The Game of Sports Journalism

We welcome Australia’s new journalists.

Passion and knowledge of sports is what drives sports journalists today, ultimately it is what makes for a thorough and intriguing sports report. The University of Wollongong accounts for numerous aspiring sports journalists both male and female. Each student has their aspirations, but are aware of the obstacles they may encounter on their path to success.

1556848_10153069267629775_1002566434_o

Young Georgia Stjelja taking on the position of Goal Defence for her local netball team

The connotations of sports journalism linger around males, and it is evident that it is a male dominant profession. University students Georgia and Eloise express their profound interest in sports journalism and determination to achieve their goal. “I’ve always played sports my dad was a major influence he always pushed me to do my best” says Georgia. “You have to start form the bottom… as long as you work hard you can always climb to where you want to be.” An ambition Eloise states what she is yet to face in the long journey of an upcoming sports journalist, although for the common female moving up the ladder in a sports company is not the only challenge they face.

I want to become a sports journalist to show society that females can join the area as well. – Georgia Stjelja 

Sexism in sports journalism is a current and large issue, interviewing both girls bought to light how this issue hits more than just the surface although it can break a valid opportunity. “I watch ESP and Fox Sports and there has hardly been a female reporter” expresses Georgia, Fox Sports Australia is home to only three females on the ‘Fox Sports News Team’. One of these females being Sarah Jones an inspiration to young Eloise with her work on the news network as well as being a commentator of the Vancouver Olympic Winter games, a goal Elle hopes to achieve. In contrast to females, male interest in sports journalism appears increasingly vaster. For both Luke and Jesse sports has been something that has been present in their lives from an early age.

For both Luke Simon and Jesse Godfrey sports journalism is but a dream. “Sports has been a large part of my life since the age of 5, with my skills and interests sports journalism is a prime area for me”, Luke commented. Due to constant participation and inspirations from the industry it drives these young males to achieve their dreams, for Jesse “Andrew Voss and Ray Hadley” are only some individuals who have a profound impact on his enjoyment of not only sports but also the profession. Although while the dream is the final goal both Jesse and Luke are aware of the challenges they are yet to face.

“I think one of the biggest problems will be location. USA focus on sports like NBA which really interest me” – Luke

“It is a competitive field and jobs are limited, but I think with my degree there will be something waiting for me” – Jesse

These upcoming journalists display passion and drive to succeed in the industry, whilst being aware of the challenges they face. It is the upcoming generation that are set to change the industry.

Advertisements

Philosophy of Journalism

“What do you want to be when you grow older”?

A question commonly asked, as we grow. When I was younger I gave two answers, a tennis player or become a writer.

When I searched the different genres of journalism two areas resonated with me, tabloid journalism and sports journalism. Tabloid journalism tends to sensationalise stories and focuses on areas such as gossip, celebrities and opinions. Over the year the way I write and the topics I write about reflect forms of tabloid journalism and I found that this was something that I could further explore or one day become apart of. Although sports journalism is something that has always interested and stood out to me.

From since I can remember my father always loved sports, sitting to watch the Manly Sea Eagles play was a tradition between us. During my younger years I always had dreamt of becoming a soccer, league, AFL or tennis player. At three years old I was introduced to the game of tennis, till the present day I would classify myself as a tennis player. Previously having an Australian ranking, training five times a week it has been something that has become apart of who I am and how I am identified.

I was told by many who have read my blogs or watched me play sports, suggest sports journalism because it encapsulates my passion. Therefore during my commencement of university this year I decided to focus on journalism and take a wider interest in sports to begin my career.

It is evident that sports journalism is predominately a male-based profession having female reporters scattered through different companies and positions. The comment constantly arises “but you are a female, do you think you have an equal chance”? I agree that sports journalism is male-prone although this should not be the reason to simply result to a female-based company genre such as gossip. I believe that passion and knowledge should determine the opportunity you are rewarded with, the chance to become a female sports journalists for companies such as Fox Sports and ESPN is an ultimate goal. Neroli Meadows a Fox Sports reporter/presenter is one who I enjoy to watch, her journey beginning locally in Perth on a radio station and this transition to a large and well-known station is something that I admire.

Sports has always been something I have loved to watch and read about, writing has been another of my passion. I find writing gives me a sense of freedom and exploration, writing to tell and writing to help/inform are my fortes. Becoming a sports journalist combines two of my favourite hobbies, and allows me to focus on areas I love most.

I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying – Michael Jordan

Degree < iPhone

Journalism is at war.

War against the citizens and their iPhones.

Our world has had a technological shift. What was once a simple Nokia has now turned into a bite sized computer, formally known as the iPhone. All is becoming instantaneous and viral, social media platforms such as twitter are becoming a catalyst for citizen journalism. This immediacy is what is giving individuals the freedom and power to ‘free’ the truth.

Although it is this ‘immediacy’ that is attaching an unethical stigma to this genre of journalism.

Citizen Journalism plays the game of being in the right place at the right time. The ability to capture a natural disaster at the time of its occurrence, can be vital for a current story and sold to media companies for thousands of dollars. This rises the issue of privacy and consent. For example Daily Mail Australia published a story in February of 2015, capturing an affair occurring in an office complex between two colleges. Photos were captured and this issue was discovered virally, while the couple were displaying public indecency the various tweets and photographs breach personal privacy. Citizen reporting detracts reputation of ethical journalism.

The professional nature of journalism is blurred to the inconsistency and unreliable nature of citizen journalism. This genre is more inclined to reflect an individuals opinion and in its nature lacks credibility. In an article by BloomBerg Business, it highlights the uprisings in Syria and raises the point that “news coming from Syria has been altered by activists“. Awareness is vital in a war stricken country although this does not excuse truth; “The video journalist who took the video admitted he altered it and said he did so to raise awareness“. While citizens urge for aid, alteration of pivotal information has the instant ability to cause an uprising.

Citizen journalism is empowering society to help professionals and raise awareness, although its lack of gatekeepers often fail to respect the ethics of journalism.

The Yellow Truth

Extra, Extra read nothing about it!

Sensationalism, defined by oxford dictionary as “the presentation of stories in a way that is intended to provoke public interest or excitement, at the expense of accuracy”. Sensationalism is timeless, present in a variety of genres within journalism used to exaggerate the truth and spark interest in a topic.

For instance tabloid journalism uses sensationalism to draw attention to a particular story or individual. Miley Cyrus for example a hot topic of discussion across media platforms such as ET Online – May 01 a headline was released “Miley Cyrus Dyes Her Armpits and … Another Area Pink. Decency Is Dead.” It is instances like this were satire is added to a enhance the situation to catch the eye of readers, an article from About News describes sensationalism as the ‘junk food factor‘. “Sensational stories are the junk food of our news diet”; something that is necessary although it is what we desire. Sensational journalism gives us something to read while being ‘bored’, but when being informed of a serious event withdraws the journalistic credibility.

SBS recently released a documentary titles ‘Struggle Street‘, focusing on the western suburb Mount Druitt. While it revolves around the people of this area, some would say it captures the ‘stereotypical’ view of Mount Druitt. In an article from The Age suggests that journalists and documentary makers use their findings and own observation to show an ‘interpretation’ of the truth. Sensationalism creates the stigma of unethical journalism, it not only presents a ‘version’ but it causes the viewer to think in a certain way.

Sensationalism is effective in tabloid journalism where it makes for greater entertainment. Although it is a common issue throughout journalism that causes society to question the ethicality of our journalists, and highlights this idea that journalism presents an ‘optional’ truth.

Welcoming our new leaders

A photo of Jamie and other of GYLC participating in a rally disputing rights for each of their countries

A photo of Jamie and other of GYLC participating in a rally disputing rights for each of their countries

“I knew what I was in for, but didn’t expect it to happen”.

Inspiration is inevitable. It can spark from anything, from a photograph to a single word. Individuals bounce off what appeals and connects with them. For young Jamie it was a trip to America that encouraged her to strive towards her ambitions.

Global Young Leaders Conference is held in America each year, where students from all around the world gather to learn how to become the world’s next leaders. Jamie was one out of four other students in her grade to be chosen to experience this trip.

As part of the GYLC tour students were given the opportunity to visit the White House as well as visit the United Nations Chambers, “Having the opportunity to sit at the tables of the UN and discuss global issues as representatives of our country, made my goals become so real”. She described the topics of discussion as ‘empowering’, from sorting out financial aid to supplying countries in poverty and hunger with clean food and water.

“It was an eye-opener”.

As all students were divided into designated countries, she found that deciding and agreeing on changes with students of other countries was conflicting. “I understand why it is so hard to pass laws and legislations across countries, ideologies and traditions are difficult to negotiate”.

It is experiences like this that driven young teenagers, it gives them a taste of their ultimate goal. Excitement and passion is what filled young Jamie’s eyes as she continued explain her experience at the UN.

Mother Mary-Ellen comments, “since coming back from the trip her determination to start her career as a human rights lawyer has never been so strong”.

Jamie has always interested in global politics and human rights, Amal Clooney is one of her many idols. She admires Amal’s many talents of being a lawyer, activist and writer. “I admire her”.

Amal is formally recognized as a successful human rights lawyer, although her profound beauty and her husband are not seen as distractions. “She is an inspiration who has had an influence on many individuals lives, she fights for the rights of the people”. Evidently Jamie’s passion to fight for the people is what is driving her through her degree.

Recently in 2015 she was accepted into the University of Wollongong, studying a bachelor of Law and International Studies. As a first year student she describes her current and future journey as “time consuming yet rewarding”.

“Everything I learn is making me motivated for what is yet to come”.

In years to come the young lady is looking to start a career as a legal officer for the Defence Force specializing in international operations law. Ultimately taking a position to work for the United Nations in the human rights council.

We reflect on the youth today, opportunities such as GYLC evidently have a profound impact on young individuals urging them to make a change. In years to come we expect individuals like Jamie fighting to make a change.

Using ‘Paradise’ to embellish our lives

“Where is my life heading?”

I ask myself everyday as I re-live the same routine continuously. My family and myself tend to base ourselves in such a routine we regularly follow. For as many years as I can remember it has been our routine to fantasize about our dream holiday to travel the world.

I’ve always taken notice of the holidays people go on. Some to tropical islands around the world, or others to the Middle East and Europe all different from the other. And with each of these places, there is always an individual that posts a photo with a caption “paradise” or similar. Coming from someone who has never been out of Australia, I look at these photos and think to myself “doesn’t that look like perfection?” I can most likely speak for a portion of others who view these photos.

But this idea of ‘paradise’ is what I want to explore. What is ‘paradise’? Humanity uses this word often as a noun and in some cases an adjective.

Everyone is different; when I think of paradise my thoughts vary. Some people describe paradise by being on a tropical island relaxing by the calming water sipping on cocktails and watching the sunset or exploring the history and mysteries behind some of the oldest heritage points throughout the world. We tend to look at the physical aspects of paradise and attach it to anywhere beautiful and foreign. But then I also think of paradise to describe a world of peace and health, this is something I tend to be very oblivious to.

There is another alternative view of paradise, one that takes a religious outlook on the noun. An example would be Christianity, Heaven is paradise. A place with eternal life, love, health and passed loved ones is what many Christians want in the next life. This idea changes from religion to religion.

Moving away from religion and focusing on a universal idea of paradise, I want to understand why we don’t describe our everyday lives as paradise. I am unsure if others tend to do this but I forget that there are other parts of the world who are in constant war and poverty, not to mention those who are constantly ill or are suffering and incurable disease. I can be selfish in that way, and especially being bought up in steady middle-class family I have been spoilt with the opportunities and health I have been granted. It is a humanistic quality to have a constant desire of wanting more than what you have and being unhappy with what we are given. Its how we are made but also something that we can overcome.

What really sparked my interest into this thought was a commercial on TV, which showed poverty stricken African children dying from dehydration and the water the are forced to drink. Shortly after the charity began to show how joyed these children were to be drinking clean water. The smiles on their faces brought a smile to my face and was something that made me wonder how drastically different the idea of paradise can be between two classes.

To children and families who live in third world countries and are not exposed to clean drinking water but when are given clean water and food make the universe seem like they are in paradise. It puts into perspective what different people value more. Those who don’t have much utilise the necessities of life and health, creating their own paradise and what we class as ‘everyday life’ but those who have these necessities go to different parts of the world to find this feeling of ‘paradise’ and often forget that their everyday life is a state of paradise.

Of course paradise is going to explore a different country whose physicality blows you away and would only seem life a dream. But I feel like myself and many others fail to appreciate the everyday paradise we live in. Health, food, water and peace are what ultimately create paradise.  When we create a dream or goal these four factors are what make up our element of paradise and relaxation, although we are unconscious to this because we are masked by physical perfection.

Its funny how a simple commercial can make you contemplate your own ideas.

“We must prefer real hell to an imaginary paradise.” – Simone Weil

This quote tends to catch my attention, I feel as if humanity sometimes prefer the imaginary and those less fortunate appreciate the hell.

Just a thought.

We suffer from a case of ‘selfiecentrism’

It is evident that the way we interact with the ‘stars’ of our society has dramatically changed. From the traditional newspaper and radio, we now have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There was a point in society where publicists, journalists and PR agents were what controlled an individuals identity.

But there has been a shift in rolls.

We now do not need to pay thousands of dollars to a reporter to sell your story in a particular way, or pay an agent extra to promote your ‘identity’. Now the most commitment required is an email, and date of birth. The rest is FREE and controlled by YOU. Social media has revolutionised the way the way we represent and present our persona.

Our online persona is defined by our digital objects in the forms of statuses, selfies, photo albums etc. We use these tools to create an identity for others to understand who we are, for the everyday individual it can be formally known as being ‘judged’ or in a celebrities case ‘admired’.

Turner outlines three main definitions of celebrities “(1) celebrity as a way that people are represented and talked about; (2) a process by which a person is turned into a commodity; and (3) an aspect of culture which is constantly being reinscribed and reformulated”. Kim Kardashian-West. A renowned selfie queen, who is now yet to release her newest book called ‘selfish’. A composition of her selfies over the last couple of years. She is what some could describe a ‘cultural phenomenon’, and is a reflection of Turners definitions.

Her online presence has attracted 31.7 million twitter followers and 32.4 million Instagram followers. Her constant activity is what has uplifted her image. Through her online presence and the content she posts, she has been able to create various images for herself, various examples seen in the youtube clip I created below.

Through these images we see how Kim wants to represent herself, selfies to high fashion photoshoots we can see that her Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 6.20.29 pmintentions are to expand her image. While she is managed by her very own ‘momager‘, social media gives her the opportunity to promote herself and present herself in the ideal way.

But while social media promotes celebrities, we cannot forget the most important factor to a stars fame. FANS. Senft describes fan based activity as ‘micro-celebrity‘. where fans interact with a stars online presence through commenting, reblogging, favoriting etc. Twitter is one of the largest platforms that allows fans to directly interact with their ‘idols’, Erving Goffman describes this as a metaphor considering “how celebrity practice is performed with the help of others”. We create digital objects that reflect our persona and ultimately have the chance to grab the attention of our star, this can be through a simple tweet, image or the utterly powerful hashtag.

Social media has reinvented the way our stars promote themselves and reach out to their fanbase. Are we saying goodbye to tradition and hello to the influx of egocentrism?