Posts Tagged ‘journalism’


Geelong is a city going through a turbulent transition, stranded between its history and its future. Its modern legacy as a stronghold of heavy industry – led by Ford, Alcoa and Shell – is fading fast.

Ford has been closing its Geelong manufacturing works for some time, with the final jobs to go by 2016. Alcoa has announced that its ageing aluminium smelter and rolling mill would close in August, at a cost of 800 jobs. Last year Qantas axed just under 300 maintenance jobs at the nearby Avalon Airport and Target sacked 260 workers from its Geelong head office.

Geelong has a long history as a city, and with that, a long history of being able to rebuild itself from problems past. There is little doubt Geelong will reinvent itself as a smart city of the future on the back of its tourism, agriculture and, service industries, as well as its role as a port, and  its role as a hub for new industry, such as carbon fibre manufacturing.

The inevitable and immediate pain of future uncertainty looms for Geelong’s recently unemployed. One of the major problems with widespread job cuts to similar industries to an area in a short period of time is that it creates a situation where there are too many workers looking for what little work is still available. As Professor Louse Johnson explained during my interview with her, about one third of workers will find work in a similar industry, maintaining a similar standard of living; another third will find work in lesser jobs, reducing their standard of living. For the other third, it’s unlikely that they will work again. The question of whether to remain in Geelong, the bedrock of many workers’ lives, beckons also.

Fitter and turner Jay Craven, 24, was made redundant by Ford in Geelong in an early wave of job cuts. The atmosphere of redundancy is not a good one. The media seem to know information before the workers do, and there’s a general sense of despondency in the air as colleagues and friends turn on each other in a battle for job survival.

Whilst many of his colleagues tried to find work in and around Geelong to varying degrees of success, Jay decided to apply for a jobs in Melbourne. After a period of applying for jobs without luck, a family friend suggested he apply for a maintenance job at Yarra Trams. When he found out that he got the job, the decision to head down the highway was an easy one. Unlike some of his colleagues whom were rentrenched in Geelong with homes and young families, Jay’s only attachment was a sentimental one, having lived in the area his whole life.

Jay now lives in Preston with his sister, who also works in Melbourne. He is really enjoying the change, believing his fresh start will allow him to better develop a career and grow as a person. No one likes seeing people lose their jobs, but for Jay, redundancy was was the catalyst for a positive change in his life.

Although our nation is a developed one, driven by the revolution of technology and communication, the force that social media extends upon many industries is one that is often overlooked. The many ways that it impacts social elements in everyday contexts are one thing, but the ability it has given the unemployed is another. With many people still struggling to find work, moving the search to this online format has opened up a range of opportunities to job seekers that was never available before.

Traditional job boards such as Career One and SEEK have long upheld the employment search on the internet, but with the integration of social media into the business world, these websites are beginning to give way to a new kind of interactive tool for the unemployed. Those who are comfortable enough to use social media to find potential vacancies within their skillsets and job fields are finding work easier than they ever had previously. Additionally, businesses are able to minimise the efforts and costs of associated with traditional employment procedures by headhunting in circles of networks within their own social media professional networks.

Australia currently sits at one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the world, but the challenge for those without jobs is still a more prominent issue. Being able to spot work where it is available demands attention and constant monitoring of print medias, but the rise of the social media-business relationship means followers of certain companies can be contacted as soon as perspective job opportunities become available. Social media websites like LinkedIn are dominating the traditional resume and CV by enabling users to display their skills, experience and connections in a public space, whilst allowing those who view their profile to endorse them for their work efforts—what better way to advertise your abilities than to show them off in a global context?

Businesses are flocking to online sources to fill openings within their companies by using social media forums liked the aforementioned LinkedIn, the infamous Facebook and even Twitter to personally headhunt the perfect individual to become a part of their team. No longer do they have to go through the tedious task of interviewing without knowing what they’re truly going to get.

Not all Australians feel satisfied yet with replacing the face-to-face communication of traditional job seeking with social media, but its bound to become a major player in the way businesses go about driving their futures.

Documentary maker and The Age reporter Jane Lee outside Media House.

The Age reporter Jane Lee’s recent New York documentary ‘Yesterday’s News’ investigates mainstream media’s potential for survival in the digital age.

In her thirty minute production Ms Lee shares her insight from a series of interviews with prominent journalists and academics to establish what went ‘wrong’ with the media industry.

The share price for Fairfax alone has dropped from 96 to 39 cents in less than one year and with jobs being laid off, a downturn in circulation and falling revenues, the newspaper industry currently presents itself as an unstable frontier.

“Traditional legacy print media organisations around the world forecast their futures based on old revenue models without really doing any serious due diligence on the trends online,” Ms Lee said.

“I think that showed a massive lack of foresight from a lot of media companies and I guess they’re starting to realise now.”

In her documentary Ms Lee reports on a range of media start-ups to explore how journalists should deal with the rapid changes in their industry.

“There are some small pockets of opportunities, like in the documentary we found Talking Points Memo as a website in New York that started as a political news site. It started as a small following, and now their revenue’s up year on year, much more than a lot of major media companies. So there is some hope,” she said.

ABC investigative journalist Bruce Hill agrees that the key to surviving the changing times is to innovate and embrace the challenges presented by citizen journalism.

“Where there is increasing competition from blogs and websites that people put up for free we’re going to have to provide our audience with something that’s a bit special and with a bit more added value,” he said.

Mr Hill believes that some newspapers only have themselves to blame for falling revenues as they are alienating their readers due to the growth of what he calls ‘committed’ or ‘biased’ journalism.

“Journalists can have their own opinions but if it’s going to start influencing the way that you’re writing and what you’re writing about, your readers eventually detect this,” he said.

“They’ve created a bit of an ideological bubble for themselves and I think the city doesn’t like being talked down to.”

Both Bruce Hill and Jane Lee agree that the future of mainstream media will be more fragmented with a choice of media to suit different interests.

“People are going to listen to people who make them feel good about themselves and comfortable, and that possibly means the idea of mass media culture that everyone shares in is probably over and that’s very uncomfortable for a lot of people,” Mr Hill said.

Ms Lee and her co-director intend to present several screenings of ‘Yesterday’s News’ at journalism schools around Australia.

Go2News Extra: Will there be a future for young journalists?

ABC Investigative Journalist Bruce Hill and The Age Reporter Jane Lee respond.

Yesterday’s News Trailer

Costco sign at the Docklands store

THIS week construction work has commenced on the site of the new $65 million Ringwood Costco project.

After years of negotiations, the American retail giant announced in July this year that it would open its second Melbourne store.

An aisle of Costco Docklands

Mayor Cr Rob Steane supports the development as he believes it will bring more business to the area.

He also said that the construction phase will generate 160 jobs and upon opening, the store will employ another 400 people.

“Since the announcement of Costco, QIC (the owners of Eastland) have had a significant increase in inquiries from potential businesses wanting to set up in Eastland.   So it is apparent that other businesses can see the potential in Ringwood that Costco is attracting,” Cr Steane said.

“Customers travel specially to Costco.  That will draw customers to Ringwood from Frankston, Cranbourne, Eltham and elsewhere.   These are people who would typically never come to Ringwood to shop.”

Cr Steane does not believe that increased traffic will have a negative impact on the area and that there won’t be any loss of business for surrounding businesses.

“In relation to traffic, Costco again has another unique advantage – its proximity to Eastlink. Increased traffic is well able to be handled by that facility.   Additionally Costco will have nearly 1000 parking spaces on site,” Cr Steane said.

“In relation to other businesses, whilst some local residents will move from some smaller businesses to Costco, the increased customer traffic will spill over to other businesses. The people who come to Costco, will also sit down and have a coffee, have some lunch, shop at other shops.”

Costco will be competing with nearby supermarkets Woolworths and Coles in Eastland shopping centre but local resident Kate Varnam does not believe Costco will steal their customers.

“You need a membership for Costco so I don’t think smaller shops would lose business… I wouldn’t buy vegetables or meat from Costco,” said Ms Varnam.

Janet Debeleak is an employee at Costco Docklands and believes a new Costco will be good for the economy.

“People come in from everywhere so sometimes it helps to have a Costco on the other side. It’s good for the Government, other businesses, people looking for jobs, for everyone.”

Costco Docklands employee Janet with Darcie

The Ringwood Costco is being built on the corner of Market St and Bond St and is expected to open by the end of August 2013.

Construction work on the corner of Market St and Bond St

Construction work

For more information, read these stories:

Maroondah Leader ‘Work starts at Ringwood Costco site’

Maroondah Leader ‘Costco to open in Ringwood’

By Darcie Quinn

The fashion industry is a highly competitive one, and trying to get a job can be a tricky thing to get. These days, especially with how poorly the economy has been, retail sales have plummeted making it even more difficult for the recently graduated to make a career in fashion. A survey by Graduate Stats Australia highlighted the stats of December 2011 and displayed that, “76.6 per cent were in full time employment within 4 months of completing the degree”  (Grad Stats Australia, 2011). Although the statistics seem somewhat promising, many students seeking a career in a fashion are urged to do as much volunteer work and internships as possible.

After attending the Fashion Media seminar held by Prospect 360 earlier this year, many successful spokeswomen currently in the fashion industry gave a few tips of the trade and insight into the pathways to success.   Melissa Templeton, current PR manager for Myer Australia stated, “Get out and meet people. In our industry, we do literally meet hundreds of people a year, but do your best to remember people’s names”. This goes back to the golden saying that, ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’. Templeton explained that she had no tertiary experience nor any in PR, and that she worked her way up by starting a temp job at David Jones and working her way up from there. This could lead to the belief that higher education can be questionable when wanting to pursue a career in fashion or even media.

Greta Donaldson, founder of Prospect 360, a series of seminars to help young people get their foot in the door in the media industry set up in 2007 agrees with the “it’s not what you know but who you know” statement, but also believes education still holds value and importance in the media industry.

It appears as though some students are taking things a step further with their education in fashion. A student from the Whitehouse Institute of Design says, “Studying fashion design requires me to have the skills and knowledge to sketch garments properly as well as pattern making. Doing this gives me the head start over others that have not yet learnt the necessary skills”.

Casual academic teaching Communications and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Lara Hedberg is bias on the, ‘its not what you know but who you know’ statement and says, “The thing that you get from studying at a university level is an ability to have a level of credible thinking and awareness that I don’t think you can get just from industry work.”.

The general consensus on the matter seems to agree that it is who you know that will assist in getting your foot in the door, but having a degree to support your credibility is ideal.

Who Said Press Needed to Be Free?

Posted: September 28, 2012 by carlosbruinsma in Social Issues
Tags: , , , , , ,

By Carlos Bruinsma

As a blogger, I have written countless posts on various online media; breaking news, issues in mainstream news, and reviews of numerous products. One of the questions that haunt me as an aspiring online journalist is how important social media really is, and more importantly, how to generate an income from an ever changing profession in the free online world.Image

The last four years have showed us a massive increase in social media activity. Going by the best publicly available information gathered from various websites such as Facebook and Twitter, we see an incredible growth with Facebook taking things to unprecedented heights.

If you have been paying attention to Facebook stocks, however, you will have noticed that Facebook shares have plummeted since going on the market earlier this year. With Google AdSense still less than ideal (we’re journalists, not underpaid billboards), the future of social media journalism is becoming ever more uncertain due to lack of funds and incomes for independent journalists like

Imageourselves, without affiliation to mainstream websites or newspapers.

Or is it?

It appears there might be hope over the horizon, with affiliate marketing taking a turn for the better. With the affiliate channel projected to reach $4 billion in 2014, it would appear, as publishers, we might be able to share in this wealth without selling our souls to the devil (ahem, Google) or clogging our pages with ugly ads. After all, my blog is to inform and entertain my readers, not to annoy them to death with adverts and pop-ups.

The solution could be simple with the rise of new platforms, such as Linksert. With teams from all over the world working together to create an accessible platform specifically designed for publishers, their WordPress plugin automatically converts all of the links on your blog to links that generate a commission every time someone makes a purchase through your blog.

“Just imagine you’re browsing the web and come across a cool product you want to review or recommend to your friends, fans or reader base,” CEO and co-founder Zachar Tolmachev suggests. “If you’re going to be sharing someone else’s product, it is only fair you generate a commission for your recommendation.”

While it’s not ideal if you never review or recommend any products, it’s a good start. Imagine a world where every time you mention a product and provide the source, you get a little money off every purchase. We’re not quite there yet, but Linksert is definitely a step in the right direction.

Linksert is not available to the public yet, but I have managed to get access to the beta, courtesy of the Linksert team. Watch the video below to see how you could potentially make your hobby your profession.

KELLY Gannon is a woman of many talents. A mother, wife, qualified horse riding instructor, riding school owner, mental health rehab and recovery worker, mature aged student and qualified equine assisted growth and learning therapist.

L-R: Kelly Gannon-Mental health specialist
Ellen Gannon-Equine specialist
Shannon-Mental health student/volunteer

Having worked in welfare for over 25 years, Kelly was inspired to combine her experience in dealing with a variety of mental health issues with her passion for horses, upon commencing her employment at Aspire in Portland.

Kelly wishes she found the equine assisted growth and learning (EAGALA) model 20 years ago. Since establishing EAGALA in Portland eight months ago, Kelly has run three programs – all of which have been a huge success.

“We have seen really good outcomes,” she said.

“It’s very much about being client driven and solution focussed.”

There are two types of equine assisted growth and learning; one model focussing on mental health rehabilitation, the other designed for educational purposes.

EAP and EAL: The differences between the two equine assisted growth and learning models is clear.

A two person facilitation team is required to coordinate the program; a mental health specialist and an equine specialist. The behaviour of both the humans and the horses is observed; particularly how they interact with each other and how behaviours relate to real life experiences.

“We look for certain things like patterns, discrepancies, unique shifts that happen,” Kelly said.

So why is EAGALA so appealing and what exactly is involved?

But it’s the horses that make this program unique.

“The reason why this program works is because of the horses,” Kelly said.

“They’re big, they’re powerful, they’re dynamic; they have their own brain and mind and how they approach things.”

Kelly believes it is the way in which each individual reacts to the horses that is most powerful.

“Everyone has a response to a horse of some form, whether it be positive or negative,” she commented.

“The horses get the messages home better than what we can.”

EAGALA can target a range of issues such as; mental health rehabilitation, leadership and teamwork, self-esteem, as well as bullying. But therapy sessions work best when all members of the group share common goals and targets.

“There is no more effective way of getting people to set boundaries than to have them work with horses,” Kelly said.

“The horses are very dynamic when the clients are working with them.

“If they are push push push push push and the horse doesn’t like it, the horse lets them know.”

Kelly believes the best outcomes are achieved over a six to eight week period, depending on the goals of clients within each group.

  • Week 1 & 2 – Introduction to EAGALA. Discover client expectations & how they feel about the experience.
  • Week 3 & 4 – Focus on the changes taking place. Are clients resisting change or starting to move forward?
  • Weeks 5-8 – Encourage clients to move forward & overcome issues. Finish the program with a celebration of their journey.

Whilst Kelly has found that clients initially think EAGALA is “poppycock” or “witchcraft in the bush”, by the end of the program they think everyone should do it.

“One client said to me that she hates EAGALA,” Kelly laughed.

“Because now she only ever sees solutions, never problems”.

Clients are required to complete a self-directed questionnaire, pre and post completion of the program for evaluation purposes. With the overall success of the program measured according to the Rosenburg Self Esteem Scale.

But for Kelly, the biggest success is to see how people progress throughout the program.

“There is always positives,” she said.

“A psychologist said to me after one of the programs, that she saw more movement in eight weeks than what you do in two years of therapy.”

Kelly was recently approached by Heywood and District Secondary College to develop a program focussing on leadership skills for a group of year seven and eight girls. After months of planning and negotiating with the school, in terms of how they wanted the program to look and what sorts of subjects they wanted to tackle; the three week program is under-way.

“We are basically looking at self-esteem, effective communication, teamwork and problem solving,” Kelly said.

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Adolescent Health Nurse from  Heywood and District Secondary College Leonie said that it was the first time they had tried the program so it was a bit of an “experiment”.

“It’s something different,” she said.

“It gets the kids out of the school and classroom environment, giving them room for personal growth.”

But it doesn’t stop there.

EAGALA has actually changed the operation of our riding school,” Kelly smiled.

“We are focussing more on relationships and recognising the importance of the connection between humans and horses.

“It can be an amazing experience.”

Portarlington Primary School take action to secure promised funding to rebuild their outdated and poorly maintained school. Danielle Chambers has the story.