Week 8 – 2. Practical : Write a review of Instagram

Instagram regards itself as a ‘fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures.’ (Instagram, 2015). They’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head with this description, because it is definitely a fun and quirky social media platform.

With Instagram, you can instantly upload square photos that capture whatever you’re doing, whether it be hanging with friends, travelling around the world, or selling products! It will pop up in your follower’s feeds, and if you add hashtags, you can reach anyone around the world interested in the same things as you. Other users can then ‘like’ your picture if it appeals to them, and even leave you a comment.

The app also offers the ability to tag your friends in photos, write captions that add meaning to your snaps and tag the location that a photo was taken at.

You can follow your friends and family to keep up with what is going on in their lives, and even follow celebrities, brands and companies to see what they’re up to.

The standard filters, along with the new built-in editing tools, allow for users to inject their own style into their images. You can make your photos stand out from the crowd in whichever way you choose.

Instagram caters to a very wide audience, and can be used in both personal and professional settings. You can put your profile on private to share your personal pictures with only the people you choose, or share your images publicly for people all over the world to see! If you’re a business owner, it is a fantastic platform to promote your products on, and using hashtags will quickly gain you followers and potential new customers!

Overall, Instagram is a fantastic social media platform with many uses. It is fun and easy to use, and a wonderful way to creatively express your personality and your life through photos!

Reference List

Instagram 2015, FAQ, viewed 15 September 2015, https://instagram.com/about/faq/


Week 8 – 1. Inquiry: Review Social Media

Think about your interests. Find a social media networking site that is most suitable and aligned with those interests. Think about how you might use this network personally, and then how you might use it professionally. Reflect on this on your blog.

The social media networking site that most relates to my interests is probably Instagram. I am very interested in Graphic Design and Illustration, and I have found that there is a large community of designers and artists on there who share their artworks and designs. Because it is a photo-based social media, people can easily share images of finished works or works in progress.

When I use Instagram personally, I share photos of friends, my dog, things that I’m doing, and occasionally my artworks and designs. I have my account set to private, and only people that I approve can see my personal posts.

However, when using Instagram for a professional purpose, an account should be kept public so that it reaches a wide audience.

Ollier-Malaterre, A and Rothbard, N (2015) refer to four different strategies that can be used by professionals on social media, ‘open’, ‘audience’, ‘content’ and ‘custom’. An open strategy means that the user posts very honest and authentic content to their social media, and therefore they risk being considered unprofessional sometimes. The audience strategy means that professional and personal accounts are kept completely separate, and the content shared on both accounts is completely different. For a professional utilising the content strategy, they have professional contacts on their personal account and then choose to carefully consider what they upload, ensuring that even casual and personal posts still have an air of professionalism.

The final strategy is the ‘custom’ strategy, where both audience and content are managed via things like contact lists, allowing for both professional, and casual, honest identities to be present on social media.

I already use Instagram on a professional level as well as  a personal level, as I use it to promote my small graphic design business. I have links between my personal and professional accounts although I keep the content separate. I believe that this achieves the custom strategy as I keep the content separate and different on the two accounts, yet I still allow for my friends to access my professional account if they wish to. I keep my personal account private so that I can keep my personal and more casual posts from being associated with my business.

According to Ames (2015), an important point to consider when using Instagram in a professional sense is the style in which you are writing. Whilst you need to be professional, you need to be relatable to the audience on the social media, and therefore your tone should reflect theirs. On my professional account, I try to achieve this by using emoticons and asking questions to try and promote comment responses from my followers.

As for using Instagram for professional journalism, American Journalism Review found that it was used by news professionals more so to promote the branding of the company rather than the actual news stories (Barron, R & Lardieri, A 2015). Titlow also supports this by saying that ‘Instagram is more about branding and engagement than eyeballs and dollars’ and that journalists are using the social media site as an experiment (2015).

Other professionals, however, have found that there is an opportunity to share actual stories on Instagram to a wide and receptive audience. For example, Neil Shea uses Instagram to share the extra stories that he writes that don’t always make it to the final copy of the magazine he works for, but he still feels deserve to be heard (Baker, D 2015).

Reference List

Baker, D 2015, ‘Instagram journalism: The new content trend shaking up the media world’, Contently, 23 June, viewed 15 September 2015, http://contently.com/strategist/2015/06/23/instagram-journalism-the-new-content-trend-shaking-up-the-media-world/

Barron, R & Lardieri, A 2015, ‘Newspapers Hunt for New Readers on Instagram’,  American Journalism Review, 7 April, viewed 15 September 2015, http://ajr.org/2015/04/07/newspapers-hunt-for-new-readers-on-instagram/

Ollier-Malaterre, A & Rothbard, N 2015, ‘How to Separate the Personal and Professional on Social Media’, Harvard Business Review, 26 March, viewed 15 September 2015, https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-separate-the-personal-and-professional-on-social-media

Titlow, J 2015, ‘How Journalists Are Using Instagram’, readwrite, 25 September, viewed 15 September 2015, http://readwrite.com/2012/09/24/how-journalists-are-using-instagram

Week 7 – 3. Technical: Complete Quizzes 7A (Spelling) and 7B (Style)

Quiz 7A – Spelling

Did you find the questions difficult? Did you have any problems in specific areas?

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For this question, I immediately saw that first option and knew that was what a homophone was, so I selected it without further reading the other options.

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I was a little confused by this one, because the textbook specifically used the word ‘shorter’ and so I didn’t know if it was a trick question.

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And I struggled with this question because I have never grasped the difference between principle and principal, except for in the case of ‘the principal is my pal’.

Quiz B – Style

Did you find the questions difficult? Did you have any problems in specific areas?

I had no trouble with this quiz at all, and I got 100% on the first attempt.

Week 7 – 2. Inquiry: Review a newsletter

Visit the website of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) at http://www.iucncsg.org/ and review a newsletter.

a. Reflect on the following on your blog:

i. What kinds of stories are in the newsletter?

The Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter is a special interest newsletter, which means that it is read by members of the public who share the same interest, and that it contains a lot of language that only these members of the public would understand (Ames 2015, p. 1).

The newsletter contains an editorial, obituaries, information about the CSG Student Research Assistance Scheme, Book Review, Details of Meetings, Regional Reports on crocodiles, and Science publications.

ii. How do these target the organisation’s audience?

These stories are definitely targeted toward a specific audience, which is what makes for a successful newsletter (Ames 2015, p. 3). The Crocodile Specialist Group has made an effort to create a small community that can give their readers a sense of belonging, which can be seen in the inclusion of Obituaries of their passed members, and in the recognition of individual’s discoveries and efforts, and with photographs of members captioned with their names. They were able to do this because of a newsletter’s personal style of writing (Ames 2015, p. 1).

The inclusion of both casual-styled articles and fact heavy meeting details and science publications means that the newsletter caters to both the members in the audience who are general public but have the shared interest, and also to people who are highly involved in the subject through their work.

iii. If you were a science journalist, is there anything you may be interested in following up as a story, and why?

As a science journalist, I think that there is a great deal of information that could be easily followed up with a story. The Regional Reports for crocodiles all over the world gives facts and a brief overview, and a journalist who wanted to do a story on the habits of crocodiles in a particular area would find that this is an excellent starting point.

Likewise, the submitted publications in the Science section could also be followed up with a feature article on the writers and their achievements and discoveries.

iv. What do you think is effective or otherwise about this newsletter?

I think that the attempt to create a sense of a small community through this newsletter is extremely effective as it makes the readers feel as though they are able to connect with other members of the public and professionals who share their passion on what could be considered a slightly obscure subject. This guarantees that their readers will continue to read future publications to see what their friends and colleagues are achieving around the world.

Another effective aspect about this newsletter is that the issues are released every three months. This means that there is enough time between issues to research and find new information so that the readers don’t get bored (Ames 2015, p. 2).

Reference List

Ames, K 2015, Week 7 – Newsletters and brochures, COMM11007 Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) 2015, ‘Crocodile specialist group newsletter’, Crocodile Specialist Group, April-June, vol. 34, no. 2, viewed 15 September 2015, http://www.iucncsg.org/365_docs/attachments/protarea/34(2-a5b9578f.pdf

Week 7 – 1. Practical: Review Assessment 1

a. Review your items for Assessment 1 which is due at the end of this week and correct any spelling, style, and punctuation errors.

b. Now review Assessment 1 items against the Marking Key checklist linked to the Resources section on this website.

Did you pick up all issues on your first proofread?

Were there many?

Do you think you corrected them all?

Was it helpful having a checklist?

Do you think it will make a difference to your overall result?

Unfortunately, due to full time work I was unable to complete this Blog Task before I submitted my assignment, and therefore my assignment has been submitted and I will not be able to change any mistakes that I find when I use the checklist.

The first thing that I picked up on was my use of figures, and that in some places I did not put numbers over 10 as figures and I instead spelled them out.

My quoting methods appear to all be correct and I wouldn’t have needed to change them at all. They are all punctuated correctly and only use says or said when attributing a source. I was also very careful to introduce each source with an indirect quote and then the direct quote, and my attribution is consistent with the style of news writing.

My punctuation also seems to be in check, as I have used no semi-colons, uncapitalised ‘i’s and I have only capitalised proper nouns.

I also think that I achieved an alright writing style, although there is probably room for improvement. I tried to keep my writing active and succinct, there were no publication titles to italicise and I tried to keep repetition out of it.

I don’t think that there were many errors that I picked up on my first proofread, and all that I really had to do was rearrange a few sentences to make them flow better.

I didn’t need the checklist to fix many errors, so I don’t think that having done this exercise before I submitted would have made much difference to my overall mark.

Reference List

CQUniversity 2014, COMM11007: Media Writing, Marking key checklist, CQUniversity, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Week 6 – 3. Technical: Complete Quizzes 6A and 6B – Punctuation

Quiz 6A – Punctuation

Did you find the questions difficult? Did you have any problems in specific areas?

I found this quiz rather easy, as I have always had a fairly strong understanding of punctuation. The only question that I struggled with slightly and had to take a second attempt to get correct was the one regarding the punctuation surrounding the word ‘however’.

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I knew that there definitely needed to be a comma inserted after ‘however’, but I did not realise that it also required a comma placed before it.

Quiz 6B – Punctuation

Did you find the questions difficult? Did you have any problems in specific areas?

I think that this is the quiz that I have so far done the worst on, as I received a score of 7/10 on my first attempt.

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In this question, I didn’t really have trouble with it, I think that I just didn’t read all of the options very thoroughly, because when I reviewed it, I knew instantly that option d) was the correct answer.

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I was slightly confused by the wording of this question, as I knew that the ellipsis mean that something had been removed from a sentence, and I wasn’t sure if that was what the word ‘shortened’ was referring to, as in the sentence had been shortened by the removal of some words.

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I was confused by this question as I didn’t realise that middle-distance was not a correct term and so I just took a random guess.

Week 6 – 2. Inquiry: Review a Cirque de Soleil Media Kit

a. Visit http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/press/kits/sho ws.aspx

b. Select a show and then review the supplementary media for each show. Specifically, review the Press Kit which is a downloadable PDF.

c. Identify the elements that comprise the Press Kit and reflect on how you might incorporate them into a story.

The Cirque Du Soleil press kit that I decided to reflect on was the ‘Totem’ show. The press kit can be found here. This specific press kit comprises of the following sections:

  • Show Overview (Backgrounder)
  • Totem Fact Sheet
  • Critic’s Reviews
  • Information about the Writer/Director (Biographies of Key Personnel)
  • Brief Overviews of the Main Characters (Biographies of Key Personnel)
  • Descriptions of the scenes (Backgrounder/Graphics)
  • List of the creators (Backgrounder/Graphics)
  • Costume information (Backgrounder)
  • Set Design and Projection Details (Backgrounder/Graphics)
  • Support Overview (Backgrounder)
  • The Cirque Du Soleil Village Setup (Backgrounder/Graphics)
  • And the Background Story/Mission of Cirque Du Soleil (Backgrounder)
  • Cirque Du Soleil Fact Sheet

If I were to write a story about the Cirque Du Soleil ‘Totem’ show, I would start by providing a few catchy facts from the Totem and Cirque Du Soleil Fact sheets that would aid in creating the inverted pyramid structure.

I would then go into more detail about the story by paraphrasing the Show Overview to give my readers an idea of what the show was about.

I would use a direct quote from the Review section, from a critic of a high credibility and prominence so that my readers found my sources reliable.

Depending on the length of the story, I would include different amounts of information. If it was a short news story, I would then briefly discuss the most important points from the remaining sections on the writer, characters, scenes, costumes and set. If it were a longer feature article I would choose one section that had the most interesting information available, and I would then focus on this for a few paragraphs.

Reference List

Cirque Du Soleil, 2012, ‘Cirque Du Soleil: Totem – Press Kit’, viewed 15 September 2015,