Lowden, David, Matthew Nicholson, and Lawrie Zion. “A profile of Australian sport journalists (revisited).” Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy Aug. 2011.
This article compares the findings of two studies into Australian sports journalists, conducted some twenty years apart. The articles contrasts Henningham’s 1995 seminal study with a 2010 online survey distributed to working Australian sports journalists. The findings revealed little change in the two sports journalists. Like their predecessors, it was found that sports journalists today are male, white and in their 30s. Where the new breed of sports journalists differed, was in their educational level and location. It was found that today’s sports journalists are more educated and are more likely to live in Victoria. The lack of change, the articles concludes, is due to the industry being traditional, conservative and mostly unbent by changes to journalism as a whole. The authors thinks that ‘the messenger’ is of great importance, and goes so far as to suggest that understanding the journalist is more important than an analysis of the media texts and perhaps even the way audience’s receive it.
The article is written by credited academics in the area of sports journalism. They present the finding of the recent survey in a succinct manner and write in plain English. It’s an interesting read and is intended for the reader who is curious about the individuals who write the news they read. However, there are flaws in the article. For one, in the most recent study of Australian sports journalists, only about 120 journalists participated out of approximately the 500 invited. That’s a massive number of professionals unaccounted for, and they most accurate cross-section is not available.
Although the results of the studies are unsurprising, it sheds some light on why sports news looks and sounds the way that it does. The heavily saturated AFL news, for example, may be better understood when we consider that most work in Victoria. The authors of the article paint a clear picture of the Australian sports journalist and it would be useful for our own project to present information like this in a clear and concise way. We could be quite creative with our snap shot of the sports journalist; and could present this in a creative manner. Out of all the readings, this one has altered my perception of the project, in that I think it would benefit from a thorough analysis of ‘the sports journalist’. One poin in particular that has pricked my interest is the better-educated sports journalist. I would be interested to interview and survey students currently undertaking the new Bachelor of Sports Journalism at La Trobe University. La Trobe University positions itself as a sports university. It would be interesting to speak with the future Australian sports journalist, to hypothesis how the industry will look in twenty years time.
Reference 2: *
Alysen, B 2012, ‘Online and social media’, The ELectronic Reporter: Broadcast Journalism in Australia, pp. 153-160.
Alysen outlines the recent developments that social media has had on the field of journalism. It touches on some of the advantages and disadvantages the new technology affords for journalists. For example, being able to use social media as another source of information (e.g. journalists following celebrities of Twitter). However, the article more thoroughly outlines some of the problems that have arisen out of social media; for example, the casual nature of the medium and its potential to blur the lines of professionalism. It draws on a number of small examples and focuses on a case study to illustrate these points.
The article is found in a book titled “The Electronic Reporter”. The book is said to be ‘a staple for all tertiary journalism students in Australia’, however it seems rather simplistic for a tertiary standard text, especially considering the reader should be well versed in the area. Saying this, it is easy to read and doesn’t bog the reader with statistics or dry content. The points offered, albeit obvious, are relevant. It should be taken into consideration, the relatively unchartered waters of online and social media for authors of such texts. It remains unbiased and simply offers pros and cons for the new technology.
This article provides points that could be further expand on through research and analysis. For example, the text provided an example of an Australian sports journalist working in regional Victoria, Steve King. It argued that by King live-tweeting AFL matches he’s able to reach a global audience. In our project, we may want to litter it with real-world examples like this in order to keep reader’s interest.
Lawri, Z, Spaaij, R and Nicholson, M 2011, ‘Sport media and journalism: an introduction’, Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, no. 140, August, pp. 80-83.
This brief article outlines some pertinent developments between sport and the media. It argues that sport is difficult to critique without including some level of analysis between the role that media has in its portrayal to audiences. Basically, it argues that the two go hand-in-hand in an area some refer to as the ‘media sport complex’.
The article acts an introduction for a journal that explores topics with greater analysis. For this reason, it is broad in focus and easily digestible. Rather than critiquing any issue in great detail, it paints an affectionate picture of the way in which sport is portrayed in Australian media. For example, it opens with an interesting fact – ‘ in Australian there are more journalists assigned to covering the AFL than there are assigned to politics’. The article is written for students who may be undertaking a journalism degree. It also assumes that as an audience we care about the AFL. Although football culture is strong in Victoria, there would be many people who don’t hold the game in the same esteem. Thus it risks alienating this audience through broad generalisations about our love for the game, without offering a critical alternative to those interested purely in its media qualities.
We could use this text as a way of breaking our reader into more meaty topics of analysis; for example, by opening arguments with interesting facts about Victoria’s obsession with sport. Overall, I believe this to be one of the most relevant texts for us to draw on. The influence will come not so much in way of content but in structure, tone and language.
Hargiattia, E 2010, ‘Minding the digital gap: understanding digital inequality matters’ in S Papathanassopoulous, Media Perspectives for the 21st Century, Taylor and Francic, Oxon, pp. 228-237, e-book, accessed 16 April 2013, http://rmit.eblib.com.au.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=668429.
Hargiattai’s article is one in a compilation of sophisticated perspectives of our current media landscape. In her article she explores the digital divide and argues that even if everyone has access to the Internet, differences will remain in how they use the medium. For some members of the public the world of new media has made little difference to their lives and has not enabled them to join to sphere of public discourse that is occurring online. Hargiattai believes that this digital divide varies depending on socio-economic status.
Hargiattai is addressing a sophisticated and presumably tech-savvy audience. After all her article is published in a highly theoretical text about the changes in media. Her tone is blatant and does not offer much in way of a solution. It seems that her intention is to simply enforce that inequality between those who know how to do stuff online and those who don’t – exists. Her argument is well constructed, although does become convolute with the inclusion of too many statistics.
This argument of a ‘digital divide’ is one my group members discussed initially. It’s definitely an area that deserves focus for our assignment. However, we may be more inclined to discuss the ways in which older Australians (journalists and citizens alike) struggle with the wave of sports news going to online platforms. It will be interesting to dissect, the level of engagement they have with new media sports content. What Hargiattai’s article explores, that we are yet to consider, is low-socio economic status as a barrier.
Cover, R 2012, ‘Transforming scandal: the ‘St Kilda Schoolgirl’, digital media activism and social change’, Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no. 143, pp. 1-10
The article begins by summarising a sex scandal involving players of the St Kilda Football Club, AFL player-manager, Ricky Nixon and a 16-year-old girl (dubbed by the media as the ‘St Kilda Schoolgirl). Cover analyses the way in which he controversy played out in traditional and new media outlets. He argues that the way the ‘St Kilda Schoolgirl’ used digital media, could be regarded as digital media activism.
The article is well written and offers an engaging and interesting perspective of the events that unfolded. It discusses how both The AFL and schoolgirl utilised traditional media and digital media forms in the construction of the scandal’s narrative. It argues that this case produced shifts in how sport sex scandals are addressed in the public arenas and the way the victim is positioned within that. The idea of digital media activism at the hands of the schoolgirl, though argued well, do seem far-fetched. However Cover’s arguments are made more convincing when he defines media activism as not through ones motivations but through ones actions. In the case of the schoolgirl – the distribution of evidence, digital texts and engaging in interviews.
Like ‘Framing the Victim’ (2012) this article may be used in the construction of a peripheral story. However, this issue of ‘activism’ be better told as an example of ‘citizen journalism’. In this case, digital media was pivotal in the un-doing of elite football leagues at the hands of an adolescent. However, we may risk delving into an area we don’t wish to cover in our assignment, such as gender roles in the AFL or codes of silence within clubs.
Waterhouse-Watson, D 2012, ‘Framing the Victim’, Australian Feminist Studies, vol.27, no. 71, March, pp. 55-70
This article looks at rape complainant testimony within the football code, as presented on three Australian television programs. Waterhouse explores the way in which devices are used to frame the testimony; such as, the use of narration, ‘expert’ testimony, music and editing.
The article looks at how non-commercial networks investigate and present unsavory stories about footballers and how this representation has the potential to cause pubic outcry. The author of the article is credible. Watherhouse has a PhD from Monash University for her extensive research and analyse of media representations of football in cases of sexual assault. Further to this Watherhouse lectures at Monash in the areas of Media, Communication and English.
Although the article and its topic does not fall into our overarching research area of ‘changes in news’ it may act as the basis for a peripheral story of the representations of footballers who have been accused of a crime. These representations of footballers in traditional media could examine they way filmic techniques and language alter our perceptions of events and the victim/villain equation. Not exclusive to allegations of sexual assault, our group may want to expose the methods of story-telling adopted by traditional media to persuade public opinion in incidence of players taking banned substances (Ben Cousins) or reports of inappropriate behavior between footballers, football management and minors (St Kilda school-girl).
Harrington, S 2012, ‘Australian journalism studies after ‘journalism’: breaking down the disciplinary boundaries (for good)’, Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no.144, August, pp.156-162.
This article suggests that if journalism is to remain a pertinent as an academic discipline, it must change its way. The author suggests that action must be taken to transform journalism from its heavily constrained traditional boundaries, towards a liberal range of media outputs.
The author’s insights are rather radical. His arguments for the most part appear weak because it seems to rely too heavily on the ideas of other academics. Although written in plain English, it is difficult to discern his thoughts and opinions from those of the academic he quotes.
Having said that, the radical nature of some of the ideas offered in the text may make it an interesting point of reference for our assignment. I tend to agree with the ideas offered by Harrington, but am confused by the way in which these desired changes should be approached. At the very least it could be used to inject some excitement and promise for the future of the medium. We would just need to articulate the message more succinctly than Harrington.
Hutchins B 2012, ‘Sport on the Move: The Unfolding Impact of Mobile Communications on the Media Sport Content Economy’, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, pp. 1-20
In this article, Hutchins discusses how mobile devices have altered the way in which fans engage with sport content. Hutchins provides a deep analysis of the use of mobile in the regards to sport. He is writing for a highly engaged reader with a particular interest in the big business aspects of sports. Particular emphasis is placed on telecommunications companies, such as Telstra and their involvement in propelling Australian sport into the mobile environment.
To be honest, the analysis is such that it may be difficult to reflection with the task at hand is confusing. Apart from the paragraph that discussed the 1 billion dollar investment between the AFL and Telstra, I think this level of analysis can become messy when trying to relate the information to our own task. I don’t discredit it as a source, and do believe it could be invaluable, but only if we wish to focus on sport in relation to mobile technology.
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