journalism study

media of choices

Journalism as a game? We use skills to detect and follow clues, negotiate answers and assemble pieces. We organise but don’t direct, allowing people to tell their own stories.

Ask four people to define journalism and there’ll be more than four answers. That’s the communication channel. The formerly one-way, writer to reader model has widened to allow instant feedback and multiple contributors. This is the era described by Jay Rosen. The audience chooses from several media and their demands prevail.

2014’s journalism students might not vex over digital vs print media. Both exist, you choose, and if print is dying, long live e-print.

So do they vex over anything?

Keegan Taccori is the true believer. He allows no doubt. He loves writing and plans to use his photography and videography skills to share stories from around the world.

“I plan on using every stretch of networks and contacts I have built to allow myself to explore every inch of this world, and get paid for it!”

The foreign correspondence begins soon: Keegan’s other joy is in helping people, and he’s off to India next month as a social business mentor with 40RTYK Globe. His storytelling voice might educate and enlighten his audience. And encourage change.

Amelia Murphy loves the creativity of fashion and entertainment. It’s drawing her to New York, first for a one week visit in the Uni break, then hopefully as an exchange student, and ultimately as a fashion editor.

“I look outside of the box..I would bring a different edge to the fashion industry, something beyond the stereotypical magazine. Something that draws in all people regardless of age, size, profession or gender.”

Some students already have practical experience. Ceren Tabak did work experience with a TV production company in Turkey last year. She wondered if it was a message of fate when she was accepted for study at UOW.

“I loved traveling around the city of Istanbul and interviewing musicians, famous chefs, actors and actresses and discovering the multi-layered culture of the city whilst filming.”

But the glamour isn’t a complete seduction: Ceren’s other degree course is International Studies, and she’s considering whether Economics would be a good partner or alternative to journalism.

Dominique Gaitt was drawn to journalism gradually.

“I began to realise all the shit which is actually going on in the world and wanted to do something about it, so hey presto, Journalism…If I don’t get a job in journalism, I want to work in international relations and will most likely have a blog…to participate in the conversation.”

Breanna O’Neil is studying for a double degree in BCMS and Journalism. She likes the flexibility that her choices offer. Journalism might not be the one, but it’s one of them.

“… I’m hoping I can combine skills…and work in the media somehow. My dream is to one day work for Disney…I have been thinking something along the lines of advertising, or production, or something like that. I want to bring the magic to others just like it has been brought to me for so many years.”

Each of these classmates chooses communication, and their journalistic voices are sure to be heard.



Breanna O’Neill considers a career in ‘Minnie-malism’




Journalism 101 Lecture Notes, Autumn 2014

Rosen, J, 2006, The People Formerly Known as the Audience, article, The Huffington Post, viewed 31May14,



curation #1: verify or be damned!

“Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth…

Its essence is a discipline of verification”

(Pew Research Journalism Project)


For a journalist, failing to verify facts and sources is potentially a name & shame embarrassment and a bad career move. Poynter’s Craig Silverman  – Regret the Error – tracks them.

On trusting Twitter, Steve Buttry advises using sources, checking connections, profiles, timings and images. On fact checking: find the source, ask ‘how do you know that?’, evaluate that source, challenge the information.

Silverman and Buttry are both contributors to the Verification Handbook.

Felix Salmon posted that the need to scoop is the most ‘masturbating‘ thing a journalist can do. Only the reporter actually cares. Matthew Ingram elaborates: The news audience doesn’t care where they heard it first,  but do care who told it accurately.

Jennifer Preston of the NYT spoke to Andrew Fitzgerald about the importance of twitter in breaking stories like the Hudson plane crash, the Arab Spring, and Boston marathon bombing, and maintains ” it’s more important to get it right than to get it first.”

Alex Murray at the The BBC’s User Generated Content Hub describes systems for verifying images and clips that are almost forensic: checking weather, shadows, weaponry, vehicles and license plates, getting expert advice on accents and dialects. It’s a necessity, whether it takes seconds or hours.

Biz Carson flags the potential of Izitru to host and verify images

When to trust social media? Jeff Sonderman applies the qualified compass of credibility, importance and urgency

What are other journalists doing?  Craig Silverman reports on Verification as a Strategic Ritual , a research paper sourced from journalists’ own practices: Informed compromises, roundabout methods and reliance on previous experience.

And should you trip here in Australia? Beware Media Watch and ABC Fact Check.





Verification as a Strategic Ritual Ivor Shapiro, Colette Brin, Isabelle Bédard-Brûlé, Kasia Mychajlowycz, Journalism Practice ,Vol. 7, Iss. 62013