WEEK 8 – Social Media

For this week’s inquiry, I chose to review the social media site Instagram. Certainly this site could follow the slogan ‘a picture can tell a thousand words’ because that is exactly what it does.

Image source: www.instagram.com

Image source: www.instagram.com

Instagram launched into the social networking sphere as a simple and user-friendly photo-sharing application in October 2006, since then it has quickly become one of the most popular online visual storytelling sites today.

With over 300 million followers and a global community that shares over 60 million photos and videos on average per day, Instagram has evolved to keep up with consumer demand and most importantly market competition.

It is set to transform again, by improving the already well-known service, Instagram Direct in September 2015. Instagram will intergrate features that will include messaging threads, comment icons, location and hashtag pages. This will allow users to connect to a wider audience and make it easier to share content.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 12.46.14 pm

Image source: www.instagram.com

This is a premium site where users can create albums and publicly share and showcase their photos and videos to anyone, anywhere.

From an avid, beginner or professional photographer to a keen eye for quirky or corporate visual imagery, Instagram is a good foundation to build a custom base portfolio either professionally or personally.

I would use Instagram for exactly this, to showcase work on a professional level once having establish all necessary technicalities first. Although I enjoy viewing other people’s content on Instagram, I would only use it for work related purposes.

Media Professionals could also use Instagram to tell visual stories using photos and video, here they could receive comments and feedback from other followers and also link their accounts to Facebook, Twitter and many other social media networks.

References

Instagram 2015, viewed 4 September 2015,

https://instagram.com/

WEEK 7 – Spelling and Style Quizzes

SPELLING QUIZ 7A

Well, another quiz that I was not expecting to get a low score. This one resulted in only 70%. After reviewing the questions I answered incorrectly, I realised that I did not pay much attention to the question at all. These were simple questions and yet I misread both. It would seems that I must pay more attention in future when distinguishing nouns and verbs and changes to its pronunciation and spelling. My second attempt of course was 100%.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 3.23.04 pm

STYLE QUIZ 7B

A good result here, scoring 100% in my first attempt. I paid more attention to the questions and readings this time.

Week 7 – Reflection

Other than stating the obvious, having read the questions thoroughly and ensuring that I understood the chapter readings, I should have achieved a better result in quiz 7A. Such small grammatical errors are harder to pick up initially, but I am definitely learning as I go. Hopefully, I will pay more attention to detail and avoid such mistakes in future.

WEEK 7 – Newsletter Review

This week’s inquiry is to review a newsletter from the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) website.

After reviewing the lengthy publication, Volume 33 No.2 newsletter, it was evident that the newsletter considers a target audience to be scientists, specialist groups in fields of conservation, research and management and other such organisations that would ideally find the factual information contained in this newsletter to be newsworthy.

What kinds of stories are in the newsletter?

The newsletter contains information about the activities of the CSG and their involvement, news and events regarding crocodilians and information on the conservation and its current status.

The following stories were identified in the newsletter:

  • Meeting overviews
  • Meeting minutes
  • Reports
  • Review updates
  • Working groups
  • Contributions and award recognitions
  • Work field trips
  • Scheme updates
  • International conservation programs
  • Science publications
  • Recent publications
  • CSG Steering Committee members

How do these target the organisation’s audience?

Newsletters should provide current information that affects the organisation and the information provided can’t be sourced easily from elsewhere (CQU 2015).

The CSG newsletter targets CSG members and other interested individuals and organisations. This publication is very informative and interesting because it contains comprehensive information relative to a specialised interest, ideally suited to individuals in the fields of science, biology and conservation.

Newsom & Hayes (2005) suggests that there are two types of newsletters organisational and subscriptional. The CSG newsletter uses organisational for the members of the association that have a general interest in the organisation. There is also reference to the subscriptional element because the CSG address those interests that will lead people to subscribing to the newsletter.

If you were a science journalist, is there anything you be interested in following up as a story, and why?

The newsletter provides a variety of factual information that a science journalist could find useful to create a newsworthy article. Such leads could involve the major contribution by pioneer researcher Ted Joanen, who was recognised with two outstanding research awards for his involvement in sustainable use management.

I would question Mr Joanen and his current conservation initiatives and primary goals. I would obtain quotes from prominent people to support the article and create credibility. This will create positive publicity for the CSG to encourage contributions and donations by informing the audience of their success stories and achievements.

What do you think is effective or otherwise about this newsletter?

Although this newsletter provided enough information necessary for it to be newsworthy to a target audience, I personally found the writing style lacked the ability to do everything possible to maintain any interest.

The use of businesslike language made it difficult to understand the context in some areas, particularly in the reports and meetings. This is probably due to the organisation using jargon that is most commonly recognised by their target readers rather than the general public (Whitaker 2015, 328).

The paragraphs were too long and the heavy use of acronyms made it difficult to recognise individual organisations without having to scroll back to identify them.

There were some positives that included, good use of font and vertical columns that made it easier to follow and read.

References

Crocodile Specialist Group 2014, Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter, vol. 33, no. 2,  pp. 1-36, viewed 30 August 2015, http://www.iucncsg.org/content_images/attachments/33(2)%20low%20res%20Colour.pdf

CQUniversity Australia 2015, COMM11007 media writing: week 7 – newsletters and brochures, viewed 27 August 2015, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/course/view.php?id=1946

Newsom, D & Hayes, J 2005, Public relations writing: form & style, 7th edn., Thomson Learning, Belmont, CA.

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

WEEK 7 – Assessment Review

This week’s practical is to review our first assessment and identify spelling, style and punctuation errors and make adjustments where necessary. By using the marking key checklist provided to review my assessment, I was able to correctly address mistakes, which were mainly punctuation errors.

This helped to simplify some sentences that were too descriptive. I am fairly confident that I have addressed the errors and applied the writing techniques required to acquire a positive overall result.

Had it not been for the marking criteria checklist, I would have assumed that any corrections and adjustments I had made using the skills I have learnt so far, would have picked up most of the issues. However, once I reviewed my assessment against the checklist, it was evident that there were many punctuation errors, which I adjusted accordingly.

WEEK 6 – Punctuation Quiz 6A and 6B

QUIZ 6A

After my first attempt at this quiz, I was confident that I had answered all the questions correctly and was expecting to receive 100%. The questions seemed quite easy, however, once the results were displayed, I was surprised to see that I had one incorrect answer. Once again, I was confused by possessive nouns and forgetting that in this case the path belongs to the wind. My second attempt was 100%.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 10.24.36 am

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 10.25.55 am

QUIZ 6B

Well, what can I say about this quiz? Other than getting two questions wrong, I was very confused about the ‘trick’ question asking is ‘an ellipsis used to indicate something that has been shortened within a sentence.’ The explanation describes ‘an ellipsis is used to indicate something is removed from a sentence’, I would question whether that ‘removed’ is the same as ‘shortened’. Possibly if the question asked whether an ellipsis indicates whether something is ‘shortened’ or ‘removed’, allowing for two options I would have chosen ‘removed’ instead. I received 100% on my second attempt.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 10.25.10 am
Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 10.25.42 am

WEEK 6 – Media Kit Review

The inquiry task for this week is to review the media kit for a Cirque du Soleil show. I have chosen the Michael Jackson ONE show which is currently the resident show at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Upon reviewing the media kit for the show, it was evident that Cirque de Soleil has clearly outlined every element of information. This helps to provide media professionals with the background information they need in order to tailor an article to their target audience (CQU 2015).

The media kit is current which will also gives media professionals access to recent information to publish additional articles.

The show’s media kit includes the following information:

  • Media releases about the show
  • Backgrounder about the acts and performers
  • Backgrounder about the costumes and visual effects
  • Backgrounder about Cirque de Soleil that includes the organisation’s history which is updated every year so that it stays current, the mission, the creators and other organisation’s which work alongside Cirque du Soleil such as multimedia and ticketing organisations.
  • Fact sheet about the technical elements of the show
  • Photo and Video footage (only available after registering online to get access)
  • Video preview of show
  • Biographies of the creators
  • Backgrounder about the Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters in Montreal
  • Backgrounder about the Costume Workshop and Designers

The Michael Jackson ONE media kit is written in a concise and chronological format, making it a good example of journalistic style by applying the KISS principles (CQUniversity 2015) .

The information is brief but detailed and simple to read and understand, this is particularly important when considering the target audience.

The show’s media release presents important and significant information first and includes the what, where, when and why elements which is another good example of journalistic style writing (Whitaker et al, 2012).

Each section provides a short introduction and this generally includes a brief overview of each section and also gives links to further information. This will provide a journalist with a brief description of the information that could help create a lead or story angle for an article.

Other information that could be used to tailor an article is the show’s fact sheet, a list of facts that will support the media release and give the organisation credibility.

References

CQUniversity Australia 2015, COMM11007 media writing: week 1 – introduction to media writing, viewed 3 September 2015.

Cirque de Soleil 2015, Michael Jackson One, media release, viewed 25 August 2015, https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/press/kits/shows/paramour/content-temp.aspx

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

WEEK 6 – Photo Essay

A Little Man’s Big Birthday.

Good captions play an important role in understanding the context of how a story is told (Ames 2014). When considering which visuals to use, it helps to plan and arrange shots in order to utilise the visual elements (Whitaker et al, 2012). I have chosen my son’s fourth birthday party event and selected a small number of photos to help capture the event in a sequenced format to tell a story.

Decorations are ready in preparation for birthday party celebration today on 11 August 2015.

Decorations are ready in preparation for birthday party celebration today on 11 August 2015.

More presents for the gift table as guests start arriving before party begins.

More presents for the gift table as guests start to arrive before the party starts.

Birthday party guest and cousin, Tuora, 6, presents Marcus with a gift on his special day.

Birthday party guest and cousin, Tuora, 6, presents Marcus with a gift on his special day.

Delicious chicken nibbles, a favourite choice on the birthday menu goes down a treat with guests.

Delicious chicken nibbles, a favourite choice on the birthday menu, goes down a treat with guests.

Marcus shows his excitement as he unwraps a gift given by his aunty. A toy dinosaur he has been hoping for on his birthday.

Marcus shows his excitement as he unwraps a gift given by his aunty. A toy dinosaur he has been hoping for on his birthday.

Marcus waits patiently for the lights to go down and his birthday candles to be lit.

Marcus waits patiently for the lights to go down and his birthday candles to be lit.

A big birthday cheer before Marcus blows out his candles on his 4th birthday.

A big birthday cheer before Marcus blows out his candles on his fourth birthday.

Marcus shows that you are never to young to follow tradition of cutting the cake, with a little help from his aunty.

Marcus shows that you are never to young to follow tradition of cutting the cake, with a little help from his aunty.

Marcus, 4, centre, Taiamai, 7, left, Tuora, 6, right, big brother, Keithan, 11, top left and Tawhiri, 9, top right enjoyed the party celebration, now time for cake.

Marcus, 4, centre, Taiamai, 7, left, Tuora, 6, right, big brother, Keithan, 11, top left and Tawhiri, 9, top right enjoyed the party celebration, now it’s time for cake and then home.

References

Ames, K 2014, Media writing: photo captions, 20 July 2014, viewed 18 September 2015, http://socialmediawritings.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Week%2003

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