About ellemanoe

Young female undergraduate studying Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelor of Arts @ University of Wollongong

I Tweet, Therefore I Am.

twiwtterAlmost ten years ago, the online social networking service ‘Twitter’ was created, transforming and revolutionising the public sphere. With a limited 140-characters, users were now enabled to send and read short messages called “tweets”, discussing issues of news and current events to everyday activities and lifestyles. However, modern skeptics scoffed at the concept, criticising the effectiveness of such a limited platform in conveying ideas. Twitter has since grown in popularity with the world’s most influential news organisations, journalists and publishing companies utilising the platform for a direct dialogue with their audiences. Some of the most influential and widely-recognised include the following:

Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)
A journalist at @The_Intercept, an author and self proclaimed ‘animal fanatic’, Greenwald’s tweets continuously delve into some of the most worthwhile subjects across the internet, frequently focused on civil liberties and human rights. Through this, he promotes his work and generates conversations by quoting those in question and voicing his opinions on controversies. #followgreenwald

Peter Greste (@PeterGreste)
An Australian journalist and foreign correspondent, Greste has worked for Reuters, CNN and the BBC all around the world. His tweets primarily consist of development in his career and his promotion of free speech and pardons for journalists, particularly with Al Jazeera. He is particularly concerned with the protection of journalists and the means by which we distribute and receive information. #followgreste

Paul Bradshaw (@paulbradshaw)
Writer Paul Bradshaw focuses on online & data journalism. His Twitter is heavy on politics and tries to reach out to current students in journalism. He utilises this platform as a means of promoting his online journalism blog, informing his audiences (particularly journalists),  and promoting education and understanding in the industry posting over 40 thousand tweets to date. If you are lacking inspiration or want to divulge in information. #followbradshaw

A Silenced Conversation

Al Qaeda was formed in 1988; the Islamic State in 1999.  Since their establishments, both militant groups have led horrific acts of violence, terrorism and brutal crimes against humanity. Even with Muslim leaders around the world condemning the extremist’s ideology and actions, such events have spawned for a heightened sense of hostility and tension within the Australian public. The presence of hate speech, discrimination and vilification are not unheard of. During the past year, 1 in 5 people living in Australia were the target of racial discrimination, an estimated 4.6 million people. Added to this, 1 in 5 people living in Australia have been the target of racial abuse.

Mohamad Zouhour is just one of many.

On September 22nd 2015, Mr. Zouhour was informed that his business had been the target of a racially motivated crime. The shop front of his Newtown Lebanese restaurant had been destroyed, with anti-Muslim slogans and profanities scratched across the glass panes. Coinciding with months of abusive phone calls and racial slurs, Mr. Zouhour and his family were being attacked as a result of the conflict in the Middle East, or so it would seem.

“I don’t know why this guy or guys think I’m the leader for Arab people or I’m the leader for Muslims – they’re calling me to abuse me about what’s happening overseas or something like that which is not my fault. I’m not doing nothing wrong here.”

Many suggest that both the media and political spheres encourage for scrutiny of Australian Muslims, with the threat of raid cases dominating the television screens. Similarly, he expresses

“I’m a bit surprised about the media. Usually if a Muslim guy does something, they put it on the TV next half an hour but if something happens to a Muslim guy, they’ll think about it a hundred times before they put it on.”

Australia has a culture of denial when it comes to racism, a culture that perpetuates racist and prejudiced behaviour. One in seven people living in Australia are against the concept of multiculturalism, one in ten have racist attitudes. Though with current census data revealing that 1 in 4 Australians are born overseas, how can this be the case? The cost of terrorism and war is nothing compared to the ongoing cost of ourselves. Cross-cultural tension affects the whole of society, the majority, the minority and the individual. This is where the conversation begins, this is where the silence ends; no fear, no racism.

Available on Storify

A Brief Critique of ‘A Dark Room’

The student composed audio piece, A Dark Room, proposes a state of depression as a place of mind, one that leads an anonymous interviewee to feelings of ‘self-doubt and worthlessness’. Exploring the implications of a metaphorically conceived dark room, the selected narrative effectively tells the individuals story in a concise and simplistic manner. This subtlety is further extended to the use of ambient sound in the use of heavy breathing and the opening and closing of doors. Subject to an individual’s interpretation, analytically I propose the heavy breathing as an indicator of struggle and the contrasting opening and closing of objects as the fickleness of a place of mind, beautifully portrayed. Added to this, exempting music in this piece was creatively correct,  as it’s absence allows the audience to focus on the words selected, establishing a sense of loss and confusion. Furthermore, the use of a guitar in the background accentuates a development of character further adding to the story, without the need for words. Overall, this piece is extremely strong in the use of narrative and ambient sounds. From a critical standpoint however, one may critique the piece to be shortcoming in effectively emphasising the notion of place and in lacking closure.

Time to Ponder

Image Credit: Elly Manoe

Image Credit: Elly Manoe

“When people tell you a story, it’s like they’re singing you a song. Every voice has its own musicality, its own tone and timbre. And even just a little half-sentence fragment can go in through your ear and tell you something profound about a person’s soul.”

-Aaron Henkin

An individual’s sense of belonging is established through the influence of people, places and culture. In construction of my first assessment, I plan to aspire to this concept by conveying a lack of connection, coupled with a continuous challenge of cultural disparity in my interviewee Bol Agok. As a preface, Bol migrated from his home country of South Sudan for a better education and for a better life. In doing so, he left his mother, his family and his friends behind,  only leaving them with the promise he would return. A story as such, needs to be sung.

I plan to initiate my piece with the robust rhythms of African drums to establish context and background for the piece. A preceding sharp transition to a simplistic ambience of meditation and bells will further draw in the listener allowing for the beginning monologue to stand out and emphasise the dominant themes that will be explored. The selection of interview material will highlight the separation between Bol and his family and the why migration was a necessity. As a technique of evoking emotion I further plan to utilise blank space in between statements and rising tones between interview material.

The Journey

Image Credit: The Fitness Walking Guide

Image Credit: The Fitness Walking Guide

It’s the feeling of endorphins that race through your body, and the pump of your heart beating in your chest. It’s the challenge and strength that comes with the process, the routine of accomplishment and ongoing success. 

For this week’s journalism module I focussed primarily on the University of Wollongong’s Recreation and Aquatic Centre (URAC), attempting to signify the complexities of place . My drafted montage layered together a combination of different audio sounds and ambience to signify the journey between the gym, and the exercises completed whilst there. In creating the journey between, I chose to contrast the soft sounds of home to the harder and corse sounds of weights, treadmills and loud conversation. However, I found difficulty in establishing the importance of place for individuals with a lack of interview material. Essentially, I find that was I have composed thus far could work as a short introductory piece for a longer interview, or as a layered ambience for other projects. In saying this, I effectively used the editing techniques of layering, fades and cuts, sound levels and  transitions to stream together a well produced montage. Accessing external audio files from online sound banks also contributed to the overall project, dynamically enhancing the natural sounds. Overall, I feel that the simplicity and concise nature of the montage serves well in establishing a brief picture of the facets of an active lifestyle.

‘Backwater’

The Republic of South Sudan has bared witness to strenuous amounts of torment and conflict over the last few decades. Despite the end of civil war, the negative impacts and consequences continue to be felt by its citizens, compromising their livelihoods and jeopardising their futures. As a result, many Sudanese people migrate to developed nations that are laden with opportunity. Torn between a love for his mother and the prospect for a better life, Bol Agok is just one of many that have chosen this course. With the constant challenge of a cultural disparity and sense of belonging, he remains inspired and unchanged in heart.

This is his story.