Media Analysis 4 – Proposal on the debate over Caster Semenya in reference to the Rio Olympics

Drawing upon two comparative online articles, I intend on making the conclusion that although there are many sides to the debate over Caster Semenya (as a hyperandrogenic athlete), the authority has not yet made a decision and thus the public should treat the issue with sensitivity. 

I will be focusing on how each author positions their audience with regards to an ethical debate over fairness of sport and the rights of an individual.

I will be analysing the language techniques employed by each author to best persuade their readers into taking on the underlying worldview. Through the many appeals that the authors make to their readers, I will conclude that the authors interpret their audience as sports fans with a capacity to have empathy and understanding for the controversy that surrounds Caster Semenya. 

Carolena Kostas z5061221

MDIA2002 F10A

Challenges with graphic photojournalism

Without a doubt, pictures are worth 1,000 words, playing a vital part in communicating messages and changing history. But with influences from new media and backlash from consumers on publishing graphic content, present-day photojournalism is beginning to face increasingly more challenges than ever before. David Rohde’s ‘Pictures That Change History: Why the World Needs Photojournalists’, Shanifa Nasser’s ‘Puppies, selfies, corpses: How graphic images on social media can change your brain’, Julia Angwin and Matthew Rose’s ‘When News Is Gruesome, What’s Too Graphic’ and Fred Ritchin’s ‘Why Violent News Images Matter’ are a few views journalism or opinion articles with different perspectives on the positive or negative impacts photojournalism has on society. Together, they constitute a shared understanding of photojournalism in the 21st century, particularly in relation to graphic images portrayed in the media.

Historically, the art of photography has served as a crucial means of capturing places and events for future generations (Duncan 2015) and documenting what is presented in the facts. Yet, there continues to be a debate surrounding the exposure of such graphic images. The National Press Photographers Association’s (NPPA) Code of Ethics lays out in crystalised detail about the acceptable terms of professional photojournalism. It reads, in part:

“Photographic and video images can reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, inspire hope and understanding and connect people around the globe through the language of visual understanding. Photographs can also cause great harm if they are callously intrusive or are manipulated.”

The big question is the extent to which media outlets should go or restrain from showing human tragedy. Nasser, a news reporter for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) News, claims that exposure to uncensored graphic images can change the brain, as explicitly stated in the title “Puppies, selfies, corpses: How graphic images on social media can change your brain”. With hundreds of thousands of atrocities taking place and photographs of them circulating on traditional and new media, constant flow and explicit exposure to these atrocities builds up unnecessary insecurity, tension and trauma. Nasser justifies this causal argument with an appeal to authority, quoting a Toronto psychologist, Dr. Oren Amitay, who calls it second hand trauma:

“‘With enough viewing, we are now coming to understand that somebody could be traumatized second-hand… If you’re always seeing it then you have the sense that this is the norm, then you have the sense that the world is far more dangerous than it is.’”

An unwarranted induction or hasty/over-generalisation lies in this justification however. It’s almost as if the justification is suggesting that when you are always seeing these graphic images, you will automatically be traumatized second-hand. With traditional and new mediums circulating violent photographs everyday from the television screen to the home screen on Facebook, the global population would be entirely traumatised based on this suggestion when in fact not every person exposed to these graphic images constantly is mentally affected by it.                     

To further support Nasser’s claim, Ritchin, a professor at New York University and co-director of the Photography & Human Rights program at the Tisch School of the Arts, wrote an opinion piece in 2014 for TIME Magainze taking a different approach to arguing and justifying the claim. The central claim is found in the second to last paragraph of the article:

“… they [graphic photographs] provide reference points for both the present and the longer view of history”

Yet, he spends a large portion of his article presenting counterarguments, offering justifications as to the immorality of violent images.

Ritchin offers four primary evaluative arguments explaining reasons why editors hold back graphic photographs from the audience. First, he argues that publications from mainstream outlets purposely withholds graphic imagery in “fear of offending, or even from a feat that readers will abandon the publication altogether.” He adds two quotes, one from a photographer Christoph Bangert who asks: “How can we refuse to acknowledge a mere representation— a picture— of a horrific event, while other people are forced to live through the horrific event itself?” and another from a photographer of an excruciating photo that went unpublished in American Photo magazine in 1991 who questioned: “If we’re big enough to fight a war, we should be big enough to look at it.” These two quotes from industry professions aim to argue against the first counterargument in support of Ritchin’s original claim.

The second argument coincides with Nasser’s warning of second-hand trauma. Ritchin believes editors are ethically taking into consideration of the children’s wellbeing before publishing “egregious imagery”. Then, Ritchin takes it further with his third argument by arguing that industry professions are at risk of being affected by constant exposure to these graphic images as well. He uses a study by Anthony Feinstein, MD, of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto as a justification appealing to authority that “‘… frequent, repetitive viewing of violent news-related video and other media raises news professionals’ vulnerability to a range of psychological injuries, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.’” For documentary photographer and member of the VII Photo agency, Ed Kashi, it’s much more than that. In his article ‘The Unspoken Consequences of a Photojournalists Life’ published on his website but later in TIME Magazine, he discusses the aftermath of his 30 years as a photojournalist, spending his lifetime trying to fade into the background to achieve “candid intimacy” is his photographs. He describes:

“Losing myself in other people’s lives, whether in their dramas of joy, pain, or transition, has turned into not being able to find myself in my own life.”

There is an appeal to emotion as Kashi describes one the worst consequences is “… a deep sense of loneliness and abject certainty.” He doesn’t believe the profession is all bad because of the rare privilege to gain expansive knowledge of the world, cultures, the processes of technology and business as well as the small yet magical moments of daily life.” Yet it is very easy to lose yourself if you are fully consumed in your practice.

Finally, the last argument lies on the other side of the spectrum in which Ritchie says:

“… a fear by others that readers are seeing too many such images and, as a result, are losing their ability to empathise and evaluate what is going on in the avalanche of violence and destruction depicted.”

One of the most, if not the most, famous and influential graphic photograph shows 9-year-old girl Kim Phuc running down the road completely stripped of her burning clothes after South Vietnamese forces bombed her village with napalm (Media Watch 2016). Taken in 1972 by photographer Nick Ut for the Associated Press during the Vietnam War, this photograph splashed over front pages of magazine covers despite full front nudity and was the turning point in the War. This historical photograph proves the importance of publishing violent images. Ironically, it also justifies the argument above because without the ability to empathise with victims and evaluate the situation at hand, the US would not have received worldwide pressure and agree on a ceasefire.

For that reason, Ritchin provides a few recommendations when dealing with violent photographs for the media. Using photographs of families crying over graveyards as opposed to faces of fallen civilians covered in blood can address the subject matter without impacting the mentality of audiences (Angwin and Rose 2004). Another alternative is shifting the subject matter focus less on war but more on “…‘photography of peace’ … the beauties of ceasefires, and of healing, and of some of the horrors that were prevented from happening.” More happiness needs to be seen around the world rather than agony.
Despite the arguments in favour of limiting graphic imagery, it’s important to question why photojournalists and mainstream media outlets do publish violent images. To start with, Ritchin argues there is an obligation for photojournalists to be the messengers for the rest of the world, to turn the world’s attention to sights unknown. He says:

“The trauma of witnessing such devastation, and the powerlessness that may accompany it, can be more difficult to resolve if one is prevented from sharing what one has seen with others—the reason the photographer was there in the first place.”

Similar reasons explain why editors do not restrain from releasing violent photographs. Journalism is the fourth estate of society, which makes depictions of accurate truths and honest representations critical in bringing exposure to the intensity of the matter. Former News Corp editor Piers Akerman points out the need to set aside traditional media guidelines at times because there are just some photographs audiences have to witness (Media Watch 2016).

Social media has been changing the rules of acceptable pictures to be exposed online and still continues to till today. With less caution on the Internet, there is a ‘moral vacuum as the feeds go online’ and has ‘diluted somewhat the agenda-setting power o the mainstream media, according to Jonathan Zittrain, an assistant professor at Harvard Law School (Angwin and Rose, 2004). The article by Angwin and Rose, staff reporters of The Wall Street Journal, discusses the conflicting nature between broadcasting gruesome images across different media outlets. While mainstream media is capable of controlling what photographs go in and out of their filters, there is no control over what happens to these images when uploaded on the Internet. Despite this, Angwin and Rose take on a rather positive outlook towards social media’s influence on photojournalism. First, Web sites segregate information more effectively than traditional media such as newspapers or TV channels who see themselves as arbiters of taste. Second, social media’s algorithmic calculations such as hyperlinks allow audiences to see the photograph at their own discretion. On the Yahoo news Web site, photos are placed in a way that users need to actively search for the photographs with the most graphic content and each graphic footage and photos are marked with a warning when distributed. Lastly, social media’s proliferation of information sources attracts executives at traditional media companies to approach the sites. Social media’s immediacy with photos uploaded real-time allows a news story to be visually told without delay in present time.

In an era when anyone with a smartphone can upload a photo, how then is it possible to recognise the images that matter and legitimize what we see when more professional photojournalists are fired from prestigious editorial sources such as U.S. News, Newsweek, and Reuters? Rohde, a contributing editor at The Atlantic, the national-security investigations editor at Reuters and a former reporter for The New York Times, uses factual evidence from a report by Pew Research Centre stating more news photographers, artists and videographers have been laid off than any other type of journalist in 2012, decreasing in numbers by 43 percent. In his opinion, he has a pessimistic view towards the switch from mainstream media to new media. He argues:

“… technological change has irreversibly changed photojournalism. Professional photographers, they insist, will inevitably join the ranks of toll collectors, telephone switchboard operators, and other jobs rendered obsolete.”

This statement is an informal fallacy, a slippery slope/domino theory, because his article primarily focuses on the negative consequences, the corrupt nature of social media. Despite his pessimistic outlook of what the future holds for photographers, he remains certain that the work of photojournalists will dominate, for the vast majority of iconic photographs capturing historical moments are taken by professional photographers.

As for the photographs themselves, the plus side when photographs are uploaded online is an increasingly greater appreciation for photography, attracting new audiences over time. While graphic images might be difficult to “appreciate”, social media amplifies reach and recognition of such images to raise awareness to the issue depicted. Having said that, it is still uncertain whether these photographs are able to stand out for two reasons: one is the change in function of the nature of photographs in a general sense, from emphasising more on ourselves than others as the subject of the photograph and two is the torrent of images that makes it difficult for photographs to stick out longer than 24 hours (Rohde 2013).

The common theme found in the articles mentioned above is the inclusion of images that are all strikingly graphic. Surprisingly, even though Angwin and Rose (2004) claim that “technology permits us to say ‘Dear reader, you may not want to looks at this’”, only one of the four articles mentioned “WARNING: This story contains a graphic photograph” and it was the Website for a traditional medium, the CBC. Unlike Rohde, Nasser and Ritchin’s articles, the CBC article kept its images low-key with images not horrifically graphic but representative of horrific events. All of the photographs in the article are not staged, adding an element of candidness that makes viewers feel as if they are witnessing the scene. This happens to be the case for most of the graphic photographs in the other three articles— all candid and representational of the conflicts at the time but with less caution in showing graphic elements such as blood, dead bodies and people being hurt. The reason behind this is that the writers want to prove their point that violent photographs have impact on readers, whether it is in a good way or a bad way is for the reader to decide.

In conclusion, it is evident that photojournalism has a lasting impact in society, yet less and less companies are taking it seriously as more and more amateur photos circulating around the Internet receive more recognition. There continues to be a debate over the degree of violence allowed in photographs in different media outlets but for now, it is fair to say that whether audiences willingly see it or not, these graphic images will play a part in changing society.

Proposal for Media Analysis Article 2

By Andriana Simos (z061608, F10A)

  1. The topic/subject area or personality you are proposing to deal with in your 2nd written assignment.

For my second assignment, I will be analysing the different representations of Deborah Thomas who is the chief executive of Ardent Leisure, the owner of Dreamworld. I will focus on her as a personality as she has recently come under fire following the Dreamworld ride tragedy. Specifically, I will look at a mixture of both “objective” and “subjective” articles in order to show the various opinions and attitudes towards Deborah’s “performance bonus” just days after the accident.

  1. How many articles will you be dealing with? Provide the headline of the items and links.

I will be dealing with 4 articles. These include:

  • ‘Dreamworld accident: Theme park’s future ‘in doubt’ after four deaths’ by Rachel Olding and Felicity Caldwell on October 28, 2016.

  • ‘Dreamworld Accident: Ardent Leisure chief executive Deborah Thomas donates bonus to Red Cross’ by Rachel Olding on October 27, 2016.

  • ‘Why should Dreamworld owner’s boss keep her $800 000 bonus? She earned it’ by Anthony Keane on October 27, 2016.

  • ‘Dreamworld deaths: Can the company’s leaders save the now-maligned theme park?’ by Antoinette Lattouf on October 28, 2017. 

  1. Brief outline of the articles you will be analysing.
  • This article by Olding and Caldwell is an “objective” news report article where the writers try to provide an “unbiased” report on the events as well as the way in which Ardent Leisure has handled the situation. However, regardless of the notion that the article is meant to be objective, it is clear that the writers have chosen specific words such as “backtracked” and “in doubt” in order to position the readers to think about the management in a certain negative light.
  • This piece is another “objective” news writing article, however, its focus is more on Deborah Thomas as an individual. The choice of words and images portray the idea that many people think she handled the situation badly and that the bonus announcement was poorly timed.
  • This article by Keane is a “subjective” opinion piece which surprisingly differs from the other two articles. It suggests that all the criticism surrounding Deborah is not justified as “business” must go on and she “earned” her bonus. He admits that although the timing may be wrong, it is really out of Deborah’ hands as the AGM legally needed to be held.
  • This article is “objective,” however, its choice of words is quite attitudinal and suggestive of the writer’s negative viewpoint of the “public relations disaster.”
  1. What do I anticipate to be my final conclusions?

By analysing all of these articles (both objective and subjective) it will become clear that most writers have a negative opinion of how Ardent Leisure and Deborah Thomas handled the Dreamworld tragedy. Specifically, the choice of words and images position the audience to take a negative view of Deborah and the group.

However, it must be mentioned that Keane’s more “subjective’ piece has a more positive evaluation of the situation and as a result, I will conclude that although some articles do portray Deborah in a negative light, there are also articles which are more positive. Therefore, the readers are able to read these articles and form their own opinion on the issue as the articles being published are not only negative.

media analysis article 4

Gender Bias in Media Communication Regarding Female Politicians

Some recent news articles will be discussed and analyzed for textual and linguistic differences.  These articles will then be compared based on diction and structure—and the differences between the characterizations of male and female politicians will be discussed in the context of the current-day academic literature on the subject. Most pieces \ seems to suggest that female politicians face numerous struggles, particularly on the campaign trail.

The article probably goes to option 2.

Staff Writer. 2016. Triggs’ integrity questioned by Coalition MPs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2016].

Le Messurier, D. 2016. PM contradicts Abbott over the gun law. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2016].

Dunlevy, S. 2016. Govt pushes on with Medicare payment overhaul. [online] Available at:

Media Analysis 4 — Proposal on the media portrays NRL differently to the Hyundai A-League

Drawing upon a variety of online and physical sources, I will hope to conclude that publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph have a propensity to negatively report on The A-League (because of their investment in other sports); while SBS and Fox Sports are likely to portray a more bipartisan portrayal (due to their own investment and reputations).

I will pay particular attention to Rebecca Wilson, who incited vitriol amongst sports fans due to her article in 2015 that released the identities of more than 100 football fans banned from grounds.

I will also compare the language used by the media when talking about the two sports. Here, I will hope to conclude the media is biased in portraying football as a sport that cultivates hooligans, while propagating the benefits of rugby league.

Media Analysis Task 4: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Vanessa Liang Xuan Wu z5079754 Friday 1030

In the final assignment, I will examine how Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is portrayed in the media. She is an award-winning author that is regularly identified in the media as a feminist following her TEDTalk titled: “We should all be feminists.” which was later sampled for use in a Beyonce song. I think that she will be an interesting subject for analysis due to her multiple identities such as a writer, speaker, fashionista, feminist, women of colour etc.

Here are some articles that I am considering:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – the feminist who sells make-up

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Quietly Gave Birth, Refused to ‘Perform Pregnancy’

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “I Wanted To Claim My Own Name”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Is The New Face Of Boots No7

Black Lives Matter – Kalgoorlie Race Riots

Assessment 4 Proposal

I will be analysing the media coverage of the Kalgoorlie race riots in late August regarding the manslaughter charge of a white-man over the death of a 14 year-old Indigenous boy Elijah Doughty.

In general I have found that the media coverage operates to delegitimise the reason why the protest occurred – but focus instead on the violence that was used and the charges that were given to those involved.

Some of the articles I will focus on include

West Australian article ‘Windows smashed at Kalgoorlie court as boy’s death stokes racial tensions’, by Tim Clarke, Tayissa Sweetlove and Dylan Caporn.

SBS article, ‘Violent protests interrupted proceedings at Kalgoorlie Courthouse on Tuesday following the death of 14-year-old Indigenous boy’.

ABC article ‘Elijah Doughty death: Seven people charged in aftermath of Kalgoorlie riots’ by Nicholas Perpitch and Courtney Bembridge

Guardian Article, ‘Tell the world we want justice’ Elijah Doughty’s death exposes Kalgoorlie’s racial faultline’ by Calla Wahlquist

Vegan Children: The moral debate

Alexandra_Refenes_z3463041_MDIA2002_F10A_Assessment Task Four Step One

 Assessment Task Four: Media Analysis Article Two

Preliminary Proposal

The following proposal briefly summarizes my analysis of several journalism articles regarding vegan children. It is my intention to compare and identify how they position the reader to either favour or oppose this contentious issue. In addition, I shall analyse how different characters are portrayed in each text as either negative or positive influences with respect to my chosen subject.

Veganism is an alternative, plant-based diet that excludes the consumption and use of all animal products including meat, dairy, eggs and honey. Growing in popularity, this lifestyle choice has recently been placed under scrutiny as many parents are choosing to raise their young children on this strict diet. Moral and ethical debate has inevitably sparked in society regarding the health and welfare of children, whilst questioning the parenting skills of many.

I have found four particular articles online that provide comparative views of this social issue:


Published in October this year, article number one reports how “a vegan mum who allegedly fed her baby only fruits and nuts has been arrested and charged”. The father of the child took the 11-month-old to a local Child and Youth Services organisation in Pennsylvania. A pediatrician claims that the child was suffering from a severe rash and in risk of septic shock. This article shines a negative light on the mother whilst the child is seen as the victim.

The second article from The Washington Post was published in July this year and discusses the hospitalization of an Italian baby who has been removed from parental custody after being raised on a vegan diet. Similar to the above article, administering a vegan diet for young children is reviewed as an unfit lifestyle choice. The author draws upon professional medical advice to support their argument that veganism is not appropriate for children, as they do not receive necessary vitamins and nutrients that are vital for growth. The article also includes columnist advice from different sources that approve plant-based diets in general can be good for children. Providing that parents have undertaken adequate research to ensure that their children are getting the calories and nutrients that they need.

The third article specifically discusses the news story of the Italian baby who was fed a vegan diet by his parents and taken to hospital for malnourishment. Published in July this year, it includes specific facts about the case and mentions the hospitalization of other children in Italy over the past 18 months.

Finally, the fourth article, also published in October this year, is titled “Is it safe to raise a baby as a vegan? Experts reveal whether the plant-based diet can be healthy for young children”. This particular news story discusses the contentious issue by including information for and against the chosen lifestyle choice. It alludes to the hospitalization of vegan babies in Italy (as discussed in the above articles) and draws upon the story of Pennsylvania mother Elizabeth Hawk who was charged with endangering her 11-month-old son by restricting him to a vegan diet. This story provides both for and against argumentation regarding vegan diets for children by drawing upon professional opinions.

With respect to this data, I anticipate that each author will rely on authoritative opinion and facts to back up their given viewpoint. It is my intention to draw upon such conclusions and compare how different media outlets portray various social issues and people. The overall layout of my analysis will begin by introducing the topic and then proceed to individually dissect each article to determine how the authors position the reader to agree with or disapprove the discussed issue. I will then conclude by drawing upon similarities and comparing differences between each text.

Second Media Article Proposal – Daniel Caltabiano

The basis of my second media article is centred around the use of media, both news journalism and views journalism, in defining both the ‘left’ and ‘right’ wings of society. Through subtle connotations or explicit opinion, coupled with the authoritative influence of the media itself, the media is used to satiate the need for each side to separate itself from the other. This need is unique, in that is is seen as political foul play to defame a seemingly opposing group, yet it is essential to do so in order to cement one’s beliefs and situate viewers in alignment with your view.

My focus will be on the differing perspectives of free to air television, be that: The ABC; Channel 9; Channel 10; Channel 7, and how media ownership influences the structural techniques, common words and phrases, and images that, through repetition, carry connotations aimed to shape the perspective of the viewership.

The Top 50 Liberal Media Bias Examples

Channel 9 Network

Channel 7 Network

Media Analysis 2 Proposal: Elise Ives 5016678 H12A

Elise Ives 5016678 Media Proposal 2

For the second media article, I would like to focus on the portrayal of powerful women in the media and in this instance focus on Hillary Clinton and her role as a candidate in opposition to Donald Trump.

These two candidates have been a media frenzy within the news, more so than any other presidential candidate, just due to the people that they are and the policies that are upheld.

I want to focus the article around the internal sexism within some news stories and how so the public’s vote may be swayed with each article.

Focusing on Clinton as a highlight and using news articles that portray Trump in a certain way in comparison to her I believe will offer insight into the any sexist connotations behind personality and policy.

Some articles I am considering to use: