Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Rubens - Album Review

 Fresh new band, The Rubens made up of 4 lads from NSW recently released their first self titled album and it is a sure-fire hit.


With their catchy tune 'My Gun' released earlier this year and sell out shows across Australia, there is no doubt that this band has immense talent and  will go far.

A mix of killer vocals, powerful drums and earthy guitar riffs, the album has the same distinctive Rubens' vibe in every song but despite this, each song stands on its own. It's one of those albums that you like next song as much as the previous, there are all good. With brass elements in 'Look Good, Feel Good' which add a little something, to songs like 'Elvis', which describe how great it is to be in love, to slow break-up ballads such as 'Lay it Down' and 'The Best We Never Had' which sends you straight back to your heartbreak, this albums has a song for everything and will revoke some memories. Perfect for a barbeque on the patio or just some easy listening, this album will not disappoint.

Week 12 - Investigative Journalism

So the final lecture before our exam was Investigative Journalism, obviously discussing investigative style journalism.
Bruce dissected the word INVESTIGATIVE into just IN and broke down meanings under this umbrella term.

the 'INs' of investigative includes:
INtelligent - how does it fit into the 3 headed monster of money, sex and monster (or where all the investigating happens), one has to be careful and intelligent otherwise it could lead to legal action e.g getting sued.

INformed - you have to research, if not you will miss the real story and who the real players are.

INtuitive - like nature and nurture, intuition is something that cannot be taught so when investigating you need to be a 'sticky beak'. This can develop by experience.

INside - To find out what people are doing, getting inside their heads and minds and getting intimately close to people involved.

INvest - ultimately their is an investment of time (as well as money and research). You have to invest in relationships and put in time and effort for the story to pay off

The lecture then explained some deeper meanings and purpose of Investigative Journalism

Investigative Journalism can be explained by a critical and thorough form of journalism, where the journalist is an active participant of what is going on, including not just writing but becoming involved with the whole thing (or having an active intervention), whilst investing much time and effort.

or as 'custodians of conscience' (Ettema and Glasser) : investigation takes society's morals and norms and holds breaches up to public scrutiny; in other words, what they call 'civic vice' is exposed for society to respond.

This provides voice to those who don't have one, whilst holding higher powers accountable. Therefore there is an element of social justice as journalism have the means in print and broadcasting media.

The term fourth estate branches from this and describes journalists that represent the interests  of those without power to balance the power of the government. Ultimately their aim is to show the government what society thinks and believes.

There is also journalists aptly names 'Watchdogs' as they make public personalities and institutions whose function impact social and political life accountable.

Moving on, the lecture then explained primary and secondary levels of investigative journalism. Under the primary level falls active intervention, exposure, public interest and fourth estate/watchdog which were all explained earlier.

They lecture then explained the term 'trailblazer' using examples such as Juilian Asange (founder of wikileaks) and Australain story as the story is always in the person's own words.

So why do we investigate?
it is necessary to investigate to ensure:
we have the right facts, nothing is assumed, and to make sure that what you saw, what you were told and what you recorded all lines up.

Investigative journalism is exposed to multiple threats. Online news (official and unoffical) and less money allocated therefore leading to less journalist, setting off a chain reaction meaning less time and less investigation. Another battle Investigative Journalism faces is between them and PR. As there is a growth in PR there is a shrinkage in Investigative Journalism.

To gain a better understanding of PR's role in the media, I found this link helpful:

My Favourite Entertainment Website

When it comes to news, apart from really important/crazy/unpredictable world affairs, I only really care for music news (if you haven't noticed already, I'm quite the music enthusiast, to say the least). So, when looking for tour dates, general pointless knowledge about musicians, tragedies and things of that nature, I have a few online news websites tailored to fulling my needs.

My personal favourite is PedestrianTV. Not only do they have general music news but subcategories such as: Music Festival News, Music Video News, Music Entertainment News and Music Reviews.

I really recommend it as the writing style is informative yet hilarious making news somewhat fun!

here's the link amigos! :

(p.s if music is not your thing they have movie news and heaps of other genres too!)

If you don't feel like 'searching' here's some snippets of the website...

Example Video Review:

Example Music News:

Monday, 29 October 2012

How the media constructs reality - Agenda Setting Week 11 Lecture Review

Agenda setting in the media plays a large role in constructing and mediating the social world and how we understand it. Agenda setting can be explained as a social construction of reality by the media. when looking at agenda setting there are four sub-categories:
1. Public Agenda - or what the public sees as being important
2. Policy Agenda - or the issues that the decision maker's face
3.Corporate Agenda - only the big business and corporations
4. Media Agenda - what is discussed in the media

Two assumptions of media agenda setting are that the mass media do not merely reflect and report reality but they shape and filter it and secondly, media concentrate on a few issues and subjects which lead the public to perceive those issues as more important than others.

The history of agenda setting first originated in the 1920's from Lasswell who suggested that the mass media 'injects' direct influence into the audience and this created limitations as the news was all one way and non-thinking. Also in the 1920's, Lippman suggested that the mass media creates images of events in our minds

From this, two types of agenda setting theory developed. The first level is studied by researchers which emphasises the major issues and the transfer of the salience of those issues. The media suggest what the public should focus on through coverage.

Second level agenda setting theory is how the media focuses on the attributes of the issues. The media suggest how people should think about an issue rather than what.

Along with these theories comes the Agenda Setting 'Family', its members and definitions include:
1.Media Gatekeeping : How (and what) the media chooses to expose and reveal to the public
2. Media Advocacy : The purposive promotion of a message through the media
3. Agenda Cutting : Most of the truth or reality that is going on in the world isn't represented.
4. Agenda Surfing : or the 'Bandwagon' effect, the media surfs on topics originally mentioned in opinion-leading media
5. The diffusion on News : The process through which an important event is communicated to the public
6. Portrayal of and issue : The way an issue is portrayed will often influence how it is perceived by the public
7. Media Dependence  : The more dependent a person is on the media for information, the more susceptible that person is to media agenda setting.

With social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, I think the agenda setting family, in particular media dependence, is a very accurate description on how the media filters its news.

Some strengths of Agenda Setting theory include how it has explanatory powers as it explains why most people consider the same issues important. It has predictive power as it predicts that if people are exposed to the same media they will consider the same issues important. It has organising power because it helps organise existing knowledge of media effects. Agenda setting can also be proven false and involves meta-theoretical assumptions  that are balanced scientifically and it leaves a lot of room for further research. However, along with strengths it also possess many weaknesses, as not all media users will conform to this theory.

To gain a better understanding of Agenda Setting, I have found the following video to be quite helpful, while still remaining entertaining.

Did you know...November is Triple J's AUSMUSIC MONTH? Well, now you do.
And to celebrate Australian artists and all that is great about Australian music, Triple J is putting together a cluster of free gigs with some pretty amazing bands participating. Kicking off in my own city, Brisvegas on November 1st, for Brissy locals, your location is the Southbank Piazza with the likes of Something for Kate and Ball Park Music lining up to serenade your ears, just to name a few. So, what are you waiting for? Its fun, loud and fantastic Aussie music and best of all its FREE!

In case my little spiel wasn't enough, here's the official flyer!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Annotated Bibliography

 ‘The surge in celebrity interest - more than 2 million copies of celebrity magazines are now sold in the UK each week. "I cannot think of time when we've been more celebrity-obsessed," says Jacqueline Young, a lawyer at Russell Jones & Walker.’ ( Tait, N., 2002) It is not uncommon for journalist of today to breach both an individual’s or a whole corporation’s privacy for the sakes of a sake. This annotated bibliography will explore three various news reports surround Prince Harry’s nude scandal. It will discuss how the incident was reported differently throughout the media, how it was seen as a privacy violation to the Royal family and the minority of the public and ultimately, how the majority of the public felt they deserved to see the images.  The mediums analysed include reports from newspapers Mail Online, The Sun, a video interview from The Telegraph and an Article from journalist, Nikki Tait.

Tait, N. (2002). Celebrity versus public interest,, pp 1-1. Retrieved from:

The author of this article, Nikki Tait, is journalist for the Financial Times (UK). Because of her extensive prior experience in the field of journalism this is a credible source. The article focuses on the media using public interest over human’s rights when reporting a story on a celebrity.  She also covers that when most celebrities have taken legal action against the media, they have lost due to ‘loop holes’ in the privacy laws. The article does present figures and scenarios that support the view that breaching this privacy is acceptable for news. Some judges claimed that photographs accompanying a story are legitimate and even an essential part of the journalistic package (Tait, N,. 2002). The article also presents the notion that because of public interest in celebrity life is so high, it is the public’s right to be thoroughly informed of what is happening to celebrities, even if it is invasive and does break human right acts.  

Sun Says (Personal Communicator) (2012) The Sun Publishes Photos of Naked Prince Harry The Sun. Retrieved from:

The Sun personnel speaks on behalf of the whole newspaper when they claim that they have published naked images of Prince Harry despite warnings from the Royal Family’s lawyers. This source seems less creditable due to the unknown author or authors and the experience they have in the field of Journalism. However, the article does present in depth research such as statistics such as 77% of British house holds with internet access could see these images before they published them and quotes. The Murdoch – owned paper said ‘Harry has compromised his own privacy’ due to his royal status and scandalous behavior when the image was taken. In an attempt to suit the desires of the public, as these images were previously posted online, the article claims ‘we are posting the article because we think Sun readers have a right to seem them” and to those who don’t have internet access ‘Taking full part in the national conversation’. However they also affirm they are not making any moral judgments about Harry, suggesting that it is less invasive of the Prince’s privacy. Because of the push for the public to know, audiences will be much more willing to read The Sun over other newspapers, as they feel they ‘deserve and have a personal right to’. In conclusion, this can be seen as invasive reporting as Harry was on private property and the Royal family had warned the newspaper prior to publishing.

Unknown author, (2012) Max Clifford: The Sun publishing photos of Prince Harry naked is 'clearly an invasion of privacy' The Telegraph. Retrieved from:

A short interview with Max Clifford conducted by The Telegraph, is a very credible source as it is presented in a video, filming Clifford’s responses. Clifford claims that because of what he contributes to society, an event like this would not affect his popularity. He also claims that to him, it is an invasion of privacy and he was in a private suite attending a private party. However, he did say that it is unfair that the British public was banned from seeing it, again putting forth the public interest notion and that Britain should have access to the photos.  This article differs from The Sun as it does recognize that those images are of Prince Harry’s privacy, but again like the previous article, enforce the view the public still deserve to see the images therefore making the breach is considered ethical, for the good of the public. This approach could be suited to some as it is from a company not owned by Murdoch and presents a different medium and point of view.

Robinson, M (2012) Wall of Silence From the Palace: Despite threats to stop the British press printing naked Harry photos it has not complained over Sun front page, Mail Online. Retrieved from:

Like the previous article, the author of this piece, Martin Robinson is an experienced journalist. This report presents another side to the public, which thinks the images of harry were an invasion of privacy as more than 850 people had officially complained about The Sun putting naked images of Harry on the front page.  The image also explains how The Sun went against the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) guidelines and how the Royals emphasized their views on the pictures going public. However, despite supporting that it was an invasion of privacy, the article still finds a way to get the reader to view the images. Without showing the images, the writer describes the images of Harry in such detail; it makes the reader curious to see the images, which are conveniently hyperlinked below. This angle of the story appears to be in Harry’s favour as it is acknowledging that his privacy was breached, but when looking deeper, the undertones of the story are no different to other views due to hyperlinks attached to the text. The reporting of the incident is different as they were not the original newspaper to release the images.

Unquestionably, it is clear that a celebrity’s privacy is sacrificed for Journalism and the desire of public interest, even if it breaches human right acts and the PPC . The Prince Harry nude scandal is a great example of this as he was on private property, attending a private party, yet the public felt they had a right to see the images. This desire can be seen across of number of newspaper articles, outlining that their readers feel that have a right to see images of a Naked Prince Harry, especially because it was available on the net first.

Monday, 15 October 2012

If it Bleeds, it Leads - News Values Week 9

News Values was theme of this week's lecture and can be defined by a general definition:
The degree of prominence a media outlet gives to a story, and the attention that is paid by an audience'

News journalism has a broadly agreed set of values, often referred to as newsworthiness.

so, what are these values?
1. Impact or how the audience responds (gee whiz!)
2. Audience Identification or the areas of culture involved in the news
3. Pragmatics or the ethics, facticity, practice, everyday and current affairs
4. Source Influence or journalists going against public relations (e.g spinning the truth at clients expense)

News values vary across different news services and between different countries and culture but, the two main news values, especially in Australia are: IF IT BLEEDS IT LEADS and IF IT'S LOCAL IT LEADS.

focusing now on the concept of newsworthiness, a general definition provided by Harold Evans who was the editor of The Sunday Times from 1967-1981 states: A sense of news values is the first quality of editors – they are the human sieves of the torrent of news, even more important even than an ability to write or a command of language  

 Stemming from this initial set of building blocks for newsworthiness came other alternatives  from many different journalists. Galtung & Ruge set of characteristics included: (in order) Negativity, closeness to home, recency, currency, continuity, uniqueness, simplicity, personality, expectedness, elite nations or people, exclusivity and size.

Several theories also were develop from their set of values. The additivity hypothesis suggests that the more factors that are in the story, the higher the probability that it becomes news and the exclusion theory which states that if the story contains none of very few it will not make news

Another set of values much later on in 2002 were developed by Judy McGregor, hers in order were: visualness, conflict, emotion and celebrification of the journalist

Finally, one last example of another set of values put together by this course's lecturer Dr. Bruce Redman in 2011 include: New news values, terrorism, GFC, health/fitness and environment.

Newsworthiness faces three tensions between journalism and its ideals and commercialisation of the social life, public relations and journalism's reality. As a result, we can see lazy, incompetent journalism emerge along with public relation influence, hyper-commercialisation and a rapid news cycle which is untrustworthy and irresponsible.