This audio slideshow delves into the life and passions of Anne Ridgway. Anne is a practising sound therapist in the lower Blue Mountains, her focus being on improving the health and well-being of her clients though her use of sound tools. Sound therapy concentrates on the power of reverberations upon the body, to detect physical and emotional imbalances within others. As the treatment is unseen by the naked eye, many remain skeptical of this alternative medicine and the chakra system it is founded upon. Alison Babbage, however, gave a convinced testimonial to Anne’s practice and how it had improved her quality of life.
This project tested me in numerous ways, in particular is Alison’s interview not going to plan, realising soon after than my phone’s microphone had broken. Although a stressful process, having probably need a sound session for myself, I was pushed to find the next best alternative and as a result learnt more about the various elements involved in using imovie.
However, the most important things I learnt was from the open minded attitude of Anne. She was by no means preaching sound therapy as superseding conventional medicines. She acknowledged that there are health issues where medication is more suitable than her treatments, however proposing that sound therapy’s lack of credibility to the western eye lies in the energy’s inability to be medically tested. Her reasoning shed light on the controversial issue, and our heavy reliance on visibility to believe in the power of something.
Having attended a session with Anne, there was an unmistakable power in the sounds she played to my body, and a change in the quality of sound as the tools revealed hidden blockages, both physical and emotional. Alison related to this experience, as it had brought her to very deep states of meditation in the past. These moments of bliss revealed habitual thoughts, emotions and tensions in myself that would have otherwise gone unnoticed in the busy-ness of life. Anne’s sound therapy enacted as a healthy reminder to stop every now and then and listen to what is hidden within yourself. By watching the video below you will get a taste of what Anne’s practice is all about:
And here are the storified tweets that documented the process:
My favourite story from the previous cohort of JRNL102 was ‘Creature of the Night’, proving to be strong and effective despite the word count on the talent’s part. This drives home the point that sometimes less is more. The story had a strong narrative arch, where listeners were intrigued to find out what kind of night shift the talent took. The use of ambient, rain-like noise makes this even more mysterious. I was satisfied at the end when finding out that he worked for McDonald’s, immediately challenging the unfamiliar night shift that I had in mind. On re-listening I gained something new in learning the effective ‘rain noise’ was that of food being fried.
The rhythm in sound, the lonely harmonica and dialogue worked in harmony to create the character of an isolated night-shift worker. This is achieved, funnily enough, by somewhat isolating each sound element from each other. Of course these elements are layout but they simultaneously feel spaced apart. In particular to harmonica sounds is often affiliated with a sense of a ghost-town and loneliness, emphasising this element of the talent whist adding a gripping mystery.
Amy’s relationship to place is unique but not unheard of. Due to a trauma at birth, Amy was born with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that affects her ability to control her muscles, namely those in her legs. From a young age, Amy has used a wheelchair as her main mode of day-to-day transportation. She is currently studying out of home at UOW, soon to major in politics. Although her lifestyle is an independent one, there are still difficulties in relating the Wollongong through a wheelchair. Amy enlightens us on those daily challenges that many wouldn’t consider otherwise. Attached is the link to her audio story:
Earlier this year, the upcoming erotic-drama 50 Shades of Grey was released in cinemas world-wide. Based on E. L. James’s best-seller, the movie adaptation has rippled waves of discussion throughout multiple mediated public spheres. For Fifty Shades had effectively introduced a taboo genre, erotica literature, into the turbulent debates that define mediated public spheres.
Huffington Post Journalist, Jessica Goodman’s article “Why Doesn’t ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Show Ana Having An Orgasm?” described the 50 Shades phenomenon as having “made erotic literature acceptable to read on the subway or in a book club.” Moreover, it has generated countless discussions over internet forums and mediated television articles. This has brought public attention to contentious issues around BDSM representations, a topic that was once too taboo to even enter the public sphere.
In Goodman’s article, there is a focus on the lack of the female orgasm in the movie, and how it has nevertheless been given a high rating for “strong sexual content.” She went on to argue that this caused a discrepancy between the book, which delves into the Ana’s sexual gratification to target a female audience. This triggered an extensive list of mediated online comments, one of which by Annie Rubanis noted that the movie was about a relationship of abuse and “how her orgasm is hardly on his list of goals”. This was responded to by Christian Aragon whom disagrees in believing that 50 Shades’ filmatic orgasm representation was on point. They wrote: “withholding that pinnacle of pleasure is a common trait with subs and doms. It’s part of the play.” Meanwhile other commenters merely dropped lines that spoke for themselves, Bill Bill simply stating “Fifty shades of soft porn.” These are only a few of the countless responses to one online article on the film, demonstrating how Fifty Shades sparked an eruption of debate in the public sphere of online commenting.
Another example of a public sphere inundated with public opinion on the film is that of the newsroom. A good example can be seen in the story covered by WAPT News Jackson, which honed in on a localised pubic sphere’s response to the film, the local sphere being none other than Mississippi. The article concerned itself with how the state was defying its polls of “being the most conservative state in the country” in purchasing four times as many presales than expected for fifty shades. Vox pops of Mississippians entering the cinema captured their responses to the film, some of which being “just because you watch a certain movie doesn’t mean that you live your life that way” to that of “Southern bellies like to have fun too”. Opinions of more notable names were also mediated by the article, such as Wesley biblical Seminary Professor Matt Friedeman. “Well, I can’t be a fan of abusing women. I can’t be a fan of hitting women,” he said. “I can’t be a fan of putting handcuffs on women sexually. It’s just not a typical Mississippian act.” An even stronger reaction were provoked by Pastor Dwayne Pickett of New Jerusalem Church. “The things that entertain us are typically things that are the racy things that are on the edge or just downright sin,” Pickett said. This array of reactions and opinions provoked by 50 Shades of Grey goes to show the diverse and controversial impact that it had on the public sphere.
‘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.
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.
‘Do you remember the first person you met at UOW?’ Long pauses often followed this question; whilst other responses were instantaneous as the memory lit up behind the interviewee’s eyes. A number of lasting friends and lost acquaintances were mentioned, although some interviewees couldn’t even remember who this person was. One individual was so focused on his studies that he was yet to really connect with anyone at uni. But no matter what, each answer captured a glimpse of the person’s life at uni, and the connections that they have made through it.
In his class breaks, Aden enjoys playing pool at the Unibar, where he is surrounded by friends and good music. ‘Hit and hope, just hit and hope.’ Aden shared his secret to the game in-between his turns. ‘But I definitely get better the more drunk I am,’ he added. Regardless of his sober state, he sunk one ball after the other, dreadlocks flying from the momentum behind his big shots. Aden won’t take excuses for not hitting any balls, never holding back from teasingly threatening other players of having to do a ‘nuddy run’ around the bar if they were to do so.