Current Affair School Style

Today you will be making a short tabloid style production. Using the school as your location you are to do an expose. Take a variety of footage and on your return from the break you will edit it during the first week of 2nd term.

Remember – the trashier, the better!


Cross Media Ownership Essay

Continuing on with cross media ownership the following essay will need to be completed over the holidays.  Everything you need to complete the essay is in the media ownership and regulation posts. You may also wish to do further research and find appropriate articles. All references will need to be acknowledged in the bibliography.


Media Theory and Regulation

Today we looked at various theories that try to describe media influence. These include:

  • The Hypodermic Needle Theory
  • The Agenda Setting Theory
  • The Cultivation Theory
  • Uses and Gratifications Theory
  • Encoding/Decoding Theory

Read through the theories again in your media text – Chapter 9 page 155 and then post your response to the following questions:

1/In what ways is media content in Australia regulated?
2/ What theory is this regulation based on? How does it see the position of audiences?
3/ What are the main arguments for and against this regulation?

Media Ownership Changes

The following changes were made to media ownership in 2006 and 2007. Please read through the following links: (interview by Kerry O’Brien on the 7.30 report with Senator Helen Coonan – Communications Minister) (History of decision making leading to changes)

Many of these changes were due to the governments concern over the rise of digital media and that the previous media ownership laws were no longer effective to cater for online growth.  The following report details government concerns: (a journalist’s thoughts on ownership laws) (another view of ownership laws by independent media company Crikey.)

Convergence and Cross Media Ownership

By now you’ve probably realised that convergence means two different things in regards media theory. The convergence of devices is basically devices including phones becoming mini entertainment centres or tv’s picking up on internet and online services streaming video etc….

Convergence in the form of media outlets is an entirely different thing and requires you to have some understanding of cross media ownership and the regulations involved. In particular it involves whether owners of one particular media like print, can also own television stations and radio. The rules were changed in 1987 under the Hawke Government. Paul Keating famously said you could either be ‘a prince of print or a queen of screen but you could not be both.’

The debate about who owns what, and how much, has been going on for years. Read this article about Kerry Packer’s attempt to influence the Paul Keating decision:

This is why the latest convergence inquiry is so important to media owners. I’m sure they will do what they can to ensure the media maintains self-regulation. They would also not want to be subjected to a third regulatory body as is recommended in the report.

It is important to understand cross media ownership and convergence if you are going to answer this question in your exam. Please read through the suggested material in order to further understand this rather complicated area of media ownership and regulation.

A guide to the convergence review

Convergence Review

Recently the Australian Government requested a convergence review. In part this was prompted by the problems of media self regulation but also due to the blurring of news media outlets with the rise of the internet and digital televison. Read the following two articles about the converegence review and then answer the questions:


What are some of the problems identified by the convergence review?
Why is it suggested that the changes will never be implemented?
What is a CSE?
How do you think media operators might respond to this review?

For more information go to the following link:
For a podcast on cross media ownership you can listen to this podcast from the ABC:
After listening to the podcast – summarize the interview with Malcolm Turnbull and his thoughts on media ownership.

Ethical Dilemma

meaning of ethics

Consider your Ethics

You have been given access to confidential emails. However, you must be sensitive towards the person who gave you the emails and the problems that they highlight. In this task you are to read through the emails provided and write a news story. You must consider the ethics involved in publishing the information and whether the person who provided them will lose his/her job or whether the newspaper will be liable for legal action. You must also consider whether you will be breaking any code of ethics by naming or compromising the people involved in the dispute.

Working in pairs you are to construct two stories for the newspaper. Once you have written the articles, place them in Indesign. If you have too much white space construct an advertisement to fill any remaining gaps.

The rise of alternative media

Please click on the link and read the rise of alternative media.


When you have read the article you are to watch some of programs listed. You can also read through some of the newspapers listed. When you have become familiar with their content write a post that includes the following:

  • In what way do you think these alternative media sources differ from mainstream media
  • Were there stories covered that you have never thought about or considred before?
  • How are the stories presented?
  • Did you notice advertising? If so what sort?
  • What is your opinion of these alternative news sources.

Twit or Tweet?

twitter bird

Some Jokes on Twitter Fall Flat

In a previous article I discussed the perils of using social media, particularly when affiliated with a large news organisation. The article was inspired by the fate of Catherine Deveney, a journalist previously employed by The Age newspaper who lost her job after she tweeted offensive comments during a live television broadcast. Deveney may have lost her job but she didn’t lose her Twitter account, which is a shame because now she has inflamed the wrath of Cardinal Pell.

Deveney tweeted a picture that placed a comment made by the Cardinal on a television show under the image of young boys. The Cardinal was incensed by the implication of the Twitpic, particularly in light of the allegations facing the Church and abuse of minors.

However, the bigger question here is not whether Deveney offended the Cardinal but whether Twitter should be held accountable for defamation. The Cardinal certainly thought so when he began legal proceedings against the company.

Whether Twitter is liable in the future for the comments made by its users is yet to be decided. Whatever the outcome for Twitter it is also worthwhile questioning Deveney’s use of the social media platform. Whilst the tweet was removed and Deveney wrote an apology on her blog, one wonders whether she is the social media equivalent of a ‘shock jock’, those radio presenters who regularly inflame their audiences by manipulating news and opinion to suit their agenda. Or is it that her sense of humour doesn’t always translate very well into the Twitterverse?

Whatever the outcome, it will be a real blow to Twitter users if all our comments are opened up to surveillance. A bit of common sense when we use social media is the best way to protect yourself and avoid unnecessary legal action.

Related article: The Perils of Using Social Media


With the advent of digital technology into the media spectrum the ownership of media becomes even more murky. Companies buy out companies and merge their media whilst other companies diverge into new areas. This is referred to as convergence and divergence.

Read through the chapter on Technologies on page 69 in your textbook to get some insight into the changes occuring within the media landscape.