The girl, the boy & the zine

Here is the editorial for the first issue of The International Blotter, a Zine that I’m co-publishing. Check the link and follow the blog for more updates.  

There once was a girl from England. One day this girl from England was on holidays in Australia when she was invited to go and play a game of trivia at a bowling club. Excited by the prospect of showing off her knowledge of poetry, the English language and paper plane making, she trotted off to the local club for a few rounds. But what she found at this club was something that she didn’t imagine.

There once was a girl from England. One day this girl from England was on holidays in Australia when she was invited to go and play a game of trivia at a bowling club. Excited by the prospect of showing off her knowledge of poetry, the English language and paper plane making, she trotted off to the local club for a few rounds. But what she found at this club was something that she didn’t imagine.

There once was a boy from Australia. One day this boy from Australia suggested to his friends that they go to their weekly trivia game at the local bowling club. He was excited at the prospect of winning the $300 that his mother had dreamt of one night, and he was interested in showing off the latest paper plane design that he’d come up with. But what he found at this club was something that he didn’t imagine.

There once was a girl from England and a boy from Australia who met in a bowling club whilst playing trivia. They cemented their love with a little playful paper plane throwing and a brief conversation about books and publishing. From this conversation and subsequent long distance relationship came the idea to make this little magazine (or as the cool kids would call it Zine).

There once was a Zine called The International Blotter. And right now you have in your hot little hands the first issue. The International Blotter was spawned from the collective juices of the girl from England and the boy from Australia and they would both like to thank you for consuming their written content with your wet little eyeballs.

Thanks for reading,


Cats to spend 24 hours in the dog-house under new government scheme

No matter what side of the cat-dog argument you sit on, cats are killing our native Australian animals and the federal government wants to stop it.

Gregory Andrews, Australia’s first federal threatened species commissioner, has said cat owners who live in areas containing endangered native Australian species should keep their cats locked inside for 24-hours a day.

Andrews says the cat curfew would not only help rejuvenate local endangered native animals, but it would also make the cats ‘happier and healthier.’

The government has recently released a threatened species plan detailing new ways to combat both the decline of native animals and the problem of feral cats.

According to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, 15 million feral cats in Australia impact on an estimated 75 million native fauna and flora daily.

Additionally, Australia has one of the largest cat-to-people populations in the world, with the RSPCA reporting 3.3 million domestic cats in the country, or 15 cats per 1000 people.

The plan recommends methods such as 24-hour domestic cat curfews or cat lock ups in areas ‘particularly close to identified conservation areas of significance.’

Other methods involve the culling of feral cats across the Kosciuszko national park with the use of trained dogs, the testing of new eradication baits in the Kimberly and aerial cat baiting in the Northern Territory.

Kate Win, a cat owner who lives in the Blue Mountains, is worried these new cat laws might affect her and her feline friends, “I don’t have an easy way to lock up my cats if they’re outside,” she said.

Ms. Win is concerned about keeping her cats indoors, saying it would affect their mental health.

“When my cats are locked up for too long they get agitated, keeping them indoors isn’t good for their natural instincts. They’re not supposed to be locked up, it’s just down-right inhuman.”

Defending the plan, Mr. Andrews said he would work with local communities in order to deliver the best result for the environment, “We will not tell people what to do with their animals,” he said.

He believes the cat curfews should become a part of our culture, “It’s a journey that Australia has to go through.”

Feline lock up laws are already enacted across 12 suburbs in the ACT adjacent to natural reserves and national parks.

With the threatened species plan in mind, local ACT governments plan to introduce more restrictions to the domestic cat population of the capital.

Numerous local vets have spoken out against the plan, saying by locking up their cats, pet owners risk stressing their pets and potentially introducing behavioural problems.

So far the federal government does not have the power required to enact the domestic cat lock up laws, but Mr. Andrews has said he plans to work with local and state governments to introduce the cat containment laws.

Internship diaries – The Media Club

Sitting on the train my mind was running as fast as the streets flew by.

I was reflecting on my internship and this new found Media Club that I’d wandered into.

The Media Club is the name for the collective of individuals who manipulate and broadcast opinions, facts, stories and agendas across all consumable mediums.

It is exclusive, it is sometimes elitist and it is always moving.

Across the week my involvement in the Media Club was shallow yet immersive, from the Monday morning I was thrown into the deep end and expected to swim.

My welcome party into the Club was a fast tour around the office, each member had a name and their membership identification, Joe Blow from International News, Jane Doe from SEO and so on.

During my tour I perfected my induction speech, ‘My name is Keegan and I’m a student from the University of Western Sydney. I’m studying journalism and I want to work in radio journalism.’

After the induction and the tour around the office I knew where I stood and where my membership would take me.

Across my week I surveyed the Club internally noting down all the influential movers and shakers, and who are the quiet underdogs.

From my observations it seems that some of the members of the Media Club hold higher memberships due to their connections, their sources and most importantly, their twitter followers.

Though whenever a group discussion or team meeting was called everyone’s voice would be held to equal regard.

That was the beauty of this glimpse into the Media Club, everyone was equal – even the intern.

Sometimes the experiences and confidence of others around me would make me second guess my own skills, and even in these drowning moments those around me would lend a helping hand and reinforce my skills whilst teaching me new things.

Because in the Media Club we’ve all worked for free, we’ve all interned and we’ve all been thrown into the deep end a few times.

When I left the office on Friday afternoon my membership was a little downgraded, but I now knew what it was like to hold such optimum status.

I guess the next question I ought to be asking myself is, what level of membership do I now want to aim for?

Internship diaries – Newsroom back and forth

Team work. That is how a newsroom runs. I found out about this during a daily news conference. Editors and journalists from each branch of the Guardian came together during the news conference to present their daily objectives. Editors from news, culture, video, international, comment and interactive all came together to talk around a table. Skyping in for the conference was the political editor, who was reporting from Canberrra, and the Melbourne editor.

During the conference the editors threw stories back and forth. They worked as a team to draft out  new angles for stories. All the editors contributed to a story idea, no matter what aspect of the newsroom they worked in.
Later I was thrown into something that was more up my alley. I edited video and audio. This might sound predictable but it was incredibly exciting to see my videos go from one side of the newsroom to the other side and then onto the front page of the Guardian.
Bellow you’ll find the video content that I created:


Internship diaries – So many names but all in one style

About 4 weeks ago I was informed that I was lucky enough to be accepted into an internship at the Sydney bureau of the Guardian. Initially I didn’t think I was good enough to be interning at the Guardian, I mean it’s like… THE GUARDIAN…

Walking into the office for the first time I was a little anxious as to what I would be doing. Having never worked in a print/ online journalistic company I was excited to see the particulars involved with the publishing processes. After all I’m a supposed ‘digital native’ and I ought to know how to communicate appropriately online.

After I was introduced to everyone in the office (so many name!) they threw me into subediting. It was a new and challenging experience. Subbing is a meticulous and fine process where you comb through and create a headline and a standfirst. Perhaps the most thought provoking processes linked to this is the Style Guide. Working on assignments at university we have never use a style guide.

From my new experiences I found that Style Guides are just as important as the journalistic content. In each newsroom, on each publication, the Style Guide keeps the content consistent and uniform across all articles. This is particularly important when there are various newsrooms across the world working all for the same publication, just like the Guardian.

Here is a little thing that I subbed

Narrative Essay: What are the impacts of technology on broadcast journalism?

Standing in the middle of the road with a camera set up taking shots down a busy Katoomba street, I found myself wondering, how can I make this story more digital? This is a question that more and more journalists, editors and producers are asking themselves on every single story (Jones & Salter, 2012; Stassen, 2010). There have always been strong links between journalism and technology (Pavlik, 2000) and there is no better time than the present to highlight some of these links. Though when studying the links between technology and journalism one must understand the impacts that new technology has on the modern practices of journalism.


In order to make the story more digital I sent out a tweet about the story, followed up by another tweet showing the camera at the scene (Thomson, 2015). Twitter has become a primary method of breaking news because it is instantaneous and direct (Stassen, 2010). By using my social media following I was able to tell a story about the news piece I was producing. Other methods I could have used would have been Instagram, WordPress blogs and Facebook. My broadcaster of choice was Twitter because it was the most direct way of reaching as many people as possible.

Due to the increasing pressures of the 24-hour news cycle, journalists are vying for the power to break stories (Oddo, 2014). By using portable digital recording devices and editing applications the ability to break news whilst in the field is now a new norm. Social media and blogging platforms are offering new mediums for publishing news even when away from a newsroom. This is challenging the traditional methods of broadcast and print journalism (Hodgson & Wong, 2011). In some cases journalists have organised portable wifi signals so that they can publish from isolated warzones (Aedy, 2014). With a simple wifi signal and a smart phone, a journalist can break stories from the heart of the story. However with this new technology comes the rise of citizen journalism.

Citizen journalism is an alternative form of journalism in which a civilian uploads news content to social media, helping in the dissemination of news content (Greer & McLaughlin, 2010). Some suggest that citizen journalism has a negative effect on traditional journalism (Hill 2014), whilst some argue that it offers up a new way of gathering and accessing news from across the world (Preston, 2014). One thing for sure is that citizen journalists would not be doing what they are doing without the advances in technology. During the Egyptian revolution of 2011 and the subsequent Arab Spring, citizen journalism shed a light on the atrocities that was being inflicted on protestors. When it was too dangerous for Western journalists to report, local citizen journalists uploaded and broadcast content via social media from makeshift wifi networks (el-Nawawy & Khamis, 2013). A journalist must also think of the ramifications of a citizen journalist. By taking journalism to the streets and opening it up to a number of different citizens, a new element of competition is added into the business of journalism.


Social media and technology has opened up new ways in which consumers can interact in real time with broadcasted content. The Australian Broadcasting Company has used social media to its advantage with its flagship live broadcast program Q and A (Q and A, n.d.). Viewers can interact with the program through a Twitter hashtag and through viewer submitted questions. This user-generated content is a practice, which all branches and mediums of journalism participate in. User-generated content can enhance a broadcast or a story (Kiss, 2009) yet it can hinder a story also. Sometimes user-generated content can blur the lines between what is unfair and sometimes biased reporting (Lukyanenko, Parsons & Wiersma, 2012; Kiss, 2007) breaking a number of journalistic codes of ethics. If user-generated content were to be used in a story or broadcast, all aspects of any ethical or operational codes must be weighed up. This newly evolving form of user-generated technology has impacted the way journalists broadcast stories on air and online, because now the audience has a greater say in the story.


When out on the beat chasing my story, I found myself thinking competitively. I wanted to get this story out first, I wanted to cut and package it up as fast as possible. In this desire to be first I reflected on the competitive nature of Internet broadcasting and I questioned new ways in which I could use the digital technologies to my advantage. Further broadcasting methods I could have used was social networks like Snapchat and Instagram. By using their live streaming and video functions I could have created more interest in my story through social media. Though I specifically chose not to. If I took time out of my story to take more video on my smartphone, I potentially could have missed something or worse made my interview subject nervous (Masterson, 2014). Due to the increasing pressures on journalists, we are all being forced to become multiplatform journalists and producers. Every journalist needs to be competent in blogging, broadcasting, sound and video editing, and story research (Ahrens, 2006). Technology is impacting the way in which journalists work in the field and in a professional environment, because it is forcing them to think of the different platforms of broadcast and it is forcing them to publish on all of these outlets.


Technology is having, and will always have, an impact on journalism and its practices. From the birth of the printing press to the invention of the television, journalists have always found a home on whatever new media is out there. The mass subscription to social media networks like Twitter and blogs like tumblr has shown that journalists have embraced new technology over the last 10 years. Though the real test for journalists will emerge in the ways in which they adopt or adapt to the future changes in technology.




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