Thursday, 29 March 2012

Media Diary

Being able to understand and analyze the media I use is essential to how I approach journalism. My personal media use and production may also indicate where journalism and communication as an industry is currently heading. For ten days I had to log my personal media use and production and in this post present and analyze that information.

Here is some of the media I logged. I only included relevant links in this list that best represents my overall media use. You can see a more complete table of my media usage lower in the post.

Thursday 8th of March

"My australian house mate sent this onto me. Nope" - via r/wtf
"The Call of Duty generation..." - via r/gaming
Bioshock Infinite lets loose the Motorized Patriot - via Destructoid

Friday 9th of March

Played three hours of League of Legends
Heavy Rain creator's stunning short film showcases new game engine - via Games Radar
Uncharted 3 Co-op shade survival mode DLC release date set for next week - via Games Radar

Saturday 10th of March

Played an hour of Pokemon Heart Gold
Kony 2012 - via vimeo
Official Men in Black 3 Trailer - via youtube
Official All In Trailer - via youtube
Official Meeting Evil Trailer - via youtube

Sunday 11th of March

Minnesota girl alleges school privacy invasion - via CNN
Jet Set Radio Future Trailer - via youtube
Animated GIFs: The Bird of a Medium - via youtube
Extra Credits: So You Want Be a Developer (part 1) - via Penny Arcade

Monday the 12th of March

The year role-playing games broke - via Joystiq
Dishonoured Info Blowout: A Stealthy Steampunk Sandbox - via gameranx

Tuesday the 13th of March

Journey Review - via GameTrailers
What song has been so beautiful it moved you to tears? I have 2. - via r/AskReddit
"Internet humor from a time before memes..." - via imgur

Wednesday the 14th of March

IGN AU Pubcast Ep. 40: A Threesome of Threequels - via IGN AU

Thursday the 15th of March

Confessions of a 'Bad' Teacher - via The New York Times

Friday the 16th of March

Watched Community

Saturday the 17th of March

Played Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty

Table of Media Use

*unit of measurement is in hours

Pie Chart of Media Use

Before I analyze and offer my opinions based on the my media diary, I feel like that I should recognise technological convergence as an issue. Technological convergence makes identifying forms of media difficult. In modern society journalism, entertainment and social networking are overlapping. Twitter is an example of this, it's used for all these purposes and more. I personally use it as a tool to find entertaining and informative content online and also connect with other journalism students, less as a form of microblogging. Technological convergence is something that journalism and communication as an industry is going to have to adapt to in order to compete. You can already see media outlets harnessing advancing technology and Web 2.0 for the purpose of spreading content easier and efficiently and creating a public sphere.

It didn't surprise me that most of the media that I consume, I discovered online, as opposed to print and televised media. I mostly instant message with friends on Skype, play videogames and browse the internet; specifically Reddit, 4chan and videogame news sites on my laptop. I also use my iPhone mainly to communicate with friends and family, stay connected to social networks and play games. I personally use online media largely because I can search for content that is specific to my interests or goals. I have a large interest in news relating to videogames, film and television that are made easily accessible with the internet. However, 71.1% of Introduction Journalism and Communication students recognised "TV" as their source of media, while only 67.8% of students use "Online newspapers". Furthermore, 51.6% of JOUR1111 acquired news from "newspapers". These statistics show that despite a large amount of students simultaneously using all three forms of media, the most popular resource of news is television.

The survey conducted of other Introduction to Journalism and Communication students shows that other students and I spend our time on the internet similarly. 61.3% of students recognise "General surfing and browsing" as a primary use of their internet; 43.1% of students also spent their time online "Reading online news". However, I don't identify Facebook as a large use of my time online, compared to 91.9% of students who do.

The biggest difference between my personal media use and other students is the amount of time spent each day on the internet. During that ten day period I spent sometimes up on eleven hours connected online with friends via Skype throughout the day. While on skype I browsed various sources of news and entertainment each day. However, only 3.5% of students surveyed indicated that they spend upwards of 6 hours online each day. These results surprised me; considering how easy it is to access the internet. It's presumed that all students own or have easy access to a computer with internet access and also 77.3% of students own an internet-enabled smart phone according to the survey. Ultimately, the survey indicates that constant internet access is completely expected of the 17-25 year old demographic. I believe that those in the field of journalism and communication are completely aware of this. Like I mentioned earlier, media is utilizing this knowledge to gain larger and more connected audiences.

By logging my personal media use over a ten day period I can say that without a doubt my relation with journalism and communication is unsurprising. Basically, my style of consuming news and entertainment is parallel with emerging forms of interaction. Traditional media is obviously still around, but it's also being reshaped and redefined by the internet. I also expect how I go about reading, listening and watching news in the future will adapt along with the altering landscape of journalism and communication.

Edit: This assignment got a 6.5 overall.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Journalism is Hard

I've got three assignments due this week which are really getting in the way of spending my non-existant money on some really good games that have come out recently. I'm going to try and organise my thoughts while making another blog post at the same time. I've got two lectures to reflect on, I have to pitch three stories and I have to make and present a media diary. "Pitching the three stories" stands out to me the most. I'm going to be building on top of the assessment next month by writing three different types of stories. These story types are news, information and human interest. I've been emailing my tutor about how to exactly approach this assignments, so now I think I've got some ideas.

First off, the news story is the easiest. I decided that I would try and cover Supanova this year at the Gold Coast. I've never attended it, but my friends attest to how amazing it is. It's basically a geek subculture exhibition catering to those who enjoy anime, science fiction, comic books, videogames, cosplaying and anything geeky. The people behind it manage to bring together fans and the industry folk. I emailed the publicity organiser about getting journalistic privileges and possibly even an interview. However, I haven't heard back from them yet. If I were allowed to attend as a journalist, that would be amazing. Even more so since it would be the first time I've ever attended Supanova. I plan on attending anyway this year to check out everything that's got to do with videogames and my favorite tv shows. I might even enter a Magic: The Gathering tournament if I'm brave enough.

The next story I've put thought into is the information story. I only remembered today that soon the Australian senate is going to be looking at a bill essentially allowing an R18+ classification for videogames. It's surprising that for so long Australia has gone without an adult rating for videogames. For years games have either been refused classification and simply not been sold within Australia or have been altered to receive an MA15+ rating. I personally believe that censorship like this is completely ridiculous when compared to other forms of media. Today, I contacted two creators of websites that support an R18+ classification for videogames; Somebody think of the children and R18 Games. Hopefully, they'll get back to me soon and I can get the ball rolling.

The media use and production diary is starting to catch up on me. I've logged my media use and I'm ready to start but I don't know what I can do besides just presenting a graph and a pie chart of my media use. I don't know what to analyze besides just how much media I use compared to other students. I guess I'll just have to start it and see how I go. 

That's all I thought I would write about. I'll update the blog if theres any advances in my assignments. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Reflection on Text

Our third lecture for Introduction to Journalism and Communication covered text in the field of journalism. Sky or Skye, one of those two names, guest lectured on the topic. She spent fifty minutes educating all of us about such things as 'the inverted pyramid', 'hypertext', text within digital platforms and just how fundamentally essential it is to the journalism industry with the rise of social media. But you already know that don't you? You're reading this just to see how other people in your course are handling their blogs. I don't need to explain to you something that you can just go and watch on Blackboard. So I'm going to give you my opinion on the lecture and text as it relates to journalism.

It's pretty apparent just how important text is to communication. It's unavoidable in journalism. I don't think I can add any more to what was covered in the lecture. Now I'm forced to write a blog post reflecting on the incredibly ambiguous idea of 'text'. I'm supposed to reflect on these lectures about what I learnt. I didn't learn that much though.

Sky (or Skye) just gave me new terminology for the ideas I already had. You would think that using important information in the headline to catch the reader's eye would be a straightforward concept.Most of the lecture slides were just examples of news stories with Sky (or Skye) explaining just how much effort is put into headlines, captions, straps, leads, excerpts and other attention grabbing combinations of text. The latter half of the lecture was just a lesson on blogging and getting your posts into the search engines. For someone who has little experiencing writing and reading content online, this lecture would have been helpful. However, I took very little away from our third week lecture.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Goals and Stuff

I just checked an email about this Journalism course and apparently I have to write a blog post about every lecture. I thought I would simply be even more retrospective and write about my first lecture in JOUR1111. It was what most people would assume the first lecture of an introductory university course would be like. Bruce Redman, our lecturer, introduced himself and explained how the course would run, went over our assessment, answered our questions and tried as best he could to get us excited about journalism. He said a very quotable phrase which I'm sure he's been using for a while, "you are the journalist". I would be lying if I said it motivated me in the slightest but it did remind me that I should probably explain right here what I want to accomplish with this blog.

Journalism to me is simply a way to involve myself in my hobbies and interests and still have a job at the end of the day. I have almost no interest in politics, world news, sports and celebrities but that doesn't mean that I can't be a journalist. I'd much rather read about Pokemon, League of Legends, The Walking Dead or the Dark Knight Rises more than anything else.

So fucking awesome

Most of my days entail playing videogames, watching film and reading, watching and listening to videogame and film news. I check websites, watch reviews, listen to podcasts and have very heated discussions  with friends about geeky things. I have spent the last three days at a friend's new place watching Community while playing Magic: The Gathering because they had no internet and we all had a cold.

Imagine this but with better looking people.

I also like to think I can form sentences pretty well, so I'm essentially trying to combine the two things in the hopes I will actually be content some day.

I'm hoping that this degree will get my metaphorical foot into the metaphorical door of creative industries. If everything goes according to plan in a few years time I'd be writing for a videogame news or a film review website. If not, then I'm probably going to pick up some skills which could be applied to an array of jobs. I'm essentially hoping that journalism will point me in the direction that I want to go. So expect posts about things like how fucking incredible Bioshock Infinite is going to be.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Internet and I

For my Introduction to Journalism and Communication course I have to maintain a blog. It's a place where I reflect on my lectures and tutorials as a minimum. I have attempted blogs before but I've always gotten bored with them too quickly. Hopefully the fact that this blog is where all my assessment for the course will be submitted will motivate me to actually write regularly and well.

It's actually already been a few weeks into this course so it looks like I've got some catching up to do. I thought I would start of this semester long party of a blog by reflecting on the internet and it's relation to journalism and communication. In the second week of this semester during my JOUR1111 lecture the topic of Web 2.0 and other web iterations was brought up and discussed with an understanding of what is the internet.

It's too well known just how interconnected human beings are today. Every single day I hear a new mind blowing statistic about just how many facebook users there are or how many years of videos on youtube are being watched every day. Everyone is connected  and it's actually scary just how well the internet can organise itself against someone or something. A few examples are when 4chan rallied an operation against Rebecca Black, recently Anonymous declared a war on religion, and the social media campaign against KONY recently became the most viral video of all time. The largest recent organised protest online was definitely the blackout to campaign against two pieces of legislation, SOPA and PIPA that was threatening to integral structure of how online content was produced. Reddit was at the forefront of the campaign and spearheaded the blackout.

I don't need to explain that the internet has completely changed how we interact with one another. I'm one of those people who uses the internet for almost everything. I primarily use facebook and reddit to entertain and educate myself but I also dabble in 4chan, tumblr, youtube, twitter, wikipedia, rss feeds, podcasts and many other websites. I use Skype to talk to my friends every day in addition to texting and instant messaging on facebook. In fact, Skype is the reason I have most of my best friends today.  I play lots of online games on both my Macbook Pro and my PS3. If I can I will usually try eBay, Amazon or Etsy before going outside and looking for something I want. Basically everything that I do to entertain and improve myself is dependant on a wifi connection. I haven't sat down and watched a television show in almost a year and I cannot remember ever reading a newspaper. I'm not really a big fan of current event news anyway. r/gaming, r/worldnews and r/technology keeps me up to date with everything that would possibly be important to me. Most of the news I read is niche and is related to videogames, movies, television and music. I cannot live without being entertained. In fact the only reason I'm actually writing this right now is because the internet is of something that is of interest to me. It can be really difficult for me to get motivated sometimes.

So how does this relate to Journalism? I actually believe that trained journalism is becoming redundant. It's so easy these days to set up a blog or a website that there's an over saturation of news. Things trend faster on twitter than they can get it onto the 6 o'clock news. The lecturer mentioned something known as a 'citizen journalist' which I believe is evolving the way news is spread. These days people can tweet, post and live stream events as they're occurring and everybody in the first world can have access to the technology to do so. If general people of the public took it upon themselves to go and research and investigate anything, they have the resources to get the story out there immediately.  As long as the internet is accessible, information will be available, discussion will be possible and news will spread.