‘Reading is a huge part of my life,’ Jamie Reynolds shared over an infamously expensive schooner James Squire Cider at the Unibar. She spoke with a sincere passion and confidence of the joy that being immersed in stories gave her; making it no surprise as to what she was studying. ‘Reading is recreational in the sense that is it not relevant to my life at all; it is complete escapism. If I write, it has to be about real things, which is why I want to be a journalist.’ Where does Jamie find this refuge in fiction? None other than the mother of all escapist literature, fantasy.
‘Harry Potter equals life!’ She laughed as she rattled off the names of her favourites of the genre: ‘John Green, Jeffery Archer, George R. Martin, those kind of things…things that are so unbelievable that they seem real.’ After her six-day week where she studies and works part-time at Nowra’s reject shop, there is nothing more comforting then settling down at home with either of these companions.
‘There’s always going to be a bit of hope in me that maybe my letter did get lost, maybe I really am apart of the wizarding world.’
With such hope and desire to step into another realm, Jamie’s life outside of uni is in fact that of countless others.’[Reading] calms me a lot.’ She explained. If I am not reading then, you know, I’m watching movies.’
When asked what her favourite all-time film was, she sat quietly thinking, as the chatter of intoxicated uni-students bubbled over the interview. Even then, one could almost hear her brain flicking over the extensive archive of movies she had ever watched. Finally she answered,
‘The Fox and the Hound. I feel like its got such a huge relevance to racism and to sexism…they’re two little animals and they are so different but they don’t know any different…they’re friends and they don’t know that society says that can’t be… they don’t see themselves differently they just see their friendship… It has a really important message.’ The Schooner was long forgotten as Jamie demonstrated first-hand the impact that stories have on her. But when it comes to the crunch books will always be her “first love”
‘There’s just something more genuine about reading…watching doesn’t really do anything, it melts your brain but when you read something it strengthens it and it sticks.’
There are so many reasons why Jamie is such an avid reader and film-goer, but none stuck out more than the simple fact that it is her choice.
‘There’s no one in the book or movie telling me that I cant be apart of it…it’s just myself. I can stop reading whenever I want to and then I can start again.’ It is that rare sense of empowerment that can only be found in places other than reality. And there, in those sanctums of fantasy and wonder, is where one can find Jamie.
We all know what journalism is, but what it means on a personal level varies amongst the first-years in this course. For Emma Gilly, journalism has held her interest over the last few years, ever since she listened to an inspiring speech given by Win News present Melissa Jaros. ‘All I can remember is that how she was so confident as a journalist’ Emma recalled. ‘Just to have a professional right in front of [me]…inspired me to become like her.’ Though journalism, Emma wants to follow her passion for NRL. ‘I love the game, the atmosphere, the whole community of the sport.’ she said. It runs in her family, although while she is a Storms fan, her father barracks for West Tigers. That passion coupled with her love of public speaking and story telling comprises of where Emma aspires to be in her career as a journalist.
When asking Remy Taylor what journalism meant to her she answered with a laugh ‘Everything, it’s a career I’ve always wanted to pursue.’ She also had connections to Win TV, having done work experience with the company in high school. ‘It was ‘a quiet week’ for their work.’ Remy recalled. ‘However I could tell at times it would be very high pressured when trying to gain the story.’ Yet this doesn’t deter the determined Remy, who has always been compelled to write. ‘It goes hand in hand with my constant curiosity for life.’
Suzie Nisbit takes journalism as it is, simply defining it as the delivery of news. ‘I know nowadays “breaking news” can be celebrity nonsense, but to me, I think that journalism is telling people the truth about what’s going on either locally, nationally or internationally.’ Suzie said. She has a vision of adhering to this definition of journalism in her future career, to bring about ‘media justice’. ‘My sister was a massive influence of mine,’ Suzie reflected, ‘she’s been a human rights activist since I can remember.’ It is for these reasons that Suzie would prefer to have a public service job doing freelance journalism in her spare time for a portfolio than give in to working for the corporations that are taking over independent media publications, and the people’s right to know the truth.
Not every journalist student is so sure about where they are aspiring to go with their future career. Zoe Simmons finds herself constantly changing her mind. ‘I want to be a lot of things’ she said, ‘an author…a rockstar…an editor and a journalist, and a screenwriter!’ she laughed. She thought that with her love for writing, ‘being a smartarse’ and an opportunity to express her humor, journalism could be the right avenue for her. She has dreams of writing for Cosmopolitan, having its appeal with the opportunity to be sarcastic in writing style and explore body image. ‘That’s my dream job, even like giving them their coffee.’ But now Zoe has started Uni, she doesn’t her where her tertiary studies will take her. ‘Uni has just opened this can of worms.’ She concluded. Even across four responses, there are different meanings of journalism obtained, as well as varying stages that students are at in discovering what it is they are aspiring to pursue in their career.
Image taken from: http://careerrocketeer.com/2011/04/where-do-you-see-yourself-in-5-years.html
Journalism and Facebook are more closely entwined than ever before. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2014 State of the Media report, which used a sample of 5173 respondents, 47% of US adult Facebook users receive news via this social networking medium. That is the statistical equivalent of 30% of the US population. Trends in news topic popularity were seen in the survey, as 73% of Facebook news consumers regularly saw entertainment news. Although the news reading occurring on Facebook is deemed ‘common but incidental’ by the survey, there is a clear infiltration of news shifting over to a site originally designed for social networking.
Although entertainment appears to be the most popular form of news consumed on Facebook, local and international news organisations are shifting their activities onto this social platform. In 2011, a community news site based in Washington D.C. called The Rockville Central relocated all its news projects to Facebook. This is one bold example of how Facebook has affected news companies, as well as the work of journalists.
Event reporting in journalism has also undergone dramatic change due to Facebook. This is evident in journalists utilising the social platform to report on the unrest in North Africa and the Middle East. Using Facebook, journalists from Al Jazeera English were able to track upcoming events, like planned protests, and find sources who would talk on air.
Facebook has also held the same amount of influence over the Washington Post (WP). “Facebook has dramatically transformed the way journalists do their jobs,” said Ian Shapira, staff writer at the WP. Working together with his editor, Shapira decided to produce one story as Facebook status updates. He believed the death of Shana Greatman Swers was best told through her personal narrative of status updates, extending beyond the capabilities of a print piece. It is easy to conclude that Facebook has held a prominent influence over an array of facets in news and journalism, and will continue to do so.
Information aggregated from: http://mashable.com/2011/02/27/facebooks-growing-role-in-social-journalism/
Image taken from: http://journal.innovationjournalism.org/2011_05_01_archive.html
On May 11th 2014, the headline ‘Woman Found Dead in a Hotel’ featured in the violence coverage of the San Pedro Sula-based newspaper, El Heraldo. Although the only way to read this Spanish article was via Google Translate, its clumsy-English interpretation was sufficient in revealing a major hole in the story. The woman wasn’t given a name.
According to Ana Arana and Daniela Guazo from Fundacion MEPI, an organization that promotes regional investigative projects in the Americas, the above story is a mild example of sensationalized crime reporting that dominates the Honduran news industry. ‘When reading most Honduran newspapers, readers go away with little understanding of what is occurring in the country.’ They wrote in their article ‘Just Bloody Pictures’, the second installment in their series on crime reporting in the Honduras. As the title suggests, most crime stories in the Honduras forgo a context and are instead coloured with graphic, gory images. ‘(Their reporting style) is related to the lack of training…They use bloody pictures to sell more newspapers. They don’t care.’ an anonymous member of the Honduran Human Rights Commission was noted as stating the above by Arana and Guazo in Just Bloody Pictures.
It is startling how common this report-style is in the Honduran news industry. A content analysis by Fundacion MEPI revealed that 70% of crime stories published in San Pedro Sula as well as Tegucigalpa did not include details of the victims, nor possible reasons behind the crime. Violent youth gangs, drug traffickers and organized crime groups are not threatened by exposure in the media.
Rather, fear of these dangerous groups fuels crime reporting in these Honduran cities. Its no surprise when the country has the highest per capita murder rate in the world: 91 murders per 100 thousand inhabitants. Until the safety of these journalists is ensured, this issue will continue to instill uninformed-fear in Honduran citizens.
Information aggregated from: http://www.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elheraldo.hn&sandbox=1
Image taken from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gabbo_vm/539873408/