Internship (3/3)

And though I finished the two-week internship last week,  articles I wrote appeared in this week’s edition, Wednesday 9 September:

I even featured in the Pakenham Gazette’s top 10 section this week:

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Take 10

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Take 10

I looked through the archives and brought back articles from 30, 20 and 10 years ago.

I looked through the archives and brought back articles from 30, 20 and 10 years ago.

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Building their life skills

Internship (2/3)

More articles published as part of the two-week internship in 2 September edition.

Also researched the Looking Back section:

Looking back

Looking back

As well as some photography:

Internship (1/3)

This week I’m interning at my local newspaper the Pakenham Gazette. Here are a few of the articles I wrote for the paper on 26 August.

All ball games back in action

All ball games back in action

And this one appeared in the Pakenham Officer news:

Warragul sexual assault

Detectives are appealing for witnesses for a sexual assault in Warragul on Friday.

Central Gippsland Sexual Offences and Child Investigation Team detectives are appealing for witnesses for a sexual assault in a public toilet in Warragul on Friday August 7, around 6pm.

Investigators have been told a 16-year-old girl was approached by a man while she was sitting on a park bench.

The girl was then taken into the public toilets on Queens Street Park, Warragul and sexually assaulted.

Detective Senior Constable Ben Hodson said police are keen for anyone who may have seen the incident to contact them.

“We believe there may have been people in a nearby restaurant when the incident occurred and we are appealing to them to come forward,” he said.

The man is perceived to be of Caucasian in appearance, 170cm tall, about 20-years-old with short brown hair and a medium build.  He was wearing dark coloured pants and a dark coloured hooded jumper.

Police are urging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report online. 

Create a fake Twitter account and get charged

This week a story emerged from the US of two teenagers being charged by police after creating a fake Twitter profile of a teacher at their former school.

They created the account whilst they were seniors at Danbury High School. The profile included the teachers name and a photo of her. It was claimed that the account was “defamatory in nature”.

This comes as Joe Hockey won a defamatory case against Fairfax over two tweets and a newspaper poster in Sydney. The case in the US brings us back to the point of how protected (or, in these cases, how not protected we are) on social media for free speech.

While I contemplate what I write on social media, incase it damages future career prospects, I do not believe it means everyone should feel similar about being sued.

In the US, the First Ammendment protects free speech and in Australia, we have no such right.

So when a party believes someone is being defamatory over Twitter, and they are then liable to be sued, surely that in it self is a breech of free speech. However, in the case in the US, they’re not being sued. A profile was created to mimick someone else, and that party responsible is now facing charges of :

-conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation

-conspiracy to commit harassment in the second degree

-making a false statement.

This is not a law suit. In the US “Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech.” However, there are criminal laws that you can break whilst maintaining your freedom of speech, such as harassment, making a false statement and impersonating someone else. Do we, Australia and the United States, who have freedom and a democracy,  have free speech? Most certainly not.

Acknowledging a source

Last Saturday, Zena and I reported on a protest that took place at Parliament station, Melbourne. Reclaim Australia were protesting and there was a counter protest by No Room For Racism.

It was an interesting experience and we managed to stay away from most of the violence. As a result, we didn’t have any footage of the violence that occurred, nor the police using pepper spray on protestors.

However, we wanted to inform our audience of everything that happened, including the violence and pepper spray. So, Zena messaged a user on YouTube who had uploaded a video of some of the Reclaim Australia protest and asked if we could use their footage, and they said it was ok.

It is important to acknowledge the source of information, as it is a common journalism ethic, because it adds credibility to the piece and acknowledges that the journalist is not a walking encyclopaedia.

Live updates: Bomb squad on scene, Berwick

10:50am: A suspicious device was found during a warrant earlier at Cambridge Drive. Bomb squad, fire truck and police are at the T intersection of Bull Finch Way and Cambridge Drive.

T intersection of Bull Finch Way and Cambridge Drive

T intersection of Bull Finch Way and Cambridge Drive

Reports are the suspicious item was found during a drug raid. Two houses nearby have been evacuated as a precaution. A woman in her 40’s has been arrested.

2:40pm: The suspicious device has been successfully detonated. Reports are some heard a small explosion at 1:45pm.

Protest reporting: Identifying people

Zena and I reported on a protest that took place yesterday. We spoke to many people (from both sides, Reclaim Australia and No Room for Racism) and were able to record the interviews.

However, speaking to one person off camera from Reclaim Australia: he said if he were to go on camera, he didn’t want to be identified. He was already wearing a cap and a bandana covering his mouth and nose.

Guaranteeing this sort of anonymity would be difficult (in regards to voice and picture) and in this instance where some of the protests involved violence, Victoria Police may investigate and may wish to find out who the source was.

We didn’t end up conducting the interview and I’m thankful for that because it would be unethical for us to reveal our source but then we could face prosecution should we refuse to reveal our source if he said something that implies he broke the law or alike.

In addition to this, there was the issue of identifying people who were with Reclaim Australia and who were with No Room for Racism. When Zena is writing her script and mentioning one of the groups, we need to make sure when she says, for example: ‘Reclaim Australia did this…’, that we’re actually showing footage of Reclaim Australia. Therefore we took notes throughout the protest to assist us in the editing process. Otherwise, this could open up a case for defamation.