Module 3: Twitter and three journalists

I follow a number of journalists on Twitter as I see it as a great opportunity to interact with the quality of the journalist’s work. The three that I have chosen to write about for my blog are Natassia Apolloni (WIN News Queensland Presenter), Jayne Azzopardi (Reporter for nine news Sydney) and Liz Hayes (60 Minutes Australia Reporter). These journalists have had influence on me in different ways however all have one aspect in common and that is they are all reporters for large news broadcasting companies. I noted that all journalists used Twitter as a way to collect information with one stating their email and encouraging people with stories to email her. All of the journalists used the platform to post regularly their work and their colleagues with most recapping the stories for the nights news in the 144 character count. All three had professionally presented accounts, this is important in people trusting the credibility of their work.

Module 2: Assignment 3 pitch

As an aspiring journalist I have always been interested in the stories of my grandparents migrating from England to Australia. However, in beginning this assignment I established an even more interesting depth of emotion attached to the story.

In 1968, my grandparents were on the journey which they had high expectations due to the Australian government’s immigration marketing. Their plan as immigrants was to pay the 10 pound which allowed them to stay for 2 years and then return to Scotland, rather than staying for a lesser time and paying the large fair. However, they ended up settling and to this day call Australia home.

My aim in this assignment is to give my grandma the voice she has hidden for years to speak of her view on the journey leaving from her country and establishing her young family. Since speaking to her individually about the experience I have found that it was a struggle for her more so than my grandad. She talked about the fact that it took her over a year to finally settle in the foreign country. I would like to convey the struggle behind the glamourised experience of immigration in their era.

In order to achieve this, I believe collecting ambient sounds that would reflect similarities to the ‘Fair Sky’ ship that they travelled on. These sounds will begin as irritating and create uncomfortable effects on the audience. Sounds such as baby cries, loud crowds, horns, waves. These sounds will eventually smoothen and reflect the idea of my grandma’s settling. To correspond with these sounds I will include images that represent the accelerating development of my grandparents settlement. These images would include the boat, my mum as a 22 month old travelling with chickenpox in quarantine and then the settlement in Australia and whether the expectations lived up to reality.

fsky4     Fairsky (1968)

In order to create an emotional effect I will contrast both my grandma’s and my grandad’s perception on the immigration. My objective will be to portray the gender specific roles of this era and how it ultimately affected the way a person dealt with situations.

Preparation for assignment two: web module task 1

Coinciding with my preparation for assignment two I have analysed a number of case studies regarding convergent journalism practice. Each piece played a role in conveying the story, however there were a couple that stood out to me. I found it hard to filter a least favourite out of all the pieces, however I discovered Goa Hippy Tribe as my most favourite and Firestorm as a favourite with some needed alterations.

Created in 2010, Goa Happy Tribe is a piece engaging the likes of the 21st Century through its connectivity on the social media platform Facebook. The project exposes the original Goa Hippies and was shot at Anjana Beach. The content received from this was spread throughout Facebook, which inspired a great number of people to connect through comments. The online interactive practice posted on http://www.sbs.com.au/goahippytribe/#/get-your-passport-ready includes a mixture of interviews, fact sheets and image galleries.

In today’s tech savvy society we are aware of the connectivity that Facebook authorises. So when we are greeted on the first page with the opportunity to engage the piece with our own Facebook profile, instantly there is personal interaction with audiences and the digital story. As we click the link to turn the interactive passport we hear a number of ambient noises situated with the tribe that employ the feeling of beginning the journey. The limitation of a Facebook only documentary allows this experience to advertise and spread freely.

The way the project is set out isn’t on a one way scroll page, which is one of the most popular ways people develop an interactive publication. It is set out so that with each link the interactive journey progresses in different directions with the story. There are unique details that help maintain viewer’s attention, such as the graphic of the sun’s moving rays behind the photo of the tribe and ‘the backpack’ in the lower right corner that when clicked on links to previous or future chapters of the project. In regard to mobile phone accessibility, like any other content with video and graphics it requires the latest Adobe Flash update which I unfortunately do not have. However, SBS is renowned for their technologically advanced content in their previous convergent media publications.

When continuing with the links there are numerous visuals which help to tell the story without text. With these, it is hard not to notice the ‘share this on Facebook’ link which would then share the video interviews onto a person’s profile and allow them to comment and engage with others on their thoughts about it. As another way to interconnect the internet, the project has embedded Facebook user comments onto each interview which is a visual way for people to understand different views on the tribe and how people can relate. The entire project is filled with a large number of links which take you to different areas of the work. Personally, this idea was engaging to me as the different links enticed me to continue learning more about the tribe.

Without going into a great deal of depth, Firestorm  (found on http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/may/26/firestorm-bushfire-dunalley-holmes-family) approached this idea in a similar manner. It is an equal favourite to Goa Happy Tribe and must be mentioned as by the first page I was thoroughly engaged. 

The main reason this work entices people to continue interacting with the content is the way ambient sounds and imagery interconnect. By the first page the main sounds of emergency calls, water, helicopters and radios instantly set the story line. The story of violent bush fires in Tasmania.

The most engaging idea of the project is revealed as you scroll. Each chapter resonates with the audience as we are able to remember it by it’s significant ambient sounds. Different aspects of the work reveal what is happening in the story such as maps and interviews. All which play when the page is scrolled.

The difference with this work is the lack of interconnectedness with other aspects of the web. There weren’t as many links to other media platforms to engage more audiences. As today’s society is renowned for their short attention spans and traditional journalism is being threatened by convergent journalism it is crucial that these factors are taken into consideration in digital storytelling. Both of these works in themselves contained many different elements of convergent media and effectively told the story using digital storytelling. These projects will become more popular as technology advances and people become more aware of their effectiveness.

Verbose journey in Laura’s career

When a hobby evolves into a job, the passion driving your career would allow you to endeavour a sense of place every working day. After 30 years of conversing and developing social skills, Laura Taylor would have never dreamed as the 16 year old hair dressing apprentice that she would have worked at four salons and owned two businesses. Learning from other people on her journey, Laura says her parents wished the career of a psychiatrist upon her. However, to this day Laura’s passion for hairdressing is still vibrant and she has never regretted the decision to take a different path to psychiatry, however, perhaps the path has similar qualities…

Feedback on ’emotional histories- walking out’

The beginning of UOW ‘emotional histories-walking out’ audio work with the fade in and emotional delay, creates suspense to set up the type of emotion. The only critique I have for the beginning of this piece is that I feel the question ‘at what stage in your marriage did you realise that it was definitely not going to work out?’ was unnecessary. Without it the story would have been more realistic in an emotional sense, where it appeared the woman was expressing her exact thoughts.

Her quote about wanting to leave her husband ‘even on the day of our engagement’ was powerful in the way it set a timeline on the narrative arc. I was engaged at the point of the ambient sound that symbolised ‘alcohol’ as it was the beginning of a selection of rhythmic sounds. The music at this point becomes more powerful associating with the idea that she is reaching the arc of her story. The ambient ‘door slam’ at the height of the song creates an effective motif for her final decision to leave.

Again, towards the end, the question ‘what was the most difficult part of making the decision?’ Would have had more effect if she had of expressed it with her own words. I found the use of the colloquial term ‘friggen’ right before she begins to cry is effective in that she is not holding back and it wasn’t edited out. At this point there are no ambient sounds or music and it creates a chilling effect.

A well constructed piece with a emotionally effective narrative. 

Lovely Laura and her confidential lifestyle

Being a hairdresser for more than 40 years, Laura knows the ins and outs of the job. Despite being qualified to style hair, she has also adopted the position of being an unofficial councillor to her clientele.

In order to achieve the most engaging experience for my audience I’m intending on building up a suspenseful story of a councillor and revealing only in the last few seconds that professionally this character is actually a hairdresser.

By altering the mood based on the content and quotes I’ll be able to develop a rhythm of ambient sounds which will be in synch with the narrative.

In turn, I hope for the story to provide a personal experience for everyone as they engage with the typical ambient noises in a salon.

Accentuating the hairdresser

This task as a focus on ambient sounds, without the focus of the interviewee themselves eliminated an aspect of informality in the salon. The salon may be made up of a number of unique sounds that in ordinary life have simplistic effects on a person. However, these sounds are embedded in a hairdresser and have a significant meaning.

Obstacles that prevented image to audio correlation was mainly the element of ‘simplicity’ in the salon. The images to my mum are a reflection of 40 years in the salon. However, the ability to accentuate and tell the story to my audience about a not so spectacular inanimate object tested my photography skills. Also the fact the salon has limited natural lighting contributed to the challenge of piecing an effective story together.

The audio was clear and fundamental. As a first attempt to sound editing using the program Hindenburg I feel confident next time in completing basic editing of sound levels and sound layering. However, to improve this in a creative way I must consider other sounds which connect the salon to the story the same way it does for my mum. I should do this by interviewing further into her story.

As audio and photography in this context are an unfamiliar practice for me, I have learnt for future reference to eliminate the focus on singular sounds, rather, focus on the atmosphere.This will be more effective when there are a number of customers to create a hum of background noise which will link with these sounds.

The hair salon

To ‘go to the hairdressers’ to most, means to sit and embrace the luxury of being pampered in a way where your hair is cut or arranged. However, through the eyes of the hairdresser this engagement can mean as little as a hair cut to as meaningful as a consequential conversation, from as simple as boilign the kettle whilst hair styling to as important as meeting a new contact for your daughter’s future career.

My mum started out as a hairdresser at age 16 and now more than 30 years on this job has lead her to acknowledge the sounds of her salon as more than just the average primary sounds. They unchain memories.