Define: Technophobe

Technophobe – noun. Someone who doesn’t want their news from the Internet. 

All my grandfather wanted from the finance segment of the news was to see how the All Ordinaries were doing. Yet a few hours earlier he was proudly showing me how to check the stock market on his brand new iPhone 5. And that got me thinking. Despite the emphasis we’ve been placing on online journalism and the future of the industry, I think how my grandfather operates gives some insight into why some people stick to their televisions sets and newspapers instead of going online to receive their news. In fact, instead of paying for a subscription to get through the Courier Mail’s paywall when our newspaper subscription ran out, they still go out and buy a paper. Every. Day.

I can think of two reasons for this. Either people don’t like technology or they just don’t get it.

Well it’s easy to say my 74 year old grandfather doesn’t get technology and the potential to have up-to-date news on whatever you want immediately (within reason of course), because it’s kind of true. He has the capability and he is aware of the instantaneousness of it all it may be he just trusts the invariably bald finance presenter a little more than his phone, not understanding how it can be right.

On the flipside of the coin is my mother, who can’t go without her morning paper. Whoever’s up first heads down to the quaint corner shop to pick up the day’s paper. And that’s just the way they like it. My father is much the same in his love for the printed ink. I tried talking them into getting the past the paywall and their response was simply that they liked reading their news in the paper.

So while online news is the go-to place for a younger or a more tech-savvy person, other people tend to be more rooted in their ways. While my family isn’t really a representation of how people consume media, if they’re the way they are about news there might other people. And quite a few people do, if you believe Mashable. It’s falling, but in order for online to completely overcome more traditional means, they may need to do more to target the people who aren’t really looking for an online source for their news.

My point is, online is somewhere that I can’t see news completely transferring over too. But I may just be saying that because I want a job in TV news.


Zombie Attack Leaves Students Stunned

Today, terror gripped the students of this morning’s QUT Online Journalism 1 lecture as they found themselves facing a shamble of zombies.

A traumatised first-hand account.

The Zombies took off with the Journalism lecturer Susan Hetherington as terrified students looked on. She is still missing and presumed turned or eaten.

A hubcap torn off in the mindless destruction.

A hubcap torn off in the mindless destruction.

A student who cannot be named was almost attacked by the undead, staving off the decomposing horrors with a simple but powerful phrase, “Don’t smell me.”


Ms Hetherington will be remembered by friends and family in the coming days in a private ceremony. It will not be an open casket.

Racing Queensland crackdown on drenching with i-Stat

Mounting pressures on Racing Queensland have caused the executives to step up the controls in place keep illegal practices out of stables, announced earlier this week at Eagle Farm racecourse.

One of the biggest issues is the practice of drenching on race day, which will be combatted with random inspections of stables with the help of a newly acquired technology.

The machine used by RQ

CEO Racing Queensland Darren Condon said the planned racing crackdown is a result of the State Government pressuring the industry to clean up its act.

“[This is] a new initiative of Racing Queensland as part of the mandate of the new government, that our integrity unit of the business would grow and be more focused on eliminating unfair practices and illegal practices in racing,” he said.

Queensland racing authorities say they will carry out spot checks on horses, stables and trainers in an effort to reduce illegal activities on race day; the aim is to level the playing field for all involved.

Racing Queensland Chairman of Stewards Wade Birch said, “We’ve now got to work towards eliminating any other opportunities for participants to gain an unfair advantage over their fellow participants.”

Drenching is when administrating bi-carbonate directly to a horse’s stomach with a pipe inserted through the nose artificially increases a horse’s blood-oxygen levels.

This insures all the bi-carbonate is absorbed by the horse, making it run faster for longer.

The entrance to Eagle Farm

Authorities plan to monitor illegal drenching using their new i-Stat machine.

The machine tests a horse’s blood and can tell if the bi-carbonate level is above the legal limit.

Inspectors will also monitor medical records and other suspect practices in racing stables.

The racing industry is one of Queensland’s largest and concerned members have welcomed the crackdown. Veteran horse trainer John Meagher is one of those in favour of the new steps taken.

“Its the third biggest employer of people across the board,” he said.

“It has its place.

“People who are cheating, I have no time for them.”

Racing Queensland has dealt with two serious suspensions and at least 20 minor breaches since the scheme began last month. They also have said the average bi-carbonate level in horses in Queensland have lowered sharply since the scheme began.

And if you were wondering where Eagle Farm is located:

Define: “Social Media, Redux”

Redux – noun. Recycling a topic because I wrote a slightly relevant column for it in Feature Writing. Wouldn’t you?

I’m a big fan of social media. Judging by how much of my day I spend checking Facebook or Instagram for the latest scoop on just what my friends are doing, I could even be considered an addict. Snapchat is also a driving force behind my social media consumption. Who doesn’t want to endlessly spam their friends with pointless photos of your lunch, shoes or even study you’re desperately trying to avoid by roping some poor shmuck into a Snapchat conversation that spans hours? Maybe even posting a witty or widely appealing status on Facebook to watch the likes and gratifying comments roll in? Just me? Okay then.

As it turns out, the prevailing attitude regarding the recent phenomenon that is social media isn’t all that pleasant. Granted I get this general impression from a quick Google search where I literally searched “social media is making us less social.” This is an entirely different story on its own, with research pointing toward the fact that we remember and learn things entirely different because of the ease of access that comes with the advent of Google and other search engines. I digress though, if you want to learn more about it, you should Google it.

An article by the website was the first result in my Google search (which took no more than 0.25 seconds), and their stance on the subject of social media is a negative one. Paul Hudson over at Elite Daily seems to think that the miasmic effect that social media has on social behaviour doesn’t come from the technology itself, but from the need for constant stimulation and relief from boredom desired by humanity as a whole. In fact, in the time I’ve been writing this article I’ve checked Facebook no less than three times. Make that four.

The constant checking my phone for news on the activities of my friends can be attributed to one of the countless mantras of the social media generation which was brutally cut down to an acronym, FOMO. FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. If you’re scared of heights, you’d avoid ledges. If you’re scared of spiders, you squash them (or run away screaming, but I don’t judge). To squash the proverbial spider of FOMO, sufferers keep their three-to-five-inch screens inches away from their faces as frequently as possible.

A website who I thought would be more favourable toward the use of social media,, posted an article last year asking the same question I am, “is social media is making us less social?” While the author, Stephen Dale, set out a few good arguments and statistics, he eventually took the “social media is indeed making us less social, wake up sheeple” approach (NB: I may be paraphrasing here). If anything, I think my social media-driven FOMO makes me more social. But that’s just me.

Going back to a point I made earlier, for some people Facebook (and similarly, Twitter and Instagram) can be a fantastic source of gratification. Comedian Marc Maron articulated this really well on his podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. Maron likens the obsession of the world at large with social media to a seven-year-old child crying out for acknowledgement. A webcomic called Zen Pencils took Maron’s words on the subject and visually represented the phenomenon as similar to the way a heroin user gets a hit.

Despite all this, I’ll remain a faithful user of social media. It keeps my FOMO pressed down and keeps me in touch with people I wouldn’t generally be social with. It makes me more social, but I’ve never been one to check my phone at the dinner table.

Define: “Employment Anxiety”

Employment Anxiety – noun. Anxious feelings toward the prospect of leaving Uni and getting a job.


I’ve run out of ideas. Sort of. Well, interesting ideas. So that is why for this blog post I want to talk about one of the things running around my head.

And that is my latest made up term, “Employment Anxiety.”

Some, if not most, if not all university students will at some time feel this. It’s not really made up I suppose. I may have made that part up.

In any event, I’m getting near the back end of my university career. Then I get to start my career career. If I can get a job. Which is a pretty terrifying concept. So where am I going with this? Well in journalism getting a job seems more like an insurmountable task than something to look forward to.

I feel this way generally because we keep being told that journalism is competitive business. Like I said in my first blog post, one of the first things we were taught were to blog consistently to keep our readership up and increase the odds that we’d be selected for a job doing what we’ve spent a minimum of 3 years working to achieve.

With ominous threats of downsizing and shrinking news rooms, lecturers don’t really fill us students with confidence. Of course this isn’t just some negative noise we’re exposed to, these things really are happening.

It’s concerning enough that when I hear about another journalism student say they’re not sure what they’ll be doing when they finish Uni or say they’d rather do something else on completion I have a little moment of internal victory.

Employment Anxiety is also affecting what I put on this blog. If I wanted to write a scathing report on the state of the Murdoch media, would that hurt my chance of getting a job later on? This is all providing someone is actually listening.

So there you have it. Witty outro.

Hey look, another exercise!

This is practice for an exam I’ll be doing next week. Yikes.


With the impending election rapidly approaching and Kevid Rudd and the Labor Party’s heads all on a chopping block, he stands ready to launch his campaign to keep the Parliment in Labor hands. By all accounts a Labor victory isn’t a sure thing, so what the Prime Minister says now could have a lasting impact on the election. Live from the Brisbane Powerhouse and Convention Centre.

3:13 Kevin Rudd welcomes the audience, denies that Labor is done, “If you say the fight is up, you haven’t seen nothing yet.” “we can prevail and we will prevail.” ” A fair go for all.”

3:15 KRudd lists the acoplishments of the Labor Party, Whitlam to Gillard. Labor believes in progressive politics. They build up services,  conservatives tear them down.

3:17 KRudd admits Labor makes mistakes. “Those who make mistakes are those who have never done anything in life.” According to Rudd this is how they move forward.

3:18 Rudd wants to live in an Australia where people don’t fear losing their jobs, considering his position – not surprisning.

3:19 New industries to drive the economy in Australia. Better broadband, schooling and health are what Rudd wants to bring to Australia.

3:20 Rudd and Labor want Australia to be free of descrimination; racial, homophobia.

Define: “Citizen Journalism”

Citizen Journalism – noun. Something I know little about and am still writing a blog post about anyway.

In the last post I made I said Citizen Journalism would be a post for another week. Well it’s this week.

Citizen journalism is pretty much that – citizens doing just what a trained journalist would do. So if I turned this blog into a platform for me to report on things I see in my local area (which would be nothing) or issues of national importance.

If you’ve read some of my other posts, it could be deducted that I’m quite opinionated. And if for whatever reason I would gain a large following and have the voice to preach my particularly left-leaning brand of journalism to whoever would listen, you’d be getting just that – journalism that is pretty biased and not that good.

Not that all journalists and news outlets are paragons of truth and justice, which is fair evident with the past few weeks of the Courier Mail (and other papers) routinely bashing Kevin Rudd over seemingly minute details.

This image was shamelessly taken from reddit user dominoconsultant.

So if I had my inexhaustible and blindly loyal followers, I’d be able to (mis)inform them on a mass scale, largely because 1) I have little to no accountability and 2) I’m only two thirds of my way through my journalism course, with not much experience in how journalists and other professionals actually work and deliver news (future employers: we’re getting to that part. Honest.)

And that of course is my biased and slightly left-leaning view on the whole scenario. I think that citizen journalism is kinda bad.

It’s not all bad though. People are given a voice and have the opportunity to participate more in the news media and keep professionals on their toes, in terms of accuracy and speed. Because journalists can’t be everywhere, people with smart phones can also help out with breaking news stories that may have gone unnoticed otherwise.

I’m going to include a few links on where I read up on this, so if this blog post seems ill informed I can shift the blame to others. 

The University of North Carolina

Social Media Today 

Hey, this is a exercise for one of our tutes



A TEEN who allegedly rammed three police vehicles while leading officers on a two-hour chase through south east Queensland has been denied bail.
The 16-year-old Stockleigh boy, who is facing 15 charges, applied for bail in Southport Magistrates Court today after handing himself in to Coomera Police Station yesterday.
Police will allege he reached speeds of up to 140km h during a two-hour chase that started at Warwick at 10.30am on Sunday when officers sighted a vehicle wanted for an earlier evade police incident.
The teen allegedly rammed a police car at about 11.30am while avoiding tyre spikes set up on the Cunningham Highway at Willowbank.

Police said the youth allegedly drove along Beaudesert-Boonah Rd to Bromelton. He  allegedly drove at an officer and rammed two police cars at 12.10pm when he avoided road spikes on Waste Facility Road at Bromelton.
Police will allege he then abandoned the vehicle on Kurragong Drive at Jimboomba.
Duty lawyer Bridget Patchell told the court the teen had gone off the rails this year after his family situation at home deteriorated.
He had been living with his father after the relationship breakdown but recently moved to live with his mother.
Ms Patchell said all his possessions were left at his father’s house and he was driving to get them on Sunday when the incidents happened.
“It was a situation that just blew out of proportion,” said Ms Patchell.
The teen’s parents were visibly distressed in court when Magistrate Catherine Pirie denied him bail until a bail plan, including counselling and employment, was drawn up by Youth Justice Services.
He was remanded in custody and will reappear in Southport Magistrates Court on Friday.

Define: “Social Media”

Social Media – noun. The term given to the time wasting devices to end all time wasting devices.

“I was told there wouldn’t be reptiles.”

Here I sit, doubled over with laughter after watching Karl Stefanovic get freaked out by a fake spider which is – in fact – not a reptile.

Although I need to make my blog post for the week, I find myself stuck in a never-ending spiral of Karl Stefanovic and Arnold Schwarzenegger videos. Despite being hailed as one of the greatest things to happen to journalism (or so QUTOJ1’s unit co-ordinator Susan would lead you to believe) social media has plenty of practical applications, almost none of which I use. Instead, I prefer to use social media to waste time on pointless videos of Arnie making terrible puns (strong language by the way) .

While I am guilty of being a serial procrastinator, one saving grace I have is that my Twitter feed is filled with politicians and journalistsposting about genuinely important things. Even though I check Twitter much less often than Facebook or Instagram or even Snapchat, it counts for something right?

With the Federal Election campaign currently running, politicians using Twitter an other forms of social media are at an all-time high. Some attribute this trend (at least here in Australia) to the Kevin 07 campaign which grabbed hold of social media with both hands, which came with old Kevin “Fair Shake of the Sauce Bottle” Rudd being a bit of a nerd.

So with the veritable pre-election battleground being shifted to the social media front like a particularly boring and prophetic sci-fi novel from ‘50s, we’re now seeing a rise in a form of audience participation in leadership debates (like the one held last night) like we’ve never seen before. Sure The Worm has been a thing for a while, but the use of twitter to determine the public’s reaction is practically unheard of. The ABC did up this handy graph which shows Australia reacted to the big issues in the debate. Not how, but how much.

This brings me to The Big Problem with social media. Quantity =/= Quality. For every informed voter making a tweet about the debate, there could be at least another two armchair socialists commenting on how Tony Abbott’s smile doesn’t reach his eyes or two Liberal fanatics that are tweeting: “is it just me or is Kev’s face totally punchable LOL #auspol.”

And let’s not even get into bloggers turned journalists, which as far as I’m concerned can be a blog for another week.

So that’s another blog post in the books.

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Define: “Blogging Guilt”

Blogging Guilt – noun. The feeling of guilt caused by not constantly updating a blog.

I don’t know what to blog about. But here I am, trying to make something out of the nothing that resides between my ears.

Aside from that, if I wasn’t required to blog by this class (being Online Journalism 1, check out the hashtag) then I’d probably still be sitting here at my desk, wondering just what I should write a blog about.

I have blogging guilt.

I’m not entirely sure that’s a thing. There are quite a few things about blogging I don’t understand, so I wouldn’t be completely surprised if I made that term up.

In any event, the source of the guilt I’ve been feeling came from the week two guest lecturer we had for Online Journalism 1. Nikki Parkinson from the Styling You fashion blog dropped by to have a chat. And it so seems that with the widespread adoption of social media by the world at large and not just the geeks and college kids, journalists as professionals need to adopt the ever-changing medium in the fight to stay relevant.

They say that news has to be new and that’s not really news to anyone.

Something your average Joe Blow wouldn’t know is that blogging is a part of social media and is a different way to interact with people over the web. It can also be a solid base for a journalist to build a career on. Don’t take my word for it, Nikki’s done that herself, just ask her.

So that is where I start to feel guilty. If I can use a blog to build a folio that could help me land a job somewhere down the line, why aren’t I doing it? With more and more jobs calling for people who are social media savvy, could not owning and updating a blog be detrimental to my chances of landing a job as a journalist of the future? Hell, if said blog gained enough of a following I could end up monetising my internal ramblings made external and live off that!

But for the moment, I can’t take advantage of all the tips that Nikki gave us during our lecture in building my blog for my career. Partially because this blog is for assessment. Partially because I’m still getting used to terms like “blogosphere” and all kinds of different blogging jargon.

If I do start blogging though, some of the pointers I’d have to take away from Nikki would be to write about what I know, be myself and try to tell an entertaining story. But then again if I did that, I’d be writing about Hip-Hop and Kanye West.

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