Consumerism Vs Participation in Politics: The Silent Majority Exists

20/07/2019

For an upcoming university unit, I have two books as prescribed core reading: An Introduction to Political Communication by Brian McNair, and Reporting Elections: Rethinking the Logic of Campaign Coverage by Stephen Cushion and Richard Thomas. While I have, I’d say, a reasonable knowledge and understanding (as well as some strong opinions) on those topics – I have, obviously, written (much less professionally) on them myself – it’s always enlightening to read more about the things you think you know. Even if many of the conclusions match previous ones, the difference each time is perspective.

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How Is FaceApp Different to US Apps?

19/07/2019

Because it’s Russian. If this were a YouTube video I’d jokingly say ‘bye’ and put the outro music on. The app’s popularity has blown up in the last week due to its new aging filter, with almost 13 million new users this month alone. But while so many have fallen right into it, others have picked up on privacy concerns – because, shock horror, what if a government could access that data?

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The Art of Headlines

17/07/2019

Headlines and by-lines are carefully crafted. Their purpose is to give part of a story to lure readers further, not to inform them outright. But ironically, many people today appear to do the exact opposite – they will read the headlines, form an opinion, and move on, with an optional share on social media stage in between. Misled readers, unclicked links – who’s to blame, if anyone, for this?

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Language in Journalism

17/07/2019

Language can be used for a myriad of purposes. Whether you wish to try and evoke a particular emotion from a reader/listener, persuade someone of your point of view, or just want to convey information, the language you use can be powerful. This can be done consciously or through habit, but how someone will react to what you say may well depend on the language you use. With this in mind, I turn to the media: how do they use language?

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Ideas, Individuals, and… Nationalism?

04/07/2019

We’ve all heard the saying: “If you don’t love it here, leave!” The irony of those kinds of statements though, usually disseminated online towards ‘leftists’ of various sorts (whether on cultural or economic concerns), is that the people who most often assert them are the ones with gripes over their country’s wellbeing. This inconsistency can reach comical standards at times, and also helps reveal other hypocrisies.

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Physical and Intellectual Superiority/Inferiority

03/07/2019

A provocative title, implying that the physical and intellectual aspects of a person are in some form of competition or have any particular sway over each other. Does one’s physical attributes command their intellectual capabilities or vice versa? I see no logical connection, and reality would often disagree with that query. Yet, there are many who seem to believe they are somehow entwined.

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Island Off the Coast of Asia: A Reflection

19/06/2019

I owe a few of the pieces in the last couple of weeks to this brilliant book, but how important it is cannot be overstated. In an almost Chomsky-like way, Clinton Fernandes offers a refreshing (if somewhat surprising and disheartening) look at Australia’s role in the world. Without the filters of government and media spin and omission, it is incredibly insightful.

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Quick Quips: What Is a Lie?

18/06/2019

The Economist posted a video a couple of months ago discussing whether or not politicians lie. I didn’t agree with most of it, seeing as their conclusion was that something was only a lie if the person telling it had the intent and knowledge they were doing so. They instead try to palm certain things off – even Trump’s antics – as things like ‘exaggeration’, ‘untruths’ (isn’t that just synonymous with lies?), ‘nonsense’, or (quoting the academic prowess of a philosopher) ‘bullshit’. How trite.

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Time to Rethink ANZUS?

13/06/2019

Since the election of Donald Trump, there have been two main approaches in Australia regarding our relationship with the US. The first is backing away from them entirely and reconsidering how we interact with an increasingly erratic global superpower, and the other is the argument whereby all of Australia will be prone to imminent security risks should we so much as cough without American protection. One aspect of this is discussing how relevant the ANZUS Treaty is.

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US Election Interference

12/06/2019

In the UK! Forget Russia’s miniscule impact on the 2016 election in a country that can hardly call itself a democracy in the first place, the US is reversing the imperialist narrative. What was once a world dominated by European, mainly British, interests has now become one of American interests. It has gone full circle, with the US being quite forward about their UK leadership preferences.

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