RWAV Blog: Week 5 – The Individual Interview

For our Week 6 show on 3RRR, I thought it would a nice idea to include a pre-recorded interview into our RWAV show so that we ended up with enough material to fill the 1 hour time slot. This interview would also be used towards my individual interview after being accepted by the Talks Manager at Triple R and Bruce/Sam.

So, I went off and contacted a man named Simon Starr, my best friend’s dad who owns his own bird company named Birding Victoria, which provides resources on different birds and where to find them as well as his own tour company called Firetail Birdwatching Tours. I pitched him an idea to discuss not only his love for birdwatching, but also a discussion of the duck shooting problem, something that I was only slightly aware of. Before the interview took place, I had a brief chat to him about the sorts of questions I would ask him without giving too much away, so that he could have a think about what he might like to say in the short time provided.

It’s usually recommended that you chat with your interviewee before the interview in order to make them feel more relaxed and comfortable both when recording and directly with the interviewer. However, this wasn’t as important for Simon and I because we already knew each other and we both felt pretty comfortable talking to one another. Once he arrived at the studio, it was a matter of testing microphone levels and ensuring that audacity was recording and we were away!

Overall, I think the interview went quite well. Below is a list of dot points and more of a breakdown as to things that went well and not so well.

  • Timing: When recording, I noticed that it was getting closer to the 10-11 minute mark. Without thinking about the time after the editing would be complete, I cut it off at this point. However, after doing some thorough editing of the ‘um’s or any pauses’ it was cut down to 7 minutes and 22 seconds, only just scraping the length of the Individual Interview assignment. I think in future, I need to remember that less is more and having had Simon answer more questions would have meant more content and time to play with!
  • Leading questions from previous answers: Something I’ve always said to myself that I want to get better at is commenting beyond an answer without it seems jarring or out of place and awkward. For an interview of this kind, I didn’t want to say too much considering it was mainly focussed on Simon’s work as well as his views on the duck-shooting. During the interview, Simon told me of a story that was recently aired on the 7:30 Report on ABC which I then questioned him about. I think this worked well and actually seemed quite natural as it appeared as though I was interested and had done research and allowed Simon to talk beyond what I already ‘knew’.
  • Amount of questions: I think again relating back to the timing of the piece, I could have asked a few more questions. However I was pretty happy with the amount of research I had done and the fact that I tried to make it seem quite natural, especially at the beginning when we were laughing about his comments regarding birdwatching and that it isn’t just about watching birds.
  • Editing Phase: Regarding the post-production and editing of the interview, I think it was a nice addition to add the bird chirps at the beginning and the end, to give the piece a bit of ambience which may otherwise not exist. It would have been fantastic to record this interview on location but this is something that may be considered for my feature interview later on in the semester. I think overall I did a pretty good job with the tone and the way I spoke, varying levels depending on the types of questions I was asking and I was really happy with the fact that the interview was done in ONE take with barely any pauses. This made it relatively easy to edit and it probably saved me from still keeping within the required time frame of the assignment. At the end of the take, all I had to edit were a few um’s from Simon which made the audio seem a little too jarring at times. Again, this is something super minor and Simon did a fantastic job at speaking with me, especially for someone who hasn’t had a lot of media training. He was succinct with his answers and knew what he wanted to say which was fantastic.

Below is an embed link to the interview that you can listen to. The file also contains some more annotations regarding certain parts of the interview!


These are

/ 800 Word Reflection – Brief 4 Group Project /

For Project Brief 4, I was teamed with Annie Goldring and Jenny Pham Vo to undergo an analysis on media ‘texts’. At first we found the project brief a little difficult to tackle as the area of media texts is one that is quite large. We had to narrow it down and look at a particular area (and one that intrigued us all). From this, we chose that looking at advertisements was the best choice as we are bombarded with these texts every single day whether it be on social media or whilst waiting for a tram at the tram stop. We originally set out to create a bombardment video along with a short mock youtube clip at the beginning and pop up ads, however as a group, decided that our assignment needed to be more analytical to fit in with the task description. From this we decided to create an eBook where we could explore the three different media advertising platforms in which we were most interested in (print publication, radio and video/television). However the idea that “media is everywhere” remained a key point when creating our own case studies and at this point, this is when we decided to look deeper into the formulas of these advertisements.


Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the group work as it enabled me to gather a deeper understanding of media texts, with the use of three minds. Our annotated bibliographies were incredibly vital to the project as we all went away and did research that gathered theories and case studies from past researchers who were interested in the study of media texts. Moreover, the case studies often mentioned audiences and the ways in which advertisers attempt to persuade an audience. From this, we decided to consider the formulas in which are used to advertise a particular product. These annotated bibliographies created a basis for the idea of the eBook, in which we have included many case studies looking at a handful of advertisements that we are bombarded with in our everyday lives. The idea of the eBook enabled our group to show in depth, each of our case studies as well as inform readers with a general overview of what we believed media ‘texts’ were.


Unfortunately at times I found the idea of group work difficult. Whilst also having other assignments, we all have busy lives and it is very hard to come together outside of class time (however we did manage to catch up at least 4 times outside of class which resulted in quite productive work where we were sharing ideas and helping each other out with our own case studies). This project has definitely taught me to in future create some sort of schedule that enables the group to come together at the beginning to decide when we were all free and to save dates. Another problem we faced was the numerous last minute meetings that often had to be cut short because of other distractions.


In terms of being a media practitioner, this project has taught me that it is important to stay on top of the work and to communicate with your group members as often as possible. Communication within the group is something I would like to work on in the next media group project as without it, it is impossible to understand where your team members are at and what work they are doing. I would also like to stick to the group rules set out at the beginning (do work when required etc.) as within the group, we had lost track of each other’s work and I became concerned that perhaps we were all at different stages within the project. Although, I am incredibly happy with the work we are submitting as I believe it provides a deep insight and shows the depth we went into, to fully understand media texts.


After completing the work, I feel I have gathered a sound understanding of media texts. It was interesting to note the similarities between many of the advertisements we compared within our case studies. The use of formulas like slogans, colours and even monotone voices in advertisements, enables each advertisement to target a specific audience (sometimes even a wide demographic), to ‘sell’ an idea or product. The process of research and analysing specific advertisements allowed me to form a deeper understanding of the way in which the media attempts to bombard us with messages. Overall, the project has made me more aware of the bombardment of texts within our everyday lives which almost makes me feel as if I am not just another ‘audience member’ to these advertisers as I now understand the ways in which advertisers try and sell me a product or idea.

/ Feedback (in class) – Group Work Project Brief 4 /

This week our group presented the layout of our eBook to the class. We were pleasantly surprised when the whole class seemed satisfied with the work we had done at this point. People enjoyed the look of it, stating that it was “unique” and “colourful” which enables readers to keep attracted to it. This is important as we wanted to give off the effect that media advertisements do.

Annie chose and I have been very satisfied with her choice. It allows us to show a deep analysis with the options to include images as well as text to show the reader what research we have done.

My case studies are coming along nicely. I will be submitting them to Annie by Friday in order for us to begin the introduction and conclusion and complete any last minute work before submission on Thursday June 4. Something that came up in my research was that of the common formulas used between the two breakfast ads that I am comparing. It is interesting to note the use of families in both as well as children perhaps showing that there is a particular audience target. I will be looking deeper into this within the eBook.

I have loved researching deeper into the bombardment of media texts (and more specifically advertisements).

Our group seems to be on top of the work!

/ Week 12 – Lectorial Reflection /

Wow… well it’s the last lecture for Semester one. Crazy to think how quickly this semester has come and gone.

Today in the last lecture we discussed Media Materialism.

Some notes I took:


  1. identifying subgroups within population – youth group etc.
  2. the world as culture, humankind – think about humanity as a whole/we are a human culture
  3. art, theatre, cinema: creative expression – what you would find in the newspaper under culture.
  • Culture is multiple – different classes/races/ages
  • Messy, unpredictable, confused.
  • Brian Eno – “culture is everything we do not have to do” – we don’t need to have certain cuisines or clothing but we need to be clothed and need to eat. (we could survive without them)
  • Culture is something that we do, but also something that we are.

Technological Determinism: Technology determines its own path – each development has a preconceived course

  • – Invention of the Walkman – shut out oral cues of the world, we could shape our own music.

Social Constructivism: we control it

  • No matter how radical the innovation is, we ultimately have control.
  • Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
  • It is not a straight line, it is unpredictable.


It is interesting to consider the idea of culture and the way in which it is alive within the media. This lecture confused me a little as I am quite exhausted from a long semester. However it was interesting to hear of the different ideas in culture focused on the theory that technology is pre-determined and has a direct path compared with the theory that we control everything and technology is unpredictable (social constructivism).

/ Week 7 – Lectorial Reflection /

part two
lights out for the territory – a disciplinary road map

wk7    Texts

In the first half of the lecture we discussed ‘texts’.

Where does the ‘textual analyis’ tradition come from?

‘effects’ tradition in communication studies: post WW2/mid 20th century turn against a particular idea of culture

Texts are:

  • vehicles for the production of cultural meaning (sign systems)
  • ‘texts’ in media, communications and cultural studies include cultural products, images, policy documents, social practices, institutions….
  • ‘sites were we can see the social production of ideas and values happening before our eyes’

I learnt that there is not one true accurate meaning of ‘texts’. We must also consider semiotics: A ‘sign’ can be a visual, linguistic, aural, combination etc.

Signs have two parts:

: The signifier and the signifies

– Signifier/signified – dog/(picture of dog)

– Red = signifier

(colour of red) = signified/mental concept

We then had a look at an image:

and discussed…

Denotation = literal of first order meaning and Connotation = cultural or 2nd order meaning

Denotated – man is throwing child into swimming pool

Connotated – a father throwing his child into the swimming pool

The second half of the lecture was dedicated to sound (one of my favourite elements).

Sound is defined as noise or music and is multi-directional: 360 degree angle. It is pervasive: can’t turn it off, it is everywhere and complexly layered: hear lots of sounds at any given time/can be experienced all at once.

Sounds can be prioritized by the ear: we can do this.

  • We are continually absorbing and therefore we must constantly filter out sounds.
  • Sound is intimate (e.g. radio dj talking to listeners)
  • It is also subjective – methods of representations/aural semiotics (semiotic codes of sound place the listener in a mediated/imagined relationship with the subject of representation + two crucial codes – perspective and social distance)

Theo Van Leeuwen, ‘Perspective’ – “hierarchizes elements of what is represented”.

Sound Perspective (simultaneous sounds)

  • figure: the focus of interest
  • ground: the setting or context
  • field: the background/ambient space

Social distance: consider the kinds of speech in terms of volume, pitch, relaxed, softness hardness (single sounds)

  • intimate
  • personal
  • informal
  • formal
  • public

Technology of amplification and recording has uncoupled the two and allowed them to become independent semiotic vehicles – a whisper can be projected with the use of a microphone.

Soundscape: it is a representation of a place or an environment that can be heard rather than what can be seen.

Technical elements – pitch/volume

Temporal aspects – attack/sustain/delay

Interaction of sounds

Emotional/associative aspects of sound

Where the sounds originate from

How might we be able to create/obtain/treat them? – what could be the figure, ground & field sounds?

Figure – children’s voices/screams

Ground – feet touching the floor as they run

Field – wind

Above are a whole bunch of notes taken in this lecture. This has been my favourite lecture so far as I was able to look deeper into ‘sound’. I hope to someday be able to explore even further into this area as I believe it is incredibly underrated and very often overlooked (especially in cinema).

/ Week 4 – Lectorial Reflection /

wk4  Media integrates theory and practice  [theory + creative practice + disciplinary knowledge]

Both Adrian Miles and Liam Ward came and spoke to us today.

Adrian Miles discussed the idea that media is the integration of theory and practice. He said that stories aren’t everything and that we must act on our thoughts in order to make it something as thinking means nothing in terms of the final product, in the media world. It made me realise that it is important to get off my backside and start making a name for myself in the world in order to provide myself with the best possible future opportunities within broadcasting.

Liam Ward discussed editing: it is not about “fixing problems”. It is about deliberately breaking things (putting gaps in there) – encouraging viewers to have fun with the ideas. If you break it – it creates meaning – Why those parts? What does it mean? Why those edits?

We considered, 2001 Space Odyssey – primates fighting over water (using tools to fight) : cut: history of human species – from using bones to break things, to orbiting the earth with a spaceship.

And the 1920s – the chair is more than just a picture – it has colours/meanings – what the images can mean rather than just what they are.

We must consider the spatial/temporal relations of media.

/ Week 3 – Lectorial Reflection /

wk3  Media is a public practice [that is, an engagement with the world and others requiring a philosophical and practical ‘ethics’]

Media is a public practice [that is, an engagement with the world and others requiring a philosophical and practical ‘ethics’]  (taken from Media One blog lecture notes).

In this lecture, Annie Lennox (not the singer, however I do wish it was) discussed the ethics surrounding copyright and the restrictions.

We discussed rights of ownership – the rules of ownership – creator/author first owner and the exceptions i.e. employer ownership/contract assignment/licence.

Duration of copyright is for 70 years however this can differ throughout the world.

In this lecture I learnt that it is incredibly important to create your own work but if you are wanting to copy/reproduce/publish/adapt something you must respect the rights of the original works and gather licenses where necessary.