A Reflection.

What have you learned this term?

This has been my first term of university, and wow, I couldn’t have thought of a better class to take than Media Writing. It has taught (or re-taught) me the basics that I have quickly forgotten since high school.
What did you find most beneficial about the course?

The text English For Journalists has been the most valuable text book I think I have ever purchased. It not only covers the fundamentals of grammar and spelling, but it does so in a way that is engaging. The most valuable part of the course for me would be reading through the text book, and being able to apply what I have read to my work.


What was most challenging?

The biggest challenge that I faced was proofreading my work. I know that I have made many little mistakes throughout the term. Having the buddy system in place, where other students proofread your work and comment, was really helpful.
Has the course changed the way you practice or think about media writing? How/why not?

I believe I have come a long way since the start of the term. The text book English for Journalists will definitely have a permanent position on my desk, so I can easily refer to it. The course has definitely changed the way I think about media writing. Now when I read an article online I am able to apply what I have learnt during this course and ‘critique’ the article.


Inquiry: Week 11

What are the problems with the article? 

The structure of the news article is repetitive and clearly out-of-order. Throughout the article it is evident that the article may have been updated, but with no time stamps it is hard to tell.

Does it meet the guidelines for reporting self-harm? 

Mind Frame says ‘the media has an important role to play in shaping and reinforcing social attitudes towards, and perceptions of, suicide and mental illness.’

It is recommended that pages should limit promo on of public memorials, including online memorial pages. Because inadvertently pages should not reinforce suicide as a desired outcome for people at risk of suicide.

Reporters should try and reduce the prominence of the story. This is based on research suggesting stories of self-harm attract the attention of people vulnerable to act in the same way, increasing their risk of attempts.


I believe that the article has met the guidelines for reporting self-harm.



Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists: twentieth anniversary edition, Routledge, Oxon.

Mindframe National Media Initiative 2014, Reporting suicide: a quick guide for the media, viewed 21 September 2016, 

Inquiry: Review a Newsletter

The Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) publishes their newsletters quarterly. The newsletter reports on a multitude of events and news that the CSG covers. Presented in a two column layout with the information spread over 32 pages.

The following stories are included in the newsletter:

  • Patrons – Acknowledging donors, supporters and contributors
  • Editorial – written by Professor Grahame Webb, CSG Chairman.
  • News Article – recognising three students that have received funding
  • Minutes – of CSG Steering Committee Meeting, Skukuza, 22 May 2016
  • Feature Article – Working meeting in Skukuza, South Africa, 23-26 May 2016
  • Reports – For Venezuela, Colombia, USA and Germany
  • Science – recent publications

  • Steering Committee of the Crocodile Specialist Group – listing members of the group

How do these target the organisation’s audience?

The CSG Newsletter is produced and distributed by the Crocodile Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

The Newsletter starts out with an editorial written by the CSG chairman, he talks about well known members of the CSG. The newsletter states that “the Newsletter is distributed to CSG members and to other interested individuals and organisations.”

If you were a science journalist, is there anything you may be interested in following up as a story, and why?

The recent science publications and the Reports for the individual countries would be interesting to follow up.

What do you think is effective or otherwise about this newsletter?

The Newsletter is extremely long, Whittaker, Ramsey and Smith say that “articles are often between 300 and 500 words”. It is clear that the CSG doesn’t follow this structure.

“The CSG Newsletter provides information on the conservation, status, news and current events concerning crocodilians, and on the activities of the CSG.” This wholeheartedly relates to the target audience, which is very important for a publication like a newsletter.

“Effective newsletters focus on benefit to readers, and its contents are best determined by the interest of readers.”



[image]IUCN 2016, ‘Crocodile specialist group’, Newsletter, vol. 35, no. 2, April 2016 – June 2016, viewed 20th September2016,

IUCN 2016, ‘Crocodile specialist group’, Newsletter, vol. 35, no. 2, April 2016 – June 2016, viewed 20 September 2016,

Whitaker, W, Ramsey, J & Smith, R  2012, Media writing: Print, broadcast, and public relations, 4th edn, Routledge,  New York, NY


Inquiry: Chapter 11 of Media Writing.

Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith (2012, p.229) says “Writing copy for radio and television news and for organisational broadcast media used in public relations is both more difficult than it seems and easier than it looks”.

Broadcast copy is written for the ear not the eye. Which means the listener or viewer must absorb the information as it is presented, or they will miss the story.

What are the key differences between writing for broadcast and print- based media?

  • Radio and TV stories are designed to be spoken over the air, opposed to print media is to be read. The listener does not have the opportunity to return to something that was missed.
  • Tight writing is a must. Learn to write to length. The writing is presented in a tight time frame opposed to print copy able to be read at leisure.
  • “Write as you speak”, write conversationally and explain complex events in understandable language.
  • Complex or obscure words are written with pronouncers in brackets, so the reader can pronounce the words properly.
  • Rule of 20. Each syllable in a sentence may run and still be easily understood. However not every sentence should be the same length.



Whitaker, W, Ramsey, J & Smith, R  2012, Media writing: Print, broadcast, and public relations, 4th edn, Routledge,  New York, NY.


Inquiry: Review of Instagram.


What is Instagram?

Instagram is social networking app that allows users to share photo’s and videos. Users can share these photo’s/videos privately (only followers can see them) or publicly (everyone can see them). The app allows users to place a filter over a photo, or video and write a caption under the photo/video for followers to read. Instagram also lets users post to other social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flicker.

Who uses Instagram?

Instagram has a wide demographic, ranging from primary school students, to retired ‘old folk’. Below is a diagram from the website Sprout Social, a website that helps businesses with their social networking.

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As you can see the majority of users are aged 18-29. And the minority 65+ only make up 6% of users.

How do I use it personally?

I use Instagram on a day to day basis, it is part of my routine. In saying that I don’t post everyday but I definitely would spend 20-30mins scrolling through my newsfeed. The Instagram’s that I follow are generally either my friends, food or snowboarding related. I do follow some celebrities and clothing brands too.

How could I use it professionally?

When I open my own cafe/restaurant I will definitely use Instagram along with Facebook to promote my business. I think that social media is such a great way to interact with customers, and it is free!



Sprout Social 2015, Social Media Demographics to Inform a Better Segmentation Strategy, viewed 15 August 2016,


Inquiry: Find a short media story that interests you. Reflect on the way it is written.

Australia’s oldest Olympian, Forbes Carlile has passed away. He was the only person to coach an olympic team then go on to compete in later years.

The lead sentence: 

Australia’s oldest Olympian, Forbes Carlile, has died aged 95 after a short battle with illness.

The 5 Ws and H of the lead sentence are:
Who – Forbes Carlile
What – Passed away
When – Recently
Where – Australia
Why – Due to illness
How – Due to illness

With the upcoming Olympics I found it interesting that the oldest Australian Olympian/Coach has passed away.

Legendary Australian Olympic swim coach Forbes Carlile dies aged 95



9 2016, ‘Legendary Australian Olympic swim coach Forbes Carlile dies aged 95’, 9News, 02 August, viewed 02 August 2016,


Inquiry: Review the top Twitter trends on a particular day. Investigate some of the stories and tweets, and reflect on this on your blog.

After creating my twitter account in less than five minutes it was ready to roll! On the left hand side there is a tab labelled Australia Trends (you can change it to whatever you want), it shows you eleven trends and how long they have been trending for:

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top ten trends on 26/7/2016

I chose to look further into #justdoit and #KyShadow. Nike have currently released a new advertisement called Unlimited Future. It appears that the babies with names like Serena Williams and Lebron James, are receiving a sort of locker-room speech about success. However the ad has seemed to have a little bit of controversy about child labor and sweat shops, here are some tweets in retaliation to the advertisement:

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#KyShadow is just a bit of ‘soft’ news so to say. The infamous Kylie Jenner has announced that her eye-shadow kit is to be released later today. Of course her fans are very excited:

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There isn’t much of a relationship between the tweets that I have chosen and our local media. However, both tweets have only just been ‘released’ so to say. We might see more of them yet!

Surprisingly (or not) there has been a lot of hype over the Unlimited Future ad, being so close to the Olympics this is probably expected. As for Kylie Jenner and the release of her eyeshadow there has been multiple articles released on sites such as buzzfeed, teenvogue and eonline.


The Nike ad is definitely promoting the Rio Olympics, however it is having a negative impact on the reputation that Nike uses child labour and sweat shops:

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