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Volume 10, Number 2, 2010



Measuring the Effectiveness of TV Station Blogs With the Conversational Index

Dr Ray Niekamp

The Conversational Index (CI) is a simple measure to gauge the effectiveness of blogs. The number of comments to blog posts is added to the number of trackbacks, and that sum is divided by the number of posts. The result suggests how much conversation is taking place between the blogger and audience. This paper applies the Conversational Index to blogs on local U. S. television station web sites. Blogs dealing with items in the news registered the highest CI's, while weather blogs had the lowest. While measuring the quantity of responses to blog posts, the CI does not measure quality of the comments, opening the potential for further refinements to this metric in the future.


Journalism 2.0

Prof Alan Knight

Much of the pessimism expressed about journalism's future and the negative impact of the internet, has emanated from western countries, where journalism often has been dominated by large, traditional, privately owned, newspaper groups. This paper focuses on the role of journalism in Asia and the impact of the internet on Asian journalism.


The use of narrative fiction to spread HIV information in Papua New Guinea .

Associate Prof. Trevor Cullen and Ruth Callaghan

The nature of media coverage of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) needs to vary in order to be sustained by newspapers—writing the same message, however worthy, loses impact over time. So an interesting innovation in the 2010 cover­age of HIV in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the publication of a serialised fiction story in the Post-Courier . It is the story of Vavine, a young girl infected with HIV , who is forced to leave her village after her parents' deaths from AIDS . She keeps her infection secret but because of her circumstances, she is forced to work in a club where sex is freely traded. What makes the story an educational tool, rather than soap opera, is the con­stant reinforcement of the safe-sex message and exploration of other social issues, including sorcery, beliefs surrounding magic and death, and promis­cuity. This represents a shift in reporting towards a better explanation of the disease in the context of broader social and cultural issues. T his type of reporting - that uses narrative fiction - could signal a new and more effective approach for reporting on HIV in the Pacific.


Cape Town’s The Voice of the Cape: Profiling a ‘Proudly South African Product’

Associate Prof Muhammed Haron

South Africa’s media industry has had a facelift since it became a democracy during the early part of 1994. The democratically elected government with the assistance of a plethora of NGOs crafted and devised a liberal Constitution that secured the media’s ‘freedom of expression’ and the religious communities’ ‘freedom of belief.’ These clauses ensured that the media and the religious communities were granted the necessary legal protection and in this new environment injected the required confidence to effectively contribute - along with other civil society actors - towards the desired nation-building process.

Since the Muslim community formed part and parcel of this democratic society, some of its representatives set up radio stations when they successfully applied for temporary licenses that were issued by the government to set up and manage community radio stations. One of the many Muslim radio stations that have celebrated 10 years of broadcasting during 2007 was Cape Town’s The Voice of the Cape. This essay intends to provide a profile of – what might be described as - a proudly South African station. It does so my giving a historical overview, exploring its audience, and looking at two popular presenters who have contributed towards VOC’s popular image among and beyond the Cape Muslim community.

Key Words: South Africa, Cape Town, Community Radio, Religion, Identity


Ideological Criticism of a Nigerian Video Film, August Meeting: A Feminist Perspective

Annie N. Duru

This paper analyses a Nigerian video film called August Meeting. The goal is to reveal the major ideologies presented and analyse the significance of the film in raising women’s consciousness. The presented and suggested elements of the film are shown leading to the identification of a patriarchal and hegemonic ideology. While the idea of a women’s organisation and women’s forum were presented in a negative way, men were portrayed as victims of women’s selfishness and greed and ultimately as the masters of women, the final decision makers, and as heroes who saved the community from the evil hands of a women’s movement.
The patriarchal ideology of the film is seen in the depiction of women and the production style of the film. The film is undoubtedly produced and directed from men’s perspective following its negative representation of women and women’s forum. However, this film is analyzed from a feminist perspective, using feminist criticism as a theoretical framework to explore the ideology presented in the film, how it reinforces traditional hegemonic positions, and how women’s consciousness can be raised from watching the film.


Striving to realise the European idea: Judging the news media’s accounts of how the Berlin Wall gave impetus to a new order across Europe.

Dr Lee Duffield

The 1990 European Community was taken by surprise, by the urgency of demands from the newly-elected Eastern European governments to become member countries. Those governments were honouring the mass social movement of the streets, the year before, demanding free elections and a liberal economic system associated with “Europe”. The mass movement had actually been accompanied by much activity within institutional politics, in Western Europe, the former “satellite” states, the Soviet Union and the United States, to set up new structures – with German reunification and an expanded EC as the centre-piece.

This paper draws on the writer’s doctoral dissertation on mass media in the collapse of the Eastern bloc, focused on the Berlin Wall – documenting both public protests and institutional negotiations. For example the writer as a correspondent in Europe from that time, recounts interventions of the German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, at a European summit in Paris nine days after the “Wall”, and separate negotiations with the French President, Francois Mitterrand -- on the reunification, and EU monetary union after 1992. Through such processes, the “European idea” would receive fresh impetus, though the EU which eventuated, came with many altered expectations. It is argued here that as a result of the shock of 1989, a “social” Europe can be seen emerging, as a shared experience of daily life -- especially among people born during the last two decades of European consolidation.

The paper draws on the author’s major research, in four parts: (1) Field observation from the strategic vantage point of a news correspondent. This includes a treatment of evidence at the time, of the wishes and intentions of the mass public (including the unexpected drive to join the European Community), and those of governments, (e.g. thoughts of a “Tienanmen Square solution” in East Berlin, versus the non-intervention policies of the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev). (2) A review of coverage of the crisis of 1989 by major news media outlets, treated as a history of the process. (3) As a comparison, and a test of accuracy and analysis; a review of conventional histories of the crisis appearing a decade later.(4) A further review, and test, provided by journalists responsible for the coverage of the time, as reflection on practice – obtained from semi-structured interviews


‘We would have saved her life’: mobile telephony in an island village in Papua New Guinea

Amanda H A Watson

As a new communication technology expands in a disadvantaged, rural area of a developing country, changes take place in the lives of the people in the area. The paper examines the introduction of mobile telephony into a rural village in Papua New Guinea, and contains findings from field research conducted in February 2009. The analysis is undertaken through a social lens, providing an understanding of the roles of mobile phones in this community by foregrounding the feelings, thoughts and attitudes expressed by the village people. This in turn enables a deeper understanding of the sociological effects related to the uptake of mobile telephony.


Resurrecting the notion of journalistic objectivity: a discussion of journalistic objectivity in one-on-one interviews

Leo Bowman and Kasun Ubayasiri

A number of recent books on ethics (Hirst and Patching, 2005, Tanner et al,2005, Richards, 2005, Ward, 2006) have indicated that traditional understandings of journalism “objectivity” are in need of renovation if they are to sustain the claim as a guide to ethical action.

Ward, argues for the recasting of the notions of traditional objectivity to offer a “pragmatic objectivity” as an alternative and plausible underpinning to ethical journalism practice. He argues that a recast or “pragmatic objectivity” should respond to the changing rhetorical relationship between journalists and their audiences; and, in so doing, should take inspiration from attempts to be objective in other practical domains---professions such as law and public administration in seeking models.

This paper seeks to take a step in that direction through illustrating how journalism interviewers do “objectivity” through the adaptation of the principles of the “Fourth Estate to political interviews. It turns such analysis to the ends of establishing the particular “pragmatic ethic” underpinning such practices and how journalism interviewing technique has allowed for proactive journalists to strike a workable balance between pursuing the public interest and observing the restraining protocols of modern journalistic practice.


Book review

Mass-Media and Terrorism: fringe reflections for a central issue.

Reviewed by Korstanje Maximiliano: Terrorism and the Politics of Fear. Authored by David Altheide. 2006. Altamira Press. Oxford. Pp. 247.


Media Analysis

The Scientific Sensationalism: short commentaries along with Scientific risk perception.

Korstanje Maximiliano

Over more than 20 years, academicians have concerned by respecting to the pervasive role played by journalism in context of disasters. After all, the uncertainness and poor information that characterize these types of events needs for specialists who can mitigate the negative effects of ignorance.




Professor Alan Knight,
University of Technology, Sydney

Advisory Panel

Dr Judith Clarke, Baptist University, Hong Kong

Elliott S. Parker, Central Michigan University, USA

Dr Lee Richard Duffield, Queensland University of Technology

Jim Tully, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Dr Kasun Ubayasiri, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Stephen Stockwell, Griffith University

Philip Cass, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

Dr Steve Quinn, Deakin University, Deakin University


Ejournalist: refereed media journal. ISSN 1444-741X