The Ankh Morpork Times

Trevor Likely, son of famous football player Sam Likely, was awarded the Best and Fairest Award at the Unseen University Academicals Football team’s annual awards night last night.

Mr Likely received the award from club President Mustrum Ridcully, for his efforts in yesterday’s grand final.

“Trev played with fortitude and skill,” Mr Ridcully said.

Mr  Likely appears to be following in his father’s footsteps.

Held at The Mended Drum, the club celebrated their recent season.

The Unseen University Academicals finished the season as runners up in the grand final.

They were defeated by rivals Ankh Morpork United.

 

Cherry Street Carpark Opened

Hard News Story- Werribee
Written by Megan Whitfield

Wyndham City Council opened a new car park on Cherry Street, Werribee CBD, last week to address traffic congestion and parking difficulties in the area. These issues are recurring problems in this district.

The car park particularly assists employees and shoppers in Wyndham’s retail and business centre.

Currently at stage one of its completion, the Cherry Street car park has 31 public spaces and 78 permit spots for businesses with existing parking permits. Stage two is set to be completed later this year and will provide a further 48 spaces.

Local resident and frequent commuter, Mr Makyle Mekonnen, experiences these traffic difficulties.

“Traffic management is pretty crazy,” Mr Mekonnen said.

Economic Development Portfolio Holder for Wyndham City Council, Cr Intaj Khan, said this car park will address some of these issues.

“It will definitely help with congestion,” Cr Khan said.

However, he said much more needs to be done.

As one of the fastest growing districts in Victoria, Wyndham’s traffic and transport systems “haven’t been able to match the growth,” Cr Khan said. “Council hasn’t been as successful” as they’d hoped to be.

Transport Portfolio Holder, Cr Glenn Goodfellow said council could do better.

“It’s a start,” Cr Goodfellow said. He said he hopes the new Council, as will be elected in October later this year, moves ahead with looking at parking strategy for the area.

“They can’t have their heads in the sand.”

The Cherry Street car park was built in line with the Wyndham Integrated Transport Strategy (WITS) produced by Wyndham City Council in June this year.

The strategy focuses on establishing Wyndham as a ‘connected city’ by 2040, providing a transport system to meet the increasing demand.

Court Reporting- Reflection

JELP16

By Megan Whitfield

Heading into this assignment, I was largely unaware of the complexities of court reporting. I understood that accuracy was paramount, however did not recognise the processes that must be undertaken to confirm these details and protect yourself again potential cases of defamation.

When reporting on a sensitive topic such as a court case, a journalist must be aware of the legal implications of the wording of their article. The consideration of impartiality is particularly important, as any inference of guilt or swayed presentation of character could lead to either party involved in a case to unjust scrutiny by the general population, thereby providing, potentially, grounds for a defamation case. This risk is even higher if there are any inaccuracies in the reporting.

A clear (and very timely) example of the importance accuracy came through the mistakes of journalist, Krystal Johnson, who reported on information not presented to the jury in an on-going case. As a result, Johnson risked contempt charges through potential interfering with the fairness of trial, protocols in reporting not adhered to. This case opened my eyes to the significant importance in adhering to correct court etiquette- from nodding the Judge when entering the courtroom, reporting only what is reported to the jury, not speaking to those involved in an ongoing case and more. Repercussion can include fines, or even imprisonment- not just for well-known journalists, but even students like myself.

However, as I learned throughout this assignment, clarifying details and ensuring accuracy can be a delayed process. While there is, to an extent, open access to the courts and freedom on information, to get your hands on official documents such as a court transcript or presented piece of evidence, there are many procedures to follow. Applying for access to this information can take up to two weeks, by which stage a case may have lost its relevance, particularly for minor cases, such as the ones I was reporting on.

I quickly learned the importance of writing with speed, and writing as much as I could- I could decide what information was relevant later. Unlike in a typical interview, you can’t simply as the Judge to ‘please repeat that last sentence’ or confirm if that was spelt ‘with an ‘a’ or an ‘e’?

Another challenge I faced I this assignment was finding cases to report on that were newsworthy. Naïvely, I believed that one trip to the courts would provide sufficient time for me to find two cases to report on. However, I quickly discovered that would not be the case. I had to return to court multiple times, a majority of the cases I heard being adjourned or insufficient in detail to meet the work count.

Eventually I found my newsworthy cases, suitable for publishing in a local newspaper in their respective communities. My first case I deemed relevant in terms of the news value of proximity, and on the basis of the repeated nature of the offence. Further, I was interested in the understanding manner of the Magistrate, editing the sentence to ‘without conviction’ so as to ensure the defendant could receive a work placement in the future and thereby become a contributing member of society. My second case I believed to be relevant due to the danger of the offence, yet the difficulty to provide adequate punishment considering the defendant’s upcoming departure from Australia.

Both reports also allowed opportunity for further articles, such as a more in-depth feature on the occurrence of drink-driving, delays in the court system, and the importance of education and employment in preventing crime.

Ultimately this assignment provided hands-on insight into the importance of attention to detail and commitment to accuracy in court-reporting. Unlike various other forms of journalism, court reporting cannot be completed by just anyone, a low standard of reporting opening up the potential for legal repercussions.

What Television Meant to Me

By Megan Whitfield

Watching television has always been a part of my daily routine. However, unlike how I consume programs today, through mediums like Netflix and online streaming, growing up I only understood television as being the free-to-air shows offered to me on the TV in the lounge room- be that Hi-5 after Kinder, or The Simpsons at 6pm every evening after school.

What I watched was dictated by the broadcasting schedule offered to me, as it fit into my extra-curricular and schooling commitments. Further, if I missed a program, I relied upon my family or friends to fill me in on what I missed.

However, this relationship with television changed on a family holiday to Queensland. As my brother and I flicked through the channels in our hotel room, we made the found out that we had pay-tv. We discovered that we had access to Nickelodeon, and a new world of entertainment was opened up to us. It was a luxury, one that we were all too aware would disappear in a matter of days and so we made the most of it. We spent hours marathoning shows like the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Spongebob Squarepants- my first experience with binge-watching.

Planned ‘flow’, when used in this context, describes the entire televisual experience- from programs watched, down to the order in which they are shown, and even the ad breaks. It reflected how the broadcasting schedule is developed to structure viewing over a sustained period, attempting to prevent viewers from ‘flicking over’ onto another channel at any stage (even once an episode is finished). In part, this is at the control of broadcasters, using ads for upcoming programs and relevant advertising relatable to the viewers, but is also moulded by the typical daily routines of viewers- hence prime-time viewing falling when families have typically finished work and dinner for the day, meaning that viewing will be less distracted.

Unlike during the school-term, on holidays I had no commitments to pull me away from the TV. I wasn’t confined to Saturday morning cartoons or prime-time shows. Typical broad-casting schedules didn’t apply to me as strongly, my televisual experience reflective more of my viewing habits today. Where previously, yes, I could be lured into watching a new TV show once mine had finished, the later shows ran, the less suitable and appealing they would be for me.

In contrast, Nickelodeon was a channel primarily focused on the interests of my brother and I. We were the assumed mass audience, around 10 years old, looking for some simple cartoon entertainment to fill our day, and as such the planned flow of the network reflected this. Ad breaks were vibrant and typically only fell at the ends of episodes, keeping us watching entire episodes so as not to miss any content. The episodes themselves were short enough that when our concentration levels waned, we could still easily pick up what was happening, and the seemingly endless loop of cartoons meant that we never had to wait long until our favourite shows were back on. Coming from free-to-air TV, watched only in the lounge room, this was a novelty that had me hooked and began to alter my interpretation of what television was.

Mad Men- A Study in Liveness

Set in the ever-evolving 1960s, Mad Men is a fictional, historical drama based around Sterling Cooper Advertising Firm in New York, and subsequently the lives of those who work there. Based in such a period of social instability and a significant rise in commercialism, the show deals with the unexplored experience of ‘liveness’ and uncertainty of the role of television within the household.

Typically associated with broadcast news, ‘liveness’ can be described as being “the perceived simultaneity of image capture and reproduction at millions of geographically dispersed locations”, (Allen).

In presenting the rise of technology in an ever-modernising world, Mad Men explored this concept most powerfully through the penultimate episode of season 3. This episode focused on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the massive reaction to the news by the American population. Despite some historical inaccuracy of the way this news was shared around America (the show presenting television as the main information source for the public where it was more likely radio), the episode explored the compulsive news-viewing of Americans (as represented by the lead characters), analysing the regulation of one’s behaviour around television.

So over-wrought and shocked by the event, the television became a source of knowledge and guidance for the characters of Mad Men, many becoming compulsive consumers of its ongoing ‘updates’ (namely, Pete Campbell and Betty Draper). Characters stayed home from work and ignored social obligations, such as Pete Campbell and Trudy Vogel choosing to not attend a wedding in preference of watching the news, reflective of the nation-wide grief felt by the American population. This scene reflects the sense of union live television evokes, typically covering an event of mass-audience interest, as supported by academic Ellis, who suggests the “immediacy of the image” and sense of ‘liveness’ work to evoke a “relationship of co-present intimacy” (Ellis, 1992).

Further, as initiated by the introduction of the concept of ‘liveness,’ (and in the experience of the JFK assassination as re-produced by Mad Men, having ongoing news coverage), the show also explores the idea of television and the home. The show adopts a dystopian perspective of television as a cultural technology, subtly presenting it as encroaching on the familiar dynamic of the household (in accordance with the 1960s setting).

Where previously protagonist, Don Draper, assumed the absolute authoritative role within his family and house, in this episode he returns home to find his wife and children staring at the screen, watching arguably ‘unsuitable’ content. However, despite his orders, they do not stop watching- the TV assuming the power. In this sense, the television is presented as being disruptive unto ‘traditional’ family power structures, interfering with the private sphere of society, as were concerns held by society at this time of unfamiliarity with this technology.

Ultimately, historical drama Mad Men intelligently explores concepts of ‘liveness’ and the relationship between television and the home throughout its series as it draws viewers in to its re-imagination of the 1960s. This exploration is most notably demonstrated through multiple character interactions in the penultimate episode of series three.

Wyndham Learning Festival 2016

BY Megan Whitfield

Wyndham City hosted its first Learning Festival this September, in a week of over 100 free community activities.

The event was hosted by Wyndham Community and Education Centre with support from Wyndham City Council and ran from 1-8 September, in line with Adult Learners’ Week in Australia.

The Learning Week aimed to re-engage the community with learning in a non-formal and relaxed environment, with an emphasis on the importance of ‘life-long learning’.

A range of activities were offered, from gallery exhibitions to practical workshops, with events to suit all ages.

The festival was largely about showcasing to residents the opportunities already out there, says Festival Co-ordinator Meg Cotter, highlighting services like Shoestring Gardening, community centres and neighbourhood houses.

The event was about “[trying to] shift attitudes to learning,” said Ms Cotter. “Life-long learning is for everyone… it’s no longer just something that you do in the classroom.”

The festival’s organisation was “closely aligned” with the Wyndham Learning Community Strategy, developed to assist the municipality’s transition into a ‘smart city.’ The Strategy is currently in its third year, with this event satisfying one of the “last of [its] outcomes.”

Guest speaker, former politician and journalist Maxine McKew, commended Wyndham City Council for getting involved.

Parents can often bring a “fixed view” of education, said McKew. In a “uniformly useless public debate” about education, this festival provided an opportunity for the “grass-roots” to be a part of the changing landscape of learning.

 

Frank Sinatra Has a Cold- a Critical Analysis

Highly descriptive with beautifully written, rolling sentences, Gay Talese created a powerful profile of Frank Sinatra through his feature Frank Sinatra Has a Cold. The focus of capturing the essence of the singer who became a “national phenomenon” coming through clearly.

 

Written in third person, Talese incorporated the news value of novelty into his impressive feature story, drawing the reader in through his originality. This was achieved not through the content specifically, but rather the style of the piece, being made up of personal observations and recollections of those close to Sinatra- without the guidance of a direct interview. Further, the vivid descriptions and overt emphasis on the setting of each scene presented this piece as almost fiction, preparing the reader for the next climax. From the beginning, the feature reads as the beginning of a story, introducing the protagonist, Mr Sinatra, and developing an undertone of glamour and mystique to cultivate anticipation for events yet to unfold.

 

A strength of this piece lies in Talese’s clever development of Sinatra’s character, originally building him up as more than just a singer, but rather a champion of “[comebacks]s”; a master. The use of subtle dehumanising language, describing Sinatra as a “pre-war product”, combined with dramatic similes like the comparison of “Sinatra with a cold” as being the same as a “Ferrari without fuel-only worse” work together powerfully to emphasise the common idolisation of the singer as “the boss…Il Padrone.”

 

However, Talese was not ignorant to Sinatra’s flaws and openly describes his easily flared temper and the unpredictability of his reactions, necessary concessions to maintain balance in his reporting. This juxtaposition is poetically captured in a simple observation of Sinatra’s eyes- as quick to “go cold with anger” as to “glow with affection.” This dichotomy acts to remind the reader that Sinatra is human, more than his stage persona.

 

The gentle tempo of this piece, seeming to almost match the tone of the smooth jazz music for which Sinatra made his name, makes this article an engaging read. While my journalistic learnings make me crave a direct interview with Sinatra, the level of depth Talese achieves, fleshing-out Frank’s nature, is truly admirable. Unable to secure an interview, Gay went beyond typical journalism practices to overcome this hurdle, forging an unexpected level of intimacy between reader and subject through his subsequent days of observation and perceptive recount of body language, interactions, and character as informed by those Sinatra surrounded himself with.

 

However, a weakness of this article is its length. Although vividly written with great detail and a collection of characters, the profile loses its spark as it continues on and on. The imagery demands relief through direct interaction with the subject. The description of his charisma, for example, feels less significant without Sinatra’s own demonstration of this attribute. Admittedly, this experience could be influenced by the article not translating to modern technology. Originally being printed in a magazine, the considerable length of this article is not conducive to being read in one sitting, online.

 

Ultimately, despite its weaknesses, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold is an inspired profile, engaging through its originality and the silky writing of Gay Talese.

Written by Megan Whitfield