Byron – notoriously relaxed atmosphere and relaxed lifestyle – is synonymous with shaping many personalities and attitudes. Similarly, the infant anger of James Cachia was shaped and moulded by the vibes expelled by the Byron locals through annual family holidays to the area. The fond memories and bonds formed there have shifted the persona of James into being a well-known nice-guy who is willing to sacrifice his own needs for the sake of others – this humility has extended his circles to encapsulate many people and acquiring entry into illustrious academies, yet his anger is presently non-existent.
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
Following childhood passions is something kids are taught from a young age – and this advice was evidently taken on board by University students Jovica, Thomas, Mitchell and Tom. All admit to sharing a passion for sports of all kinds, imparted upon them from father’s and copious amounts of hours spent yelling at the TV on weekends and long summer afternoons after a good game in the backyard or local park.
The drive to make this hobby a livelihood is epitomised by Tom’s attitude of “I do it at home, why not be paid to do it? If I was offered a job, f*** oath I would do it.”
The realisation of not having the natural ability to be a professional athlete is a phase which strikes most teenagers, Mitchell Finlayson and Jovica Babunski included, and leads many down the path they chose – “writing about the sport I love” for a living. This group of peers have excelled in their respective sports, with most reaching representative level, and this intimate knowledge of the sport at a higher level will no-doubt provide them with the insight a regular blogger is unable to construct.
Role models are key in the ongoing development of any professional, skill-based professions more-so than others, and these students are not lacking their ambition, matching their goals against European footballing greats, SBS anchors, fast bowlers and swing kings. All stated the paternal figure played a significant role in developing a keen interest in sport, with Mitchell stating “He taught me everything… he ignited my love for sport and I haven’t stopped loving it.”
The emerging theme from these four students was the modern versatility and variety of skills and content they are interested in utilising – with none having narrowed their options down to a particular medium of production, and with all being open to reporting on an array of sports. Mitchell was driven by the videogame NBA2K to shift from cricket to his current NBA craze, with Thomas (Horse Racing), Tom (Baseball) and Jovica (Tennis) also widening their horizons to greater enhance their employment opportunities and ongoing professional development. Thomas’ diversity in particular speaks for itself, with “Rugby League being the sport I identify most with, but I’d be happy to cover horse racing or football. Any sport really…” – and this ability to apply his skills to any sport in focus will be an ongoing trend in the increasingly competitive journalism industry.
The thirst for journalism as a career path is clear by their universal desire to travel in order to be closest to the most elite competitions – England and Spain for Jovica and Thomas, with America for Tom and Mitchell. Holidays to Europe and America have furthered all four student’s desire to commit their time and effort to getting the latest scoop in sports news, and whether it be football, baseball or basketball, these four will be there to write about it.
The personal strength Jess possesses can be seen through the phrase she boldly utilized in her stage of remission from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which proudly stated:
I had you, but you’ll never have me!
It is said that the “real you” is on the inside, and inside the life of Journalism student Jessica Olson is a story that deserves to be told. Initially Jess may seem like yet another first year University student struggling with the costs and workload of student life, however her story is one of perseverance under exceptional circumstances yet recovering to be better through the trials.
Seen by Jess as “a way to express myself”, dancing and physical culture have been key activities by which Jess has matured physically, mentally, and developed ongoing friendships with fellow participants at such a high level of competition. Rising to the level of National Championships for ‘Physie’, the standard of competition bonds the competitors through the collective hours of practise and mutual injury struggles, adding to the fact that “most of the girls I compete with I’ve done so against since we were toddlers”. This ongoing competition pushes these athletes to improve yearly, and Jess confesses to enjoying the competitiveness present in each event.
Additionally, the basic health benefits have aided Jess’ continuing participation as they enabled a swift recovery – having been diagnosed with blood cancer at 15 – into resuming competition. The drive to overcome this massive personal hurdle was obvious, as Jess was upset about not being able to participate in her first senior Physie Nationals at the Opera House. A year later – having recovered from the cancer itself, depleted muscles, lessened flexibility, numerous shin splints, torn and strained hamstrings, and both cardiovascular and general fatigue – Jess was able to rejoin her lifelong friends in their mutual passion. The “hardwork & dedication to reach the national level again” is easily noted in her application to her studies, and the ability for her to encourage others in their work is a great reflection on how humble and yet positive Jess can be in the wake of such a harsh battle with cancer. The infectious laughter she brings isn’t one normally associated with a cancer survivor, however this is testament to her upbeat personality.
As not only an activity which connects Jess to her Physie peers and their parents – seen as an extended family considering their continual presence – but an escape from University life and the struggles of battling such serious illness, Jess excitedly spoke of how she wishes to follow the trend of people well into retirement still participating in Physie. As her studies at Wollongong continue, Jess hopes to establish where her calling in Journalism lies, and the diversity her International Studies subjects offer her will allow her to take this calling overseas should that be where she chases it. In the meantime, her passion for dancing supersedes the desire for employment abroad, and so the inspirational story of Jess’s can be shared to those alongside her at University.
Journalism – What Interests You?
Career skills are very broad with career paths being constantly specialised and shrunken. Students were asked what skills they had developed during their course at UOW and where they saw these skills taking them in job opportunities & life in general. As explored by interviewee’s, the most common skills are those taught at the most elementary level – such as interviewing and researching, however the more intricate skills of photography and filming were not so prevalent in first year students. This will help to explore the skills deemed necessary by these students and explain why they were seen as such.
Magnus Sundstrom, “Interview with Micke Karlsson – Marrie Laveau/Little Quarter” 11th November, 2011 (Accessed 21st April 2014). http://tradermagnus.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/interview-with-micke-karlsson-marie.html
Studying Together, Working Apart:
Students at UOW studying Journalism will remain a cohort for a few years yet, however it is then that the diversity of this field will swallow up young prospects and take them where it chooses. Young reporters must have a defined path they seek to travel in order to have the passion and drive required to succeed in such a competitive field. These students have shown a thirst for fulfilling their dreams as journalists and are seeking to make the most of their studies at UOW to further enhance and develop their reporting & coverage skills.
Always the keen gamer, Alex Skribins has recently forged himself a new image in the wider world of university, a vast contrast to his sheltered “Shire” upbringing. His emerging style of gamer-meets-suave has allowed him to enter the university lifestyle with a new air of confidence and has led to a new girlfriend within 4 weeks of semester! A fast-mover, Alex desires to become an investigative reporter and is putting copious amounts of effort into his recent work at university in order that he may develop and perfect his communications skills for a promising reporting career.