Media Comparison Report

Robin Williams death last week received comprehensive news coverage. Above is an example of one tabloid front page and a redditor's response to its sensationalism.
Robin Williams death last week received comprehensive news coverage. Above is an example of one tabloid front page and a redditor’s response to its sensationalism.

In Task 2 you have been asked to complete a written report that analyses one print or electronic news media sample in relation to another of the same medium (for example Today Tonight). Below are some websites with links to relevant newspapers and TV current affairs programmes. Many websites now contain streaming services where you can access current stories and up to date information.

Online news media:

Current affairs TV programs

So you’ve forgotten how to write a report? Subheadings! x 3

Edit (Wednesday 20/8): I’ve removed the video as some students were getting a little confused as to the length and style of the report. A simple report with subheadings that outline the different comparative questions asked on the assignment sheet, with tables/graphs and referencing will suffice. Please see me on Friday if you are still having any issues.

Essay Writing Tips


Dear budding journalism students – just a heads up for next time with your essay writing skills. Here are some links below to help you.  Remember to always footnote and reference your sources appropriately!

Handy and good to know!

Reading Between the Lines and Reporting

Broadsheet paper image

Above is a concise guide to some of the elements that make up the front page of newspaper. In Monday’s lesson (11th August) we will watch the clickview video – Reading Between the Lines and Reporting.  It gives a comprehensive insight into the daily workings of a newspaper in both morning and afternoon circulation.

When you are watching the video answer the following questions below from the video briefly either on computer or written in your workbooks.


  1. What is Journalism? What is the purpose of Journalism?
  2. What is the difference between ‘news’ and ‘current affairs’?
  3. What are some of the differences between TV & Radio journalism and newspaper journalism?
  4. Discuss the nature of a typical newspaper – e.g. contents, readership profile, relationship with advertisers, what determines place and order in the newspaper, etc.
  5. The difference between ‘broadsheet’ and ‘tabloid’? The advantages of each?
  6. What does it mean to find a new ‘angle’ on a story?
  7. Why is a news story the reverse of a fairy-tale?
  8. What is the ‘human interest’ or ‘news colour’ story?
  9. In what ways is the newspaper front page very much a ‘formulated’ page?
  10. What percentage of newspaper readers are “captured at the news stand”? What implications does this have for the creation of the newspaper?
  11. What does the “subbing” of the front page mean?
  12. Define the following elements of the front page of a newspaper:
  • a) masthead
  • b) blurb
  • c) byline
  • d) dateline
  • e) caption
  • f) headline
  • g) spill
  • h) pointer
  • i) trunk

What is journalism?

Here’s a great video on what it takes to be a journalist in the age of the internet and social media.

What are some of the main relevant topics that you can summarise from the video?

Further information and weblinks galore below.

Media ownership laws in Australia

Front page of The Sunday Telegraph on 1 September December 2013. The tabloid newspaper is the weekend edition of the Daily Telegraph, owned by News Corp.
Front page of The Sunday Telegraph on 1 September December 2013. The tabloid newspaper is the weekend edition of the Daily Telegraph, owned by News Corp.

Media ownership in Australia is divided between commercial, national public broadcasters and not-for-profit community broadcasters. Australian media ownership is one of the most concentrated in the world – 11 of the 12 city newspapers in this country are owned by either News Corp Australia or Fairfax Media.

Here’s an informative video on who owns what, according to SBS Factbox.

There is also a pretty straight forward wikipedia entry on the subject, as well as an opinion piece and counter-response from the online publication The Conversation.

What laws are in place in Australia that control and regulate ownership of the media? Do you think these newspapers act in the ‘public interest’?

Discuss in the comments section below.



News sources

Happy Friday everyone!

Here’s a concise article written for on how to use proper attribution in a news story. It’s very important to credit a source of information when it doesn’t come from your own observations. Most eye-witness accounts make up a consistent part of any news article.

When discussing ‘what is good news/what are the sources of the stories?’ in Task 1, remember to have a re-read of ‘News sources (Chapter 2)’ from Mandy Oakham’s ‘Don’t Bury the Lead’ hand out. The chapter outlines proper interview techniques, cultivating good contacts, tip-offs, press releases as well as how to compile documentary sources of information and source statistics.

The Media Report is a radio program on Radio National that examines the media in our society, talking to key players in the industry as well as looking at contemporary journalism in the digital age. I definitely suggest listening to the recent podcasts on The Australian news framework as well as the plight of imprisoned journalist Peter Greste and the future of Al Jazeera. Thanks to Mr. Strempel for the heads up!


What is a style guide?

style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organisation or field. The implementation of a style guide provides uniformity in style and formatting within a document and across multiple documents.

Some examples of style guides used by journalists in different media formats can be found below.

Who owns the news?

Murdoch papers

Here’s an article from the Sydney Morning Herald from last week discussing the Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s praises of the Rupert Murdoch owned The Australian newspaper as a ‘gift to our nation’. The Prime Minister had been speaking at a dinner celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication.

He also wanted to “kill” the myth that News Corporation were a cipher for the billionaire businessman and his conservative views.


Link: ‘Tony Abbott praises The Australian as Rupert Murdoch’s ‘gift to our nation’ – Sydney Morning Herald (July 16th, 2014)


What is news?

When a dog bites a man that’s not really news, when a man bites a dog it’s certainly news… but what about a cat biting a dog biting a boy?

The News Manual is a professional resource that Journalism students can use to further understand how news stories are developed and created.

Areas explored in this chapter are:

  • Criteria of news
  • How strong is a story?
  • How do we get the news?
  • Where does news come from?
  • News and entertainment

The News Manual – Chapter 1 – What is news?

What makes a story ‘news-worthy’? Respond by clicking on the comments section below.