Monthly Archives: August 2013

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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