Australian anti-carbon tax protesters in Melbourne. Photo by mugfaker
Since the introduction of a carbon tax, Australians have been divided about whether the tax is good or bad for the economy.
Protesters in Melbourne recently called for the carbon tax to be lifted, while Australia’s Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he’ll “repeal it in blood“.
The Greens, who supported the tax, say it’s necessary for Australia to take action on the issue, because of the high rate of per capita emissions in the country.
You guys have had a couple of weeks in Australia now … and I wonder are Australians being nice to you?
Melbourne shopping. Picture by etcname
Maybe you could make my fellow Australians think more about how they welcome visitors. Australians like blogging so that’s the way to set them straight.
- Have you had good service in shops and cafes?
- Is Melbourne an easy place to get around on public transport?
- If you have asked for directions, have people helped you?
- Can you get the food you like?
Maybe you can let the people at the Melbourne Visitors Bureau know what you think (see the feedback button at the bottom of the page).
And tell me too ….
APJC fellows experiment with new information technologies
People working in the international aid area are coming under increasing pressure to justify what they do.
This scrutiny is particularly intense in the area of media development, where organisations delivering training and other programs are asked to show how the work they do actually improves the situation of people in the countries where they work.
The reality is that it is very difficult to show how professional development has an impact. Reasons are:
1. It is difficult to show how professional development programs lead to improved media performance.
2. It is difficult to show how improved media performance leads to improved functioning of society and, more specifically, improved livelihoods for people in the community.
Put simply, it is usually not possible to show how giving this particular journalist a better understanding of how to reporting economic affairs will improve the economic future of this particular young girl growing up in a rural community in East Timor.
Professionals working in this area should not despair. It should be possible to persuade donors of the general value of this work even if specific effects can not be demonstrated.
One important tool for doing this is the professional blog. Blogs provide a unique opportunity to explain the logic and theory of why this development work is almost cetainly going to have impacts even if they can not be measured easily.
The details of this is another topic. At this stage, it’s enough just to raise this idea for discussion.
Take a look at these journalism blogs. They are all quite different, but each shows how a blog can add to your current journalism.
Background, personal voice: New York Time Baghdad Bureau
Analysis: The Guardian Education blog
Breaking news/ specialisation: Mumbrella
Now let’s have a look at some examples that are more relevant to Asia and the Pacific
Audience development and behind the scenes
East Asia Forum
The best way to be a good blogger is to read good blogs. You can find some blogs here:
Journalists are increasingly finding that blogging is not only a unique storytelling tool, but also a way to directly engage with their audience. But despite the increase in the number of blogs used by individual news organisations, many still ask: Why blog? So here are just a few reasons:
- It gets you writing everyday, interacting with the online world and developing new skills. This could be particularly important if you are an established journalist trying to upskill for the challenges a rapidly changing media world.
- It is a great way to showcase your work. Rachel Hills does this particularly well.
- The ‘unfinished’ and conversational nature of blogs has opened opportunities for journalists to test their work in public, fine-tune it for errors, and invite additional information. Talking Points Memo, one of the most successful investigative journalism blogs, frequently draws on its readership to pursue big stories.
- It gets you a profile and the opportunity to network with other writers, editors and thinkers in your field.
With this in mind, this blog will be used by participants of the APJC Fellowship to begin embracing the blogosphere.