Week 12 – Review week

Week 12
By Amanda McRae

At the beginning of the course, I wanted to learn how to blog but didn’t know how to?  When starting the course, it looked daunting and overwhelming probably because of the workload and that I wasn’t familiar with the WordPress interface and knowing I had three  other subjects to do while studying full-time this semester.  However, this quickly passed and it was actually an aspect that pushed me, challenged me and is what I enjoyed about the course.  I am feeling a lot more confident in writing.  Looking back at the last 12 weeks, it has been a great course and I have enjoyed it immensely.

For many reasons more than one, I have learnt so much.  Something I have always wanted to do, I am a now blogger.   I appreciate learning how using Twitter is used frequently for media professionals to keep in touch with networks, where breaking news is found and it is a great place to keep in the loop of what is trending at the time.  Twitter really makes you feel that instant connection to breaking news, events, people and professionals from all around the world, and I really enjoy that aspect.

Storify is very new to me and before this course, I never heard it before.  It was an interesting social media interface to learn, and I actually really liked the timing of when we used it for this course which was when the Olympics was on this year.  A moment in history and a great time for Australia and the amazing talented athletes, it was great to see the stories unfold on Storify.

There are so many other aspects I have found interesting about this course.  Learning how to write for sensitive news stories, also the opportunity learning the ins and outs of media releases which I have always read regularly in media and communication roles.

The weekly quizzes have been so helpful, as I have learnt where I need to improve and what to get right. The textbook is a great source of information, as it hones in on verbs, grammar, spelling, quoting and so much more (Hicks 2013).

This course is well structured and organised which is a tribute to the course coordinator, Kate Ames.  Also, the regular interaction with fellow students with the reviews, Kate, and feedback from our markers has been great to have coming from a distant student perspective when sometimes you can feel isolated.

It has been a lot of fun, I have enjoyed the ride.  With this course and my other Comms course this semester, it affirms for me that I want to continue to complete the Bachelor of Professional Communication, Majoring in Journalism to add to my current skill set.

As Ames (2016) mentioned the things which are key to take away from this course is, keep it simple, always read your work aloud, and let the story tell itself.


Ames K, 2016,Week 12 – review week, Central Queensland University, viewed 21 October 2016, file:///C:/Users/Amanda/Desktop/Uni/2016%20COMM11007%20Week%2012%20Lesson.pdf

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists: twentieth-anniversary edition, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.



Reviewing your work

Week 11
By Amanda McRae

This week’s inquiry (Ames 2016, p.1) is to read and review this article:

 “Woman stuck under train at Eagle Junction Train Station, Brisbane,” (O’Brien 2014)

What are the problems with the article?

The content of the first three sentences is basically the same with different wording and is repeated unnecessarily.

Sentence 1

  • …stuck under a train
  • …at a railway station in Brisbane

Sentence 2

  • …free woman under a train
  • …on Brisbane’s north side

Sentence 3

  • …was caught under the train
  • …at Eagle Junction railway station

The article feels confused, repetitive and not confident.

The inverted pyramid including the 5 w’s and h in the first couple of sentences was not covered.

Does it meet the guidelines for reporting self-harm?

Refer to Reporting suicide guidelines link

According to Mind Frame (2016, n.p), it is important to report appropriately when discussing this subject for various reasons such as to minimise harm, copycat, and reduce the stigma and discrimination.

The train article discussed I don’t believe meets the reporting guidelines.  The article mentions to much detail about the situation and it also states the incident was self-harm and then went on stating how and where it happened. This could potentially influence others somewhat creating the copycat behaviour.  While it is important to speak about the issue to reduce the stigma and discrimination as this activity has pointed out, it is a very sensitive subject to report on. I appreciate that it has been included in the course discussion.

Practical –  rewrite the article

A woman believed to be in her 30’s has been sent to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in serious condition, after an incident at a northside Brisbane railway station.

Emergency services were called to the incident just after 12pm on Wednesday with reports of a woman who became stuck under a train.

Four fire crews rescued the woman, freeing her at 12.55pm, conscious and with lower leg injuries.

The incident unfolded with a train full of people on the platform, a witness said.

Commuters on the Airport and Doomben train line experienced delays of just under an hour affecting the train schedule flows.

Queensland police are treating this incident as not suspicious.

For help with emotional difficulties, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

For help with depression, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36

The SANE Helpline is 1800 18 SANE (7263)

Technical – Quiz 11

For this week, the textbook was an interesting read, Hicks (2016, p.   ).

The results of this week’s quiz were ok, after second go I got 100%.


Ames, K 2016, Week 11 – Blog, Moodle, Central Queensland University, viewed 19 September 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/424225/mod_resource/content/6/COMM11007%20Week%2011%20%E2%80%93%20Blog.pdf

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists:twentieth-anniversary editions, Routledge, Abingdon. Oxon.

Mind Frame, Reporting suicide guidelines, viewed 19 September 2016, http://www.mindframe-media.info/formedia/reporting-suicide

O’Brien, C 2014, Woman struck under train at eagle junction train station, Courier Mail. viewed 19 September 2016, http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/womanstuck-under-train-at-eagle-junction-train-stationbrisbane/newsstory/3fdffc6978a2cb47b0461d1dbb1177ad

Supporting the story: Packaging and supplementing your writing

Week Ten
By Amanda McRae
Practical – Photo Essay

A Heron Island Experience

When you arrive at the tropical Heron Island this is what you see.  A jetty as you disembark off the ferry and friendly staff that assist you to your accommodation.


 I am lucky to have won a holiday for three days and two nights, at the Heron Island resort on this amazing island located east of Gladstone, Queensland on the Great Barrier Reef.


The island, surrounded by clear turquoise water and an abundance of wildlife both under the water and on the island in their natural environment.

Source:  The Blonde Nomads (2016)


Heron Island is known to become home for breeding turtles from December to April (Heron Island 2016, n.p).  I have not yet had an opportunity to see the turtle hatchlings, however, it is definitely on my lists to see and experience.

Source:  Heron Island (2016)

Enjoying some time away from technology I found there is a lot of activities to keep you occupied.  Including snorkeling, diving, playing pool, even playing a game of giant chess and more.

Source:  The Blonde Nomads (2016)

In particular, on this night when I stayed it was a full moon.  The sea animals put on a show, it was amazing to see.  There were so many different animals like stingrays, sharks, turtles, dolphins, parrotfish, Nemo and more.

Source:  Blonde Nomads (2016)


Source: Heron Island (2016)

Now after all the fun, feeling all refreshed and relaxed, my time on the Island is coming to a end.  Until next time Heron Island, it has been a pleasure. Hopefully see you in turtle season soon.


Source:  The Blonde Nomads (2016)
Practical:  Headline

Three alternative headlines for the media release story with supporting a sentence of why it could be a possible headline (Ames 2016).

1.  Two people are left in a critical condition while attending the popular FakeComicCon convention.

In this headline, it states two people are critical which is important and then follows where the people got in the critical condition.

2.  A popular FakeComicCon convention play fight turns very real leaving two people critical and eight needing treatment.

This headline says where the incident happened, why and how many people are critical and injured.

3.  A violent fight occurred between 40 cosplayers at a popular FakeComicCon in Brisbane.

This headline starts with what happened, then leads to who the incident was between and it follows onto where the fight occurred.

Technical:  Quiz 10 – Punctuation

After a couple of attempts, I received 100%.  This was an interesting quiz in the way that it really made me think about where the apostrophes go and also made me second guess my answers.  Apostrophes are basic however, we use them every day whilst writing.  Having done this quiz now and read the textbook Hicks (2013 pp. 74-92), I will be more mindful of my punctuation while writing in the future. quiz-10


Ames, K 2016, COMM11007: Media writing – week 10 -study guide, CQUniversity, viewed 8 September 2016, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Ames, K 2016, Media writing: photo captions, viewed 11 September 2016, Storify 2016, https://storify.com/KateAmes/captions-as-news-stories

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists: twentieth-anniversary edition, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.

Heron Island 2016, Images, Facebook 2004, viewed 8 October 2016, https://www.facebook.com/heron.island/

The Blonde Nomads 2016, Images, viewed 8 October 2016, http://www.theblondenomads.com.au/blog/category/heron-island

Review a newsletter

Week Nine
By Amanda McRae
Inquiry:  Review a newsletter

For week nine the focus is on reviewing a newsletter from Crocodile Specialist Group website and answering specific questions outlined under the activity heading. (Ames 2016a).  The answers are summarized in the review below:

The newsletter publication chosen is Siamese Crocodile Crocodylus siamensis.  A well researched and highly effective publication including lots of references, a balance between facts, images, graphics and varied topics to support the written text (Ames 2016b, p. 4).

After reading Siamese crocodile Cocodylus siamensis publication newsletter, which I discussed above, does provide the in depth factual information from the specialist team. Targeting academics, conservationist, students, animal lovers, journalist and more. Proving to be a good online resource to find accurate, reliable, factual and credible information.

The newsletter shows an in depth detail with headings about; the breed of animal scientific names, the animals locations on a map and further discussions of where they live in different countries, principle threats, if they are endangered, ecology and natural headings, conservation and many more (Simpson 2012).

One story which a scientific journalist could create from this publication could be as Simpson (2011, p. 120) states that this particular species of crocodile, ‘Crocodylus siamensis’, is critically endangered with severe decline in numbers.  The topic could be chosen for many reasons some being; it is current, news worthy, informative, factual and bringing awareness to the species (Simpson 2016).

Technical – Quiz nine – Punctuation

I enjoyed attempting the quiz this week, as it is a good to see where I sit regarding punctuation.  The area where I will be more mindful on in the future while writing is just the placing of the comma in a sentence.  The textbook is a fantastic guide (Hicks 2016)!


Ames, K 2016a, Week 9 – blog, COMM11007 Media Writing, CQUniversity, pp. 1-2, viewed 19 September 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/424262/mod_resource/content/7/COMM11007%20Week%209%20%E2%80%93%20Blog.pdf

Ames, K 2016b, Week 9 – newsletters and brochures, Moodle, CQUniversity, 2016, viewed 16 September 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/424261/mod_resource/content/4/2016%20COMM11007%20Week%209%20Lesson.pdf

Crocodile Specialist Group 2016, CSG Newsletter, viewed 4 September 2016, http://www.iucncsg.org/pages/Publications.html

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists: twentieth-anniversary edition, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.

Simpson B & Benzuijen M, Siamese crocodile Crocodylus siamensis”, 2012, pp. 120-126) viewed 16 September 2016, http://www.iucncsg.org/365_docs/attachments/protarea/20_C-637b6a34.pdf

Media Releases

Week Eight
By Amanda McRae
Practical:  Write a media release

In our study notes this week, we are to create a media release from the information which was provided (Ames 2016).   Remembering to highlight in the inverted pyramid style of writing and include the five w’s and how (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2016).  Focusing on the “who”, which is:  FakeComicCon, the pretend company, whilst creating the media release.

The completed version of my media release is below as follows:


Week 8 – Practical exercise: FakeComicCon Media Release


Quiz 8 – Figures (Accuracy)

Much to my surprise, I got a lot wrong in the quiz this week when I thought, I would actually go alright.  Just remembering simple things like writing the dates right like; 1914-18 not 1914-1918, and never start a sentence with a numeral figure – instead spell it out. Being numerate is just as important as being literate when writing (Hicks 2016).  That’s okay, I have learned from the mistakes and looked over the four pages of chapter 11, again (Hicks 2013).


Ames, K 2016, COMM11007: Media writing – week 8 -module 2: study guide, CQUniversity, viewed 4 September 2016, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists: twentieth-anniversary edition, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.

Whitaker, W R, Ramsey, J E & Smith, R D 2012, Media writing: print, broadcast, and public relations, 4th edn, Routledge, New York.

Writing for Speech and Vision

Week Seven
By Amanda McRae

This week as per the study guide (Ames 2016), we are to review chapter 11, titled: “Preparing Broadcast Copy”, (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith, 2012).  Without going into too much detail, I have summarised the information as follows:

The Content of News

  • As a viewer needs to like and be interested in what they see on the news, or they would change the channel.
  • Having a news angle that other news outlets may not have and presenting all the facts and details correctly is important.
  • Use the feedback, concerns and comments from grabs within the lead stories to update the bulletin to draw in personal interest and it is important to localise the content (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2012).

Writing News for Broadcast

  • Write for the story to be listened to, not for visuals.  In saying this if writing for TV News broadcast, video footage will contribute to telling the story visually, in support of the written/verbal content.
  • With time frame limitations, the viewer needs to get the information from the story straight away the first time, without (in most cases), having an opportunity to view it again and can be missed.
  • When writing for broadcast, it needs to be written with simplicity, clearly, concisely, with the correct pronunciation of words, and strong written words to grab the viewer’s attention (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2012).


  • It is important to pay particular attention to clarity and pronunciation of wording, names, places, phrases and facts ensuring it is correct to avoid confusion.  Paying particular attention to numbers and statistics (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2012).

What are the key differences between writing for broadcast and print based media?

Broadcast relies on the vision and audio to tell the story to engage the viewers (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2012).

Whereas the print base has a lot more descriptive detail, giving great depth to print materials to tell the story clearly by text (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2012).


For the practical in this week’s blog as per our study notes (Ames 2016), we are to write an audio/visual script regarding the week 4 blog interview.  Please see below:
aaaBroadcast script (3)Broadcast script (4)


Quiz Seven

Straight forward quiz this week, with only two questions wrong at first which I was looking at them thinking they were wrong.  After another attempt at the quiz, I got 100%.


Ames, K 2016, COMM11007: Media writing – week 7 -module 2: study guide, CQUniversity, viewed 30 August 2016, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Whitaker, W R, Ramsey, J E & Smith, R D 2012, Media writing: print, broadcast and public relations, 4th edn, Routledge, New York. 

The Art of Curation

Week Six
By Amanda McRae
Practical A:

For the practical (a) blogging activity, we are to create a story on Storify, using the short story written in week four’s blog.  Storify story link: What is important to me?

After some reflection of the Storify activity, I found it fun.  It was easy to put together and came together well.

Now that it is week six, I am definitely feeling a lot more confident with using the new social media interfaces I have recently learnt like; Twitter, Storify and WordPress.

It has been a big workload to be honest for the Media Writing unit however, I have learnt so much and have enjoyed the ride.

Practical B: Storify rehearsing and planning.

As per the weekly blog task  Moodle link, we are to start planning the story, of the event (in my case the Queensland Symphony Orchestra) which is assessment 2 of this course.  In doing so, I have answered some of the questions below as follows:

Who will be the audience?  The audience will be anyone who went to see the event, anyone with an interest in the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and music in general.  Examples like; the musicians, sponsors, the organisers, social media users, online viewers and more.  However, from the university course perspective and assignment purposes, the audience would include anyone linked or interested in this course.

What might they learn about the event?   Information about who the musicians are? Where they’re from? What music they play and why?  How talented they are,  whilst audience members experience a professional musical orchestra for free.

What needs to be included to make the story interesting?   Find a personal interest element and link to the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.  Like, how the musicians have travelled from Brisbane to put on an amazing professional show and what it means to them?  Find a story from an audience member of the event and what the significance is, if any?

How will I structure the story?  Following the “inverted pyramid”, by putting the most important information first in the news story (Whitaker, Ramsay & Smith 2012, p. 113).  Ensuring the leading headlines to be catchy to engage the audience and the intro to include, the 5Ws and H, (Ames 2016).  Overall getting the story across whilst keeping the story short, concise and to the point.

I have sourced a Storify article shown below:  Rainforest World Music Festival Link  takes you to a collage of pictures, highlights, and updates throughout the event.  Some of the highlights mentioned were musical workshops, musical performances, culture, dancing, food, people, and further information.

Source:  Rainforest World Music Festival (2016)
Source:  Rainforest World Music Festival (2016)

When I look at the Storify example above and reflect on own Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) story I see it being somewhat similar.  For the QSO, I would hope to cover all the highlights and information, thus giving the story a structure.

From reading the Course tutorial link: Art of Curation (Ames 2016), it gave me lots to think about for when I write the event story.  Will it be hard news, soft news whilst covering the basics of the event (Ames 2016, mod. 2, p. 3).  The QSO will be a soft news story piece or a “colour” piece in TV news media terms.

When tweeting at my event in the limited time frame I had, with lots of people there and the event happening, not only was I concentrating on making sure I have great photo’s for my tweets, but also conscious of making sure I have covered most facts in the text.   It does help when you ensure you are prepared prior to covering the event.

The other thing I found was Twitter is not as commonly used in the regional town of Gladstone compared to a metro city.  Most people communicate on social media with their announcements via Facebook.  If in this assignment I was using Facebook to present images and a storyline for Storify, I would have lots images and more of a storyline to work with.  I am unaware of any posts that were posted via Twitter for the recent Queensland Symphony Orchestra 2016 event, other than the images I tweeted.

Technical:  Quiz Six Reflection – Spelling

This week’s quiz (Ames 2016), whilst focusing on plurals and spelling, I found it interesting learning more about it.  In the image below showing the question from the quiz about the work “practice vs practise”.  It made me look at it twice to think well what is the correct one as I would have out “practice”.  However, after reading this weeks chapter on spelling in the text, I have learned otherwise.  Learning, practice is the noun vs practise is the verb (Hicks 2013).

Source:  Ames (2016)

Ames, K 2016, COMM11007: Media writing – week 2 – identifying news, Module 2: study guide, CQUniversity, viewed 22 August 2016, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Ames, K 2016, Quiz 6 – Spelling, COMM11007: Media Writing, CQUniversity, viewed 22 August 2016,  https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/mod/quiz/view.php?id=310095

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists: twentieth-anniversary edition, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.

Rainforest World Music Festival, 2016, viewed 23 August 2016, https://storify.com/zgor2/rainforest-world-music-festival

Storify 2016, What is important to me, AM COMMS 2016, viewed 23 August 2016, https://editor.storify.com/57bd77a4c1afd74a1efbac66

Whitaker, W R, Ramsey, J E & Smith, R D 2012, Media writing: print, broadcast, and public relations, 4th edn, Routledge, New York.


Writing for Social Media

Week Five
By Amanda McRae

storify  For this week of the course, we are to establish a Storify account, browse and reflect (Ames 2016).  The set up of the account, I found straightforward and simple.

All three social media outlets (Twitter, WordPress and now Storify) are relatively new for me, to use.  I have now set up a Storify account.  AMCOMMS is the account name.

I love using Instagram myself for my photo’s, and just scrolling through Storify it is somewhat similar in the way it allows users to create stories or timelines.

With all the photos posts from users combined with live blogging, breaking news or #hashtag fun, all centered around a storyline topic, presenting a timeline of posts, which is my understanding of it (Storify 2016).


In the example of which I referred to was, the ABC news Storify, covering Rio 2016, Australian Olympic team (ABC News Storify 2016), which I am currently interested in and supporting.

Rio Games 2016 Storify (2016)

Although the Storify interface is relatively new since 2011, it is a great example of instant real-time communication.

Referring to the Rio Games 2016 storify account,  I found a combination of users from all areas (accessible for most like;  Olympians, news networks, community members and more) were communicating to each other.  They were doing so via tweets, images, videos, and live blogging posts.

Storify could be utilized for new stories or to break news, but also shows an inside perspective through user’s personal and professional experiences via posted images, networks, and blogging showing a collage and timeline of a story.  Storify would prove to be a useful resource while working in media.

Technical: Quiz Five 

Quiz five this week is about grammar and punctuation.  It is good to have these quiz’s to gauge where you are at in terms of understanding each topic weekly (Ames 2016).

Whilst reading chapter 3 this week (Hicks 2013), it was good to learn where common grammar mistakes are made.  Having knowledge of these examples would prove to be  useful whilst writing my blogs.  There is so much to learn about the English language.


ABC News Storify 2016, Celebrating kosovo’s first ever olympic medal, blog post, 8 August, viewed 11 August 2016, https://storify.com/abcnews/rio-2016

Ames, K 2016, COMM11007: Writing for social media – week 5 – moodle 5: study guide, CQUniversity, viewed 10 August 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists:  twentieth-anniversary edition, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.

Storify 2016, Rio games 2016, viewed 11 August 2016, https://storify.com/



Voice, Attribution, and Acknowledgement

Week Four
By Amanda McRae
Practical:  (a)  Interviews

Stephanie McRae, aged 14 years old (Interviewee 1)


What is important to you Stephanie?   My mum and my cat Meow.

Why is your mum important to you?   Because she is my mum and I am her “ABC”  (Inside story there).

Why is Meow important to you?   Because I love her.  She is my friend, I play with her and care about her very much.

Who is Meow?   Meow is my ragdoll cat, she is about 8 years old now.  She has blue eyes like me.  She’s funny.

Every time bags or boxes come into the house or something is new, she always has to inspect them.  I often find her in the bags or boxes.

She is full of personality.  If I am doing homework laying on my bed she comes right in the middle of what I am doing and lays there.

Where does she stay?   She stays at home with me.  She sleeps in my room mostly every night on her bed.

Why did you call her Meow?  Because she talks a lot.  I was 6 years old at the time and that’s what I decided to call her.

Do you look after her?  Yes. I do everything for her.  Feed her, wash her, empty her litter tray, hang out with her, play with her when she goes mad.

Why do you feel so close to her?   Because I don’t have any brother’s and sisters, so she is like my little girl.  She makes me happy and I feel calm around her.  I like cuddles with her and like being around her.

Mum – Tracey McRae  (Interviewee 2)

What is important to you?   My only child, daughter Stephanie and my career.  Laugh, love and live life to the full.

Why your daughter Steph?   Steph is my world, my hero.  She has had her fair share of challenges in life already.  I try to let her experience life and all it has to offer and give her the best possible life I can as a parent.

What challenges has she faced?   Steph was born with a complex congenital heart condition called Hypo-Plastic Left Heart Syndrome.

The doctors can help her as her condition deteriorates but can’t fix her.  Since a baby prognosis for her future has always been unknown.  She is currently stable and doing very well.

You get to know what battles to take on, what is worth fighting for if you have the energy to and what to walk away from in life.   We just focus on living life to the full, live in every moment and never take things for granted.  Life is one big challenge.

What do you think of Steph’s bond with her cat Meow?    I am happy she has Meow, they have a great little bond.  Her cat Meow, teaches her so much in life which is companionship, love, fun, how to care and look after a pet, responsibility, respect.

Good for Steph in many ways to have Meow in between life of regular hospital appointments, outings with mum/friends, traveling  and experiencing all that life has to offer living life to the full, and school.

I think she finds comfort in her Meow knowing she has consistently been there unconditionally for her growing up and keeps her calm if she ever feels stressed.

The bond between Meow and Steph is really gorgeous to watch.  Steph is very much an animal lover and they love her back.


(b – d) Short News Story, Tweets and Revision:

This close family of two, focus on living life to the full with love and laughter.

Steph is Tracey’s only child.  “She has had her fair share of challenges already in life,” said mum, “I let her experience all that life has to offer and give her the best possible life I can as a parent.”

“Steph is doing well and is stable,” said mum, “the doctors can’t fix her but can only help her in the future.”

Teenage Steph now 14 years old, has a lot to keep her busy, with in between traveling to Brisbane for hospital appointments, fun outings with mum and friends, and attending high school.

She enjoys hanging out at home with her beloved, blue-eyed, Ragdoll cat, called Meow, who she has grown up with.

“Every time we bring bags and boxes into the house, she always has to inspect them and jumps inside them every time,” laughed Steph, “Meow loves to play.”

Meow has always been a positive consistant joy in Steph’s life. “I am happy she has her Meow as she teaches her responsibility, love and to care.” said mum.

“The bond between Meow and Steph is gorgeous to watch,” said mum, “Steph loves animals and they just love her back.”

e. Reflection on activity:

I was limited in having people to interview.  As for interviewing, this came very easy for me and had a good understanding on what to ask.

However, it was harder to interview someone that you know well personally.  I have found it much easier, to interview people in general (even random voxies), for real news stories when working in media.

This exercise made me think twice, look in the text (Whicker 2012, p. 192) and second guess myself when thinking, whether I had the punctuation marks correct when quoting the grabs for Twitter tweets.

Good for the activity though and for me to improve my writing skills when I had to piece all the answers from the interviews into the story which I found easy and fun to do.


This week I have spent more time learning WordPress and the process of how it works to improve my blog pages.  I have added widgets, menus, made up two individual course blog pages (for this semester at uni) which are easy to find on the home page.  Now that I understand WordPress interface better, it makes it quicker and easier for me to pop on the site to write a post.

Quiz four reflection – Reporting Speech

This week’s quiz was interesting and felt I learnt from the questions which I got wrong.  The questions were revolving around quoting.  It gave me an insight of how detailed quoting in media writing is, and there is so much more to it, regarding quotation marks and where to put them correctly, and correct punctuation, (Hicks 2013). After a few goes, I reached 100%.  Having the text to read is a helpful guide.


Ames, K 2016, COMM11007: Media writing – week 2 -module 2: study guide, CQUniversity, viewed 10 August 2016, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Hicks, W 2013, English for journalists: twentieth-anniversary edition, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.

Whitaker, W R, Ramsey, J E & Smith, R D 2012, Media writing: print, broadcast and public relations, 4th edn, Routledge, New York.

The Basic News Story

Week Three
By Amanda McRae
Jocelyn image
Image of missing girl Jocelyn, found safe and well.  Source:  Queensland Police Service


The story of interest which I have found is Missing girl Jocelyn found safe on Gold Coast after Amber Alert issued – story link, (ABC News 2016).  Similar stories like Amber Alert: Missing Gold Coast 5yo Jocelyn ‘loves hide and seek’ – story link, (ABC News 2016). were trending for at least 24 hours until she was found.

The news headline of this story is:

“Missing girl Jocelyn found safe on Gold Coast after Amber Alert issued,” ABC News (2016).

5 W’s and H, identified below:

Who:  A huge operation involving, father Steve Lewis, 150 police, SES volunteers and members of the public searched for missing the 5-year-old girl, Jocelyn.

What:  Just over 24 hours since missing Amber Alert was issued, Jocelyn was found with only a few cuts and scratches.

Where: Was found about two kilometres away from her Carrara home on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

When:  Search went for over 24 hours.  She was missing from Sunday 5:00pm and found Monday 4:00pm.

Why:  The searched continued throughout the night for the young girl, however, it was only until the next day when she was found.

How:  She was found by some people walking close by.

Summary of story:

After just over a 24 hour, a huge search operation (involving; members of the community, 150 police, SES members, father, family and friends), missing 5-year-old Jocelyn, was found safe and well by some people walking by, just about 2km from her home.

 Father of missing five-year-old girl speaks to media – video link

Reflection of the Inquiry activity:  This story theme, was trending across my Facebook and Twitter with concerns from the public, announcements from the Police (QPS), State Emergency Service and media outlets, all sharing the Amber Alert missing information, in the hope to find Jocelyn. This is why it got my attention this particular day.

I personally like ABC News as I feel they don’t sensationalise stories as much and stick to the facts, as to why I chose this publication.  I found the story, following the rules of accuracy, brevity and clarity, (Whitaker, Ramsay & Smith 2012). 


In preparation for Assignment 2, there are two events I have in mind that I may look at covering.



6th Annual, Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) Botanic to Bridge, fun walk/run, fundraiser event.  Held on Saturday morning on the 21st August. First race (8km) starts at Botanic Gardens, Glenlyon Road at 6am.  Second race starts (3km), is at Reg Tanna Memorial Park, Glenlyon Road at 8am.  Both races finishing at the Marina.  Special guest at the 8km start (GPC B2B 2016).

Funds from the event, go to the Roseberry Community Services’ Branchout program to assist disadvantaged young people in Gladstone.  Breakfast will be at the finish line, prizes to be won and presentations will be held approx. 10am.

I would look at interviewing a Gladstone Ports Corporation sponsor representative. An event organiser, children, and an adult participating, for a perspective of the event and finding someone with a human interest angle for the storyline.  Like someone who is doing it for health benefits or health reasons?  Or possibly someone who has a personal interest in the beneficiary or wanting to help: ‘Roseberry Community Services’ Branchout program to assist disadvantaged young people in Gladstone.

I would definitely take images of this event.  Before, during and after shots with also shots of the key people interviewed, but with also general overlay as well.  There wouldn’t be any restrictions shooting the event.  However, if shooting children I would get permission from the child’s parents if the image would be displayed publicly.  Any nice imagery captured, whilst at the event, I would post on Twitter for promotion, of the event and up and coming news story.

Source: Gladstone News (2016)
Queensland Symphony Orchestra returning to the stage at the GPC Marina, 12th August 2016 from 7pm to 8:30pm.
This outstanding outdoor entertainment presented by QSO is a free community event. Featuring some of Australia’s best musicians playing blockbuster themes, including the favourites Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and more (QSO 2016).
With food & beverage stalls it will be a great family event, under the stars.
Whilst at the event, I’d keep a look out for a human interest angle for a story through either an attendee, a musician (if possible) or even a volunteer?

In terms of schedule, I’d like to be there prior to the event starting for reasons of getting some images attendees and surroundings, and carry out interviews. The interviews would be with the organiser, conductor if possible, an instrument player, audience members x 3 different ages and sponsor of the event.  Whilst at the event, I would like to record a snippet of the Orchestra playing for Twitter.

Upon arrival, approach the organiser for accreditation if its required.  Any nice imagery captured whilst at the event, I would post on Twitter for promotion, of the event and up and coming news story.

There wouldn’t be any restrictions shooting the event to get some still images or video footage. However, if shooting children I would get permission with the parents if the image would be displayed publicly.

Both, are two good community events for their own reasons to cover which draw big crowds and they allow for community engagement.  In a town where there is a lot of hardship with the local economy, and “bust” cycle of local industry projects, having such events brings the community together in a positive way, which in turn boost morale for the town.

With reference to the short video ‘Why you need to plan’, three main points to note, why planning is important are as follows:
  1. To ensure you don’t miss out on the event, or critical parts of the event.   As an example, for the Botanic to Bridge event, which I am looking to cover, I wouldn’t like to miss the start of the race and get there late.  Reason being, I would like to get interviews before the start of the race, shots (images) of the entrants whilst at the starting line and when they start the race and head off to add to the interest of the story.  Obtain a schedule of the event.
  2. Research facts, logistics, access and people to be prepared for the event.
  3. Upon arrival, head to organisers and let them know who you are, what you are doing there and why?  Ask for accreditation if needed.
Technical: Quiz Three – Problems and Confusions

This week, quiz three was about Problems and Confusions.  It was interesting with regards to the content of the quiz.  I got a couple of questions wrong and had to redo the quiz to make 100%.  It’s a good learning tool.


ABC News 2016, Amber Alert Nerang, viewed 23 August 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-25/amber-alert-nerang/7656754

ABC News 2016, Father of missing five year old girl speaks to media, videoviewed 23 August 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-25/father-of-missing-five-year-old-girl-speaks-to-media/7659096

ABC News 2016, Missing girl Jocelyn found safe on the Gold Coast, viewed 23 August 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-25/missing-girl-jocelyn-found-safe-on-gold-coast/7658806

Ames, K 2014, Media Writing: Why you need a plan, video, 11 July, viewed 30 July 2016,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qFGnt42SaM&feature=youtu.be

Ames, K 2016, COMM11007: Media Writing – Week 3 – Writing News, Moodle 3: study guide, 2016,  CQUniversity, viewed 2 August 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au

Gladstone Life 2016, Botanic to Bridge image, viewed 11 August 2016, http://www.gladstonelife.com/

Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) Botanic to Bridge (B2B) 2016, viewed 3 August 2016, http://www.botanictobridge.com.au/

Gladstone News 2016, Queensland Symphony Orchestra image, viewed 11 August 2016, http://gladstonenews.com.au/symphony-stars-free-community-concert/

Hicks, W 2013,  English for Journalists: Twentieth-Anniversary Edition, Media Skills, Routledge, New York.

QPS Media Unit 2016, Twitter 2016, viewed 23 August 2016, https://twitter.com/QPSmedia

Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) 2016, viewed 3 August 2016, https://qso.com.au/events/touring/gladstone-movie-masterpieces

Whitaker, W, Ramsey, J & Smith, R 2012, Media Writing; Print, Broadcast, and Public Relations, Basic News Stories, Routledge, New York.