Emotional History Reflection

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My experience with this Emotional History assignment was more positive than negative. I really enjoyed diving into the audio interviewing world, and liked the emotional impact it gives you as it is vastly different from the impact you get when you read something, even if it has been wonderfully written. Even though I interviewed my brother Dioni, I found things out that I hadn’t previously known about him and his experience with coming out as a homosexual male. The emotion based work that we needed to create gave me a new outlook on journalism. I had used audio previously to record interviews I have done in order to make notes and a transcript for a written piece, but actually using the audio for my assignment was a different experience. I had to focus more on how it sounded, not only though how my interviewee gave me an emotional story, but also how I edited the audio in Hindenburg.

Audio levels were a big part of what I needed to focus on and I did have trouble with background noise as it took me a few tries to find somewhere quiet enough to get the audio I needed. This is something I would approach differently if I were to tackle this assignment again as I could have been more prepared with the space I interviewed in. But in saying that, I did find a space that was perfect for interviewing and in turn I had good audio levels with minimal background noise.

The editing process although I enjoyed it, was the most difficult part of this assignment as I am new to the editing world of audio interviews as well as Hindenburg. Finding some good royalty free music to go into the background of my audio piece took me a while as I wanted to find something that fit right. I also didn’t want to just find one piece of music I wanted to find two separate pieces; one that had an aura of sadness and one that was uplifting, as that is what my story does, it transcends from sadness to happiness and I wanted to showcase that through my music as well as my voice audio.

In terms of editing my actual interview, it was more difficult than I expected it to be. Trying to find the key points of the story and make it into a two minute piece took me some time to figure out. I noticed that even when I thought I was done and happy with what I had created, I found myself going back and swapping and changing things to fit better. Shortening down and fusing the audio snippets together was frustrating as I would frequently cut or shorten the wrong thing. After all the experiences and things I have learnt during the emotional history assignment I am proud of what I have created and produced and also look forward to creating more audio interview pieces in the future, either in journalism classes or in my free time.

Here is a link to my Audio Piece for the assignment.

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Make a change, anything is possible! (Reflection)

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“If homosexuality is a disease, let’s all call in queer to work:  ‘Hello. Can’t work today, still queer.”-Robin Tyler.
From the above quote, it dawned on me that people are taking a stance on homosexuality in a braver manner, and feel as if they have the right to be a part of the public sphere and create an opinion of their own free from prejudice of the media.

By looking and discussing same sex relationships and the different ways the media can present them, it made me more aware of the type of power the media truly has over the types of things we see and believe. They have power to distort the truth, opinions and beliefs while we sit here thinking it is okay. But I believe that their power is changing slowly day by day.

As I have been researching the subject of same sex relationships over the past couple of months, I have found that society is getting back some of the power by not only their opinions, but the people that voice them. Celebrities of both heterosexual and homosexual preference are rallying behind a more equal society and are more open in voicing what they think is right and what is wrong in terms of how we treat homosexual individuals.

The blog post that sticks out for me the most is my shortest but most eye opening post which would be my second post on my blog. In the post, I shared a shocking video I found on YouTube, on media representations of same sex relations and the moral panic the news reports, films, opinions etc. created in the video. I thought I’d share the video again for those who don’t like scrollin’.

The video showcased the moral panics that were created with the issue and really shown how closed minded people were and still relatively are. But the video also did show some evolution of homosexual rights in an amazing way. As I kept researching through different areas of the issue, I found more and more people were becoming okay with the idea of same sex relations. Heck, even the American president came out and publicly stated he was okay with the idea, and he was not the only one. People such as Ellen DeGeneres, Danni Minogue, Anne Hathaway, Kevin Bacon, Lady GaGa, even Hilary Clinton, just to name a few are supporters for equal rights and liberty. Celebrities are becoming another voice for the people who don’t have enough power alone to make a stance on how our society needs to become and I have confidence in society that media will become more and more open about the issue then how it once was, the change is already happening, and I think it’s great that the media is starting to listen.

Gay Bullying which lead to many tragic suicides of teenage boys in the past few years was bought to surface by DeGeneres, showcasing the power of voice celebrities have. She bought to surface more things the media would not, the harsh reality; that innocent boys were dying because of their sexual preference, something out of their control. The media can be a force that is sometimes too scared of changing their views because I believe they thrive off moral panic, and like creating something big out of something so little.

The ‘Noh8 Campaign’ had the rich and famous joining together to stop homophobic hate, and the celebrities doing the campaign had the free will to do something the media could not have control of, promoting a safe and equal society for all. As time changes, I noticed the public sphere getting broader in relation to this subject and I see the media shifting and changing to compromise with a society that wants change and acceptance, there is becoming no gatekeeper in our strive for change.

Through my blog I touched on areas of the issue that I believe the media is most prominent in showcasing its opinions. In no way am I saying that my vision on the topic of same sex relations is the only one, I do know there are audiences in which are against the whole idea and do not want change. But through this blog, I just wanted to show the evolution that is occurring right now in the world, an evolution that will benefit many people in the long run and hey if you by any chance have a homosexual son, that’s okay! In 20 years’ time he will hopefully be able to live a wonderful life away from criticisms. “Be on the right side of history.”-Hilary Clinton.

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Adopting a new beginning

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Adoption is a beautiful thing, and can give a couple joy if they can not have, or choose not the have children. But is it just as beautiful when a couple of the same sex decides to partake in adopting a child?

Gay celebrities such as Neil Patrick Harris and Sir Elton John are just two of the many celebrities who have decided to break the boundaries on same sex adoption and adopt children of their own.

Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish caused controversy in the Ukraine in 2009 after visiting an Orphanage as part of an Anti-AIDS charity project. He met a 14 month old boy name Lev and he and his partner automatically were fond of him. The homosexual couple wanted to adopt the boy, who was HIV positive, but the Ukrainian government shot them down as they thought not only was Sir Elton John too old, but the Ukrainian government only let adoption be done with a married couple, and as John and Furnish were in a same sex marriage, it was not accepted as a marriage in the Ukraine.

But the controversy didn’t stop there. Many people had an opinion on the couple trying to obtain adoption rights of Lev. A serviceman from the area around the orphanage had said “They are going to destroy this child’s life”. This is a horrendous thing to say, and why? Because they’re the same sex? Media needed to put more attention on these issues.


(Above) Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka with their twins.

But In 2010, the couple did adopt a child, and this time it was seen as legal, it was in the same year that Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka adopted a set of twins themselves. The power of these couples showcases how it is so easy that society forgets that same sex couples have the same capacity to long a child, make a family and be happy, in the same way a heterosexual couple does.

Not only do celebrities bring a powerful media voice on the subject of gay rights, but television shows also have this power.
In 2009 the popular show ‘Modern Family’ had stirred up controversy by having a gay couple with an adoptive baby. The show intended to tare down family stereotypes, and created new views on “modern families”. But the show wasn’t alone to highlight this idea. The hit show ‘Brothers and Sisters’ also had a gay couple trying for artificial insemination, after it failed, they adopted a healthy little girl, but evidently, the insemination was successful and not only did they have a girl, that also had a little boy. Both these shows not only break down the boundaries that were once so tight in terms of what is normal and what is not accepted, but also creates a brand new view that society can change and mould to not only one set of norms but many, because the world is full of diversities that we all need to acknowledge.

(Above) Modern Families homosexual couple.

Anti Bully

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Bullying is unacceptable in any circumstance. The reason why so many teens and children get bullied is because they are different, these ‘differences’ caused far too many suicide deaths in the last 3 years. One major difference why teens and children get bullied is because they are gay. The media have put out these problems and although is shocked many people, it wasn’t until celebrities started speaking out about it that these issues became very real to the public.

In 2012, a university student named Tyler Clementi (18), committed suicide by jumping to his death from the George Washington Bridge. What caused this was a video of him involved in sexual activities with another boy via a live stream on the internet that his roommate passed onto other students of Rutgers University in New Jersey not only once, but twice. The students then bullied him about the incident as they did not know he was homosexual. Tyler was angered about the incident, posting in a gay sex forum and then deciding to post on social networking site Facebook that he was “jumping of gw bridge sorry”.

Does this mean technology has gone too far? Invading someone’s privacy and causing them harm and evidently death? I think we all know that answer, and the answer is yes. In this case, technology was the tool in the boys death. With this type of technology causing people deaths we have to think, how do we know it won’t happen again? Would the students had bullied a straight male if he was seen kissing a girl? The answer is no. This is because straight males would be seen as ‘heroic’, but homophobic non sense caused this boys death.

Ellen Degenere’s support for the gay community came forward once more when she spoke out about the death of not only Tyler Clementi, but also the other teens that have committed suicide, and the ones we do not hear about. She used her power to speak out on the issue and made people face it. If something is put in front of your face, you can not run and hide from it, because it is real and it’s happening whether you like it or not.

When will this homophobic stance come to an end? Because these kids are learning it from somewhere and they need to be taught acceptance, love and unity. The media needs to act more like Degeneres and teach individuals to be nice to each other, and not hate one another for being different.

Get star struck

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Celebrities have a lot of power in what we believe and see. They are the people, in my opinion, who have majority of the voice socially in our everyday lives. Whether it be speaking out on a television show, or talking on a blog. Although this is through different media outlets, the celebrities themselves speak out on issues that affect certain social groups.

Gay rights are an issue that they speak out about a fair bit. It’s an issue that many celebrities feel they need to speak out on as they see the way the gay community is treated, and their lack of rights compared to straight individuals.

One of the celebrities that have spoken out about gay marriage is Miley Cyrus. She caused controversy after she had an equal sign tattooed on her ring finger and posted it on twitter with the phrase “All love is equal”. Many of her fans sent her hate mail saying she’s going against God and the bible. But she stood for what she believed in and fought back.

Ellen DeGeneres’s is a strong advocate for gay rights, and especially the acceptance of gay marriage. Being a married lesbian woman her self, she speaks out regularly about gay rights and all the ongoing issues that go along with it. She stands up for the gay community, and the people whom feel they can’t stand up for themselves, and the people whom don’t have the means in terms of media.

Many political parties are against gay marriage. We hear of politicians speaking out on the issue all the time. One politician that is anti gay marriage is American politician John McCain. He is known to be against the issue and isn’t afraid to speak out about he’s beliefs on how a marriage should be between a man and a woman only.

In 2008, on DeGeneres’s talk show, Mr. McCain agreed to be a guest. The conversation was immediately put onto the subject of gay marriage. DeGeneres voiced her opinion and told McCain on her plans on marrying her girlfriend of almost 4 years at the time.
In the interview you could see that the politician seemed quite annoyed at some of the things the talk show host was putting out in the open. This interview showcased two powerful voices in the media, talking with two different views on the same issue.

Celebrities have the power to voice opinions that normal individuals can’t. Not only can they use their power to bring up issues that are happening, and their opinion on them, they can also challenge the different media, and its personalities. It is through these people that influences on issues like gay rights are bought up and changed through voice alone.

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Power of the media

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Many things cause controversy in the media and entertainment industry. One of those “controversial” issues is gay and lesbian rights. Throughout the years there have been various amounts of different ideas, opinions and beliefs on this issue and it is with these different beliefs that confusion, acceptance, hate, support and disapproval are mixed in all together.

The media has the power to portray the issue however it likes. It’s safe to say that the Media, in the past, has had very negative and homophobic views on gay and lesbian rights.

As I was browsing YouTube, I found the channel of a group of gay, lesbian, bi and transgender individuals that voiced their opinion on the issue, and made a very powerful video of how the issue has been seen in the eyes of the media and how it is evolving. The video is shown below.


After watching this video I took some time to think about what is really occurring in the media, and how this affects not only the gay community but also how it affects the straight community. Do we really want these industries of media talking for the larger community? Do we want future generations to see these opinions and think it’s okay? Or do we want a world where we can all live together without bias hate? The choice is ours.

Open Space

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Hey! I’m Becka and this is my blog.
I study at the University Of Wollongong, attempting my luck in a double degree in Communication and Media Studies and Arts, majoring in both Journalism and Sociology.

At first I had no idea what to write about, I have a lot of interests, many of them are wacky and wouldn’t be very useful to read. So I was stuck.
As I got thinking, I thought about all the possible routes I could go. Then finally the idea came. Entertainment.

Entertainment, such as Celebrities, music, television and film, is just one of my many interests, more so how the entertainment industry effects/ has effected past generations, our generation, and also future generations. It is so fascinating to me how a group of people, a television set or even types of music, can make an individual change themselves, tell society what’s right and what’s wrong, buy useless things and second guess their actions.

I love the controversial things, the celebrity gossip, the things that make you want to know more, the things that drag you in, the technology, the things that make you want to change society or shout to the heavens about how perfect it is.

Everyone has a back story. I’m just a curious person by nature and with entertainment, you get a glimpse in the life of someone you admire, someone you loathe, or a band you cherish. You see why someone is how they are, how society has made them, and how the media has shaped them. Because there is no denying that the Media and how we communicate surely has had it’s effect on the person we all are today.

I won’t ramble on for too long, seeing as this is just my very first post. So I’ll just end it by saying that I’m looking forward to adding more to my blog and hopefully you enjoy what I have to say 🙂

~Becka