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Australian Lyme one step closer to official recognition

Lyme disease is a bacteria-caused infection with a wide spectrum of symptoms, the most typical of these being skin rashes, sore joints, fatigue and headaches. The symptoms that can occur in the later stages of the disease include infection of the brain as well as in and around the heart. Lyme disease is dominant in the United States and regions of Europe, yet cases have been found all over the world. Despite many instances of Lyme-like illnesses occurring throughout Australia, the Government and the Australian Medical Association are still yet to acknowledge the disease’s existence here. Doctors have been unofficially diagnosing patients with this disease, however without the AMA’s recognition the sufferers go without answers or treatment.

Map of Australian sufferers

Map of Australian sufferers

The ongoing debate around whether Lyme exists in Australia could potentially be one step closer to finding its conclusion thanks to Professor Peter Irwin. The Perth-based researcher is attempting to discover whether species of ticks native to Australia could be spreading the bacterium locally. Speaking to the ABC, Professor Irwin said “We applied new molecular techniques to these ticks called next generation sequencing”. Irwin explains this as a technique “that allows us to look inside the tick and find the DNA, the genetic code, of organisms that live inside the tick”. This information could become crucial in proving Lyme’s existence.

To date, the borrelium bacteria that causes Lyme disease has never been isolated from an Australian source such as one of these ticks. Michael Gannon, WA President of the AMA, speaking with the ABC, said “it’s never been isolated in an Australian patient that hasn’t travelled to somewhere in North America or Europe”. If Irwin and his team are able to find evidence supporting the existence of the disease on Australian soil then the debate could finally be ended.


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Multimedia Journalism – does it run itself?

Multimedia journalism has a funny habit of circling huge stories around and expanding the parameters extensively so that by the time the audience reads the updated happenings, the story has completely shifted focus.

Modern journalism will inherently become this morphing cycle which is presently emerging, and as such sensationalism and outrageously exaggerated stories will become commonplace, and this is the topic discussed in this week’s post on Storify.

See the full story here:

https://storify.com/davidatherton5/multimedia-journalism-ruining-journalism-itself

 


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Fast paced world breeds fast paced news

Fast Journalism: Speed or Quality?

Fast Journalism: Speed or Quality?

Newspapers and the nightly TV news used to be the fastest means of coverage, however the emerging digital age is seeing the development of “fast journalism”. This is the idea that journalism in the modern era is more focused on speed rather than accuracy, as the sooner the news breaks, the more traffic is generated; and whilst the information mustn’t always be accurate, the timeliness seems to be the main scrutiny.

 

Everyone knows that journalism is a game of speed and accuracy. The online sector benefits from the ability to link from one story to the next – a feature print media cannot achieve – and this aids in the ongoing development of the story. A headline can break immediately with preliminary information and rumours, whilst the actual story is being written. This “fast and true” journalism has resulted in the current trend of aggregated and annotated news stories, whereby the writer “links, attributes, and adds value” – thus finishing with an altered story of their own.

 

The benefits to having the initial information in the market is obvious: generating readers. Whilst this is key, the important factor is in getting the information they are reading to be correct. An eternal aim in the investigative media world is to “Get it Fast, But Get it Right.” News-writers and journalists alike are keen to drill into students that quality and speed are equally significant.

 

However, an emphasis on speed will inherently limit the amount of valid and accurate information the story can contain. “Instantaneous everything” is leading the media to be lacking the type of critical analysis it is needed for – any regular citizen can gather the basics from an image or quote. And whilst the analysis is lacking, the descriptions themselves are susceptible to inaccuracy in the quest for being the first report outputted.

 

Image Link: http://ethics.journalism.wisc.edu/files/2011/09/FastMedia_screenshot.jpg


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Blogging: Journalism or not?

Blogging vs Journalism

Blogging vs Journalism

Modern technology has facilitated the rise of the blogging army. Often, the media holds a considerable sway in the realms of social change – perhaps due to the anonymity, or the geographical irrelevance of members. Whilst traditional journalists, and many citizens, may consider blogging to be a direct threat to the ongoing professional practice of journalism, blogging provides an invaluable platform for which budding journalists can publish their work and generate a portfolio.

“The enemy is bigger than we think, they are powerful, strategically placed around the world.”

 

However, there are no doubts that blogging has both positives and negatives in the flux of modern happenings.

 

Blogging and its simplicity offer journalists an easier platform of production, whilst simultaneously aiding the viewer’s uses by commonly supplying copious amounts of links to related materials for further consideration. The theory that blogging may soon overtake online newspapers may or may not be grounded, however both offer their unique benefits, and the “blogosphere” clearly has much to offer traditional journalism in all its forms, not least news reporting.

 

On the flipside, online groups such as Anonymous, who adopt a Robin Hood style of collaborative hacking to gain equality with the world’s big organisations and governments, have been shown to have a huge effect – the perceived effect depending on the viewer’s standing. Victims will naturally criticize breaches of privacy, whereas general population will support the actions which usually extract confidential and incriminating information from those covering it up.

 

Thinking realistically, blogging may well become the newest medium of next-generation journalists. The freedom and lack of red-tape restrictions placed on traditional journalists under their respective agency. Freedom of speech is emphasized, with no editor or brief to fulfill. For these reasons, it may in fact be the purest form of journalistic reporting, with no bias outside that of the writer.

Image Link: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GOeIGNnLoxQ/T9tEuylZIhI/AAAAAAAACBo/pTFLxSUXXPQ/s1600/bloggervsjournalist.jpg