Digital Storytelling; A Reflection

My final project for BCM240 is to create a digital story relating to the material we have studied in Media, Audience and Place. With the objective of getting my audience to think about how media practices and audience experiences are spatial in nature, with research, I had to pick a digital platform to convey my story.

When I first looked at the BCM240 assignment 3, I was overwhelmed and found it difficult to gauge what exactly was being asked of me. I was also unsure of which topic I should pick, and would be interested in enough to sustain over a few weeks. After much deliberation I decided to research piracy in Australia, it is a topic that I am very passionate about because I feel we are deprived of TV shows because of our location.

What I found very interesting whilst researching was that lots of attention has been placed on the fact that Australian consumers are the biggest pirates in the world. There are news articles published daily about how Australian’s are in fact the world’s worst pirates. But no research has been undertaken to discover the reasons why this is so.

It was really intriguing as to why the Government and other stakeholders would rather spend their time and money persecuting pirates and blocking torrent websites rather than delving further into the qualitative side of it, and asking why these people are pirating.

Therefore I found there is a huge need for research to be undertaken in Australia by distributor companies. The stakeholder I proposed my research to is Foxtel – I think it’s imperative that they begin to respond to the wants and needs of the pirating audience instead of fighting against them.

I felt most distanced from my project a few weeks back when I had created a survey via Survey Monkey and found the people I had invited to undertake the survey were slow at replying. After a friendly reminder, I found my results picked up. Analysing the results was very interesting but I felt I expected the answers I got, as I feel the exact same way that majority of the consumers do. The people who filled out my survey also seemed very passionate about the topic which confirms to me how great the need is for change in Australia. I would be very interested to actually pitch the idea for research to Foxtel or alternatively Netflix, and see their reasons for not providing an on-demand service for a reasonable price in Australia.

Throughout my project I found it very helpful to discuss my project in class and hear my classmates ideas and suggestions for my project, as well as hearing their ideas and how they were approaching their own projects. My tutor Susan was also very helpful in offering guidance.

After completing my project I have really gained a lot of knowledge, not only on the topic of pirating, but how the consumers of Australia feel about it. I have also learnt a great deal about digital storytelling – and how it aims to share emotional stories through global platforms to engage with the audience. I chose to present my digital project on the platform Storify after researching a few different platforms, I decided upon Storify as it is really effective in digital storytelling. Not only does it present your writing, you can incorporate other peoples posts/tweets/photos/graphs, or any other information from the internet. By linking them, it not only makes your point more credible, but avoids plagiarism as every source is correctly stated. It definitely helped me to share my story in a more flexible and creative way.

Storify position themselves as “the easiest way to find, collect, and share what people are saying all over the web.” As a popular news and story site, it is a really effective way to stimulate discussion among consumers, and to appeal to an effective stakeholder organisation.

If I was to complete my project again, I would employ better time management skills, allowing enough time to not only revise my ideas, but spend more time looking at feedback and comments from users of Storify. I would also spend the additional time to interact more with other users and people interested in the topic.

My Digital Project can be found here along with a full list of references.


Goodnight, not Goodbye

So now I find myself at the end of my blogging for BCM240.

Looking back over the past 9 weeks of blogging, I have learnt much about media audiences and place.

I found it much more enjoyable to compose a blog post if I could personally relate to the topic or had some kind of experience relating to it. The weeks that involved me to leave my comfort zone and blog about an unknown topic saw me undertake a very different process. Instead of starting off with my experiences of the topic, I found myself looking at other students blogs and researching interesting angles I could take. A post that stands out in my mind most is my ‘Real Life?’ – Never heard of that server’ post, in which includes details of the NBN. Before this topic I had personally never given the NBN much thought, if any! It was definitely interesting learning about the promises and the areas that are connected to it. I felt this post was overall flat, as I couldn’t add any personal experiences or anecdotes that I would usually draw upon for my blog post.

My blog layout definitely reflects my graphic design skills (which consist of editing my Myspace layout back in 2007), and doesn’t look as professional and appealing as I hoped. However I struggled with the settings and found that was the best I could achieve without spending 48 hours on just the layout. The side-bar contains a Twitter feed and categories for my blog, which is probably the most high-tech aspect you’ll be seeing on my blog. I feel I could have utilised Twitter more during the assignment, but WordPress and Twitter are pretty much the only two platforms on the entire internet that I am the least familiar with, and it doesn’t come naturally.

Throughout my posts I tried to keep paragraphs short, with no more than a few sentences in each. This is my personal style, and this reflects what I like reading when it comes to other peoples blogs. I feel large paragraphs look unappealing and are less likely to attract viewers. The same goes for additional graphics; pictures, memes, YouTube clips, you name it, are all featured throughout all of my blog posts as I feel it breaks up the writing, and adds an extra depth to the text. Additionally, the Youtube clips in particular usually help explain my points in ways that would not be possible or interesting with words, or provide extra information for those readers that want to hear more.

I also include multiple links in all of my posts, I feel hyperlinks make your reading more credible as you have research or other sources backing up your points. I prefer to have these links in-text rather than in a list at the end, so that it is obvious to the readers which reference belongs to which piece of information. There’s nothing more overwhelming than looking for a reference and scrolling down to find 239 references.

My favourite post is ‘Cookies. And not the edible kind,’ which I found really interesting researching and writing because I have assigned much thought to just how ‘tracked’ we are. I also thoroughly enjoyed writing this post as I had a personal story about my little sister looking up ‘Ferret harness’ on Gumtree and is now constantly flooded with advertisements on Facebook about ferret harnesses being sold in her area.

The same applied to one of my most recent post, ‘Media Regulations in 2014; a Reason for Panic’ in which I discuss the need for media rules and regulation, and the need for issues such as internet privacy and inappropriate viewing for children to be added to the dialogue. Having the chance to research and blog about an issue such as how the Internet has blurred the lines between acceptable and non-acceptable viewing for children is really eye opening for me, as I feel it’s never discussed. Piracy is a hot topic issue among society, but I find the topic of children having little to no Internet regulations more morally disconcerting.

Similarly with my post, ‘The Bystander and the Camera Phone‘, was quite confronting for me to research and write about, as I have never given thought to how it was actually legal be photographed without seeking permission in public places. It made me rethink my own habits, as I have taken a few ‘sneaky Snapchats’ of stranger’s doing/wearing something unusual, sleeping in a public place, or doing something of comedic value. But I had never given thought to the fact that I wouldn’t like someone taking a photo of me without my permission. I felt even more selfish when I tried to confront my public subjects and ask for their permission to use their image, and couldn’t even bring myself to ask for permission.

All in all, blogging about media, audience and place has been a blast and has opened up my writing to a whole lot of different topics that I might have never given more thought to. Although keeping up with one blog post a week and writing about the NBN has definitely been challenging at times, I’m proud of my blog and I hope I gave a few of you my readers a couple minutes of enjoyment with my posts.

Writing for an audience is definitely an invaluable skill to have, and starting up my university blog and blogging every week has inspired me to create my own fashion and beauty blog, (although I used this as an opportunity to explore Blogspot; sorry WordPress). Writing to an audience really isn’t as daunting as you think it is before you start! The biggest struggle will always be choosing a blog name that you’re stuck with for eternity.


Australian Films Crash and Burn

When I say Aussie film, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Wolf Creek? Crocodile Dundee? Australia?

And which actresses and actors do you think of?

Hugh Jackman? Nicole Kidman? Cate Blanchett?

Australia movie image Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman

There’s a certain stereotype that surrounds Aussie films. But in 2014, this generalisation could not be more wrong.

We all love Australian television. As Garry Maddox from the Sydney Morning Herald stated,

“At a time when Australians are watching so much local television –with House Husbands, Offspring and Winners & Losers all having more’ than 1.3 million viewers last week – a series of local films have failed to work at the box office this year.” 


With Australian television rates better than ever before, what is it that makes us cringe when we hear the words Aussie movie?

Fingers of blame are being pointed at the Australian audiences that choose to view the Hollywood movies at their cinema instead of choosing a homegrown movie.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason asserts that “There’s a fundamental Australian issue here that we almost don’t recognise our own talent,’’ says Mason.

However I don’t think this is the problem. I think the stereotype of Australian movies – bad accents/generalisations of Australians/the use of the word Sheila can be blamed at the types of movies that were being produced in Australia decades ago. With all the phenomenal technology of the 21st century, Australia can now produce works such as The Great Gatsby – a movie that 20 years ago never would have been pegged as an Australian work.

According to 2011 analysis by Screen Australia, only nine per cent of all viewings of Australian films occur at the box office. The other 91 per cent are spread across TV and DVD.“But while local films perform poorly at the cinema, they do pick up large numbers of viewers on secondary platforms.”,’September’2014′

And why exactly is this? It’s because the Australian movie industry that once was left a lasting impression in our minds. With Australian’s now wanting more Hollywood movies/drama/gossip than ever, Australian film is a risk. With the ever-increasing price of movie tickets, of course people would rather see a movie produced in Hollywood over Australia because it has a better reputation.

There is therefore clearly a huge need to do something to improve this gap, and that is to:

Improve the stigma attached to Australian movies.

As a researcher, I would be very interested in conducting some qualitative research on Australian film audiences. This could be done by undertaking research to find out why Australian’s are picking Hollywood productions over Australia’s. This could include questions regarding the lack of advertising, lack of times and locations that the movie is screening at, and qualitative information such as where they would best respond to advertising for Australian films being aired.

Currently, Australian films are very limited in distribution, with 82% of Australian films being released on less that 100 cinema screens, and 39% are distributed to less than 20 cinema screens (Screen Australia 2009, p. 3). Boosting these numbers would automatically increase sales; people now are busier than ever, and if they have time to go to the movies they aren’t going to travel to Surry Hills to watch an limited edition Aussie production, but they are going to go to their closest Event Cinema or Hoyts.

Andrew Traucki, the writer/director of  Australian movie The Reef, acknowledged that a big problem – one too common with many local films – was that his potential audience didn’t know the film existed. Asked what kind of movie he would have made with double the budget, Traucki said: “My initial impulse would be to say (that) I’d just make the same movie and spend three million on publicity.” From this statement alone it is very evident of the reason behind the lack of Australian ‘box-office hits.’

Put simply, Hollywood can afford bigger budgets and in turn have a ridiculously larger amount of advertising than Australian producers are investing.


– 2011, ‘Flop films bring funding into focus’, Sydney Morning Herald, April 7, accessed 14 September 2014, <;

– Screen Australia 2014, Top 100 Australian films of all time, ranked by total reported gross Australian box office as of January 2014, Screen Australia, viewed 27 September 2014, <>

– Screen Australia 2009, Australian films in the marketplace: analysis of release strategies and box office performance, Screen Australia, viewed 27 September 2014, <;>

– 2014, ‘Local audiences snub Australian filmmakers yet Hollywood loves them’, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 September, accessed 14 September 2014, <;

Multitasking and the other 2%

It’s hard successfully writing a blog post on multitasking while I’m lying on couch eating and watching Two Broke Girls on TV, while my sister is showing me Instagram posts and my Mum is yelling at me to clean my room. I have around 15 tabs opened on my laptop, including my WordPress blog, my email, Tumblr, Facebook, Moodle, and my lecture slides.


Before researching multitasking for BCM240, I considered myself as a multitasker, and thought I was capable of doing many things at once. But is it multitasking if I’m not actually completing any tasks? Or is multitasking actually a form of procrastination?

Multitasking vs. Procrastination

After a bit of research I discovered that when you “multitask”, your brain is actually switching rapidly between handling one task and then another. Although you’re not physically delaying or postponing something (procrastinating), you’re not focusing your full attention on either task at hand.

What are the downfalls?

Scientist John Medina in his book Brain Rules, concludes that multitaskers experience a massive 40% drop in productivity.  They also take 50% longer to accomplish a single task and make up to 50% more errors than workers who focus on a single task at a time.

Multitasking isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be. Although its okay to multitask in some aspects of life (like singing in the shower,) multitasking at work or during study definitely affects your concentration and decreases your productivity.

David Strayer, director of the applied cognition lab at the University of Utah, studies multitasking and distracted driving. From his studies he concluded that “ninety-eight percent of people can’t multitask—they don’t do either task as well.”

In a study published in the journal Computers & Education, research subjects were asked to attend a university-level lecture and then complete a multiple-choice quiz based on what they learned to discover the extent which multitasking hindered their learning.

In the experiment, all the participants used laptops to take notes during the lecture, but half were also asked to complete a series of unrelated tasks on their computers. The tasks, included online searches for information — and were meant to mimic what distracted students might do during class.

McMaster University researcher Faria Sana, who co-authored the study commented, “We really tried to make it pretty close to what actually happens in the lectures, we found that lo and behold, the students who multitasked performed much worse on the final test and those who were seated around peers who were multitasking also performed much worse on the final test.

So you might not be multitasking but if you have a clear view of someone else who is multitasking, your performance is still going to be impaired.”

So even if you’re not the one undertaking these multitasking activities, your learning and memory function can still be affected and you won’t perform as well as you would if you had just focused on the one task at hand.

However there are a few problems with this research. For starters, is it fair to say that multitasking solely caused the participants to receive worse results? Maybe the participants weren’t as intelligent as the others. Another approach would be to identify the reasons why people multitask in lectures, because the content may be uninteresting and may need to be revised. Furthermore, it’s interesting how multitasking with technology is being singled out as the only reason for this drop in productivity. Multitasking has been around for as long as humans have. Before we multitasked with our internet tabs, they multitasked with their cave drawings and starting fires (probably.) Why is it that we’re now blaming media for its problems?

I’m not saying the research is wrong. It’s definitely been proven that multitasking (while undertaken in an environment where you are expected to learn or perform,) reduces productivity. But I think we need to look at the bigger picture. Is multitasking the only cause?

My advice?

Simplify your life and your tasks.

Do fewer things — better.



– Garth Sundem. 2012. Psychology Today. Available at: [Accessed 13 September 14].

– Matt Petronzio. 2012. Only 2% of People Can Multitask Successfully. Available at: [Accessed 13 September 14].

– Robert F. Bukaty. 2013. Laptop use lowers student grades, experiment shows. Available at: [Accessed 13 September 14].

The Bystander and the Camera Phone

In the 21st century in Australia, people can legally be photographed without seeking their permission in public places but permission should be sought before sharing on social media – even though it’s not a legal requirement.

This raises many questions, such as what defines ‘public’ and ‘private’ space? Should we just need to accept that when we step outside our home, anything we do can legally be recorded, photographed and shared?

With the introduction of new technology, I think we need to have another look at our laws and regulations when it comes to our privacy. Although we may be in a public space, is it unethical for people to take photos of us without asking our permission and do what they want with it? I admit that I’ve taken a few ‘sneaky Snapchats’ of stranger’s doing/wearing something unusual, sleeping in a public place, or doing something of comedic value.

There are even Facebook pages, ‘People Sleeping at UOW’, ‘People on Public Transport.’ Although these might be a good laugh, what if it was you in the photo? I for sure wouldn’t be too happy if I was sleeping on a train with my mouth hanging open and someone posted a photo of me for hundreds or thousands of people to see.

3This week during my BCM240 tutorial, instead of hiding behind my iPhone, I tried to confront my public subjects and ask for their permission to use their image. However I couldn’t bring myself to ask for permission. I could easily sit behind my camera and take photos of the world when no one knew I was looking, but once the confrontation was added there was an element of connection and awkwardness I was just not comfortable with. I’ve never alerted the individuals I’ve taken photos of that I was taking a photo of them – except that one time I didn’t turn my flash off; and not even considered how they would feel if they knew I was using them for whatever comedic value I was.

Although sometimes this image/video capture can be useful, when is it that it crosses a line? Many times I have watched videos on Facebook of an incident that has happened in a public place and has been recorded.

A recent example was when a woman on a Newcastle train made a racist attack on other passengers after they wouldn’t give up their seat to her. “Can’t you get an Aussie girlfriend? You had to get a gook.” Onlookers filmed the racist attack, and because of this evidence she was tracked down, apologised, and faced charges.

I personally think that if someone is being unfairly mistreated or discriminated against, then the event should be allowed to be filmed.

However under what circumstances wouldn’t be appropriate? And when does it become unethical to film the event and not intervene.

Thinking of this reminded me of an anti-bullying campaign for Stonewall UK, an organisation whose campaign,”No Bystanders” encourages people take a stand against bullying and abuse. They encourage people to take the pledge, “I will never be a bystander to bullying and teasing language. If I hear it, I will call it out and if I can, I will stop it. By adding my name I promised to stand up for fairness, kindness and never be a bystander.”

But with camera phones this role as a bystander is blurred. Not only are you being a bystander, but you are recording the event to potentially share with other people. If you are aware that someone is in the wrong or doing something to hurt another person, emotionally or physically, is it ethically just to film it and not get involved and stop what is unfolding?

No-Bystanders-640x236 References 

– AAP, 2014, ‘Woman faces charges over racist outburst on NSW train’ The Australian,  July 3rd <;

Media Regulations in 2014; a Reason for Panic

Growing up I had more rules and regulations regarding media than I do today. As a first child in a relatively strict family, I wasn’t even allowed to watch Home and Away until I turned 12. I was only allowed on MSN for a few hours a day (and the PC was in the kitchen where anyone could see my screen), and my mum was allowed to come in at any time and look at my conversations. As it was before the days of Facebook, I wasn’t allowed Myspace until ALL of my friends had it, and I wasn’t even allowed to read Girlfriend or Dolly magazine until I was like, 15.

Today, there’s no limit to what I can do. With my own laptop, phone, and ipod, my Mum really can’t control my media habits. She still assures me that she ‘checks my Facebook messages’ with a secret app, but come on Mum I know you don’t even know how to open a new tab.

My youngest sister who is 13 never had to deal with any of these problems. When I turned 12 and was allowed to watch Home and Away, my sister was allowed to watch it too even though she was 6. She now has her own laptop, iPad, iPhone and iPod, and I can only assume she does anything she pleases. Mum would have no idea what to even control or put restrictions on. Kik? Tumblr? Facebook? Snapchat? Instagram? She thinks Instagram is a messenger service and Kik is something you do with a soccer ball. Even if Mum did understand what we did on the internet, she would have no understanding of enforcing these restrictions or even know how to check the history or block any websites.

Today in the 21st century there are definitely less rules and regulations (in my family anyway) concerning media. If anything, I’m the one who limits my sister to what she does on the internet. Multiple times she’s asked me how to download TV shows and movies, but I don’t want her looking at all the disgustingly graphic advertisements on the side of The Pirate Bay.

It actually worries me that we had more rules and regulations surrounding the internet and media years ago than we do now. 5-year-olds from my Mum’s kindergarten class have gotten in trouble multiple times for looking up images on the school iPads such as ‘sexy’ and ‘poo bum’, and making collages of their Google image results.

The internet has provided us with the accessibility to to share, view and interact with ANY media content, wherever, whenever. The moral panic around illegal downloading increases daily, but I think we need to re-evaluate many other areas of technology first. What do you find more morally disconcerting? A 5-year-old child looking up images of the word ‘sexy,’ or teenagers and adults downloading a movie that isn’t aired on free-to-air television in Australia? I’m not saying that piracy isn’t bad, but what really needs to be focussed on is why Australians are in the position that they have to illegally watch their television shows.

Helen Roberts from the Parliament of Australia undertook research on if the Internet can be regulated. She stated,

“There is concern that children could gain access to material via the Internet, which would otherwise be unavailable to them because of their age. The impression has been created that hard core pornographic material is easy for children to find on the Internet. Material that is unsuitable for minors is more readily available.”

This issue needs to be added to our dialogue, and regulated before a whole generation of children witness things that they can’t un-see. The Internet has definitely blurred the lines between acceptable and non-acceptable viewing for children.

Along with media rules and regulations, the concepts of public and private space are also blurring.

When I went out for lunch with my group of girlfriends, our meals came out and every one of us pulled out our phones when our meals arrived to Instagram/Snapchat/Facebook a photo of our meal. It is becoming more and more accepted, almost expected, to have a mobile phone and to use it publicly. Because of this, we don’t just have our physical public space, but this other virtual public space online.

In the 21st century with all the technology that we have, we are more social than ever. But just because we are social, does this mean that we are present? Because of all this technology we’re socialising half-heartedly, and don’t know how to sit down for a meal with friends without having our phone in our hand.

I think it’s important for us all to consciously not use our mobile phones during social events, and stop living our lives through our phone screens.

The Cinema; Your Private Space with 50 Strangers

Although the cinema is a public space, it’s not your typical public space. While the movie is playing it’s more of a private space with public conditions. Movie etiquette includes not talking loudly whilst the movie is on, and limiting phone use because of the bright screen that can distract people from the movie screen. However I have had many a bad movie experience, where the person behind me keeps kicking the back of their seat, or someone nearby keeps talking or eating their food really loudly. Behaviour like this in the movies is likely to anger most people sitting nearby; even though it is classified as a public space, there are certainly no no’s when it comes to disrupting peoples experience, especially as people now have to pay $20+ for a ticket.

Going to the movies is a leisurely activity; many will go from a young age with their parents, on first dates or with their friends when they’re allowed to make trips to the mall unsupervised by parents. Even if the movie isn’t that great, or if you aren’t interested in the genre, many people go to the movies just to go to the movies.

Thinking back on my last visit to the cinema, was with my Mum and teenage sister to see The Fault in our Stars. Never have I had an experience like this. The cinema was packed with teenage girls, and the mass sniffling and sobbing was equal parts fascinating and hilarious. The cinema provides a space like no other, where strangers can sit side by side in a public place and bond over a fictional story that you live through and experience for 2-3 hours.

Even though the book was better, and I probably wouldn’t watch the movie again, it’s exciting to watch a new release on a big screen. I’ve paid for many a movie that I haven’t enjoyed and wouldn’t even rate a 3/10, but I went and paid nonetheless because all my friends were going.

As an ‘adult’, the exciting movie experience isn’t quite the same as it was in my youth. There was nothing quite like watching the first Twilight movie on the day it was released with a cinema full of teenage girls who had read every page back to front and spent their days fantasizing about team Edward or Jacob.

With piracy being on the rise, I can imagine that the levels of cinema attendance will slowly decrease over the years, but I can’t see the cinema business ever shutting down completely.

“The proportion of Australians attending the cinema at least once per year has averaged 69 per cent since 2000, with an average of about eight visits per year per person. After last reaching a high of 72 per cent in 2004, the attendance rate has averaged 68 per cent in the subsequent eight years. The frequency of attendance also fell slightly during this time, and is now at 6.9 visits per year compared to 7.8 in 2004.” (Screen Australia, 2014)

These statistics are no surprise to me. With the ever increasing cost of the movies, it’s no wonder people are choosing to go less than they used to. Personally, now I’m 19 I don’t have as much time to go to the movies as I once did. Whilst trying to organise a movie date and session in our tutorials, it was apparent how much little free time we had. Due to all our differing schedules, university timetables, work rosters and other commitments, it’s harder at this age to find a day and a time that fits for everyone.

Even though an adult ticket, popcorn and frozen coke may set you back $35, the movies is an activity that people of any age can enjoy. There’s a certain excitement about watching a new movie in a cinema theatre that every person feels.


Screen Australia 2014, Audio Visual Markets; Cinema, viewed 29th August 2014 <>