Multi-media, a sign of the changing times.

Blog 12 (Week 13)

Considering the previous post discussed my thoughts and opinions on the ‘blogs worth monitoring’, I thought I’d dedicate my last post to my thoughts and reactions on the multi-media game in general.

Firstly, I can’t believe how behind the times I’ve been.

In a previous blog post, I’d wondered if my newspaper bosses had their heads stuck in the sand, but my tune has since changed.  It’s more to the ring of, “I’m the one that needed to see the light of day.”

 At the beginning of this unit, I was so unmotivated to learn, thinking it was going to be the most mundane subject I’d ever studied.  How wrong I was.

I’m walking away armed with important knowledge on the ‘new media’ era, and it has catapulted me into a whole new direction as to where I stand as a ‘print’ journalist.

I’m fully aware I need to grab this multi-media knowledge with both hands, ensuring my media employment opportunities remain open.

          “Thanks Stephen Quinn, I owe it to you for empowering me!”

multimedia Pictures, Images and Photos

BuzzMachine, King of all bloggers.

Picture courtesy of BuzzMachine blog siteThis week, the unit requirement was to comment on blogs worth monitoring.

The one that captured my interest week in, week out, was Jeff Jarvis’ BuzzMachine.



 (Picture courtesy of the BuzzMachine website)

 His blogs are continually entertaining and informative, but I do wonder how he finds the time to blog almost every single day.  Take a look at his ‘about me’ page and you’ll know what I’m talking about!

Some of my favourite blogs by Mr Jarvis over the preceeding couple of months are: –

No Bullshit here (Nov 25, 2008) – A blog about Mr Jarvis as a blogger being pitted against traditional journalists.

A powerful memorial (Oct 19, 2008) – A blog with images that’s touching.

It is our fault (Oct 8, 2008) – A blog about journalists being to blame for newspaper readership dwindlings.

They can be found by following this link.

His ‘tell it how it is’ attitude appeals to the internet audience, and the blogs are interactive.  Just take a look at the number of comments he receives.

Buzzmachine really is a fine example of a high-standard blog site.







Media on the move.

Blog 10 (Week 11)


The latest gadget for the mobile journalist

Move over traditional journalists, there’s a new breed coming through.  It’s the mojos, otherwise known as mobile journalists.

They’re not in Australia yet, but once internet charges decrease, it won’t be long.

Mojos are strutting their stuff in developed nations where unlimited data usage is at a minimal cost. 

No such luck in the land of green and gold.   Us Aussies have to fork out exorbitant prices for accounts with only limited data usage. 

God knows what my internet bill will be this month after viewing countless web pages, eye-balling YouTube videos and downloading multi-media software packages!

I wouldn’t make much of a mojo at the moment though; my mobile hasn’t even got a camera!  So unless my boss is happy to supply me with a Nokia N95, I won’t be making the switch to mojo anytime soon.

I took a squiz at Mojo evolution, and then visited Stephen Quinn’s blog page, 

I notice Mr Quinn uses Twitter as his latest tweet is displayed – off to Malaysia to teach journalism!  Seeing he’s my lecturer, it makes me wonder what platform of journalism he’ll teach to other students in Asia.  My bet is, it won’t be print.

The mobile journalist is an interesting concept.  These journalists generally don’t get a desk in the newsroom.  Their desks are more like what ever they can find while out in their travels.

Here’s a citizen journalist who calls himself a mobile video journalist.  Check out his amusing YouTube video, explaining how he livestreams by using internet site Qik

Or follow this link.

 This article, written by Mr Quinn for the Sydney Morning Herald, explains the mobile media evolution.

Video + blog = Vlog

My blogging skills are developing, so I’m quite comfortable adding publisher to my credentials.

It’s a bit soon to call myself a multi-media expert though, but producer is certainly on the cards.

 Yep, my latest trick includes scrambling together a video package and posting it to my blog.  But I can’t take all the credit for producing a piece this week. 

It’s a current affairs package I produced for a television unit I studied last year.  But I can get away with using it as an example, as I’m about to blog about it.

This video was produced using my digital video camera during the drought. 

It captured a farmer’s desperate plea to save his full dam being drained and knocked down. 

Unfortunately, as heart-breaking as it was, the farmer lost his case and was ordered to demolish the dam banks, watching on helplessly as the water drained away.

You’ve just seen one example of a vlog where I have included an on-line video and then blogged about it in this post.

Here’s another example of a vlog.

I produced this vlog with my webcam today, and seeing there was no option to save it to my hard drive, I downloaded it to YouTube and accessed an embedding code.

This vlog differs from the first example because the video footage includes the blog, instead of writing about the video footage separately.

So you can see vlogs are flexible in the way they are delivered.

These two vlogs are not of high quality because of time constraints, so I thought I’d include a better example that captured my attention.


STOMP leads the way.

Blog 8 (Week 9)

After reading about another on-line website success story, STOMP, it’s really starting to sink in that ‘the times they are a-changin,’ as Bob Dylan once famously sang.

As much as I hate to admit, the younger generation are turning their backs on traditional newspapers and instead, consuming news mostly through the on-line medium.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether these news websites are user-generated content or written by professional journalists.

head in the sand Pictures, Images and Photos

My attention is turned onto the daily paper I work for, The Standard.  I ponder if upper management is visionary, or it’s head is burrowed in the sand?


  I’ve noticed over the last couple of months, The Standard has introduced a series of blogs written by senior journalists, and incorporated some of its weekly publications into the on-line form.

This is encouraging, considering we have a very conservative readership in Warrnambool who are committed to their local rag.

It shows that management are starting to embrace that the readership habits are changing, and that an on-line presence needs to be established. 

If STOMP is anything to go by, with 5 to 6 million page hits a month, and dare I say, but I think my bosses need to take a good hard look at blending citizens into the journalistic fold. 

What I mean by that is that user-generated content could slot in nicely, helping produce a more interesting and broader mix of news stories. 

Our professional journalistic eyes can’t be in a million places at once, but citizen’s peepers sure can!

Considering I’m vegetarian, this was the first STOMP story that captured my attention.   Check it out here.


Mistreated chickens.


Picasa, a photo-editing genius!

Blog 6 (Week 7)

My photo editing knowledge generally stops at a limited edition of Adobe Photoshop. 

But after this week’s readings, I decide to venture out of my comfort zone and head into the land of Google’s Picasa.

After a few problems with internet connection speed, I finally manage to download Picasa’s photo editing software and then find a Youtube demonstration , giving me a quick run down on how to get started.

I must say, I’m impressed.

The user-friendly software has loads more features and makes my projects look professional.

 I play around with the basic fixes, tuning and effects functions, and find it entertaining to say the least. 

Not only can I change photo colourings and add text, I can miraculously wipe out blemishes on people’s faces.

Hmmm, now I know exactly what it means when someone says,”that model’s been air-brushed!”

I wonder if I can swipe a few pounds from my midriff? 🙂

A few issues cropped up, including having too many photos on my hard drive.  This meant I had to wait nearly 30 minutes for Picasa to download them all.

Secondly, I had problems trying to sign in to create web albums, because apparently, I already had an existing google account, which I can’t remember creating.

Here’s my first attempt at a Picasa slideshow.

ALJ310 Slideshow

Well, it worked to an extent. I’m just not quite sure why I have no navigating tools showing on this page?

Slideshows are now a common scene on news websites around the world.  

Take a look at Reuters, the world’s largest multi-media news agency.  A number of slideshows are featured on the home page.

Reuters Pictures, Images and Photos




Multi-media tools

Blog 5 (Week 6)

I’ve seen the universal RSS feed symbol on many website pages, but never really understood what it was about.

FEED RSS SYMBOL Pictures, Images and Photos

So, after reading helpful tips from, I thought I better hop to it and download an RSS reader.   I chose FeedDemon.

A quick tutorial lesson brought me up to speed with how to operate the program and explained what RSS feeds were.

What I’ve come to realise is that the endless hours spent searching regular topics I’m interested in, could have been made a whole lot easier with the use of RSS feeds!

I’ve also realised, that as a print journalist, this could be one of the most important tools in my trade.

After successfully adding my first RSS feed to my reader, Yahoo7 National News,  I see that google just got a whole lot less important for me.

 Other useful tools I’ve learnt from the readings this week include:-

Technorati I found this quite easy to navigate around.

Moblogs – This will need to be tested in a later blog post.

Podcasts Here is an example of a podcast I created a moment ago using Audacity software.

Multi-media tools podcast


 Vlogs – I will post a vlog in a later post.

Twitter – I’d never heard of this concept before today and don’t think I will use it in the future.  But here is a run-down on Twitter. – Another new tool for me and I’m not sure how to use the bookmarks, something I’ll investigate when I have more time.

– Out of curiosity, I re-visited my newly established RSS reader a day after setting it up.  One click of a ‘update feeds button’ and I had pages of new headlines from my Yahoo news website – that simple!

Citizen Journalism vs Professional Journalism

Blog 4 (Week 5)

South Korea’s fame was once associated with the 1988 Olympic Games.  But more recently, the country is known for being a world leader in digital technology.

With three out of four households connected to the internet, it has the highest number of broadband connections per capita world-wide.

So, it’s not surprising that one of the nation’s most popular on-line news websites, Ohmynews, attracts 700,000 repeat visitors per day.

What is surprising though, is that the website’s content is mostly supplied by citizens.

The stories seem well-structured, follow journalistic rules, and make good use of multi-media, but that may have something to do with qualified journalists running the show.

Watch the video below to understand the concept of citizen journalism.

 I decided to investigate citizen journalism beyond the cyber walls of Ohmynews, and firstly stubbled across a blog from James Farmer, a journalist from The Age. 

He blatantly despises amateurs being called journalists, and has some valid points with his criticisms. 

Why should amateurs share a professional title that us ‘true’ journalists have studied hard to obtain?

I have no problems with citizens supplying content, and in many cases, providing leads that journalists most probably would not have gathered.  But I do feel that citizens, who supply content for news stories, need another title.

An interesting video by Broadcast journalist Dave Heathfield, ‘Reporting on citizen journalism at war’, shows the rise in citizen journalism on the Iraq war.


Something else that bugs me about citizen reporting is the knowledge that is needed to get the best out of a story.

Do these so called journalists follow rules, values and ethics and know how to ask the right questions under a time-constrained interview? 

Do citizens know how to ‘break the ice’ and get on the right-side of their interviewee prior to asking the ‘hard’ questions?

Are the stories these journalists submitting balanced?

I don’t mean to sound scorned, but I do think it boils down to this.  Citizens get some material to construct a story, but a well trained journalist gets all the material to produce something better.

Without the reliance of qualified journalists and editors, these citizen reporters would get no-where.

Here’s another article I found interesting. Inside information vs outside perspective




Digital money maker

Blog 3 (Week 4)

 The rise of King Camp Gillette, the guru who invented disposable shavers among a variety of other products, is nothing short of intriguing.  Considering it was the 1800s, his instigation of the ‘free business model’ initiative – give away a free product to endorse another – proved to be the golden jewel in his crown.
Crown Jewel Pictures, Images and Photos

 Many have since followed this economic model, and scored equally attractive jewels.

The free business model is firmly entrenched into our economy, most notably, the digital economy.

A regular scene when surfing the net these days is on-line businesses giving away free products.

Interestingly enough, yesterday, I came across this little marketing manoeuvre.

 After reading a news article on yahoo on-line news, which explained that  was giving away free interstate flights and had already sold in excess of 50,000 seats, I decided to delve further.

What happened next?  A few phone calls back and forth to the hubby and we were booked on a holiday to sunny Queensland.

What a smart move by

But you see, it wasn’t really free for us.  We forked out $250 for airport charges, taxes and baggage.  However, it was still very cheap flying for four people.  

But it is not as though the flight company is losing money.  The airline just snagged our business, which it otherwise would not have had, and will now showcase the service it has, something we otherwise would not have seen.  We generally stick to the one airline company.

On closer inspection of the site, advertising revenue for the company is streaming in from a variety of businesses wanting to flog their products, from car hire places to hotels and airport parking firms.

Other income is generating is from other travellers who would have missed the free deals.  A percentage of these potential customers would go on to book low fare seats.

This truly is the ‘free business model’ at play.

New-age Publishing

Blog 2 (Week 3)

As a print journalist, my toolbox yesterday consisted of a computer, digital camera, dictaphone and a tonne of notepads and pens.

Today however, the toolbox is overflowing with multi-media gadgets such as videos, mobile phones and ipods. 
These new-found tools assist in producing vlogs, moblogs and podcasts, accumlating into stimulating visual and audio on-line news presentations.
But it seems that three years of tertiary study is not needed to use these tools or call yourself a journalist.
Citizen journalists (CJs) are sprouting, and most prominently sprouted in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and London bombings in 2005.

CJs are your average day joes, majority with no media experience, and just happen to be at the place of  breaking news stories.       
They capture footage and images through mobile phones or video cameras and then supply their crafty work often to major news networks.
Want an example of CJs at play?  Just take a look at the South Korean website OhMyNews, where the majority of content is produced by citizens.  

I’d never heard of Ohmynews before today, but on closer inspection, the layout of the website and content produced by these so called CJs, is quite impressive.