Latest Entries »

So I finally had a print publishing!! *claps*

I’ve spent two weeks in September interning at ‘The Queanbeyan Age’ in….. Queanbeyan. I had many articles published with my very own byline. I was able to further develop my skills that I have obtained through uni and even learnt new concepts under the supervision of some very experienced journalists.

Highlights of my time there included meeting David Furner and Heather McKay – two born and bred Queanbeyan icons.

I met so many wonderful people and had the pleasure of interviewing them. I did court reporting, council reporting, vox pops, local sport news and local news.

I didn’t know one single thing about Queanbeyan on my first day but only after two weeks there I am now aware of the history of Queanbeyan. I researched the inductees for the Queanbeyan Honour Walk – a two part article I wrote during my internship. This consisted of the most notable residents, both past and present of Queanbeyan who have made significant contribution to the town over the years.

You can find “The Queanbeyan Age” at

Shellshellshell the intern

(And just quitely, my Mum is very proud of me.)

Debuting as a print journalist in “The Queanbeyan Age”.

Sleeping in the Capital.

It was a weeknight and my ten hour shift began early the next day. I assumed I’d been sleeping for hours. I awoke to a noise that seemed so unfamiliar to me. It began with a thud on the roof.  And then a patter of footsteps. And I waited for more but only silence could be heard. I froze in my bed and panicked at the thought of my window being slightly opened.  Wth my phone just out of arms reach, I felt helpless. Who is on my roof and what do they want?

When I woke up again to my alarm at seven am, I remember my night of terror instantly. I jumped on my Twitter to catch up on the last 12 hours of life. I learn from a fellow Canberran that just after 5 am, Canberra had an Earth tremor. I then find from ABC news that there was an Earthquake with a magnitude of 3.7 occuring west of the capital, about halfway between Canberra and Tumut.

I actually woke up because of an Earth tremor. I thought I was being robbed.

My Mum rings, curious if I felt the quake. I explained my experience to her and she replies, ‘If you think you’re getting robbed, you need to call OOO.’ 

Imagine that.



An image used online to mock mother nature's wrath

Canberra - we will rebuild.










That image was used online to mock mother nature’s wrath.




Oh! I Wanna Dance with Whitney!

Another celebrity passes and I’m reminded how convenient twitter is and the ability it has to break news so quickly. Either luck was on my side or it was just a convenience that I happened to be scrolling through Twitter when word spread that singer and actress Whitney Houston had reportedly died. 

Taken too soon

  On the eve of the Grammy Awards two weeks ago, Houston was found dead in a bath tub in her Beverley Hilton Hotel room. She was expected to attend a pre-grammy’s gala dinner just hours later.

As a potential journalist, I rather enjoyed the thrill of being on Twitter with the buzzing of tweets from my followers all having the same crazy thoughts.  Is Whitney ‘Pop Princess’ Houston really dead? Within seconds, the media confirmed her death. The hash tag ‘Iwillalwaysloveyou’ became trending and simultaneously the song played repeatedly on my iPod.

As an avid fan of older music, it was no surprise to my friends that I was one of many to be saddened by her passing. She was another beloved pop star taken too soon. 

The next time I’m at Canberra’s Downstairs Moose Pub and Whitney is played, I’ll probably cry. 

I’m gonna wanna dance with Whitney.

Posted by saddened Shellshellshell

ABJ2 Blog – Reporting Refugees

 ‘Reporting Refugees’ is a project I was involved with as a part of my broadcast journalism studies for semester two this year. And what an experience this has been!

‘This assignment is never ending!!!!!’ – Me, two days ago.

The OurSay Website says, ‘In a pilot public journalism project, University of Canberra journalism students are partnering with the ABC, Canberra Refugee support and OurSay to tackle some of the big questions about Australian asylum seeker policy, as experienced in the ACT.’

I teamed up with fellow class mate and good pal, Jane Dunnet to gather a profile story that illustrated the refugee experience of two University of Canberra students.  It shows one student who left Afghanistan with his family at 16 to find peace in Australia and the other, the son of a refugee whose mother fled her country to escape political persecution.  He speaks of growing up in rural Bathurst with the stigma that surrounds refugees.

For me, prior to this project I had had minimal experience with refugees and asylum seekers.  Obviously I was aware that they existed in my country and around me but I had never met one nor did I think that I actually knew a refugee myself.  I’ll admit that history wasn’t my strongest subject in high school, (I spent most of my time at my school’s agricultural farm) so to help myself out, I began this assessment refreshing my memory on the history of refugees and the history of Australia’s migration.  I read such sites as  I revisited migration and the ‘White Policy’ and found it really interesting to read people’s own stories and experience upon migrating to Australia – the situation they had in their own country to the journey and arrival in Australia.

My lack of interaction with refugees and asylum seekers prior to this assessment meant that I had a lot to learn.  I realised that these people were being easily forgotten and that made me want to explore this issue and learn more about it.  I found an article online associated with Professor Warrick Blood from University of Canberra.  The article titled, ‘Any one of these people could be a boat terrorist for all we know! Media representations and public perceptions of ‘boat people’ arrivals in Australia,’ said ‘some leading advocacy groups have accused the Australian media of promoting fears and unfavourable attitudes through the negative framing of the ‘refugee news’.

After hearing the stories from the two students that we interviewed, Martin Pham and Siar Azad, I felt that we could not let these people be forgotten.  I have learnt that it is a delicate subject and when we are reporting on it, we need to respect the privacy of the people we are interviewing.  It was important to let the person get to know you first and gain their trust.  And once this trust was gained and a rapport had been established, it made the process of learning their story so much more intriguing. 

Furthermore, from one of our talents we gained an insight into the life he and other people around him were living prior to fleeing Afghanistan.  In addition, the article ‘Learning to be literate: issues of pedagogy for recently arrived refugee in Australia’ mentioned Australian schools receiving an influx of refugees as students who were possible attending school for the first time and the difficulties faced when learning English as a language for the first time, particularly in secondary schools.  From hearing our talents story, it made me completely grateful for the life that we are living here in Australia and I was warmed by the fact that we are willing to help the refugees coming to our country.  ‘This paper suggests that schools must take up three key roles: to educate, to provide a site for the development of civic responsibility, and to act as a site for welfare with responsibility.’

An article I read titled, ‘Refugees, radio journalism and communications for social change’ said the concept of refugees is one of the most discussed topics on their radio show.  ‘In all the years we have been analysing talkback, no subject has ever been discussed more widely or with more passion than Australia’s stance on refugees’.  I found this interesting because it showed society’s different views on refugees which then helped me to develop my own opinions on the topic.

In addition, when it came to creating our story, I missed the interview with Siar because I was absent for when we could schedule it.  I was disappointed because it would have been better for me had I gotten the story first hand and been there with Jane to get the emotion from it that she did.  With our second interview with Martin, he was a little shy to speak of his experiences and because Jane knew him more on a personal level than I did, we thought it would be better for her to go on her own. Since the interview Martin has become more open with his story.  I have seen Martin since the interview so I then had a chance to speak to him about his mother’s history and was able to feel the story from first hand.  I particularly enjoyed Martin’s story.  I think because he’s just ‘one of us’ – we share the living on campus experience whilst studying and we have a lot of mutual friends so because of that it was rather interesting to hear of his background prior to this life we now have in common.  Also, Martin’s natural charisma made him a pleasure to listen to and interact with.  His voice was excellent for radio and I felt that it drew you more into the story.

Initially Jane and I were quite keen to use Final Cut pro and make a TV story.  However, after much consideration and thought we decided that our story was best suited to radio.  We struggled to see how our story could have images that tied in with refugee reporting.  As always in broadcast journalism, we were presented with many obstacles when editing on Audacity.  In one lesson after we had already submitted our first rough draft, the computers wouldn’t recognised our files and therefore, they could not be opened. This was quite stressful for many hours but luckily something magical happened and the computer responded to the files and our project was back!

Arriving at ABC Canberra to record our voiceovers was very exciting for me.  Jordie Kilby was lovely to meet and although he compliments me for my radio style voice, he instead wanted a general charismatic approach from me for our voiceovers.  After reading our script a million times and knowing the way in which I presented it quite well, I found it extremely difficult to change my tone and style.  Both Jordie and Jane were patient with me until I was able to somewhat gain this new perspective on the voiceover.  The advice given to me whilst trying to transform into a conversational tone was to pretend I was at Martin’s 21st and I was giving a speech about Martin.  This helped me and made the transition a little easier.  Jordie was very insightful and I enjoyed the experience at the ABC even though it was a very short visit.

‘Reporting Refugees’ was a great experience and quite possibly one of the best assessments I’ve endured whilst studying journalism at University of Canberra.

Critical Netball.

I had a lot of trouble actually finding a media professional or a scholar article to help write this blog post appropriately so I hope it is okay that I am using an article found on  The aim of the article is to illustrate the frustration the author has with the issue of netball not being recognised enough by the media. 

The article asks what it will take for netball and other female sports to be recognised by the media.  The author argues that netball seems to be ‘invisible to mainstream media’ and although it might not be the media’s job to equally cover all sports, it may need to acknowledge sports that have a fan base and a high level of participation. 

The author believes that netball is being ‘ignored’ by the media.  It does agree that the sport should make its own brand and reputation for itself and then seek support from the media, but the anger is shown when it questions, ‘but what happens when you do that and your sport is still ignored by the media?’

It says in the article that netball has done a lot in recent years to ‘modernise’ the sport to make it more attractive, but the author says that there is only so much ‘sex appeal’ you can include into the game ‘before you stop focusing on the beauty of the game…’

The article is curious as to how netball can be placed highly in the media like male-dominant sports.  It concludes, ‘if netball was a male-dominated sport, it would get significantly media coverage.’ 

It seems that I am not the only one who wants to see netball have a large market.

(Excuse the lateness on the publication of this blog post, I didn’t realise I hadn’t actually published it online.)

 Online news that features netball would be successful in the market that includes those strongly interested in the sport.  Otherwise, I am not so confident that netball will be acknowledged by those who are not interested.  I think it would be challenging and difficult but not so rewarding to convince a society who is stereotypically attracted to such sports as football and rugby to incorporate a women’s sport into their weekly television viewing.  Although there are journalists crediting netball as a sport – Damien Stannard,  Tanya Paolucci, who do contribute consistently, it is still only to a small market and to a market who research the sport because they have the interest in doing so.

My market is definitely not saturated with netball news and this is something I have pointed out continuously throughout my blog postings.  It is not merely mentioned enough through the news nor is it displayed prominently on professional news websites.  Therefore, I have the chance to provide information that isn’t already covered by other media and because of this I think that my participation into this would be welcomed by other readers.  In regards to what variations I can use, I would be keen for an interactive website, similar to Tanya Paolucci – for players and supporters where they can all engage simultaneously on the latest netball news.  And variations of variations of my own that I could introduce would be to not only present images of the game in play but also to include pictures of the crowd enjoying themselves, in an attempt to promote the enjoyment netball can bring to those who do not already have any enthusiasm for the sport.  These pictures could be presented as a slideshow with a bit of an upbeat tune that will draw in any kind of reader…


Here is my timeline.  It shows the Queensland Firebirds, a netball team in the ANZ Championships.  In 2011, the Firebirds remained undefeated and were Grand Final winners.

After having the bye in the first round, the Firebirds had their season debut in round two on the February 21, where they defeated the Sydney Swifts, 51-48.

On the 28th of February in round three, the Firebirds had a convincing win over West Coast Fever.

The Firebirds continued their winning streak well into round six with another close win over the Sydney Swifts, 57-53.

Their undefeated form was continued into round seven, when the Firebirds won by ten goals over the Melbourne Vixens.

In round ten, the Firebirds easily beat the Vixens again, 57 to 36.

Even in their finals campaign, the Queensland Firebirds were still contending in fine form.  In their first final match, they had an eleven goal win over Waikato/BOP Magic. This win placed them straight into the grand final where they won 57-44 over the Northern Mystics in Brisbane.

This is newsworthy in my A.O.I (Area of Interest) because for any keen netball fan, this site – ANZ Championships – a professional outlet, it is the place to look for all the match results, ladders and statistics.  These results are dated back to 2008.  Since these records are not found on media websites, it is the place to be for an audience strongly interested in netball.

For this post I’ve taken a look at advertising media packages the promote the game of netball. The most recent campaign that I could find was in May 2010 when netball launched its first brand campaign after 80 years of netball.  This campaign was developed by Netball Australia who combined with Clemenger BBDO, an advertising agency in Adelaide.  The purpose of this launch was to illustrate a funny and light-hearted display of what netball means to those who are apart of the game. 

Marne Fechner, Netball Australia’s Chief Commerical Officer said ‘netball touches 95% of Austalian women’s lives…the commerical is a warm, quirky and insightful look at the sport…Our biggest goal is to convert 1.2 million particpants into advocates.’

Fechner described the campaign as ‘an ode to the game’.

The campagin shows the popularity of netball to those who are involved with the sport.  The shoot for the advertising campaign included 400 actual netballers, umpires, coaches and parents.  The Australian Netball Diamonds were also involved.

This launch shows a culmination of three years of research and development.

I found a comment on one of the articles I was researching which said the campaign ‘absolutely uncovered the essence of netball’.

Also, I looked at marketing strategies used by the hospitality industry because they use professional athletes to advertise their products.  San Remo Pasta is a sponsor of Netball Australia and in 2008 and 2011 they used Australian Netballer, Julie Corletto.

In addition, San Remo conducted a competition to win a VIP dinner with the Australian Netball Diamonds.  This type of advertising and marketing strategy is to promote not only their own brand but also Australian netball.  It helped boost the popularity of netball by giving the netball audience a chance to mingle with the best netballers in Australia.

As mentioned earlier, the most common form of content in learning of netball is through other people’s blogs. Most of the online content that I have found is through these blogs. The blogs available are mostly written by netball clubs around Australia which provide information about their club. It includes match reviews, results and a scoreboard which displays all other teams scores within their league.  One particular blog in particular is written for the Coastal Netball Region and each post is written by a different netballer within the club.  For example, Ashley Fraser gave a match review and although it is a short post, it provides enough detail to understand the game.

Tanya Paolucci, a blog writer I mentioned in a previous post keeps a netball blog for the Bendigo Advertiser in Central Victoria.  Paolucci’s blog is differs from other blogger’s content, as she is active with her readers and interacts with them on the spot.  She answers questions about the game and gives her own tips and expectation for the matches.  Readers are able to shoot Paolucci their thoughts and questions when she comes online and then the netball blog begins! It is a good way to easily make contact with a netball journalist who understands the game quite well.

I think this is the case because netball is not a highly recognised sport in the news.  These blogs are specifically targeted at people interested in netball, people who are keen to know about the game and what is happening within this sport.  When netball isn’t displayed prominently on other news sites, it makes it hard to read about a dominant women sport. Because these blogs are posted online by other player’s and journalists, reader’s are still able to engage with the sport.

Who to follow…

To be more informed of netball, it’s worthwhile jumping onto twitter and following these ‘Tweeters’.

Julie Corletto (@JulieCorletto) – Julie Corletto is a Melbourne Vixens and Australian Diamonds Netballer.  As a professional netballer herself, there is no one better to learn from them someone who has succeeded well in the industry.  Confident with her play and knowledge of the sport, you know you can trust Corletto’s tweets.  Not only does she provide her wisdom but she has also promoted sport management programs for young people looking to start their careers with sport.  Corletto uses Twitter to promote her own netball clinics and we are also provided with a glimpse of her private life, where she often tweets about her husband and young son.

Netball Online (@NetballOnline) – is not only about Australian Netball but also includes news from England, the U.S and Jamaica.  Their tweets include upcoming matches and match results from previous games.  They also provide updates on players within the sport, including injuries, retirements and career updates for their followers.  If a team is to make an adjustment prior to a game, Netball Online are quick to provide that information.  Not only do they tweet about the players, but the coaching staff are also mentioned when major changes occur.

Netball Lifestyle Magazine (@netballmag) is another one to follow if you’re looking for tips for approaching the game.  This includes fitness, nutrition and training information.  Their tweets also interact with netballers and their teams.  It also provides links to other netballers, training ideas and methods and it also provides updates on netball matches and players but it is not as informative as Netball Online. Netball Lifestyle Magazine is the only netball magazine for Australia and New Zealand.