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Category Archives: universities

Want to be a citizen journalist?

You_TheCitizenPhotographer_cover

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Here’s a sample of Giulio Saggin’s new book we have published today:

Giulio Saggin began his career as a news photographer in 1989, at a time when newspapers had photographic departments with photographers, both staff and freelance.

In the ensuing years the media modernised but photographers always had their place.

The onset of the digital age changed all this and the media world is being transformed at what seems to be an exponential rate.

While there might be several million photographers around the world, there are several billion citizens with digital cameras and smart phones on hand to capture news as it happens.

This has resulted in an explosion in citizen photographers, where anyone can lay claim to being a photographer, and whose photos are largely free, or inexpensive, for media outlets to use.

Included in the several billion are journalists who, at the very least, have a mobile device with a camera. In an ever-expanding media market, the economics of one journalist with a camera has dictated they take on the role of photographer as part of their reporting duties.

The phenomenal rise in citizen journalism (photography) and journalists with cameras has had a detrimental effect on photographic departments and photographers around the world.

Many media outlets have chosen to do away with photographic staff and arm their journalists – many of whom side with the photographers – with cameras or smart phones and given them the task of taking ‘photos’ with minimal training at best.

As a result, the vast majority of images produced have been inferior to those produced by trained photographers (who study their art at college for at least 2-3 years, or the equivalent on-the-job training for older ‘pre-college’ photographers).

In most cases the journalists taking photos don’t have anyone to tell them right from wrong, so they have little or no idea if what they are doing is correct or otherwise. They have no way of learning. Photography is a discipline and a lack of discipline in any facet of life leads to chaos.

Visual stories are as complex as their written counterparts. Giving someone a camera/smart phone doesn’t make them a photographer, just as giving someone a laptop doesn’t make them a journalist.

It’s hard to say what the future will bring but it appears one thing is certain. If media outlets are going to want their journalists both to write and take photos, those with skills in both areas will be the ones getting the jobs.

While journalists are being made to take photos, photographers wanting to work in the media will have to learn to write.

The future may well see the traditional roles of journalists and photographers meld into the one term – photo-journalist.

It’s a term that has been in use for decades by those who already write and take photos, and many photographers because of their visual story-telling skills.

If the current trend is any guide, the term will become the ‘norm’ in the not-too-distant future.

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Out with the old, in with the new

We have just learned that our friend and valued colleague Donna Meiklejohn has been named one of Queensland’s 125 most outstanding women leaders! So proud to know her:

You can view the list here, at the YWCA Queensland’s 125 Leading Women site

The YWCA has been celebrating 125 years of continuous work with and for the women of Queensland, and reckons that this list “is a fitting tribute to the thousands of women who have shaped both this great organisation and this great state over that century and a quarter”.

They continue: “We feel that each of these 125 women represents a facet of what it means to be a leader. Each has contributed something significant to her community, and at the same time is the embodiment of one particular type, style or field of leadership.”

Donna’s citation reads: “Donna is an award winning journalist who has had a long, high-profile career in news and current affairs journalism as a presenter, writer and producer in the commercial and public media. Donna started work in country radio in the 1970s when the industry was dominated heavily by men and went on to become the first woman appointed by an Australian commercial television network to an overseas posting. She is best known for her roles as presenter of the national ABC viewers’ forum Backchat, and the flagship current affairs program Nationwide. She is currently lecturing at the University of Queensland, nurturing the journalists of the future.”

But here’s some news: we hear that Donna’s services have now been secured by QUT instead for 2014, and more power to them!

Here is just a taste of the company Donna finds herself among:

Christine Anu

Sallyanne Atkinson

Anna Bligh

Quentin Bryce

Sarah-Jane Clarke & Heidi Middleton

Keri Craig

Cathy Freeman

Caroline Jones

Elizabeth Kenny

Deborah Mailman

Kay McGrath

Sarina Russo

Julianne Schultz

Georgie Somerset

Samantha Stosur

Merle Thornton

Kath Walker

Mary Woods

Robina Xavier.

Major new look at universities launched by Australian publisher

Uni COVER Feb 25

MELBOURNE, Australia: How have universities changed over the past 60 years? Are they any better now than they once were? And what will happen next? These are just some of the important issues that John Biggs encounters in reviewing his long academic career, a journey via Australia, the UK, Canada and Hong Kong. Tonight in one of our innovative social-media book events, Strictly Literary is proud to announce the worldwide launch of Changing Universities, John Biggs’ insightful and highly relevant memoir. It’s offered for sale as a print-on-demand paperback with a high-quality gloss cover in full colour and excellent professional binding (now printed in Australia to minimise time and delivery charges) and as an eBook in a range of formats for different reader platforms, including the popular Amazon Kindle.

J-Biggs-bcoverAs a student and as an academic, John Biggs (left) has participated in 60 years of change in universities, changes in time and in place. He graduated in psychology from the University of Tasmania in 1957 and obtained his PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London. He has held academic positions in the University of New England, Monash University, the University of Alberta, Newcastle University NSW, and the University of Hong Kong, holding full professorships in the last three. He has published extensively on learning and teaching in institutional settings. His concept of constructive alignment, described in Teaching for Quality Learning at University, has been implemented in several countries. Since retiring, he and his wife Catherine Tang have consulted on learning and teaching in higher education in several countries. Also since retirement he has published four novels (including Disguises, also now available from Strictly Literary), a collection of short stories, and a social-political history of his home state, Tasmania.

Biggs’ experiences were bizarre, traumatic, hilarious but in the end rewarding. His experiences tell us what universities were once like, how they came to be what they are today, with a hopeful stab at what they might be like in future.

Eminent academics have reviewed Changing Universities and here’s what they have had to say:

Prof John Kirby, of Queen’s University, Canada says: “Biggs is a true scholar, happiest when left to his research and teaching.”

John Hattie, Professor and Director, Melbourne Education Research Institute, University of Melbourne, writes: “There have been many books about the major changes to universities – usually decrying the managerialism, pursuit of funding, and lack of collegiality. John Biggs tells the story of change via a remarkable career – across four continents, many universities, and different cultures. The intrigue, the power users and abusers, the games, and the spineless nature of too many within these universities seem not to have changed over the last 50 years. More fun to read than the current attacks on universities, it still raises serious questions about how universities are run, for what reason, and for what benefits. This is a perfect read not only for current academics, especially those thinking of moving to Head positions, but also for outsiders who wonder what happens in the ivory towers.”

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