WEEK 5 – Reporting Speech and Figures Quiz

I achieved a score of 70% for the first quiz, which was surprising because I felt confident with my answers. Well much to my dismay, I reviewed my answers and identified why I answered three of the questions incorrectly. I did not consider that when reporting speech indirectly you must move tense one stage back, in this case I didn’t consider the tense of the direct quote which was past tense, a reading error on my part. I also misread the question regarding ‘all direct quotes should have a closing quotation mark, because I thought they did. However the answer review suggests, they don’t if the quote is continuing onto a new paragraph, I think the question itself should have included additional information such as ‘unless the quote is going to continue in a new paragraph’. Lastly, my third incorrect answer was assuming all reporting speech is the same in all forms of media writing, I have no real reason why I did not answer that correctly. The second quiz was much better scoring 90% this time. The question I had answered incorrectly was a surprise because I selected the answer that looked less awkward, although I was certain that the sentence was in fact the correct answer to begin with, as is described in the English for Journalists textbook.

WEEK 5 – An Article with Impact

Inquiry

This week’s inquiry was to find an article that has impact because of the sources, speech and reporting, and why it is an example of good journalism or media writing.

I have chosen a recent article from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) website published by political reporter James Glenday on the 21 August 2015.

Click to access article

The use of media writing and reporting techniques are evident in this well-written hard news article. The information provided is factual and is supported by many legitimate and prominent sources which provides good credibility and reliability to the story and content.

In relation to the ABC of writing (CQU 2015), this article displays accuracy because all facts are correct and valid as each fact is followed by a direct quote. For example,

Treasurer Joe Hockey, who sits on Australia’s national security committee, said he would not pre-empt what was discussed but the request would be properly considered.

“Our enemies see no borders over in the Middle East. ISIL sees no borders, and we have an obligation to do whatever we can to stop the evil that they are perpetrating,” he said.

The paragraphs are brief and concise and clearly outline important information that can be read quickly. The article also uses clear communication, which ensures readers can understand what is being reported, using language that can be easily understood to a mass audience.

The article leads with the most important information first, which immediately gives readers an overview of the article. The five Ws and H are shown in the lead paragraphs:

  • Who             –           The United States (US) and Australia
  • What            –           A formal request
  • Where          –           Australian Embassy, Washington, USA
  • When           –           Yesterday, 20 August 2015
  • Why             –           To expand its role in the fight against IS in Syria
  • How             –           Request sent to Embassy

It is also clear, that the article uses reliable sources, the people directly involved with how the request will be dealt with. News values have been considered throughout the article.

By including high profile people such as the Cabinet Minister Christopher Pyne and Treasurer Joe Hockey, shows prominence and helps to support the information given in the article.

It also presents the article’s trustworthiness and the fact it is newsworthy. Another is that the Australian Embassy in Washington has received the request which asks ‘Australia to expand its fight against IS in Syria” (ABC 2015), therefore proximity and interest values have been considered here.

The RAAF’s continued involvement will have an on-going impact on Australians and conflict values will continue to implicit conflict and controversial issues.

Moreover, there are many links leading to stories of relevant importance to this article, the issues discussed in each story are recent and on-going, so currency and timeliness values are an indication of a good news story with impact.

This article consists of the necessary elements used in media professionalism and journalistic style of news writing, making it a good, informative and well-written article.

References

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 Media Writing: week 4 – the basic news story, viewed 21 August 2015, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/149393/mod_resource/content/4/1.%20COMM11007%20Week%204%20Lesson.pdf

Glenday, J 2015, ‘Islamic state: US formally requests Australia expand its role in fight against militant group in Syria’, ABC News, 21 August, viewed 21 August 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-21/us-asks-australia-to-expand-role-in-fight-against-is/6713720

WEEK 5 – Interview and News Report

Practical

This week’s activity involved conducting an interview with two people and write a news story on the interview.

FAMILY VERSUS FRIENDSHIP

Best friends Shayley Kerapa and Bree McDonald revealed in an interview today that family comes before friendship.

My sister, Shayley Kerapa, describes her friendship with Bree as a blessing but admits family will always be the most important aspect in her life.

“My family will do anything for me and I will do anything for them.

“We share a bond that is different to the bond that I share with Bree,” she said.

Ten years on, Shayley is thankful for the memories that her and Bree share, but it has been family that has truly pulled her through the hard times and kept her grounded.

“My family plays different roles when it comes to looking out for me.

“My sister becomes my mother and my mother becomes my best friend, their personalities are quite different but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said.

Miss Kerapa said that despite all the other things she loves in her life, such as travelling, money and friends, they mean very little to her without family. The support of her family and their happiness is what makes her life so fulfilling.

Best friend, Bree McDonald, also agrees that family is the most important thing and believes that it is family that has helped her build strong relationships with her friends and fiancé.

“My family and I are really close, even though we live miles apart from each other.

“We always keep in touch and support one another through everything,” she said.

Bree said that she may not be as career-driven or travel minded like her friends, but enjoys life because of her family, her fiancé and their two year old daughter, Danielle.

“It makes me happy, knowing my family is happy.

“We are definitely not the Brady Bunch and we don’t always get along, but we love each other unconditionally,” she said.

Family has taught her to cherish the people in her life, whether it be with friends, colleagues or her own family.

Miss McDonald is thinking of starting her career in Community Services next year, as she wants to show others the caring and nurturing qualities her family has shown her.

Reflection

I enjoyed this activity because I had to put my media writing and interview skills to the test. I have never conducted an interview from a journalist’s perspective, so it was much easier to interview and ask questions to the interviewees because I knew them. I also realised from this activity, which will help me in preparation for Assessment 3, that I need to work on my open end questions for a detailed response and inform my interviewees prior to the interview what questions they could expect to be asked so they are prepared and feel comfortable during the interview.

WEEK 4 – Grammar Problems and Confusions Quiz

After my first attempt at this quiz, I achieved a score of 90%. The question I answered incorrectly was in regards to the misuse of absolute adjectives. In fact, the answer when using ‘more’ with ‘perfect’ is ludicrous as it can’t be ‘more perfect’ or even ‘most perfect’. At first, I thought, the answer is ‘ludicrous and unneccessary’, but began to second guess, when I identified the other options as possibly having similar definitions (wish I checked the dictionary first). Of course they do but in different contexts, as the quiz answer review suggests, that “all other responses are correct to a degree” but ‘ludicrous and unnecessary’ is the best answer. Of course I achieved 100% on my second attempt, as it would have been ‘ludicrous’ if I didn’t.

WEEK 4 – The Good News or the Bad News

Inquiry

This week’s inquiry was to review the following news stories and discuss any issues, namely; why the first story is poorly written and why the second story is well written story.

Story A

Click to read news story

This news story contains a number of media writing related issues that have negatively affected its newsworthiness and has been classified as a poorly written article. Yes this story may be entertaining and amusing to read but it is also misleading and confusing because of the illogical construction of the story.

The article lacks news judgement which is essential to good news writing but should be constructed in order to reflect the newsworthiness of the material (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2012).

The headline tells readers that the article is based on an interview with Pattison about his recent film ‘The Rover’, but the details provided explain very little about the film and talks more about O’Neil and his encounter with Pattison and Pattison’s bodyguard at a bar.

The lead does not contain the five Ws and an H nor is it written in a straightforward way, instead it is delivered in an extremely informal manner. A reader will immediately identify the article’s irrelevant information rather than specific details related to the events.

In addition, O’Neil’s primary discussion on the chain of events is from a self-focused perspective, rather than being more objective in his deliverance. This can leave a reader feeling frustrated because the article ignores the essential elements of specific and important details therefore the remaining content will be less appealing.

Overall, this news story article lacks factual information relevant to what the headline suggests, therefore many of the main issues affecting this news story has created a misleading and very poorly written piece.

Story B

Click to open media release

This media release is definitely a well-written, well researched and factual article. The story construction is clear and concise and is noticeably written in accordance to the inverted pyramid structure (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2012) and accurately delivers information in order of importance.

The lead is consistent with the journalistic style of writing by including the five Ws and H and continues to make reference to these throughout the article.

The article provides statistical information in an accurate and informative manner and includes quotes from prominent people, this helps readers to understand the value and credibility of the article in its entity. There is also contact information for media enquiries should the reader require further information.

Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith (2012) suggests that a good news release will contain two main elements: powerful quotes and local information. This is clearly evident in this media release, which makes it a very effective and well-written article.

 

References

AgForce 2015, Leading agribusiness panel to analyse rural resilience at 360 Roma, 20 May, viewed 14 August 2015, http://www.agforceqld.org.au/index.php?tgtPage=news&id=view,478

O’Neil, D 2014, Robert Pattinson talks about his new film, The Rover, with Dave O’Neil, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 June, viewed 14 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/robert-pattinson-talks-about-his-new-film-the-rover-with-dave-oneil-20140619-zs99j.html

Whitaker, R, Ramsey, J & Smith, R 2012, Media writing: print, broadcast, and public relations, 4th edn., Routlage, New York.

WEEK 4 – Planning for the event

Practical

The activities for this week include the planning process for two possible events in preparation for Assessment 3. To identify the main parts of the event, the people in which to obtain a short quote and write a background of each event.

Event One

Townsville Cultural Festival

This is an annual celebration that showcases music, dance and involves over 300 creative arts, cultural and community groups.

It is the festival’s 21st anniversary and set to be the greatest one yet and will be held from the 19th to the 23rd August 2015.

The festival also moves to a new 40 million dollar site, the Jezzine Barracks Precint and will not only include native parklands and playground equipment but amphitheatres and large scale art features. This celebration will be at an exciting new location and is expected to draw record attendance.

Click here for the Music and Performance Stage Program

Main parts of the event

  • Live music and entertainment including the biggest line up of headline acts ever
  • Over 100 food and market stalls
  • Cooking and art workshops

People to obtain quotes for twitter

  • Event Organiser – Dr Farvardin Daliri
  • Event Management – Erfan Daliri
  • Production Management – Justin Ryan
  • Music artists and performers
  • Stallholders
  • Security and service people
  • General public

Twitter:            #townsvilleculturalfestival

 

Event Two

Rockhampton Cultural Festival

This event is an annual one day celebration that will be held at the Heritage Village, Rockhampton on Sunday 30th August 2015. Festival goers will enjoy exotic food, music and entertainment and the event will host a wide variety of workshops and activities by some of its local members as well as members from the international community.

Main parts of the event

  • A parade of nations
  • Live music and entertainment from international artists
  • Workshops and activities
  • Food and Market stalls

People to obtain quotes for twitter

  • Chair of Rockhampton Regional Council’s Communities Committee – Cr Rose Swadling
  • African music artist and performer – Tichawona Noble Mashawa
  • Stallholders
  • Workshop organisers
  • General public

Twitter:            #Rockhampton, #Rockyculturalfest

My planning process

  • Decide which event to cover for the assessment
  • Obtain further information on main parts of each event
  • Identify which parts of the event are newsworthy
  • Schedule adequate time before and after attending main parts
  • Arrange to meet and interview with people for twitter quotes prior to event
  • Research and obtain background information on these events
  • Prepare questions for interviews
  • Post at least 15 tweets before, during and after event
  • Seek accreditation (if necessary) prior to event
  • Complete a story and publish it on Storify within one week after the event

Twitter:            #townsvilleculturalfestival

 

Video – ‘Why you should plan’

Kate presents three main points to why planning is important, these are:

  • Time flies
  • Schedule and plan for what the main events are
  • Think about obtaining accreditation

 

References

ProfComm CQUni 2014, Media writing: why you need a plan, video, 11 July, viewed 9 August 2015,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qFGnt42SaM&feature=youtu.be

WEEK 3 – Common Mistakes Quiz

I was amused by Chapter 3 of Hicks, English for Journalists because I realised that my current writing skills contain many of the common mistakes indicated in this chapter. As I write this reflection about the quiz, I am already trying to change my writing skills to eliminate the mistakes that I have been applying to my writing and now I can see that I have excluded many words that I would normally use. Sometimes I tend to write creatively and in great detail, also using words of etiquette rather than grammatically correct words and sentences but now I am mindful of how to write and which techniques to apply to my writing in future.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this chapter and afterwards felt confident answering the questions in the quiz, my first attempt I scored 11 out of 12. I answered question 12 incorrectly because I did not read the options carefully and did not consider ‘the jury’ as one entity, which in this case is a collective noun and singular.