Research Reflection

Overall this has been a great learning experience for me, not just in my findings but in my own ability to plan out my assignments rather than do it all the night before. This has forced me to do everything ahead of time and really consider why I don’t always approach things this way!

I was lucky that my research process was very smooth with no hiccups. However there a few things I would do differently, perhaps word my survey questions differently as to not be ambiguous.

I will include the video with my findings below.

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‘How Many Hours of Sleep does the Average Student Get a Night?’

It is no secret that sleep is a basic human need, we need it to survive. Research into sleeping patterns tends to focus mostly on children, adolescents and middle aged adults.  Which to me, begs the question how much sleep do university aged students need and how much are they getting. It is common knowledge that sleep is a “powerful associative learning mechanism” and thus university students would function better when getting the optimum amount of sleep.

When looking into the sleep patterns of young adults it  has been found that “mortality rates are increased in persons who report sleeping either less than 7 hours or more than 8 hours in comparison with those sleeping approximately 7 to 8 hours”. If 7-8 hours is the goal, just how many university students are achieving this on a regular basis? This leads me into my own proposed research question, ‘How many hours of sleep does the average university student get a night?’

The ‘Jawbone Blog’ has particularly peaked my interest with their large scale research into ‘how university students sleep’. They looked into the sleeping patterns of colleges across America in terms of their students total sleep time, wake time, bed time, steps taken during the day and went on to order the schools analysed in terms of academic success. Their findings most closely relating to my own proposed research reveal male college students to have an average weekday sleep time of 6.77 hours and females to be regularly getting 7.15 hours. (Demonstrated below)

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University can often be a tumultuous time for young adults, often moving out of home, developing a more active social and work life as well as developing new relationships. Eating habits may also change dramatically. All these factors can potentially contribute to either less than or greater than the suggested sleep time. This needs to be assessed “given the close relationships between sleep quality and physical and mental health” and the timely nature of research into mental health issues in university students. A very recent study conducted in 2017 and published in the Australian Psychological Society found overwhelming evidence demonstrating high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress were significantly associated with decreased sleep quality. Having considered all the research I have looked into, I agree sleep to be a large contributing factor to such issues.

However it is not just mental health that incorrect sleep affects, but physical too. Other than the obvious lack of energy and general lethargy felt by an individual after wither over or under sleeping, learning capacity is also greatly impaired. One study found that specifically, “increasing daytime sleepiness, as a consequence of poor sleep quality, can seriously impair students’ cognitive functioning and behavioural performance.”

I am proposing my question in this concise way to limit my research possibilities and avoid the ‘rabbit hole’. This will also help me keep my research running on time, and be able to be completed in the short time frame offered. I am aiming to find a simple numerical answer, as well as a more detailed qualitative answer to back the quantitative answer up.

Climate Change and Bin Chickens

“Satire is a technique that uses humor, irony, sarcasm, exaggeration, and mockery to expose human vices and follies”  Ultimately, satire serves to make the serious and awkward topics in the news, easier to understand whilst bringing humour into them. Satire breaks down the complicated and forces you to laugh.  Whilst “Satirical literature and artwork date as far back as the second millennium B.C.E” it is a major trend at the moment due to the massive increase in social media use and outbreak of ‘meme culture’. It often works best in the context of contemporary political issues and hot topics of the moment. Climate change falls into both these categories. Many journalists have jumped on board with this trend in order to present something as sinister as climate change in a more humorous light.  A notable example is that of John Oliver on ‘Last Week Tonight’.

John Oliver exemplifies very well done satirical journalism in the above piece. The video which featured as a segment on his show delivers a lot of relevant, scientific research in a funny and amusing way. It is successful in the way viewers are learning about climate change by being delivered simple facts like “97%  [of the scientific community] endorsed the position that humans are causing global warming”. These facts are easily understood by the general population. The humour in the piece is clever and targets the audience, picking at the shared flaw in their unwillingness to accept scientific fact and act against climate change now.

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A less successful example would be ‘Planet Earth Presents Bin Chicken’ published by the Beetoota Advocate in March of this year. The video can be seen below. 

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Beetoota Advocate’s video clearly raises environmental concerns in a humorous way however it differs from the segment on ‘Last Week Tonight’ as lacks substantial scientific fact when raising such concerns. The video was widely appreciated within the Facebook community where it was published by the Beetroota Advocate; it has currently been shared over 20,000 times and has reached 2.4 million viewers. The Advocate has such a wide reach which could be used to spread awareness of the state environment within our cities and how it is affecting and mutating Australian wildlife however they have chosen to simply focus on the making people laugh, unlike John Oliver. Whilst still a satirical piece of journalism, it is less successful in educating viewers.

 

An example of an unsubstantiated, humorous claim.

Satirical journalism relies on making people laugh whilst delivering them useful information. It is done well when these parts intertwine and are presented equally as in the example from ‘Last Week Tonight’. Satire is purposefully constructed to fill peoples need to be aware of political issues around them but put a humorous spin on this. It is because of this that it remains an engaging and popular trend in the Journalism industry.

JRNL102 – AssesmentTwo

CORDEAUX BEACH

Hidden waterfalls and secret waterholes, what better way to spend the summer days of your youth. Spending hours searching, following the sound of rushing water until you found the perfect secret spot to camp out for the day. Have you ever heard of ‘Cordeaux Beach’? I didn’t think so!

Patrick and James are Cordeaux Heights locals who have spent many days searching the back rivers, creeks and train tracks of the inland suburb way into the hills of Mount Kembla searching for this deeply hidden waterhole. Patrick exclaimed, “after two weeks of searching we almost decided it was an urban legend and almost gave up!” James laughed and agreed.

The waterhole is a series of pools some deep and some shallow.  After heavy rains, the water cascades heavily and quickly from the top pool down into the bottom. The bottom pool is the largest and the deepest and is the reason for the naming. It gets shallow around its edges and runs onto the debris and tiny stones in a similar way to the ocean lapping the sand on its shore

The reason the waterhole is so difficult to find is due to its location next to Cordeaux Road. Cordeaux Road is the main road into and out of Cordeaux Heights and it constantly busy and noisy. The sound of the cars masks the running water and it is not safe for pedestrians to walk along at any time during the day.

The two boys laugh as they reminisce about the first time they realised they could access the waterhole so easily from that road. James through his laughter explains “we spent so many hours trekking through overgrowth and mud and now we cross a road and duck under a hedge and we are there!”.

The concealed entrance is one you have to be ‘in the know’ to find or you might just walk right past it! The obscure location gives visitors a feeling of being alone and at peace whilst the world still buzzes around them. The running water and chirping birds offer a certain ambience that blends with the roaring of passing cars to ensure you don’t forget the world is still turning whilst you float and daydream.

Patrick tells “there is something so special about having your own hidden oasis within a small suburb where everyone thinks they know everything” he goes on to explain “it makes me feel as though maybe I know something they don’t”. The boys wish to keep the exact location top secret.

 

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Emotional History Part 2: Reflection

“The report should illustrate one or more of the six primary emotions” (McHugh, 2017). In my twenty -year old mind, that sounded like a challenge. The words ‘or more’ rang around my head all day as I considered various stories, angles, individuals, soundtracks etc. Then it hit me. I interviewed a lady I know from my local dog park. She is one of the kindest people I know, she has such an interesting voice and all the time in the world to talk about her dogs. One especially, her golden retriever AJ. Heather had felt love and loss so immensely through her dogs, I have spent hours talking to her and I wanted to showcase the emotions she made me feel through my emotional history. Heather has such special way with her words I knew she was the perfect fit.

Before the interview, I questioned, why does her story matter? Journalistically Heather is relatable, those with pets know the immense love you have for them. Her story will bring out emotions of sadness, happiness and surprise. Her story is simple and easy to follow and you can not help but feel her emotions along with her.

When it came time to edit my interview, I decided to use Hindenburg as it goes beyond the editing programs I have and focuses on being first and foremost “a storytelling tool” (Hindenburg, 2017). My total interview was around 3 minutes long, I was very careful with what pieces I cut out as I had an ethical obligation to Heather to tell her story truthfully. I could see so many different ways into this story, however, I stuck to Heather’s series of events as I believed this would ensure I stayed the closest and most true to her story. Hindenburg was easy to learn and I picked it up very quickly, the more I edited the better I became. Cutting and splitting proved the most difficult for me, especially keeping and cutting breaths.

My biggest downfall during my interview was that I did not correctly level my microphone, it was not one I was familiar with and I did not allow enough time to learn how to use it correctly. I conducted my interview in the silent back corner room of a library and yet it sounds like there are children playing with blocks right beside us. Listening back, this was infuriating as there was nothing I could do to alter it now and Heather was unable to retake the interview. However, I am glad I have learnt this lesson early on and I hope it will help me to become a better journalist in the future.

Lori Deschene once said “Practice the pause”(Deschene, 2017) and I found this to be true in more ways than one during this task. Firstly, I had to “practice the pause”(Deschene, 2017) when interviewing as I did not want to speak over Heather and I ensured I always left a beat in order to cut my own voice out later on. I also had to “practice the pause”(Deschene, 2017) when editing as I wanted Heather to sound as natural as possible, even when I had to cut out words or sentences from her free speech. The pauses were so important, as I want my listeners to feel her pain and her elation. I want them to pause during the break in the middle and imagine the joy Heather must have felt upon hearing there was a dog available for her to rescue. I want my listeners to understand that AJ rescued Heather from such a dark time and I hope I conveyed this through her words, AJs barking and playing and strategic music and pauses throughout.

References:

Deschene, L. (2017). Practice the Pause – Tiny Buddha. [online] Tiny Buddha. Available at: https://tinybuddha.com/fun-and-inspiring/practice-the-pause/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2017].

 Hindenburg (2017). USER GUIDE Hindenburg Journalist PRO. Hindenburg Journalist for Apple OS X. [online] Hindenburg, p.7. Available at: https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/1119123/mod_resource/content/1/Hindenburg%20Journalist%20OSX%20user%20guide.pdf [Accessed 27 Aug. 2017].

University of Wollongong (2017). JRNL102 Convergent Media Reporting and Production. Spring Session 2017. [online] Wollongong: University of Wollongong, p.11. Available at: https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/1095635/mod_resource/content/1/2017%20JRNL%20102%20Subject%20Outline.pdf [Accessed 27 Aug. 2017].

 

Welcome to Nollywood

With visual commentary on race, sex, love, violence, class, and consumerism through every Nollywood film, it is no wonder they are such a roaring success within Nigeria. So succesful in fact, that Nollywood has been identified as the world’s third largest film industry.

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The industry seems to have boomed in recent times and is “undoubtedly helping create jobs in a country with an economy that relies mainly on oil and agriculture”. Nollywood is the second biggest employer after agriculture in Nigeria providing “over one million jobs”.  The low production costs and fast production allows for a high turnover rate increasing profits greatly. Nollywood churns out “50 movies per week” on average. This suggests over 2600 Nollywood movies are produced each year compared to an average of 500 from Hollywood.

The surprising element of such a thriving film industry is that it is not found in cinemas. Nollywood is unique in that it is the “content of the video films that mattered and not the medium”.  The films are also designed in such a way they are not meant to be watched all at once, a foreign concept to western audiences. The films are often observed from the streets or pirated movie copies. Piracy is such a problem within Nollywood it is estimated by the world bank that “nine pirated copies of a film are sold for every legitimate one”.

In an attempt to combat issues of piracy, Nollywood is looking to expand into cinemas and television. Whilst this may take away the ubiquity of the films from the street audiences it is hoped it will ensure the industry continues to grow. Nigerian media was until recently under the tight grip of the state, it was the street corner viewings that brought out the “flotsam and jetsem of society”, it was these street corners that promoted “a world which is outside what the State configures for public consumption”.

Imagine walking down a street to find all the TV sets facing the window in a store and instantly knowing hey, there’s a new film showing right here tonight! That is the world of Nollywood; over the top and thrilling commentary on African life.

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