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.

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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.

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.

What is proper gym etiquette?

Nothing can be more disturbing than the sound of someone pushing as hard as they can to lift a weight, or walking over to a machine to find it dripping wet from an other individuals sweat.  Although while one person can find something entirely normal another can find it unpleasant. I decided to some primary research and ask young university students what they thought proper gym etiquette is.

Gap Year Fun

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The HSC has proven to be one of the most stressful periods in an adolescents life.

It has become a social norm that all newly turned adults have the desire to break away from their home reality to take a gap year and explore the world. For nineteen year old Eloise 2014 was the year she was able to explore countries away from Australia. She spent the next twelve months living in England where she taught PE at a school in Norwich, “I lived on campus along side two British guys and girl and a South African guy who I called my gappie”. During holidays she was paid, therefore travelling was a given. “I went to Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Hungary Turkey and Barcelona”, she described it as being such an “insane” trip.

While being away for a period of time adjusting to a new surrounding proved to be difficult for Eloise, although the thought of going back overseas has never been so enticing.