Category Archives: Media

My journey through reporting refugees: an ABJ blog

When presented with this Reporting Refugees assessment earlier this semester I was forced to assess my ideology on refugees and their treatment in Australia. What I soon discovered was that I was not as educated on the subject as I thought I was and that I was really quite ignorant of their plight. All that was about to change.

I always knew this assessment was going to be difficult, but I now know how far I can push myself and what I am actually capable of. First however, allow me to take you through the process that led me to this discovery.

Once pairing up with Brock and searching for refugee talent online, we contacted the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Service (MARSS). The man on the other end, in great excitement and anticipation to help us bring this project to fruition, put us in touch with a Sudanese artist, Ajaang, who agreed to be part of our assessment. Ajaang moved to Australia four years ago after fleeing Sudan via a Kenyan refugee camp. Instantly, I thought “what perfect talent”.

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IS this niche sustainable?

Am I confident that my area of interest (AOI) can welcome and sustain participation or intervention into the market?

In short- yes.

Through thoroughly searching the interwebs for a sign my AOI has been taken up in the mass market, I am fairly certain my area is a new establishment. In general, there is a lot of information around surrounding my AOI, however by bringing all this information together into one neat little online package, I’m filling an online niche.

The market itself is saturated with information about youth groups and organisations, however it is spread out amongst 156432013 different sites, not compiled. I’m not saying that I will be able to find each piece of online information about youth organisations in Australia but I want to make it easier for someone who may be searching for youth organisations on right-wing politics for instance, to find information on what these groups are doing.

This is the variation I will cover. What is the Australian Youth Forum doing this week? What about the Christian Youth Ministry? Well this is what my niche addresses- the actions and activities of youth organisations over Australia and what they are doing to assist the youth of our country.

Pic source

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New Niche: Youth Around The Country- positive news and views of youth organisations in Australia.

Another week, another AOI refined. This week I am to compile a timeline of what has been happening within my niche.

I chose to have a look at the Australian Youth Forum’s news page to see what was happening and being achieved within the forum.

I first of all decided to cover what was happening in the forum news over the past two months, starting on 1st of August with information about the 2011 Census. Here the AYF was working together with the Council of International Students of Australia to bring awareness of the importance of the census.

Every now and then, members of the AYF will give updates of what has been happening within the organisation, which brings me to 4th August with Thalia’s update.

On the 16th August, the AYF spruiked a survey about the website itself, giving users an opportunity to raise their voices and opinions on the website- creating a rather open and transparent site that is obviously open to viewer participation.

The 24th August gave readers another update from Ian– a member of the AYF.

An entry on the 31st August caught my attention- it was advertising for anyone who has had/is having trouble with their current phone provider or plan and to post their views to the forum. Would be interesting to chase up where ideas went and how they were dealt with…

6th September saw the AYF asking for youth opinion on the Natural Cultural Policy.

12th September saw an update on a recent forum on youth opinion about apprenticeship programs.

22nd September saw another update from a AYF steering committee member, Sara.

All in all, after having a look at what members are doing around the website it is plain to see that this organisation is very up-to-date and their main aim is to communicate with other members and the public in an on-going basis.

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Who Should I Be Following?

As creepy as that sounds, this week I had to track down some Twitter users that are in line with my Area of Interest.

Firstly I began to think about the kind of user I should follow- youths? Youth organisations? Journalists with strong opinions on youths? Gloria Estefan?

I settled on searching for all of the above (minus the last one).

The first Twitter account I came across was Headspace Australia . So I clicked ‘follow’. Why? Within their Twitter feed I was exposed to countless links and articles highlighting the fabulous work going on to help troubled teens. Not only that though, but it seems that Headspace is a great tool for championing the idea of youths- in a positive light.

Just like my Area of Interest- *bing bing bing bing*.

Another great Twitter account to follow is Aus Youth which “is a project aimed at inspiring debate between young people on social media channels and raising awareness about the issues that concern young people.”

This account provides a great supplement for research into my Area of Interest and will point me in many directions where I can gauge the extent as to which youth issues are covered in a positive way- a way that reinforces faith in the younger generations.

These two Twitter accounts in particular give me enough information on who is talking about particular issues such as mental health and eating disorders.

Through Aus Youth, I also came across Jan Owen who is the CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians. By following her I’ve gained access to another news base of information on youths creating grassroots organisations and I’m learning about the different teenagers that are taking an active role in encouraging other youths to follow a safe and prosperous path through life.

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Who’s Talkin’ ‘Bout My Work?

Continuing on from my recent blog post about the nature of Youth Issues and how they are portrayed online, I set out to see what, if anything, was being said about my Area of Interest.

It’s quite hard to find scholars or media professionals who have published works in the area of positive youth action, so I started by looking at who was plainly talking about positive youth engagement.

Ariadne Vroman from the University of Sydney and Philippa Collin of Inspire Foundation, speak about youth-led and youth participation in policy making and the affect it has on both the policies but also those involved in their article, ‘Everyday youth participation? Contrasting views from Australian policymakers and youth people’.

As Vroman and Collin discover,

      it was found that participation and active involvement in decision making was 
meaningful for young people when it was youth-led, fun and informal, and based 
on relevant, everyday issues rather than complex policy processes.

It is hard to critique this article on the basis of how it applied to my Area of Interest, as it doesn’t wholly cover it (nothing does really, I picked a gooden), but what it does do is give me an insight into ONE facet of positive youth action and the consequences it has. In this way it’s easier for me to garner what kind of angle to steer my Area of Interest.

One of the more interesting ideas put forward is the notion of youths being a part of the political process that adults normally are in order to breath fresh life into policies and to make youth-themed policies achievable and relevant to the audience they are intended for. What a great idea- zing!

In this way, it looks as though there is a place for online content that focuses on youth-led initiatives that will take some attention from the plethora of negative online content.

The article can be found at:

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From the team that brought you Burqas…

The first mag in history that probably won’t have Gisele Bundchen on the front cover: Al-Shamikha—”The Majestic Woman”, the new publication for women produced by Al Qaeda.

"Jihad Cosmo"

Wowza! Who would have thunk it?

Mixing beauty with Jihad (as you do), Al-Shimakha teaches Muslim women all the “need-to-know-stuff” Cosmopolitan seems to miss.

Want to know all the latest glossy deets about perfecting your complexion? “Stay inside and cover your face at all times”.

I wish I knew that before I forked out all the money on a new bottle of Olay.

Looking for Mr. Right? Turn to this mag and find it so simple! Just “marry a mujahideen”.

eHarmony has nothing on this.

And the secret to happiness? No, its not finding the perfect balance of career, love and family. It’s martyrdom. Dah!

While I intend to cause offense to no one, it is a little shaking to find on the front cover not a powerful woman, hand on hip in an expensive, sparkly dress (hair flailing in the breeze), but a powerful woman, clad in traditional dress… and a machine gun.

Al- Shimakha comes after the publication of Inspire, Al Qaeda’s “how-to” for everything Jihad. Articles such as “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” illustrates the general vibe of this mag.

Inspire- Al Shimankha's brother mag

Some men like to read Wheels…

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Blogging is the new black: the face of news in Australia

For class as part of our assessment, each student had to start a blog. I already have one (you should probably check it out, for your own good, at Who’s That Smell? ), so I thought “Heck, am I a greedy blog baron?”

Student in Computer Room, 1981

Just updating my blog

Well, I did some research, and no. I am not. I won’t be clogging up the interweb with my two amazing blogs. Not anytime soon, because apparently (I love that word, gets you out of everything) there are about 75, 000 blogs created everyday! Now that’s a lot of blog. A lot of blog for your buck. More blog than you can poke a stick at.

Should I stop?

People are creating blogs like they are going out of fashion. A famous scientist said that one day everyone will have a blog. Even babies. *

But in all seriousness, there is a blog for everything these days!

Have a love for fingerless mitts? Try

What about passive aggressive post its? Well then is your domain.

Fancy watching cute things fall asleep? Then is where it’s at.

So when my tutor asked us to make a blog that was about things we were interested I thought “Wow, i’m interested in some pretty random things (you’ve seen, you know)…and beauty.” But then I looked around the room and thought, “Holy hummus with Doritos, I can’t wait to see what my fellow blogging greenhorns will blog about.”

I looked to my right and saw my friend Michelle**. Now Shelly loves all things Neighbours and Bon Jovi, so I was not surprised when her blog “Livin’ on a Ramsay Street” was created. I looked to my right and Jane ** looked back at me, a disgruntled why-are-you-staring-at-me expression adorned her features. Jane likes (obsessively loves) Jeff Bridges. So again, I was none-too-surprised when her blog “The Jeff Bridges Low-Down” hit my blog feed. (As heavily grotesque as those last two words sound, I will keep using them).

It’s also got me thinking about the changing landscape of journalism in Australia and the speed at which it is moving towards professional and “semi-pro” news blogging and a term coined ‘citizen journalism’. 

Nowadays news is augmented and produced in a real-time manner that compliments traditional mediums of news such as print and broadcast. Online news is swiftly being implemented by news organisations such as The Sydney Morning Herald and  the ABC as a perfectly professional means of publishing breaking news events.

The multimedia facets of these news organisations reiterate even more so the push towards real time and online publishing, as we are seeing previously simple and boring websites turned into a plethora of news, entertainment, sport, weather, video and live steaming channels. Never before have we been able to live stream a press conference- we used to have to wait until it was shown on the news or breaking into The Simpsons just when the best bit was happening.

It truly is a new time for news. Not only are we still able to access traditional means of news, but we also have the option of simply refreshing our computer screens and being automatically supplied with the recent newsworthy (and not-so-newsworthy) happenings of the world.

* No one said this. Babies can’t have blogs, because they can’t type.

**Names not changed for protection

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