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SARA DAJANI

The coverage of Metiria Turei’s resignation

Metiria Turei was heavily broadcasted on Radio New Zealand (RNZ) across a number of platforms in regards to her resignation as one of the co-leaders of the Green Party on the 9th of August. They broadcasted her resignation on different platforms such as on-air radio, Facebook, Twitter and their app. TVNZ One News Now also broadcasted the resignation on these platforms as well as television instead of radio. Since this breaking news story revolved around the co-leader of one of the leading political parties in New Zealand, the coverage was highly spread amongst all different platforms to reach a higher amount of New Zealanders. RNZ’s target audience is people aged over ten years. This was a story that involved New Zealand politics, which means that it was a concern to all New Zealand citizens. However, this story mainly affects those who are eligible to vote, therefore, RNZ mainly wanted to inform people over eighteen years of age.

 

RNZ’s newer platforms such as their app allow young adults to listen to their live radio broadcasting on their smartphones. These platforms allow RNZ to grow larger since they reach 15.5 percent of the New Zealand population every week (Radio New Zealand, 2017). Since technology is growing at a fast pace, mobile journalism allows people with smartphones to keep up with the latest news, since it is updated regularly online (Westlund, 2013). Therefore, New Zealanders are sourcing their news from apps rather than directly from traditional radio or television. Westlund (2013) also stated that more people have access to online sources when they are on-the-go. This means that RNZ’s app allowed New Zealanders to instantly click on notifications that appeared on their lock screen regarding Turei’s resignation. Their app is very formal and informative because it provides access to listen to their live radio broadcasting. It provided written content, pictures and audio from live radio such as Checkpoint’s coverage that aired at 5:08 pm when John Campbell played a recording of Turei’s resignation.

 

One of the main differences between One News Now and RNZ’s coverage is that One News Now mainly relied on video coverage across all their platforms, which they sourced their live footage of her resignation at the press conference. Whereas, on-air radio allowed RNZ to constantly update their news to the public and share it on social media before the other news broadcasters. One News Now was only able to formally inform the public of her resignation during their news show in the evening. In The Week in Review, posted on the 11th of August, RNZ restated what happened regarding Turei the entire week and also focused on adding in interviews of John Campbell speaking to Turei when she exclusively confirmed her resignation on air to RNZ (Radio New Zealand, 2017).

 

RNZ significantly used Facebook to attract more people, and increase engagement and their field of reach to New Zealanders who do not listen to traditional radio broadcasting. Younger New Zealanders are more inclined to be Facebook users since it has evolved in more recent years, and they tend to use Facebook as their first source of obtaining news that appears on their news feed. Their Facebook post of Turei’s resignation allowed people to like, comment and share the breaking news story with their close family and friends. They accompanied their post with a photo of Turei at the press conference. One News Now used Facebook Live to share the resignation because they were able to reach a significantly greater amount of people than their other platforms since the video got 30,000 views which spread their audience reach even further.

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RNZ also used Twitter to share the story, however, there was more engagement on their Facebook page in terms of likes, shares and generating a conversation through long comments. In comparison to RNZ who post on their Twitter page every hour, One News Now also posts on their Twitter page. In contrast to RNZ’s Facebook headlines, their Twitter headlines were shorter in order to fit into the 180-character limit. Both platforms also relied on providing links to the full story on their website in order to provide access to reading the full article. RNZ’s website posts of the coverage were very concise and they have a timeline of the events that took place before and after the breaking news story. This allowed their audience to be thoroughly informed, in case they had missed the earlier on-going live coverage that was shared (Radio New Zealand, 2017).

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Longer captions on Facebook to describe what happened

 

In regards to on-air broadcasting, both broadcasters were immensely competitive with each other, in regards to the news content that was broadcasted. Checkpoint on RNZ was exclusively told by a family member of Turei’s that she had support when she was on the domestic purposes benefit. Checkpoint was able to contact Turei and ask her a series of questions which she had not answered. At 5 pm that day she publicly resigned. Checkpoint aired this interview through their app and on-air to spread their field of reach and get people to tune in. Boyd (1998) has stated that prominence is an important news value. This news value is applicable to this story since Turei was a prominent co-leader of the Green Party, which meant that New Zealanders were very intrigued to hear suspicious news about her. RNZ’s coverage of Turei’s resignation was prominent since they were able to leak new information, unlike other broadcasters that had not been exposed to it.

 

In conclusion, on all of RNZ’s platforms, there were different elements which allowed them to reach a greater amount of people. Facebook allowed for a higher level of community engagement. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allowed RNZ and One News Now to broadcast the resignation live and inform the public as soon as they could. However, RNZ was able to provide greater coverage on the story.

 

References

 

Boyd, A. (1998). Broadcast Journalism: Techniques of Radio and Television News. Oxford, United Kingdom: Focal Press.

 

Radio New Zealand (2017). A Week in Review for week ending Fri Aug 11 2017. Retrieved from http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/theweekinreview/audio/201854471/the-week-in-review-for-week-ending-fri-aug-11-2017

 

Radio New Zealand (2017). How it happened: Turei resigns as Green co-leader. Retrieved from http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/336828/how-it-happened-turei-resigns-as-green-co-leader

 

Radio New Zealand (2017). Media Release Thursday 11 May 2017. Retrieved from https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4221220-dt-content-rid-7819931_4/institution/Papers/JOUR601/Publish/Record%20Audiences%20for%20RNZ.pdf

Westlund, O. (2013). Mobile News: A review and model of journalism in an age of mobile media: Digital Journalism 1(1), 6-26.

E-News portrays the Kardashian’s bodies to be ideal body shapes for all women in society?

 

According to Clay, Vignoles and Dittmar (2005), the media commonly places a significant amount of emphasis on women obtaining self-worth from the outward appearance of their bodies. However, this image of what is considered a beautiful body is becoming unattainable for the average woman to have (Clay et al., 2005). E-News is a newscast that has a television presence and online presence that disseminates news about celebrities and their personal lives. They have a significant focus on the Kardashian family. E-News transmits news that glorifies the Kardashian’s body shapes and suggest that they are ideal body shapes for women in society. E-News frequently posts articles about the Kardashian family and their physiques, calling them ‘fit’ and suggest that their bodies are desirable.

According to Olds and Barnes (2013), celebrity gossip may make people compare themselves to celebrities as a way of seeking self-improvement. Celebrity gossip also makes people seek self-improvement by comparing themselves to people that they desire to be like (Olds & Barnes, 2013). E-News is a celebrity gossip platform because their news reflects the lives of celebrities and their daily lives. They particularly broadcast news about the Kardashian family and their famous bodies. They suggest that the Kardashians have ideal body shapes, which is seen from their articles.

Does E-News depict the Kardashians as role models for female body image?

According to Cashmore in 2006, (as cited in Olds & Barnes, 2013) consumers have become invested in the lives of celebrities and they have appeared to be god-like people, that people look up to as role models. The Kardashians are seen as role models worldwide, and this is depicted by E-News on a daily basis, because of the dissemination of news articles written about the Kardashian family.

According to Alexander in 2010, (as cited in Olds & Barnes, 2013) after the 1910s, audiences generally began to develop an interest in celebrities and their personal lives. The Kardashian’s personal lives are publicized by E-News who reports news about them on a continuous basis. Kardashians are often shown on E-News because they are considered as newsworthy. According to Olds and Barnes (2013), celebrities have wide appeal because they relate to sensationalism stories that usually revolve around elite people (celebrities). According to Clay, Vignoles and Dittmar (2005), the desire to be thin is becoming more desirable amongst women in society because they are being exposed to movies, programs, and magazines that commonly portray certain body shapes as desirable for women to have.

Social media is commonly used by journalists as a way of sharing their news stories online (Ritter, 2015). E-News use their social media accounts such as Twitter, as a gateway for people to access articles that they have posted about the Kardashians. They have written a news story about Kim Kardashian’s body suggesting that she has an ideal body type, because she was still able to wear a bikini when she was pregnant.

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According to Chojnacki, Grant, Maguire and Regan (n.d.), desired female body types are those that are reflected by the media. They tend to be preferred body types and are seen as unattainable to the masses (Chojnacki, et al., n.d.). This reflects how even though Kim Kardashian’s body is seemingly unattainable because of her curves, E-News still writes articles about it. E-News associate positive words with the Kardashian’s bodies in order to emphasise that they have ideal body shapes.

Why does E-News particularly focus on the Kardashians?

Gorin and Dubied in 2011 (as cited by Armstrong et al., 2015) noted that celebrities must fulfil a certain criterion in order for them to be considered newsworthy, which involves having a glamorous lifestyle as well as showing that they are normal people with relatable personalities. This suggests that the Kardashians have a ‘glamorous lifestyle,’ and are worthy of news coverage. Therefore, E-News ensures that the public is up-to-date with changes in the Kardashian’s lifestyles such as their bodies, their weight loss and fitness routines.

According to Rojek in 2001 (as cited by Armstrong, McAdams & Cain, 2015), attributed celebrities is the third category of celebrities which includes individuals that are famous because they have a significant amount of attention given to them from the media. The Kardashian Family lies within this category of celebrities and is noticeably given a significant amount of attention from E-News.

What have the Kardashians been doing on the E channel to spread body image messages, and how have people reacted?

Sensationalism usually relates to elite people in society and is seen as one of the main roles of journalism to make people feel excited about news articles that have been posted (Armstrong, McCain & Cain, 2015). On E Channel, they have their own show called Keeping up with the Kardashians and Khloe Kardashian’s latest show called Revenge Body, that focuses on achieving a desirable body that fits societal standards. It is suggested that women who have appeared on the show have low body confidence because they do not fit societal standards of beauty. Even though Khloe Kardashian is helping women achieve the bodies that they want, the show’s main focus is on how women look. This show suggests that women who look a certain way are not beautiful.

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Two comments of criticism on a YouTube video that E-Entertainment posted on the show suggest that people who watch Khloe Kardashian’s show, may be influenced to think that women are not beautiful if they look a certain way. People have questioned the implications of Khloe Kardashian’s body messages of creating the show.

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These users have criticized Khloe Kardashian for her new show, and have questioned whether the show has implications for women’s self-esteem regarding their body image. This suggests that E-News and the channel are also responsible for the criticism since the show was programmed on E Channel. According to Ceron (2015), social media platforms such as YouTube allows citizens to discuss information that has been broadcasted by news outlets because they are able to speak about their own opinions and perspectives in relation to the information that is being broadcasted. Social media provides a public sphere that allows citizen’s opinions and thoughts to be shown which is not moderated by news outlets (Ceron, 2015).

How does E News’ portrayal of the Kardashians bodies seen to have negative effects on women?

 

Celebrity gossip can allow people to look at their selves for self-improvement (Olds et al., 2005). A negative connotation of E-News articles that have disseminated ideas of the portrayal of the ideal body shape for women, is that it makes women look at their own bodies for self-improvement. According to Clay, Vignoles and Dittmar (2005), media platforms such as advertising and magazines are portraying the idea that females should be focused on their outward appearance, even though cultural perceptions of desirable female body shapes are unattainable and unrealistic for many women in society. E-News have posted articles about the Kardashians and their promotion of products such as waist trainers. Celebrities allow the public to see into their personal lives through the use of social media (Armstrong et al., 2015). Kylie Jenner uses her own social media accounts such as Instagram to promote waist trainers to millions of followers that she has. This suggests that women may get an unhealthy idea of body image and the idea that Kylie Jenner’s waist is desirable and that the products she has promoted are worth buying. In the image below, she mentions her own body and how the product is helping her maintain her shape.

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How has this portrayal of the Kardashian’s bodies brought about news from other news websites?

The dissemination of news written about the Kardashian’s bodies being seen as desirable for women has brought about a significant amount of discussion from other online news outlets such as New York Daily News. They have discussed that Kim Kardashian’s body is unrealistic and unattainable to the majority of women in the world. In contrast to E-News, they have a different perspective on the Kardashians and the body image messages they are portraying. The New York Daily News provides a link to social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook on their articles to allow citizens to voice their own opinion about these body image messages. According to Shapiro, Brin, Spoel and Marshall (2016), the act of news organisations publishing their articles onto social media has allowed for a public discussion of people’s ideas and feelings in relation to the ideas that have been broadcasted by news media. Ceron (2015) has discussed that the introduction of social media allows for people to read and comment on news articles with their own perspectives, which eliminates an elite-biased perspective to only be represented.

How do other perspectives on women’s beauty differ from E News’ perspective?

Clay et al., (2005) notes that these ‘ideal’ representations of the female body, can result in women feeling dissatisfied with their own body shapes and feel the need to adjust the way that they look themselves. This has lead to a social media discussion online about the implications of the Kardashian’s bodies being idolised, and how important it is for young women to realise their own self-worth. For example, a YouTube channel called StyleLikeU focuses on interviewing women that have a different perception of beauty that is not considered the norm in society. One of the comments on one of their YouTube videos reflect the message of the video of inner beauty, that portrays a different message to what the Kardashians and E News are portraying which is not focused on the outward appearance of females.

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What is social media’s role amongst this? How are citizens involved in determining what news they read about the Kardashians?

According to Ceron (2015), social media has separated the internet into two different groups called Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Web 1.0 contains news websites such as E-News that broadcast their news in a one-way communication fashion to the public. E-News is a news platform that has disseminated information about the Kardashians to the public but does not respond to information in return. Ceron (2015) notes that journalists want to keep having one-way communication as a way that they can influence the public. Web 2.0 involves social media platforms such as personal blogs, and other social networking sites that allow people to communicate freely with other people in the public (Ceron, 2015).

Social media blogs allow for people to interact with each other about topics that have been discussed in the media and discuss information about the elite from an unbiased perspective (Ceron, 2015). This has noticeably happened online since people have discussed the Kardashians and their body image messages that they are broadcasting to the public. For example, fitness celebrity Blogilates has written a blog about the Kardashians and their Instagram influence. This reflects how she is a part of Web 2.0 and has a different perspective on the Kardashian’s bodies than E-News since she is trying to influence girls to think that the Kardashians portray an unrealistic and unattainable body image to young girls. She has discussed what is portrayed as ‘real’ news online, and has urged young women to not believe everything that the Kardashians are posting on their social media accounts, as well as news that is posted about the Kardashians, such as the articles that E News has posted.

Other online websites such as Harpers Bazaar have written about how unattainable the Kardashian’s bodies are for women to have. Their articles regarding the Kardashians differs to E-News’. Their article has addressed that Kim Kardashian’s body is favoured by women, but is an unrealistic achievement for most women to obtain.

In conclusion, E-News posts many articles in relation to the Kardashians. They are heavily associated with them because they have their own television shows on the E channel. However, in comparison to other news organisations, E-news has portrayed a biased perspective on the Kardashians bodies, by idolizing them to have desirable female bodies. Other news organisations have seen the flaws of their perception of beauty, and have broadcasted opposing news articles. Social media has also allowed for public discussion amongst citizens in relation to ideas of body image, which also differs to E-News’ perception of beauty in regards to the Kardashian’s bodies.

Sara Dajani

References

Armstrong, C. L., McAdams, M. J., & Cain, J. (2015). What Is News? Audiences May Have Their Own Ideas. Atlantic Journal Of Communication, 23(2), 81-98.

Ceron, A. (2015). Internet, News, and Political Trust: The Difference Between Social Media and Online Media Outlets. Journal Of Computer- Mediated Communication, 20(5), 487-503.

Chojnacki, M.S., Grant, C., Maguire, K., & Regan, K. (n.d.). Depleting Body Image. Retrieved from https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~jpiliavi/357/body-image.htm

Clay, D., Vignoles, V.L., & Dittmar, H. (2005). Body Image and Self-Esteem Among Adolescent Girls: Testing the Influence of Sociocultural Factors. Journal of Research of Adolescence, 451-477

Olds, Jeremy and Barnes, Lyn. ‘We look after our own’: The cultural dynamics of celebrity in a small country [online]. Pacific Journalism Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, Oct 2013: 86-106.

Ritter, M. (2015). The Socially Challenged: Exploring Obstacles to Social Media Integration in Newsrooms. Global Media Journal: American Edition, 13(24), 1-15.

Shapiro, I., Brin, C., Spoel, P., & Marshall, L. (2016). Images of Essence: Journalists’ Discourse on the Professional “Discipline of Verification”. Canadian Journal Of Communication, 41(1), 37-48

Sara Dajani                               22/05/17                                                     Foster dogs

By Sara Dajani

 

A North Shore couple adopted a deaf rescue dog into their home of two boys and three other fostered animals.

 

Bailee is an 18-month-old bull terrier dog that has been adopted by Fiona Sarten and her family.

 

Sarten adopted the untrained dog a month ago and has had to communicate with the dog through sign language which contains many arm movements, waving and jumping.

 

Sarten can verbally communicate with her other dogs, therefore Bailee was a change for her.

 

Bailee was in foster care ever since she was five months old, so she never had a permanent home until Sarten adopted her.

 

“If people are looking to get a dog, they shouldn’t overlook getting a deaf dog because they aren’t harder to train than any other dog,” said Sarten’s husband, Vince Fong.

 

Sarten said that people should consider getting a foster dog instead of one from a breeder since it is unfortunate that there are so many unwanted dogs out there.

 

Bailee is a very intelligent dog that has adapted well to what Sarten has trained her to do.

 

Fong said that is an absolutely rewarding feeling adopting a deaf dog because many people think they are too much responsibility.

 

Sarten firmly believes that if you don’t have time for a deaf dog, don’t get one at all, or even consider getting any dog since they need at least one hour exercise a day.

 

Bailee was adopted by Sarten from the Humane Society of New Zealand which is a charity that operates across the country with many different foster homes.

 

The charity would never euthanize a dog and is always looking for friendly owners to adopt their rescue dogs.

 

The Auckland City Pound works with the Humane Society of New Zealand, as they give them dogs in the hopes that they will find a safe home.

 

Sarten’s family owns two other dogs that they have adopted from the SPCA and the Humane Society.

bailee

Bailee the dog at North Shore’s Little Shoal Bay

TWEET:

A North Shore family have been training a deaf dog named Bailee that they’ve adopted into their family home #GiveFosterDogsAHome

Sources:

Vince Fong

0274630260

vince.fong@icloud.com

Fiona Sarten

0274941841

Fiona@k9fundamentals.co.nz

Story found on Birkdale/Beach haven Facebook community page

Sara Dajani                                          03/05/17                                                             James Aspey

By Sara Dajani

James Aspey didn’t speak for an entire year to raise awareness for “the voiceless victims of our planet – the animals.”

The animal rights activist had a one-hour speech at the Vegan Food Fair held at Alexandra Park in Epsom on April 23.

The 29-year-old Australian said he didn’t speak for 365 days from 2014 to 2015.

During this time, Aspey biked 5000 kilometres across Australia to prove that vegans are also capable of being healthy and fit without eating animal products.

In 2015 he ended his year of silence by speaking on Australia’s Sunrise show.

Since then, Aspey has given over 150 speeches about animal cruelty and the advantages of starting a vegan lifestyle.

He told the Auckland crowd that he was diagnosed with leukaemia at 17 years old, but overcame it after chemotherapy lasting three years.

This made him start researching about health and was shocked to learn that it is not sustainable or necessary for humans to consume animal products to be healthy.

“We say that we love animals and are against animal cruelty, yet we pay people to mutilate, torture and slaughter animals… it’s not because we need them for our health, it’s because we like the way they taste” Aspey said.

“You don’t need to be a particular religion, or care about your health, or even be an animal lover. I wasn’t. You only need to agree on one thing to be vegan, that causing unnecessary harm to animals is wrong…” Aspey said.

A passionate vegan at the fair named Sam Lahood said that Aspey’s speech helped generate discussion about the mistreatment of animals.

Sam Lahood speaking about veganism

Chris Huriwai who also spent his day at the fair said that the speech has inspired people who are transitioning into a vegan lifestyle because it helped educate them on the mistreatment of animals in the agriculture industry.

“…every single person makes a difference, every positive seed you plant will grow into something and drop other seeds… we must do something to make this world a better place” Aspey concluded.

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Source: Sara Dajani

The front of the crowd below the stands watching James Aspey’s speech at Alexandra Park

TWEET:

After a whole year of not speaking for animals, James Aspey has given over 150 speeches #animalactivist #fightinganimalcruelty

Sources:

Sam Lahood

samlahood@outlook.com

02108348248

Chris Huriwai

Christian.huriwai@live.com

02108348248

Story found at the Vegan Food Fair

Dajani                                         5th April 2017                                                      Antarctica

By Sara Dajani

 

Joseph Michael showcased his Antarctica exhibition at Auckland Museum on the 24th to 26th of March, bringing Aucklanders together for a special show.

 

“Antarctica: while you were sleeping” was a free art installation that involved projected photographs, videos and sounds of icebergs in Antarctica, shown on the Museum’s outside walls.

 

Visual artist Joseph Michael and his crew collected the photographs, video and sound recordings from their trip in Antarctica.

 

The art installation took four years to finally bring to life at Auckland’s Museum.

 

The installation was brought to life by visuals and sounds of icebergs crashing and moving.

 

Lucie O’Keeffe participated in a VIP event that Michael hosted for the exhibition on the 25th of March, and said that the experience made her realize that there’s a lot of possible experiences that the world has to offer for us.

 

 

“Everyone that viewed the art installation would have opened their eyes to an extraordinary world experience” O’Keeffe said.

 

O’Keeffe further said that you can hear the icebergs crashing and moving, which added to the ambience of the event and made people look immersed in what they were hearing and viewing.

 

Michael said that creating the installation was very enjoyable, but one of his biggest challenges was dealing with politics surrounding it.

 

“Cities can be quite boring in what they let people do” said Michael.

 

Michael said that one of their ideas to reduce the budget was to just project it on one side of the museum.

 

However, Michael said that he wanted to project it on all sides of the museum so that the public could fully capture the stimulation of the icebergs crashing.

 

Michael furthermore said that one of his challenges in Antarctica was only having one boat to share with all the other members of the crew, so he couldn’t take the boat out for the day by himself and take photographs.

 

O’Keeffe said that during the VIP event, Michael told everyone that he “got to experience a whole different world, and it really opened him up and made him more appreciative.”

 

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Source: Sara Dajani

Auckland Museum on the 25th of March, with still photography and captured videos of icebergs in Antarctica.

 

TWEET:

 

Special Antarctica exhibition brings Aucklanders together at Auckland museum #ExperienceAntarctica’sWonders

 

Sources:

 

Joseph Michael

info@joemichael.co.nz

 

Lucie O’Keeffe

Luciemayokeeffe123@hotmail.com

0210344685

 

Story found on Facebook events page

Sara Dajani                                  15/03/17                                                        The Halo Project

By Sara Dajani

The Halo Project art installation is encouraging and inspiring young New Zealanders to keep our birdlife and environment healthy by planting native trees.

 

Auckland’s arts festival has brought about a free installation in Wynyard Quarter called The Halo Project created by three eco-activists, Paul Forrest, Matu Booth and Dereck Tearne.

 

The project focuses on the idea of continuing the ‘halo effect,’ which means to care for our environment by planting trees to keep New Zealand’s land and birdlife healthy for future generations to come.

 

Younger children are encouraged to continue the halo effect since Forrest gives every child a free postcard that visits the installation and in exchange, they have to promise to plant their own native tree.

 

 

“We can’t have a native healthy bird life unless the land is sustaining it well. New Zealand is the land of the birds… we as human beings should be the guardians of the land for the birds” said Forrest.

 

The installation has many unique artworks which express the key message of looking after New Zealand’s native birdlife.

 

Forrest paints shapes on top of Tearne’s photographs in order to portray a 3D image of the birds in motion.

 

“If the native birdlife is healthy, the land is healthy, that is the basic statement of the Halo Project,” said Forrest.

 

Tearne explained how over 10 years 283,000 trees were planted on Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki golf and now the land is full of native birds because of the communities’ efforts to do something positive for our environment.

 

Since we’re currently in the sixth mass extinction, we must look after our environment “if we don’t do something to reverse the extinction, we are going to be in serious trouble” Tearne said.

 

 

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Source: Sara Dajani

The Halo Project installation at Wynyard Quarter, where Paul Forrest’s art pieces are displayed and where he creates new art pieces on site.

TWEET:

Help sustain New Zealand’s birdlife and greenery by planting more native trees #TheHaloProject #TheHaloEffect #HealthyEnvironment

Sources:

Paul Forrest

paul@paulforrest.co.nz

0274477254

Derek Tearne

0211763634

 

Story found on Auckland council’s website

How much do YOU care for your local community?

The Birkdale and Beach Haven Community House is devoted to ensuring that the community’s individual and collective needs are met, and this is successfully seen from the significant increase in members.

According to it’s annual report, it has been growing larger every year. From April 2015 to March 2016 it greeted over 12,633 people.

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The Birkdale Community House, located on 134 Birkdale Road, Birkdale
(Photograph taken by Sara Dajani)

Carla Van Walen is the manager of the Birkdale community house and is constantly striving to ensure that the house is adhering to the community’s needs. Walen described her intense passion for the community house by saying “I love giving back to the community, it’s kinda like a church, but without the religious side of it.”

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Walen and the local community flower planting at the Opaketai Beach Haven Gardens opening
(photograph provided by Walen)

The Birkdale and Beach Haven community house is located on the North Shore and has a wide range of 80 groups. Some categories include religious, cultural, exercise, special abilities, language and environmentally friendly groups.

Walen said that after having frequent meetings with other houses, the Birkdale and Beach Haven community house has been concluded to be the most diverse house on the North Shore. They have the most community development which is evident through tasks such as three food drives in the last year to help gather food for people in need.

They have a strong partnership with the Kapatiki Community Facilities Trust that is also situated in the local area and helps them organise relevant events that assist with progressing community growth.
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Walen sitting next to Jill from the Kaipatiki Community Facilities Trust and Richard from the Kaipatiki Local Board. Photograph supplied by Carla van Walen

In an in-depth interview that Walen did with thirty members of the community, she received very positive feedback about the community house being very relevant and up-to-date than it used to be.

Walen started a single parents group to ensure that they are supported within the community. After researching four months ago, Walen discovered that 20.8% of individuals living in Birkdale and Beach Haven are two parent families, and 13% of them are single parents. Walen observed that the group has been successful and the mothers have furthered their connections with each other outside of the community house.

Walen explained that there was a young girl who really wanted to do volunteering at the house and that she supported her through that. “She came here on her first day with no shoes and her top hanging down… we managed to rummage around and get her some clothes, and really help her. And she managed to walk away with her shoulders back, feeling really proud of who she was. She’d really learned from that.”

Walen shared that there has been a struggle to maintain group members, in particular with the drumming group that meets every Tuesday. The group started around 10 months ago and cost the Community House a lot of money since there were low numbers of members. However, she said that they partnered with the partners associated with the IHC people and invited them to the drumming workshop. Now it is very active and doing well.

Walen further said that they receive so much enjoyment from social interaction from the workshop. The video below portrays the enjoyment from the members of the drumming class. Walen described it as “really special.”

The drumming workshop which meets up every Tuesday at the community house 

A member of the workshop playing the drums

On neighbourly.com there were a few questions posed  by asking local members of the community what groups they use and what they think of the community house. The responses received were very positive, and members of the community utilised a range of groups available.

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Joy Brandy was involved in the craft groups

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Phillipa Hawken used it for exercise and art groups in particular

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Tamara Jenkins joined the zumba classes 

The Birkdale and Beach Haven Community House is a compassionate and devoted constitution which acts as a role model to other community houses situated in Auckland, because of its noticeable devotion and rapid success in helping with the community’s growth.

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Almost the end of this journey…

As I sat in the last journalism lecture for 2016, I had two thoughts going through my head. These two thoughts were the fact that this year has flashed by, and also that I have learned the most in this paper than any other paper I have studied this entire year.

I sat there thinking about how glad I am that I ended up picking journalism this semester. It has taught me so many important and valuable life skills which I will carry on to grow throughout my studies and future career. It has also helped me in other aspects of my life because it had made me more confident in talking to people that I would not usually reach out to.

This course has also helped me realise that there are so many opportunities for the average person to meet new people. This may seem silly and vague, but it is very true. This course has helped me scape my comfort zone and talk to people in the public that I would not usually approach. For example, the class exercises that we did when we had to interview random individuals in the streets of Auckland about their opinion of Donald Trump becoming president of the United States of America really made me realise that there are so many people who are very keen on talking to new people, and these activities also helped me boost my confidence and prepared me for interviewing my interviewee Carla for my own story.

Sara

The power of social media for journalists

Social media is one of the fastest and easiest ways for people to communicate with others from anywhere in the world – since at the click of a button you can instantly message anyone which would not be possible if social media did not exist today.

Social media has proved itself to be such an important tool for journalists, especially with the use of Twitter – since they are able to communicate with a large audience of people to discuss the recent news stories with. Jenkins as cited in (Fuchs, 2014) describes social media as a ‘participatory culture’ since it allows the public to be involved in the discussion of certain topics that interest them with other people who also feel the same way. This allows people to be creative and expressive in a discussion of topics that they all have a connection to. Jenkins further says that participatory culture brings about social connection, which means that people involved in the conversation start to care about what the others think about the content. These were some important ideas that were also conveyed in week ten’s lecture.

I definitely use social media websites such as Facebook to engage with others about social issues that catch my interest, this is done by the use of ‘sharing’ news articles and ideas, which then appear on all my friend’s home pages. During this week’s lecture, the lecturer urged us all to be active on Twitter because it is one of the most influential social media websites for social discussion and participation. As a journalist, I will aim to make the most out of the social benefits social media.

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