Archive for September, 2009

Gd is a VJ

September 25, 2009

With new technology always comes new terminology.

New verbs like:

Google(ed) – to search on Google

Text(ed) – to send a text message

Facebook(ed) – to look at, send a message, make a wall post, chat on Facebook.

And new nouns like:

VJ – Video Journalist

MoJo – Mobile Journalist

In the Digital Age, the image of a journalist is no longer the mousey cute woman with a short bob in high heels, clutching her clipboard close to her chest as she creeps around corners searching for a story. Today this woman’s job doesn’t end with the writing of the story, she is expected to do a lot more.

As an article on ABC online, Media mojo: inside the world of the video journo,  puts it –

Digital technology is revolutionising broadcast journalism and very swiftly changing the work practices and the stories delivered by foreign correspondents. These days, correspondents are making multi-skilling an art form. Not only are they tri-media – servicing radio, TV and online – but now they are expected to be journalist, cameraman, sound recordist and editor as well.

A Correspondents Report explored this world – the world of the VJ according to ABC’s Australia Network’s Jakarta correspondent Gavin Fang.






Fang is 34 years old and married with two children. Before he went to Jakarta he was a reporter and producer with the ABC in Melbourne.

Like the rest of us [see Good Morning Facebook, can I get you a coffee?] a typical day for Fang starts out with the internet, to see the news from around the world and especially in Indonesia. Although, he already knows what is ahead of him for that day, except of course for breaking news.

As a video journalist, he has to shoot these stories.

He also has to produce them.

He also has to question them.

He also has to edit them.

So there is a lot of planning before he even starts.

So he’ll go to do an interview.

He has to be the camera man.

He has to assess the location.

He has to set up his gear.

He has to make sure the lighting is right. 

He has to chat to the talent – making sure they are comfortable.

Then he’ll be the journalists – asking the questions.

Then he’ll pack everything up and go back to the office.

Then he’ll Edit, write and send back to Australia.

He basically does the whole thing.

See for yourselves.

In his own words,

It’s a bit of a juggling act. It’s trying to do the job of three or four people if you like as one person, and trying to plan and have everything organised and structured so that you can do all that to a normal daily television deadline.

There is an issue with quality control. Fang himself admits the quality of the story that the audience receives is not necessarily as crisp as it could be if it was created with the old-style of reporter plus cameraman. Although he tries his best and is improving with each story.

So while improved technology has actually created much more work for the reporter is has also created much more fun and many more opportunities. As Fang gets to go to places and see things that a full media crew would be never be able to – as he is totally mobile.

So from creation to the end, a news story is all in the hands of the VJ. The VJ has all the power.

Here’s Pink with her latest re-release – God is a VJ

If God is a VJ
Life is a TV
Love is the Journo
You are the story

If God is a VJ
Life is a TV
You see what they’re givin
It’s all how you read it


E-books killed the print media world[?]

September 17, 2009

Who would have thought Brisbane would be one of the leaders in Australia, even the world, in the land of the Digital Book, according to an Artshub article by Richard Watts. Along side New York and London, Brisbane is one of the only cities worldwide to host a digital literature centre, the Institute of the Future of the Book or ‘if:book Australia’.

The centre will hereby promote the latest in digital publishing and explore ways of advancing connections between writers and readers in the new online era.

This it is no longer the literary community’s worst nightmare, or the computer geek’s wildest dream – THIS IS A REALITY!

No longer will we debate whether this slowly evolving phenomenon is something we should or should not invest in or approve of …


if book 1









Kate Eltham, CEO of the Queensland Writers’ Centre, which will host the Institute announces that if:book’s purpose is to

investigate publishing futures, particularly digital futures for books, reading and writing; and also to share what we learn with the sector, with writers, publishers and the public at large through blogs, through publishing our research, and through experiments we’d like to run with our partners.

While fears of the digital book are not scarce in writer, publisher and retailer circles, for the obvious ways in which it could potentially make redundant their roles in the industry, Eltham makes great efforts to stress that if:Book will support these loyal and integral voices in the writing community.

Through if:Book Eltham seeks to educate these groups and help them to understand, navigate and adapt in their changing business, as well as show them how to take advantage of some of the never before possible opportunities.

The Australian Booksellers Association CEO Malcolm Neil sees the current quality and quantity of Digital Books and fears that if Australia goes with

this fractured approach … with just individual large retailers or individual websites having access to content rather than it being a more open approach, we won’t adequately develop and exploit an Australian market, and we’ll just end up with someone coming in from overseas with something that is more customer friendly.

The view seems to be – if you can’t beat em join em – and make sure you are in control of your own market and know how to play the game as well as if not better than the creators.

It does look like the e-book is already very popular, with such software programs as Stanza on the iPhone [which is still watching you by the way].

In the 12 months from its launch in July 2008, over two million people have downloaded Stanza, downloading 12 million e-books in 20 different languages.

In spite of all this however, Kate Eltham very confidently doubts the end of the print and publishing industry, suggesting that over time we have seen that while new technologies certainly do disrupt old media, they don’t usually replace them altogether.

In other words,

video didn’t really kill the radio star.

Hey Picasso, say cheeeese!

September 8, 2009


It is somewhat a cliché to announce that technology is taking over the world. The fact is that technology already HAS taken over the world, in that it permeates almost every moment from the minute we rise









to the second we hit the pillow

mansleeping in computer













and for some even in our sleep.










Many people and most industries have taken this on and accept our modern world, except perhaps the art world.

In an ArtsHub article,  Tamara Winikoff, Executive Director of NAVA, Australia’s National Association for the Visual Arts, was quite bemused by a visit to the gallery circuit in London with her young adult son, who seemed genuinely engaged with the art, but could not pass a painting without capturing it first on his Blackberry. She wondered whether this was so he could relive the images at a later date, or wanted to share it with his friends on Facebook, or perhaps it is that in today’s world technology is an extension of ourselves, capturing our day to day for no other reason than just because.

The art world can see there is a big change going on, occurring at a very different pace from previous generations. Today art can happen very fast. It can be produced fast. Displayed fast. Enjoyed fast. And even perhaps disposed of fast. The fact that cameras are ever present also burrs the lines of what art even is, especially considering the numerous camera phone photo blogs and artists embracing this technology to produce their art, with some lucky enough to have transcend the digital line and to have exhibited these works in a physical gallery space.

NAVA does recognize this change however, and has adapted its organisation model to utilise online means of communication and display for their artists and art projects.

At NAVA we have been working hard to maintain the currency of our on-line presence. Now with two websites to sustain and an extensive on-line database, we are completely dependant on electronics for the management of our business.

While NAVA still does encourage the ‘real life gallery experience’ for their upcoming exhibition of next generation Australian visual artists, they also post a link to their, dare we say it, Facebook Page, to view the latest pics.