Category Archives: University Schtuff

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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Filed under Media, Online News, Research, University Schtuff, Youth

TIMELINE

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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My attempt at critically assessing research into my AOI

NICHE THIS WEEK: Youth vigilant groups and/or support networks: help or hinder?

This week I am to critically assess any research found about the audience or participants related to my Area of Interest (AOI). This proved to be a tad tricky as there isn’t a terribly large amount of research done into youth websites so I decided to search for research in the following ways:

  • Searching for demographic information of the Reach Out and various other youth support network and information websites.
  • Searching for any research findings pertaining to readership, contributions (who? what? where?) and anything else that may help to decipher where information related to my AOI is coming from and from whom?

Firstly, I used the trusty tool some call “Google” to see firstly where youth support websites are getting their hits. I came across a report on The Reach Out! Rural and Regional Tour (RORRT).

This tour stemmed from the Reach Out website, and aimed to educate the youth on ways in which to promote mental health through the website, which leads me to believe that the people that are participating in the tour are the kind of people that would visit the site. According to data obtained through the RORRT through surveys on internet use:

“The mean age of students surveyed was 15 years with a range of 12 to 17 years.”

By searching the Reach Out website by itself, I also obtained data pertaining to the demographic that the website aims their content at. Interestingly, although through the tour it was discovered the mean age of users was 15 years, the Reach Out website accommodated those aged 14-25. In this way it is obvious that my niche has a very large market and possibly there is a gap to fill within the ages of 17-25.

PIC CREDIT: Sourced from The Word Guy.

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Filed under Online News, Research, Uncategorized, University Schtuff, Youth

What Is The Most Common Form Of Content?

This time ’round I’m having a look at what the most common form of content on the web is in relation to my Area of Interest (it’s not just a catchy blog title).

So, was it help networks? Case studies? Personal stories? Negativity (…the dreaded word)?

By the looks of it, a lot of it involved information on dealing with any issues you may have as a youth safely and in a healthy envionment. This was most evident in sites like Headspace.

There was also a common content thread of positive examples of youth vigilance and youths helping the community. This was seen on sites like AusYouth and The Australian Youth Mentoring Network.

In this way it is clear that the content is based primarily on illustrating there are those support networks that are available for teens to take advantage of. The second most popular form on content surrounding my Area of Interest seems to be focused on case studies and success stories of those that may have used the services available and thus turned their life around. Other case studies show youths that are helping their community and trying to make a difference in the world.

From here it will be interesting to see the way in which support networks help or hinder the process of attempting to get troubled teens back on the right track and away from issues that may be detrimental to the community.

Think riots.

Or not.

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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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Filed under Media, Online News, Research, Uncategorized, University Schtuff, Youth

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:

http://you.sagepub.com.ezproxy1.canberra.edu.au/content/18/1/97.full.pdf+html

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Filed under Media, Online News, Research, Uncategorized, University Schtuff, Youth