The Diasporic Aussies

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This week I read a report by Dr Myria Georgiou which introduced me to the concept of Diaspora. Diasporic groups in her words are “peoples who at some stage in their history migrated from an original homeland and settled in a European country”. Her report not only looks at diasporic groups but the impact that globalisation and changes in the way we communicate have affected the concept. Having migrated once myself to a European country I was interested to know if I myself was once part of an Australian Diasporic group. 

Harry Heidelberg answered my question in his articleWhat to make of the Australian Diaspora’. He comments that “it has been mainly associated with people escaping persecution, poverty or other problems” but in today’s society we are seeing it associated with many different circumstances. My story of migration took me to Dublin, Ireland where I lived with my family for 5 years and the connection my experience has with diaspora is the groups of people we connected with while living abroad. Australian and New Zealand families were the people we connected with initially and found comfort in spending time with. Watching Home and Away, talking about the Cronulla Riots, wearing green and gold on Australia day, we made our own little aussie bubble to make home seem less far away. 

So where does media come in to the modern day concept of Diaspora? It can be seen through how linked we all remained to Australian culture through the Internet and Television. Staying in contact with friends and family, staying up to date with current affairs, as Heidelberg comments, “We still root for the home team”, no matter how far away from Australia we are. Georgiou also addresses this stating that global communication networks “challenge the nation as the singular position”. Globalisation allows people anywhere in the world to migrate without having to leave their entire culture behind them. 


The Irish are renowned for their Diaspora, what are your experiences with the Diaspora concept?


Georgiou, M, 2003, ‘Mapping Disporic Media across the EU: Adressing Cultural Exclusion, Key Deliverable: The European Media and Technology in Everyday Life Networks, 2000-2003, last accessed 26/05/2014,

Heidelberg, H, 2003, ‘What to make of the Australian diaspora’, The Sydney Morning Herald, last accessed 26/05/2014,


Globalisation and the media

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The advances in technology that have occurred in the 21st have completely altered the ways in which we communicate not just individually but on a global scale. The expansion of industries and businesses across global communities, where distance no longer provides a barrier, is referred to as globalisation and the media is a crucial component. 

Technological growth not only changes how we communicate but the mediums through which we do. Television is an example of how platforms have evolved and been affected by the new media that has been introduced over the last few years. Jinna Tay and Graeme Turner comment that “we can no longer talk about ‘television’ as if it were a singular entity”. They make this statement as televisions success this century is due to its shift to a multi platform media form where audience interaction through other media forms such as Twitter is essential for it to compete with new media.

Maha Sohail Butt writes an article about globalisations impact on mass media saying “the whole world has become a global village due to media”. She discusses the media scape of Pakistan which has  flourished this century due to its access to media that can connect it to the rest of the world. Current events are actually current due to our media networks and the world is more interconnected than ever.

While many believe that television is ‘old’ media I disagree and instead view it as a media form that has changed to stay up to date with the technological growth of the 21st century. It is one of the media platforms that allows globalisation to continue to expand as it connects countries and people regadldess of geographical locations.


♦Butt, S, M, 2014, ‘Globalization, its impact on mass media, The Nation, last accessed 25/05/2014,

♦Tay, J, Turner, G, 2008, ‘What is Television: Comparing Media Systems in the Post-broadcast Era’, Media International Australia, Issue 126, last accessed 25/05/2014, umentSummary;dn=9074939527 16742;res=IELLCC.


Time for the media to step up?

The western world was brought to a hault when the terrorist attack of 9/11 occured back in 2001 and the worlds media saw arguably it’s busiest day in history. Reading this week on race, ethnicity and the media, the media’s role in the aftermath of this event was explored particuarly the depiction of Muslims and Arabs. 

Evelyn Alsultany wrote an article, on project muse, which talked about the American media’s representation of Muslims and Arabs post 9/11 and to my surprise they were seen to show positive and sympathetic representations. She explains that the media attempted to create a balance and avoided enhancing negative stereotypes that were heightened post 9/11. I thought about why I was surprised and realised that while the media in America actively tries to promote a positive representation of the culture, western society as a whole may not share the same view.

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My question then became, what about the Australian media? Dr Shahram Akbarzadeh and Dr Bianca Smith asked the same question and found that “in Australia local and national representations of Muslims, are mutually reinforcing and predominately negative”. It should be mentioned that negativity towards Muslim or Arabic cultures existed pre 9/11 within Australia, however it was an event that saw an increase and a further deepening of distrust. 

It would appear that unlike the American media, the Australian media did not go out of it’s way to repair the damage that was caused. Akbarzadeh and Smith discuss the reasons why the language used in the media has come across negatively even if it was not the conscious intention of the journalists, “journalists are shaped by their social environment and are open to a range of political and ideological influences, some of which are openly hostile towards Islam”. 

This relates to the mirror versus shape argument about the media where the debate discuses whether the media shapes societal beliefs or whether it simply mirrors them. From the research I did it would appear that the Australian media could create a more positive representation of the Arabic cultures, and does have some responsibility in educating society on cultures that appear to be very misunderstood. 


Alsultany, E, 2013, ‘Arabs and Muslims in the Media after 9/11:Representational Strategies for a “Postrace” Era’, Project Muse, American Quarterly, vol. 65, no.1, last accessed 06/05/14,

♦Akbarzadeh, S, Smith, B, 2005, ‘The Representation of Islam and Muslims in the Media(The Age and Herald Sun Newspapers)’, Islam in the Media, school of Political and Social Inquiry Monash University, last accessed 06/05/14,,d.dGI

The Inequality in News Coverage

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While reading several articles this week on gender and the media, I was presented with many different issues of inequality ranging from the female representation on television shows to the misrepresentation of women by the law in India. It struck me that I felt surprised. Surprised that in today’s society there is still so much discrimination towards women.

One article written by Clementine Ford on Daily Life  mentioned the ‘pretty dead white girl syndrome’. This concept identifies the likelihood that crimes involving pretty, middle class, white women will receive more news coverage than women who for example are from a lower class. Ford talks about Jill Meagher, who worked for the ABC and was 29 when she was murdered and how her death led to nationwide coverage and a protest in Melbourne. Ford compares this to Johanna Martin, a 65 year old sex-worker, whose death received  far less exposure. 

Tara McKelvey, on a BBC news article comments on this concept stating “they are people who we view as being like us”. This comment suggests that it is not only the news companies reporting who are responsible but it is the general population who have a stronger reaction when the victim is ‘just like them’. Ford addresses this stating that Melbournites felt as though Meagher was “one of us” and so maybe the news companies were simply reporting on what they knew would spark more public interest.

The subject interested me as it highlights inequality between women instead of between women and men. Ford argues that if all murders, rapes or attacks of women were given the same media attention, regardless of the woman’s class, age or lifestyle, they may occur less and laws may be tightened.  The media will always be slightly biased and the general public will always be more interested in what they feel a connection to but maybe it’s time for some more diversity?

what do you guys think?


♦Ford, C, 2013, ‘How did we led Adrian Bayley happen?’, Daily Life,

♦Mckelvey, T, 2013, ‘Cleveland abductions: Do white victims get more attention?’, BBC News magazine,



Time for a little optimism

This week I watched two videos that explored the future of journalism and the speculation that currently surrounds the profession. One video presented an interview with New York Times, David Carr and Andrew R. Lack, the other with Tom Rosenstiel at TED X Atlanta both discussing the topic and providing different perspectives. 
What stood out for me was the optimistic approach both took when looking at the future of journalism and the digitalisation of society. Today we hear a lot of negatives about the impact technology has had on the younger generations, and how our face-to-face interactions are suffering as we become dependant on our technological devices.

What David Carr presents is another way of looking at it by reminding the viewer that every few years there is new concern and criticism of the latest technology. It was mentioned that “maybe we are walking into the best of all possible eras” for journalism, we just don’t know because we really have no idea what to expect. All we are currently doing is speculating and it would seem as though much of it is negative.

It got me thinking and I realised that society is known to fear the unknown and to approach it with caution, however how bad can it really become. Yes, journalism is changing and old media is exactly that, old, however new media is not killing it, it is simply evolving. David Carr acknowledges this and comments that it is a natural change and 

George Brock writes on The that “Journalism is forced to re-invent itself at regular intervals and always has been”. Tom Rosentiel said “the audience will determine the future of news” which means that the control is shifting and therefore it is hard to predict where journalism is heading but the unknown may be positive. I think instead of expecting the worst and worrying about where news journalism will be in 10 years we should embrace what we have and utilise it in positive ways. As David Car mentions “back in the day” wasn’t actually that great!


♦Brock, G, 2013, ‘Spike the gloom-journalism has a bright future’, The Conversation,


My Comments:

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A Pen for a Paintbrush

This week I read an interesting piece called ‘What is Aesthetic Journalism?’, written by Alfredo Cramerotti. What struck me was his introduction to the roots of journalism and how people communicated as far back as the medieval era. He commented that “art was a tool for understanding”, especially hundreds of years ago.

It made me ask the question, ‘Is journalism a form of art?’. The answer may very well depend on individual opinion but never the less it definitely originated from this background. Cramerotti discussed how explorer’s and conquerers often took artists along with them on voyages so that they could depict an accurate image of what they saw to share with their people. “The descriptive function of art widened the idea of creativity as a source of reliable knowledge”.

Religious groups, explorers, scientists, geographers, historians all once used art to communicate what they had discovered, seen or believed . Journalism serves the same purpose today, informing people of news and world events, however we do not generally view journalism as an art form even though as Cramerotti highlights, its foundations are artistic in nature. The trade requires practice, education and talent, as any art form, but overtime the paintbrush has been replaced with a pen in the process journalism has lost it’s association with art.

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♦Cramerotti, Alfredo, 2011, “What is Aesthetic Journalism,” in Cramerotti, Alfredo, Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform Without Informing, Intellect, London 

The Journalism Divide: Professional Vs. Amateur

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Centuries ago news travelled by word of mouth and its meaning depended on who was informing and who was listening. Today news is everywhere and it can come in numerous different forms; websites, newspapers, television. However writing or reading with an unbiased perspective is hard and often impossible as our pre conceived notions of topics or events will always influence how we process certain information.

David Domingo, Thorsten Quandt, Ari Heinonen, Steve Paulussen, Jane B. Singer, and Marina Vujnovic discuss the concepts of professional and participatory journalism and how the divide is becoming blurred. In their article they state that contemporary critics have suggested that “news should be a conversation rather than a lecture”. This comment is interesting as it makes reference to how news originated before the media existed.

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Allowing audience participation in journalism, such as having comments on a news report allows several points of views to be expressed and could be said to give a report some balance. However it can also affect the professional industry and lead to further confusion over what is facts and what is simply opinion.

The U.S state department produced a podcast titled ‘Social Media and Citizen Journalists’, where it discussed the topic of professional versus amateur journalism. They comment that traditional journalists view citizen journalists as “self-interested, unskilled amateurs” and these so called amateurs view the professionals as “arrogant”. Focusing on the ‘blogosphere’ they bring to light a key issue that separates both fields of journalism which is perception and a distrust of the other.

By taking a look at both viewpoints it becomes clear that each argument has valid points. Participatory journalism brings back the concept of news as conversation but professional journalism is needed for accuracy and structure.

What viewpoint do you guys take?

♦Domingo, D, Quandt, T, Heinonen, A, Paulussen, S, J, B, Singer & Vujnovic, M, 2008, ‘Participatory Journalism Practices In The Media And Beyond,’ Journalism Practice, 2:3, 326-342.

♦U.S State Department, 2011, ‘Social Media and Citizen Journalists’, IIP Digital, last accessed 26/05/2014,