Sunday, 23 September 2012

Thoughts on Lecture 8

The 8th lecture in this course was media ethics, and a guest lecturer came in to apply media ethics to real-life ethical conundrums that you face as a journalist. She first explained that in Australia, the ethicalness of a journalist's actions is based upon the rules set by the Media Alliance Code of Ethics. The three basic principles of this code of ethics is honesty, fairness and independence, which are all, in my opinion, nonnegotiable tenets. The news is only as reliable as the journalist who presents it, so those three principles are paramount to keeping the idea of 'news' alive.

She told us the story of how she was able to get an interview with the mother who suffered an unimaginable loss. The mother had recently lost her three children, all of whom died from rafting in a lake and being exposed to a live electrical wire. The guest lecturer referred type of interview as a 'death knock' because she  had to visit the home of the grieving mother and father uninvited and try and land the interview then and there.  This style of interview seems very invasive to me, but the mother consented to the interview, so I guess it was ethical.

One point she told us that really grabbed my attention was that she doesn't over-think the more depressing aspects of her career. She elaborated that coldness is the best remedy for not being overwhelmed by tragedy and despair, which makes me have a little bit more sympathy for journalists.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Assignment 3 - Factual Storytelling Exercise

Interview: ColbyCheeZe

The MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) gaming genre has become increasingly mainstream over the last few years, with the free-to-play video game League of Legends being the most popular. ColbyCheeZe is an internet personality who has been making commentaries and guides for LoL since it's early days. His YouTube channel now has over 100,000 subscribers and his livestreams on his channel has had over 1.2 million views. 

Here is an edited version of the interview. This is what I am submitting for the factual storytelling exercise. 

Here is the whole interview; sorry that it cuts off abrubtly, blame the recording software. 

Thoughts on Lecture 7

Last week’s lecture was on public media with a specific focus on Australia's. Bruce kicked things off with a hilarious video by British humorist Charlie Brooker, who parodied the tired news report
formula ironically through a self-referential and cliched news report. It has nothing to do with the topic, though.

Back onto the topic at hand, Australia's public media, the ABC and SBS, have an interesting history. First and foremost, the ABC, founded in 1923, was designed with the intention to serve the public good of Australia through creating an unbiased and non-partisan medium for the public discourse. SBS followed around 50 years later, in 1975, with the goal of allowing the voices of Australia's
multicultural landscape to be heard, and is tailored for all cultural communities. Both are not meant to be corrupted by the forces of enterprise or politics, always being objective.

The problem with these two media groups is that, because of their social function, they are not allowed to create drama when their is none. They cannot sensationalize the news in any way, unlike Channel 7, 9 and 10 which have always done this and will continue to do so. I remember, I think, last year when the ABC television channel aired a hour-long documentary on the Global Financial
Crises. This particular documentary received a lot of criticism and outright backlash for being too flashy and dramatic, essentially using cheap emotive tricks and not being fact-driven. This little controversy shows how much the Australian public look towards the ABC for being 'dry' in the sense that they, the viewers, never need worry about being manipulated. This affair was, of course, featured on Media Watch, which is surprisingly on the same channel that aired the documentary. Something like this would never happen in a million years if it happened to a for-profit media group like the News of the World scandal and News Corp.

Interview: Four Court Jester

Four Court Jester is a part-time video game shoutcaster and commentator who specializes in MOBA (multiplayer online battle area) matches, similar to being a sports commentator who covers physical team-based sports. He has recently commentated live for a high-stakes League of Legends qualifiers tournament in Australia. You should also check out his Youtube channel and channel

Below is the edited version of the interview. Unfortunately, this is not my submission for the factual storytelling exercise, but was still nevertheless a great time.