

Finnegan, William. 2015. “The Man Who Wouldn’t Sit Down.” Accessed 30 March 2016. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/10/05/the-man-who-wouldnt-sit-down

Fusion Awards. 2013. “America with Jorge Ramos: Series Premiere.” Accessed 13 March 2016. YouTube video, posted February 7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fykbNCbx7sE.

Garcia-Rios, Sergio. 2015. “Donald Trump and the Jorge Ramos effect.” Accessed 26 March 2016. http://time.com/4013713/donald-trump-and-the-jorge-ramos-effect/.

Gonzales-Barrera, Ana. 2015. “More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S.” Accessed 28 March 2016. http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/11/19/more-mexicans-leaving-than-coming-to-the-u-s/

Gonzales-Barrera, Ana and Mark Hugo Lopez. 2013. “What is the future of Spanish in the United States?” Accessed 28 March 2016. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/05/what-is-the-future-of-spanish-in-the-united-states/.

Hampton, Mark. 2009. “The fourth estate ideal in journalism history.” In The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism, edited by Stewart Allen, 3-12. Hoboken: Routledge.

Held, David and Anthony McGrew. 2007. “Introduction : current controversies about the demise of globalization”. In Globalization/anti-globalization : beyond the great divide. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

Lopez, Mark Hugo and Paul Taylor. 2012. “Latino Voters in the 2012 Election.” Last modified 13 March 2016. http://www.pewhispanic.org/2012/11/07/latino-voters-in-the-2012-election/.

Martin, Lydia. 2001. “Jorge Ramos Making News.” Hispanic 14 (1/2): 62-66. Accessed 13 March 2016. http://search.proquest.com/docview/237009732?accountid=13380.

Martinez, Laura. 2008. “Jorge Ramos: Newsman of the Americas.” Accessed 13 March 2016. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/news-articles/jorge-ramos-newsman-americas/74367.

Moyers & Company. 2012. “Jorge Ramos and MarĂ­a Elena Salinas on the Rise of Hispanic America.” Accessed 13 March 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAQooCuass8.

Nieblas, Nelly G. and Celina Moreno. 2006. “Twenty Years of Journalistic Justice: Interview with Univision Anchorman Jorge Ramos.” Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy 19 (1): 17-24. Accessed 13 March 2016. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.91.9666&rep=rep1&type=pdf. doi: 10.1.1.91.9666.

Pew Research Center. 2008. “Inside Obama’s Sweeping Victory.” Accessed 28 March 2016. http://www.pewresearch.org/2008/11/05/inside-obamas-sweeping-victory/.

Ramos, Jorge. n.d. “Jorge Ramos: Biography.” Accessed 13 March 2016. http://jorgeramos.com/en/biography/.

Ramos, Jorge. 2016. “Live on Facebook/En vivo en Facebook.” Accessed 30 March 2016. https://www.facebook.com/jorgeramosnews/videos/516589818527109/

Reese, Stephen D. 2010. “Journalism and Globalization.” Sociology Compass 4: 344-353. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2010.00282.x.

Turow, Joseph. 2009. “A world of blurred media boundaries.” In Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication. New York: Routledge.

United States Census Bureau. 2014. “Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month 2014: Sept. 15–Oct. 15.” Accessed 28 March 2016. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2014/cb14-ff22.html.

Weprin, Alex. 2012. “Jorge Ramos: ‘the Walter Cronkite of Hispanic news’.” Accessed 13 March 2016. http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/jorge-ramos-the-walter-cronkite-of-hispanic-news/130938.

MULTIMEDIA REFERENCES

Fusion. 2014. “President Obama spars with Jorge Ramos on Immigration.” Accessed 30 March 2016. YouTube video, posted December 9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO3BdYMCXzg

Fusion Awards. 2013. “America with Jorge Ramos: Series Premiere.” Accessed 13 March 2016. YouTube video, posted February 7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fykbNCbx7sE.

International Center for Journalists. 2016. “Picture of Jorge Ramos.” Accessed 2 April 2016. http://www.icfj.org/jorge-ramos

Lehrer, Brian. 2012. “Univision’s Jorge Ramos on ‘La Promesa de Obama’.” Accessed 30 March 2016. https://soundcloud.com/brian-lehrer-show/univisions-jorge-ramos-on-la

Ramos, Jorge. 2016. “Live on Facebook/En vivo en Facebook.” Accessed 30 March 2016. https://www.facebook.com/jorgeramosnews/videos/516589818527109/

Univision Noticias. 2012. “Meet the candidates with Barack Obama — You did not keep your promise.” Accessed 30 March 2016. YouTube video, posted September 20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEy8b_ER_O8

Univision Noticias. 2015. “Jorge Ramos, uno de los mĂĄs influyentes de Estados Unidos.” Accessed 28 March 2016. YouTube video, posted April 16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLev5-C712s

#NZTrip15 – The Full Roundup

#NZTrip15 – The Full Roundup

Sure, it’s 4 months after the fact but I’ve finally written up a synopsis for my trip!

First day in Auckland was spent going to Auckland Skytower. It has two observation decks – one at 186m and another one at 220m. The city looks great from all angles. You can see Rangitoto Island, the North Shore, and the vast Auckland motorway system from above. I then moved on to the Auckland Hop-on Hop-off tour bus. It’s the best way to see Auckland! The driver/guides are friendly and I was able to max out a whole day just by staying on the bus, or in some cases, choose to hop-off and explore.  The highlight of this was climbing up Mount Eden/Maungawhau. The climb is steep but once you reach the top, the view is breathtaking!

Auckland Panorama from Maungawhau/Mount Eden

The first half of my second day was spent at Waiheke Island. My best friend recommended this to me, and it did not disappoint! Who knew that a ‘slice of heaven’ was right on Auckland’s doorstep? It reminds me of Redcliffe or Mackay back here in Australia. Fullers have a quick tour bus that shows you the whole island in roughly 3 hours. Highly recommend this! The second half was spent at Mission Bay. It has a Wynnum kind of vibe to it, but was pleasant.

The third day was spent exploring the Museum of Transport and Technology. It’s a great way of exploring New Zealand’s transport and technological history. This was followed by a visit to the Auckland Museum. I got to learn so much about Maori culture and history through the trip to the museum. I would love to experience that more in another trip to New Zealand in the future.

It’s hard to explain what I saw in Auckland, so I embedded my photo slideshow at the top of this post. If you’re considering visiting Auckland and New Zealand one day, do it! If you’re an Aussie, like me, New Zealand is great holiday destination as it’s not too expensive and is only a 3 hour flight from the East Coast.