Week 9 – 3. Technical: Active and Passive Writing

a. Complete the test at http://www.businesswriting.com/tests/activepassive.htm

These are my results:

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

I had a little bit of trouble with wording some of the sentences, as I found that I was changing some of the words because in my head they seemed to fit a bit better. However, when I read the correct versions I was then able to see how they rearranged the original words to make sense. I was, however, able to identify most of the performers of the actions, and then able to move them to the subject position easily.

Individual Question Reflections:

  1. I changed the ‘sends’ to ‘receives’ which made the sentence more confusing because there were two performers instead of one.
  2. I didn’t realise that the self-audit was not actually considered the performer and that I should insert ‘we’ instead. Also, I didn’t realise that I could/should simplify the second half of the sentence like in the correct example.
  3. I think my example follows a fairly similar concept to the correct version, but it is just worded in a slightly different way.
  4. The only difference here was that I didn’t omit the second ‘have’.
  5. In this one I stuffed up a bit as I rearranged the entire sentence, although I think I still managed to make it into active voice.
  6. My example was fairly similar to the example, except I accidentally omitted ‘most’ and ‘may’ without thinking.
  7. This one confused me slightly, as I did not understand that I was able to create an active voice without explicitly stating a performer, hence my insertion of the word ‘you’.
  8. I struggled with the arrangement of this one, as it was a longer sentence and had a few more actions and performers to consider.
  9. I found this question extremely straightforward and easy, and got it correct.
  10. This question was also easy, as I got it almost exactly the same.

Week 9 – 2. Practical: Review a peer’s Storify submission

Who do you think is the audience? What did you learn about the event? What else (if anything) could be included that would make the story more interesting or have more impact? If the structure is confusing, how could it be improved? What do you like about the story?

I chose to review Kate Newton’s Storify, ‘The Already Outstanding Ekka Show Ramps Up Discounts on Transport‘, as I thought that she did an excellent job of covering a very interesting aspect of the event which many people would not have considered. Her focus on the transport to and from the event and how this affected the event attendees was very well thought out.

I think the main audience of the article would be people who are local to Brisbane and attended the event this year or are looking to attend in the future. It is informative to these potential future attendees as it provides helpful details about how to get to the event next year, and it is also a nice reflection on the event for those who did attend.

I learnt that the event attracts half a million visitors over 10 days, which is much larger than I originally thought. I was also not aware that the event had been running for 138 years, or that Translink added over 370 extra bus, ferry and train services to help accommodate for transport to the event. Therefore, I think that this story was extremely successful in educating readers with a variety of interesting facts.

The only way that I could think to improve this story would have been to perhaps have a few more twitter interviews of attendees, stallholders and event organisers (with pictures) to showcase the individual experiences of the event and give the story a bit more of a personal feel.

The structure, however, was very good and I have no recommendations for improvement, as I feel that she introduced her most important information first and spread all of her tweets and other media well throughout the story and in appropriate places.

Overall, I like the diversity of the information that she included, and that she decided to take a slightly different angle when covering the event, whilst still including the basic facts.

You did a fantastic job Kate 🙂

Week 9 – 1. Inquiry: Review two different examples of curation

The 25 Best Hotels of 2015 (data driven)

Gold Standard Hotels (written by editors)

Consider the differences. If the purpose and audience is similar, how does the way the information is structured and presented make a difference to the way it might be received?

The two articles appear to be similar in purpose and audience, both are trying to show potential world travellers the best hotels in which they can stay in multiple countries. However, their presentation of this data or information is vastly different, and therefore both articles have a very different style.

The list of hotels on the article ‘The 25 Best Hotels of 2015‘  on tripadvisor is generated by star reviews out of 5 by users of the website. This content was not curated by any editors, and therefore no real editorial decisions were made in the collation of the data and content of this article. Instead, members of the audience itself voted on hotels based on their own personal experiences, and therefore were the generators of the content. The problem with rankings used in data driven journalism is that rankings can be difficult to understand and analyse (Diakopoulos, 2014). Diakopoulos (2014) suggests that for rankings to be authoritative, they still require editorial decisions to be made as to what should be included or excluded, and what algorithms need to be used to determine the data. The problem with this article is that unless these editorial decisions were made, the top ranking hotels could potentially be any hotel if they had received a good overall score. For example, if a small hotel had only received one or two reviews, but they had both been perfect, five star scores, it could potentially be included on the list along with huge hotels that have had 100’s of reviews both good and bad that had averaged out to a higher score.

Because of this, the article does not appear to be very personal in its delivery, and readers are unable to see a written description that describes someone’s personal experience at the hotel. It appears less like a genuine recommendation and more like a automated list that contains a few photos that only just manage to capture the feel of the hotel.

The ‘Gold Standard Hotels‘ article, however, is written by editors who have collated the data that they have found, but have then taken the extra step to give the article a more personal tone by focusing more on generating their own written content to accompany the list, depending on what they believed would be of most interest to their readers (Ames 2015, p. 1). They also made editorial decisions on the inclusions of photographs, where they presumably narrowed down their selection of photographs for each location to just one photograph that best supported the mood that they were trying to express in the written section.

This style of article is more likely to appeal to people looking for a descriptive review of the hotel, and it may have a higher influence on them due to the personal nature of the writing.

Reference List

Ames, K 2015, Week 9 –Content generation vs content collaboration, COMM11007 Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Condé Nast Traveller 2015, Gold standard hotels 2015, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.cntraveller.com/awards/the-gold-list/gold-standard-hotels-2015/viewall

Diakopoulos, N 2014, ‘How news organizations can rethink rankings’, American Journalism Review, 24 October, viewed 22 September 2015, http://ajr.org/2014/10/24/rethinking-news-rankings/

tripadvisor 2015, Top 25 hotels — world, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Hotels-g1