Telling Stories

Telling stories is something we have done for years. As technology has grown and changed over the years, so has the way we have told a story that’s from our local area, somewhere else in the country or somewhere else in the world.

For radio stories, they don’t usually go for that long because of time constraints and the person telling the news also has other news to report on as well. As news stories are generally done once an hour there is a small chance of an update on a story but it would depend on the story and how important it is.

With print stories, they can vary a little bit in length depending on the topic and how much information is being included in the story. Depending on the story, it can take up most of a page or go over two pages and includes photographs. Sometimes the story can go for a couple of sentences if it isn’t a big story or it’s just updating on a story that has already happened. With print stories, depending on the paper, generally come out once a day and are often stories from the day before with a few stories relating to something that is going to happen that day. There are some local papers that printed once or twice a week and the stories will talk talk about something that has happened recently, that’s currently going on or is coming up in the near future for that area. Like radio, print stories have a word limit and you have to include the most important information, regarding to the story, in the word limit so that the reader is able to understand what’s going on.

For online stories can be a little similar to print stories, in terms of length and having photos included with the stories. Although there are a few stories don’t include a photo. There are times when there is a news video attached to the story if the video relates to the story as well.  The good thing with online stories is that they can be updated constantly through out the day, allowing people to keep updated with what’s happening with a story as well as finding out what’s happening overseas. People are also able to share stories that are found online as well. For example, a celebrities death over in America, if it’s written about online overseas, that story is going to make it’s way overseas and people in countries like Australia and England are then able to report on that death. People are also able to interact with the stories as well. If the website allows people to comment, people are able to comment on it. Much like radio and print, online stories would have some sort of word length.

Video stories are slightly different to some degree. With news stories, you are able to tell the story visually, where it happened and show the viewers what possibly happened afterwards. Like the radio and written stories, video stories have a time limit. The time limit can vary a little bit from 2-3minutes or a bit longer depending on the story. Depending on the news show, there may or may not be some sort discussion regarding to the story. The Project would be an example of a show that discusses the news.





Sky News visit


While journalism isn’t my strong point, I’ve found it good to learn and it’s also good to hear from those who are in the industry. Visiting Sky News was really good for me as Media Arts Production major student and hearing from Ian Ferguson during the tour was really good in terms of jobs and what was happening with certain jobs.

Ian Ferguson was telling us that television (TV) news has shifted its focus to add value to news rather than present ‘breaking news’ as most people would be aware of what’s going on due to social media.

When we arrived at Sky News, we saw that there were three guys doing a live report on the stock market, see photo above. It was interesting to see that there was no one on camera while the guys were doing the report and talking to someone who wasn’t in the studio. It probably helped that they weren’t moving around much. It was also interesting to see them doing a live cross with someone else as well. A similar thing was happening with a female presenter.


After being introduced to Ian, we headed into the news room where journalists were sitting at desks doing research and putting scripts together. There were producers/other crew members in control rooms watching what was going to air on all Sky’s associated channels as well as making sure everything was okay with the show they were producing.



I liked how a female news anchor was researching update information on story she was presenting. She was doing this because she was between live broadcasts. It was interesting how she was able to communicate with some crew members in a control with an ear piece and microphone that she had. It was also interesting to see that there was no one manning the camera. We were told that the producers were able to control the cameras from the control room. I found it slightly concerning as I’m a Media Arts Production student and there is generally a lot of people involved with filming a show or a film. Thinking that these kinds of jobs would be lost is a horrible thought. It does also depend on the show and network and what shots are needed from the different cameras as the producer/director of a show does need to focus on the show when the show is on air.


We soon got to see how the weather was presented which was done in another building at Sky News. It was interesting to see how they did the weather report in the studio. It was interesting to find out that the weather was presented mostly from memory and ad lib. There were some notes around as well that related to important weather changes. It was also helpful that the weather reporter had a TV nearby so that they were able to see where they needed to point to when mentioning the different cities etc.


After the tour finished, we went to a board room, above where the weather reports are done, and we had to opportunity to ask Ian some question. Ian did tell us to show some initiative when are doing research for stories or doing internships as well as when we are writing an application for a job as we are more likely to stand out.

Overall, the day was informative and gave me some insight as to what does happen in a TV studio. The information that we were given by Ian was helpful whether we were wanting to get into journalism as  career or some other career.

Screenshot 2016-05-12 22.43.42.png

The Higher Education Debate


For a while now, Higher Education has been a bit of an issue for both students and the Australian Government. The still photo, used as the video thumb nail, was captured during  the protests after the Federal Government budgets cuts to Higher Education back in 2014. It was obvious at the time, that students didn’t want universities setting their own fees for courses in fear of the courses being ‘too expensive’.

In late 2015, Labor’s 2013-14 Budget Savings Bill was passes after the Liberal Party had amended it. A couple of things included in the Bill is that the amendments introduce a limit of two loans per year of equivalent value to the student start-up scholarship (currently $1,025 each and to be indexed from 1 January 2017). As well as removing the up-front payment discount, which is 10%, and the removal of the voluntary repayment bonus, which is 5%.

With the story, I have tried to keep it on even grounds by finding out as much facts as I can and referring to the bill that was passed back in December 2015. Mainly because there are some people who don’t fully understand the situation or don’t know about what’s happening in regards to the situation that could possibly affect them, other students or future students.

For further details on the cuts please refer to the bill which is available on the link below.;fileType=application%2Fpdf

Screenshot 2016-05-04 22.25.14 – Pericope Tweet


Live News Reports

With the recent budget recently announced on May 3rd. Channel 9’s ‘Today’ show did a bit of a live report on the budget the morning after. The hosts were outside Parliament house doing the show. Karl Stefanovic did a ‘live’ cross to Malcolm Turnbull who also happened to be outside Parliament house but in a different spot to where Karl was but they both seemed to be out the front of Parliament house.

It was easy to tell that they were both out the front of Parliament house by the background but slightly different angles. I’m not sure why the ‘Today’ show hosts decided to do this when they were both out the front of Parliament house. Although the lighting in Karl’s shot is different to Malcolm Turnbull’s shot. Where as the lighting in Malcolm’s shot looks much better and that he is under shade or something.

Some of the images used in the story includes shots of Scott Morrison who was the one who released the budget, as he is Treasurer. The couple of shots that were used were Scott Morrison walk towards Parliament house as well as a couple of different shots of Scott talking to the Press. There were different logos used as well. There was the ‘Today’ show logo used both in the bottom left hand corner as well as the top right hand corner when Turnbull’s shots were up. There was also the ‘titles’ down the bottom when Malcolm Turnbull’s shots were up that had ‘Election budget’, ‘budget 2016’, live, ‘PM expected to call double dissolution election this week’.

There didn’t seem to be much of a script that either of them were going off. Karl did have a list of questions that he was probably going from. The story does seem balanced a bit as Karl doesn’t seem to be going left-winged or right-winged with the nearly 6 minute clip. But it’s hard to tell as it doesn’t show the full story. The story does have some sort impact on the audience as the budget is doing to affect people in different areas, which includes tax and Higher Education. The news story also tells the audience that there is going to be an election on July 2 and that it will be confirmed before May 11th.

Auto-cues can be difficult.

In our week 11 class of Digital Journalism Production, we got the chance to read off an auto-cue. For this, we had to each write something that was to do with our first news story or our second news story. The good with reading off the auto-cue is that it is able to give you experience and see how difficult it can be to read off one. Those who read off auto-cues, like the TV show host, morning news reporters or evening news reporters, have years of experience with reading auto-cues and probably had some trouble when they were first reading off an auto-cue.

When we read off the auto-cue, we were in front of a black wall in a somewhat small room looking at the camera that has the auto-cue, and there was a small room that can fit up to a few other people in it and making sure that the person reading off the auto cue sounds okay etc.

As I am also doing TV Production this semester, we also had a chance to read off an auto cue earlier in the semester. When I was reading the auto-cue in TV Production, we were doing in front of the whole class and some one was controlling the teleprompter/auto-cue that the person in front of camera is reading. This was because we were in the TV studio that is on campus. In Digital Journalism, it was a completely different situation as we were in a room where some POD casts are done for some of the units at WSU, and there is a smaller number of people watching and the person reading the auto-cue gets to control the auto-cue with a remote.



Online presence for magazines

When it comes to any sort of publication, whether it is a magazine or newspaper, it is good to have a physical copy of it to read but sometimes it is easier to get information regarding the magazine or newspaper off the Internet. This is because we leave in a day and age where you get just about any sort of information off the Internet. I decided to look at the TV Soap Magazine in terms of having a website so that people can get access to some of the latest information regarding TV Shows.

The website would contain stories from some of the following TV Shows:

  • Neighbours
  • Home and Away
  • Days of Our Lives
  • Young and the Restless
  • Bold and the Beautiful

The website would also contain interviews from the different TV shows including Olympia Valance, who stars as Paige Smith from Australia’s longest running TV Soap Opera, Neighbours.

The website would also include any possible events relating to the different shows, including Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition and meet and greets with the Neigbhours actors. As there have been a few times where the actors have gone to somewhere in Sydney and done some signings with fans of the show.

Stories with actors who are starring in a movie that is coming out or has just been released and the actor also stars in a TV Series. This includes someone like Ginnfer Goodwin who stars in the show Once Upon A Time and is the voice of Judy Hopps in Zootopia.

Inside information from actors on how they keep fit or how they deal with acne and what beauty tips they have and what works for them with keeping the skin looking healthy. Some fun facts about some of our favourite actors so that we can get to know them a little better.

Having a bit of TV Guide for some of the shows and what sort of things will be happening in each episode for the coming week or so. Major storylines that maybe coming up in the next month or two. Guest characters that are going to appear as well as characters that maybe returning or leaving. Share some behind the scenes stuff, as Neighbours uploads behind the scenes videos onto their Youtube account. TV Soap could also link any behind the scenes photos or some screenshots from episodes for the upcoming week’s episodes of a TV show, such as Neighbours.

Some interesting movies that maybe coming out. Competitions that people could enter, as well as previous competition winners.

A contact page, so that viewers are able to contact the magazine. And finally a sitemap so that people can have a little bit more help finding something if they are unsure of where to find something.

The website that is currently available does seem out dated and unused as well. They seem to have a limited number of archives for the magazine, with the oldest one being from December 2009 and the latest one from November 2014. It seems that they don’t really care about their website. TV Soap doesn’t appear to have a social media platform either. There is no Facebook page and no Twitter account. Which can be really bad, as having social media platforms is a good way to interact with those who read the magazine and as well as getting feedback from them.

ABC Journalists talk to WSU Journalism Students

Recently, Journalism student from Western Sydney University got to hear from ABC Journalist Connie Agius, a former WSU student, and ABC Training Manager, Paula Kruger. Students, from both the Penrith and Parramatta Campus of Western Sydney University, got to listen to Connie and Paula talk about how they got into Journalist as well as giving advice to the Journalism students.

It was great hearing from two professionals like Connie Agius and Paula Kruger, as they do have very different experiences in the journalism field. It was also interesting how Connie got her experience up, as well as using social media to talk to her potential boss and not giving on a job that she wanted. She did say that this was a good way to show future employers that you are able to use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. This sort of thing of wouldn’t have happened about 10 years ago, when social media sites were still fairly new. All in all, it was good to see how far Connie has gone since she was at Western Sydney University. Not only does it show Western Sydney University that they can get somewhere but it shows that Western Sydney University does produce some really good graduates who can end up anywhere.

One the other hand, Paula Kruger had built up her career a completely different way. Paula talked about she went over to Thailand and worked there for four years. She told how she began her broadcasting career by working in Bangkok as a radio presenter. When she came back, she continued getting some experience up in broadcasting. She also talked about how she was a TV and radio reporter in both Sydney and Canberra before going to the ABC as a cadet in 1999. She did mention how that she was older than most of the other cadets at the time, due to the fact that she was 27, and she thought she had no chance of getting the cadetship. She has since worked her way to being the Training Manager at ABC News.

During the last part of the talk, Paula and Connie talked to the students about looking for internships and jobs. They did encourage the Western Sydney University students to apply for an internship at a radio station. It was also good to hear from two women who are in the journalism area that does seem to have more women in that media area compared to some other media jobs like film or TV crew roles.


Penrith Collector Mania Fair

I recently checked out the Penrith Collector Mania Toy and Hobby Fair. It is a great event for anyone who loves collecting items. The event has things like Direst Vehicles, Action Figures, Lego, Pop Culture Collectibles, Trains, Sci-Fi items, Comics, Trading cards and more. The event happened on the 20th of March and featured Cos Player singer Meri Amber. I got to to talk to the Show Co-Ordinator, Lyndsey Evans.

The newt Toy and Hobby Fair is on the 10th July, 2016. Collector Mania has also organised a Sci-Fi and Pop Culture Fair at the Blouza Hall in Granville on the 15th May, 2016.

Fact checking for articles

Choose 1 News story. In pairs, students analyze how that story has been covered on TWO online news sites, and on Social Media.

The story I looked at was Hulk Hogan winning a court case after suing Gawker for releasing a sex tape back in 2012. I found the story on 9news, The Daily Telegraph and on Facebook.

What I found strong is that the article on the 9news site said that he [Hulk Hogan] had won $150 million where as the articles shown on Facebook and the article on the Daily Telegraph are saying he only won $115 million in damage. The 9news did seem to get one fact right and that Hulk won the case against Gawker, whom published the tape with Hogan’s knowledge or permission. Another mistake made in the 9news articles, is that they [9news] claim Hogan sued Gawker for $134million. From the articles on Facebook and The Daily Telegraph are saying that he [Hogan] sued the company for $100million and was then awarded $115million rather than the $150million 9news are claiming he got.

I find it really weird that a news site like 9news has gotten some important information wrong in terms of how much he actually sued for and how much he was actually sued the company for and how much he was actually awarded by the judge.

I did find that the 9news article of the story is shorter than the Daily Telegraph article. 9news does include some ‘important’ details regarding the case and does include a quote from Hulk Hogan, a photo and a video story on the case, that is featured before the written story. With the Daily Telegraph version of the story, it is much longer and goes into a bit more detail and has more quotes throughout the story. There are also more pictures throughout the story as well and there is a video included at the end of the article for anyone who wants just a quick over of the situation.

Take for instance, this story from the Herald Sun, which tells of how The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald wrongly labelled a teenager a terrorist back in 2014. This is because the journalists from both The Age and SMH simply did not check the correct identity of the person before going to print. Which is why journalist need to verify information and identities of people in photographs, if they get the photos from someone’s Facebook page or some other social media site. As it can cause some backlash for the newspaper.

From this, it is important as journalist to actually double check information before it gets published online, in the newspaper or goes to air for the 6 o’clock news. As there has been times in the past were journalists have not double checked the information they have gotten and has resulted in consequences for the journalist and there being some sort of issues for the person/s they [the journalist] wrote about.  For 9news, it makes them look a little bit unprofessional as they have different information to other news sites and makes one wonder were they got their information from.


Finding strengths and weakness in a website

Choose 1 online News site – SMH, News, ABC, SkyNews, CNN, BBC World, FOX News etc. In pairs, students analyse news site for its strengths and weaknesses in presenting news. Also, re-Tweet 2 news stories you deem strong.


When it comes to news websites there can be good and bad things about the site. I looked at the Sydney Morning Hearld (SMH) website to see what its strengths and weaknesses in presenting news on their website.

One strength I did find with the Sydney Morning Hearld website , is that they do have icons to indicate whether or not people have commented on the article. There are also icons to indicate if the article has a video or not. Another strength I found on the SMH website is that they some different links to some of the latest news that is happening around the world as well as some sport links. The website does show what the current tempreature is in your capital city. At the top of the page the SMH does have links to different areas of the website including News, sports, buisness, politics. The site does show that people are able to access the site via their phones or their tablets. As you go down the page, you are able to see the different sections such as state, national, world and with each section there are a selection of top stories and recent stories for each section. Another strength I found with the SMH website is that is updated constantly so that people are able to catch up some of the latest news during their coffee or lunch break at work.

Like any other website, SMH does have some weaknesses. One weakness I found was that sometimes a story can be just or it could just be a video until you click on it. There is the odd ocassion when an article doesn’t have a photo or it doesn’t have a video or it might have one or the other and sometimes both but it is hard to tell until you actually click on the article to actually see. Another weakness is having articles with videos and the video automatically play when you go to read the article. Sometimes this can be really annoying as some people want to read the story before watching the video. I’m not a huge fan of pop ads or anything that pops up when on a news website when I’m trying to read a story. While this only happened once while on the website it was still a tad annoying. I think another weakness is that some people prefer paper as some people don’t want to be staring at the screen while reading the stories. Although there is a downside to papers as well, as they are filled with mostly stories from the day before. Another weakness is that after so many articles, you have to subscribe to the website if you want to continue reading articles. I did find at the bottom of the SMH website that they have the most read articles from that day from their website as well as the most read articles from three (3) other website. This makes me think, why are they advertising other news sites on their own website?