Radio’s New Wave: Reflecting on PB2

The last few weeks of discussion have been drawing from a common focus, that is, “the radio voice”. We have been exploring different voices (producer, narrator, participant), different styles of voice (improvised, scripted, interview) and different scenes of voice (studio, on location). This project has given us the perfect opportunity to explore the audio element of (you guessed it) “Voice”. I sought out to gain a deeper insight by questioning not only “who is speaking?” but “whose voices are these?” as we find that what some-one says is not necessarily their own thought. This led me into further ideas about the active or passive voice of the producer, i.e. me. We understand that “the producer has the ultimate control in this relationship” (Brettle, 2015) so the variant must be “How far are they willing to manipulate the raw truth as sacrifice for entertainment, tension, conflict and audience?”

My first piece revolves around a concept of recreation. It attempts to explore the varying expressions found in voice by breaking down boundaries between scripted/improv and location/studio. To do this I recorded an improvised monologue on location and took it home to recreate. I listened to the recording and loosely drafted a script based on my words and actions. Then recorded the script in order to compare the differences and similarities in tone, rhythm and overall texture between the two voices.

I tried to express this through the piece by narrating a description of the scene compiled from recordings of on location observation, soundscaping and added Foley I had taken in the Brunswick Hotel, my inspirational ‘location’. The “Brunny” is a place of rich history, character and narrative and is the centre of my 2nd Project Brief. The first recording focuses on the Hotel’s features of crowd, scene and space. I combined recordings of far and close distance (for voice), location and studio (for music) with observation and Foley (for setting).

The second piece is the story of the individual, the participant manipulated by the interjections of the producer to inject conflict. It was interesting that my participant Will, had come to me with his own interview questions, from this gesture I decided to base the piece around an inner voice, not the one who says but the one who questions. I feel I could expand more on the notion that what he said contrasted what I wanted him to say.

The piece was created without interacting dialogue to portray this sense of “inner voice” as it moved from thought to though and voice to voice. Therefore it heavily relied on music for dynamic, transition and tension, which was brought through fades, silences, cuts and layers. Music here is a central correlation between the concept and location and the songs featured are live acts at the Brunny.
This project, along with the course content and readings that influenced it, has helped me explore the element of voice, while developing a larger sense of “Radio’s New Wave”. I now find myself questioning the essence of voice in radio features, particularly in regards to truthfulness and ethical production. It has also taught me the procedural side of production, developing my knowledge of release forms with contact, organisation and time-framing processes. My perception of Radio’s New Wave has been blown out of proportion as I realise the possibilities of creative and technological audio.

References: or those who influenced my voice

Brettle, K. (2015) Tutorial and Lecture Materials wks.1-4. Melbourne : RMIT University

ABC, (2014). Radio Ballads. [podcast] Scene To Song. Available at: [Accessed Jul. 2015].

Brookes, C. (2001). The Letter S (Whispers in the Air). [podcast] Available at: [Accessed Jul. 2015].

McHugh, Siobhán. (2012) The Affective Power of Sound: Oral History on Radio,
The Oral History Review Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 187–206

Biewan, J. (2010). Reality Radio. 1st ed. [ebook] North Carolina: University Of North Carolina Press, pp.1-14. Available at: [Accessed Aug. 2015].

Humanity Is In Charge Of It’s Own Future – Lectorial 12

From a list of prompts in our class we were asked to choose one that we could engage with and discuss for our blog.

The idea that humanity is in charge of it’s own future is comforting and reassuring. Furthermore, I believe it to be true. There have been fears and theories that the control of the world and humanity is increasingly being given to machines. Also true. The machination of various industries and processes is central to the way that the world as we know it operates. Films such as “Blade Runner” and “Frankenstein”  depict dystopic scenarios where the things we have created become conscience enough to alter the way humanity works. (I acknowledge they were both based on books, from very different contexts but their recreation as films specifically portrays the timelessness of this argument. Hence I have referred to them both as “films”.) I do feel that this argument is centred around power and authority within society, and does so on a level that is intrinsically human – it is not natural, it has been fabricated, BY HUMANS.

Therefore, I believe that as we do become increasingly reliant on technology and conscious, intuitive devices we do so in an environment that is essentially human. Our ability to time-line events, arguments and ideas is what will keep us in charge of our past, our present, and our future. In relative discussion of the theories behind Blade Runner, Frankenstein and other narratives of the creationist control, their repetition and revisiting in society demonstrates that they too, operate on a timeline of humanity. We as individuals and a collective are responsible for the creation and transmission of ideas, technologies and culture, which when seen to exist with perpetuity in quintessentially human contexts means we remain in charge of our future.

Reflecting on our First Semester – Practical 12

Over the course of this semester there have been many new thoughts, perspectives and ideas introduced to me as a media practitioner. Below is a small list of the things we’ve done this semester starting with the one you’re most familiar with:

  • The Blog: A new practice for the majority of the class, having us operate on a public platform and conform to copyright. The blogged has been aimed at developing our understanding of course material and making connections with our own experiences. It has involved evaluations, analyses, reflection and critical thinking – it has taught us to draft and edit material to be published to an audience.
  • Workshops: In our practical lessons this semester we were introduced to processes of research, creation and reflection. The most important aspect has been learning ways to think critically of presentations.
  • Production: There was talk of the technical skills in software and hardware that would be required for the course. However, there was limited involvement in actually developing our proficiency. Areas of text, image, sound, video and editing were discussed with a lack of emphasis on specifically how to translate ideas into media artefacts. We have not touched on the techniques or of filming, sound recording, editing or photography and this has greatly impeded my progress in the course.
  • Readings: Our weekly readings from scholarly articles have given us a theoretical base of knowledge on which to build. They have been specific to certain events or media areas, which is not in line with the idea of an “introduction” to media. I still feel as useless with the basics elements as before I started.
  • Lectorials: We have been walked through the central concepts and ideas in the creation and communication of media. The content has developed our understanding of the media industry, the roles of agents, institutions and audiences.

This is a brief infographic I made in class that expresses how I have progressed in certain aspects of this course:



The writing up the top is illegible to most, they are questions about how we’ve developed. Basically:

Black = thinking critically and creatively.

Blue = the role and value of the blog.

Red = working independently with new systems and tools.

Green = making media objects/stories.

The Remix & The Glitch – Lectorial 11

Our lectorial today taught me that it is okay to play Jay-z over K-pop beats and Lennon-esque piano – if done so in the name of art.

The conclusion we reached before we began was that “there is no such thing as an original idea.” Beyond this sad truth, however, it is through the recreation, the deconstruction and breaking of old ideas that we are able to make original content with influenced yet personal meaning.

The capacity of sound in 1930’s cinema took on board this idea of remaking old ideas with new perspectives. Silent classics were remade with modern technologies. Critics such as Benjamin began to question how the reproduction of materials presented ideas based on the context of the source. Benjamin notes “the work of art reproduced becomes the work of art designed for reproducibility”, where previously art culture was based on ritual new methods were introduced to mass produce and reproduce art media – the negative that can be developed repeatedly and the printing press that can communicate identical information simultaneously to an area as wide as it’s audience.

Remix theory: The beginnings of the modern day dj, when radio presenters moonlighted at the popular clubs in town. They were hired by club owners, event planners, and everyday party-throwers alike to organise music to be played back to back. The more innovative of them would seamlessly transition between tracks of similar tempos and rhythm sections. Technology developed to allow people to clip, paste, speed and slow audio clips and disc jockey’s started creating tracks in advance to play back to back at events. DJ’s began to mix the tracks of separate pieces into one sound, not a sequential mash-up, but a simultaneous remix. Questions arose about the morality of re-using content to be passed off as something new that you have “created.”

I think that there are certainly times when re-worked or remixed media cannot be classified as original content. However, it is the blurred nature of the line between what is a creatively unique approach, and those that are simply the relaying of source material that makes it hard to define “original material” of this nature. We listened to an extract from Girl Talk’s “This is the Remix” and some material from there was certainly extorted and re-designed to a point where I would define it as original content. Some tracks are completely unrecognisable, while others that are similar to their source material are rather re-situated, falling on the side of reproduced content. Having a listen on this link and try and write down all the songs you recognise. You’d be surprised how many tracks have been altered beyond recognition to use as background material.

Things strayed from the path of remix for a while and crossed into an existential question of our interactions with recreations. Is it a more pure engagement with some-one to interact with what they want you to see, rather than what they naturally give? There is certainly a ‘wholeness’ to the feeling of the exact moment. Benjamin questioned whether or not you can and to what extent media captures that feeling, what disparity is there in authenticity between the aura of the source and the reproduction? How much of this aura is incorporated in the artefact itself and how much is drawn from our memory, or our fabricated understanding from wider social and cultural codes?

Presenting the Roots – Practical 11

Our project brief 4 is starting to transition from the research to the creation phase and we are trying to organise our omniscient thesis or main question that we are hoping to answer. Extensive readings have provided us with a lot of information over a variety of topics and we are working on narrowing it down into two main areas each (six in total). Still subject to change, we are starting with:

  1. Music
  2. Language
  3. Violence
  4. Gender
  5. Health and
  6. Environment

Our aim is to unpack each of these topics and their history in mainstream and alternative media. Through this we will discuss the interaction with audience and the influence on society. Ultimately, we will conclude that in combination media has provided us with the idea of not only what is social norm, but promotes an idea of “the perfect human”. Drawing from this I feel that the thesis will involved some or all of these questions. “Through analysing content what values and ideas do we find portrayed in media? What changes happen to society as a result of the interaction between audiences and producers? From a comparison and study of media content and social action can we deduce the effects media interaction has with personal values.

Alexander Rodchenko – Link 11

During the early 20th century the avante-guarde artwork of Alexander Rodchenko influenced a new movement of Constructivism within Russia. His interactions with Russian Futurists inspired an individual style to create propaganda and artwork varying from sculpture to photography his conventions for graphic design are recognised and recreated worldwide. Rodchenko was introduced to me this week by my Media 1 classmate Daniel, and has caught my interest for two major reasons:

  • Rodchenko’s clear conventions of design, including colour, shape, vector lines, framing and salience are all easy to recreate for the prupose of our final course project.


  • The context of revolutionised Russia and Rodchenko’s influence on audience is a great example when studying the relationships between creators and consumers of media, a central idea of Media 1.


While this work originated with a specific purpose in a certain environment other graphic designers have carried Rodchenko’s work into larger spotlight, being replicated for various audiences and motivations worldwide. This adaptability has shown that some conventions can transcend cultural codes as certain colour combinations, sharp edges and objective images have a meaning inherent to all humanity.

Uncle Sam

For purposes of our presentation I think the narrator we have created will use similar techniques to draw a response from the audience. This has furthered my understanding of angles, cropping and contrasts to spur a reaction from audience.

Internet Time Zones – Link 10

There was a joke that went around my home town that when you arrived at the airport (that was really just a long flat paddock used by Emergency and rescue services) the pilot would say: “Welcome to Cootamundra, today is a mild 45 degrees in the shade, the local time is 3:15 and travellers are reminded to turn their watches back 50 years.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the effects that communication technology has on “community”. That we are supposedly globally connected, yet significant populations within the developed world are being caught or left behind. Modern communication has the ability to merge place, link cultures and even transcend language while creating massive communication cleavages between urban and rural, wealthy and poor. I didn’t have the internet in any household during my high-school years. Few in my year had dial-up, even less had wifi, and those who did had a parent who travelled to the city for work.

That’s not to say that we had no use for it – it would have helped my studies and could make great improvements to the community, particularly through the primary industries. The main reasons were: the price, the subpar speed, the availability and the marketing. The internet was not sold as a necessity as it is here in Melbourne, it was seen as a bonus, a gift, an optional extra for a successful family. Everybody truly believed that life would be no different.  The power of information sharing is in numbers, which we did not have. If we were to upload information of our livestock sales, our harvest yields, the successes and failures of processes who would this information be useful to? Where could we find useful information for us? We could communicate with other dairy farmers, other wheat growers, in the Gippsland for example, but their situation and their environment is too different to ours for methods to be translated.

Looking there now, there has been a modernisation of communications, more households using the internet. And the reason is business. First people started to realise that they could order gifts and products online – from anywhere. People would do their weekly grocery shopping by correspondence to save the 2 hour round trip to the nearest Coles. Gradually small local businesses and franchises modernised their techniques of marketing and selling. Children of families began to research their assignments online, became involved with social media and introduced the rest of the world to our town. Last year when I was share-housing with friends the first question they would ask was always, “how fast is the internet?”


Communicating Institutions through Social Media – Lectorial 10

When discussing the role of institutions in media production and distribution – as we currently are in our Media 1 course – it is important to note the impact of social media on their operation. As Thomas Poell et al have said the rise of social media has greatly changed the way we interact “from making friends to debating politics.” This has encouraged an integration of social aspects and processes with conventional television broadcast. The inclusion of interactive hashtags for twitter and facebook and their place within news, current affair and entertainment broadcasts introduces a new level of audience participation – a new way for them to become involved with these institutions.

The main limitation with Poell and van Dijck’s research is that its focus on British and Dutch programming neglects the increasingly global scale with which these institutions – particularly social media – operate. The international simultaneity brought through twitter and other social networking systems is a major influence in the transformation of journalism reporting, public interest broadcasting and interactive media. Further research into global effects would find transnational institution’s adaptation of content  to communicate local and global information. Public and private institutions are relying evermore on social formats to advertise their products but also communicate their content, their codes and their values to international communities, populations and audiences.

For example the ABC’s extension from radio and television broadcasting to online forms such as blogs, podcasts, newsletters, it is common for such institutions to have twitter, facebook and instagram accounts. This is the true impact of the activity of media institutions: the use of social media as a credible means of communication from large corporations and organisations to the hands and desks of every potential consumer.

User Friendly – Practical 10

Previously for software, programs and applications to be considered user friendly all they needed was to have a professional presentation, a simple – but not simplistic – interface and easy navigation tools. However, a rise in the importance of the individual and an understanding of a diverse audience has brought demand for ever more personalised settings. No longer are products specialised for a specific audience, they are created diverse and adaptable. This trend (along with other social and technological advancements) has effected the way that media companies and practitioners work. This is the age of multi-platform, multi-format and multi-media producers.


We have seen industries develop and incorporate mediums to communicate to the largest possible population. Radio news bulletins are expanded to tv news stories and morning tv interest segments, which are all uploaded online – as podcasts, blogs, twitter announcements and facebook statuses. The core content remains the same, aspects altered to suit the forms and conventions because by encompassing all devices and mediums the producer is able to reach what is labelled the “tv audience” and “online audience” etcetera. It is also important to provide diverse means for audience interaction, being the time, place, they view it from and the structure, order with which they view it.

Feedback on the first draft of our fourth project brief has stressed the necessity for this diversity. Our project is an advocacy, propaganda type powerpoint presentation that we must submit as a complete, artefact – so their is no “presentation” as such. To produce it as a presentation, however, I have been timing audio files, video clips, images and text to transition and play automatically. Feedback has said that this inhibits the consumers involvement and interaction with the piece. I completely agree, and will begin incorporating ways which the audience can interact with different stimulus and proceed/return of their own accord.

This makes me wonder though, does removing the control you have over how the project is received limit the power of its purpose and meaning?

Alternative Perspective – Link 9

In light of our discussion this week of audiences and the importance of dominant perspectives I have been thinking about the ways in which producers create alternate meanings within popular media. Two recent tv shows “Black Comedy” and “Legally Brown” air on ABC and SBS respectively are observational comedy shows with a difference. This time it is a perspective coming from within the comedic prism of minority subjects. They play on the relationship between minority cultures and their dominant context, how the greater Australian narrative has influenced the intro, extro, and retrospective views of indigenous and muslim Australians.

This is what I believe class teacher Rachel meant by “subverting the codes to create an alternate meaning.” – introducing the traditional practices and processes of media practice into a world where other social and cultural codes dominate. Black Comedy actor Bjorn Stewart said that his natural, personal approach to sketch-writing was enhanced by “understanding classic tropes and working out the artifice”. These interesting examples are important to the modern transformation in conventions of culturally and politically fused satire. An approach of anti or reverse interpellation completely changes the audience’s perspective of the texts and their characters within.

Here is a scene from black comedy that shows a greatly exaggerated approach to ironic and sarcastic characters to remove any interpellation: (breif language warning at 2:50)