Open Doors to Tenants with Paws

It’s the contentious issue that’s been dogging both sides of the fence for years: renters with pets. But now, the Queensland Government is inviting feedback on a wide range of topics related to renting in Queensland as part of its Open Doors to Renting Reform forum, by the Department of Housing and Public Works (HPW) in conjunction with the Rental Tenancies Authority (RTA). It hopes to consider the suggestions and concerns from both renters and property owners alike, including the subject of renting with pets.

A spokesperson from the RTA says rental property owners, tenants and property managers are encouraged to have their say on renting in Queensland by either making a submission, completing an online survey or by visiting a community consultation event.

“Feedback received during this consultation will help inform a review of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 and help shape the future of renting in Queensland.”


Knick Knack, Paddy Whack, give renters with dogs a home? (Source:

An HPW departmental spokesperson says opinion was divided in a recent online ‘pet poll’ that recently closed on October 19th, with 51% saying ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Should pets be kept in rental properties without permission?’

“There was general support that pet bonds would help tenants and property owners reach agreement on pets – 77% indicated ‘Yes’ and 23% indicated ‘No’.”

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The departmental spokesperson said that although the pet poll has closed, Queenslanders still have until 5pm AEST on Friday, November 30, 2018, to have their say.

“The Queensland Government will consider all feedback when developing any proposals to change tenancy law and departmental policies.”

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Property Manager Bindi Vanarey says the decision to allow dogs in properties should still be on the owner.

“I have worked in the Real Estate Industry for over 13 years and have seen some significant damage from pets during my time so can completely understand why some owners would choose to not allow Dogs in their properties again.”


She says not all properties are suitable for pets and the right to say ‘no to dogs’ should never be removed without more regulations being introduced.

“I am an investor and my house is currently rented to a family who do have a dog, and in the past, I’ve rented my townhouse to tenants with cats.

“I don’t think I would ever allow a dog in my townhouse as there’s very little space for a dog to have room to move or go to the bathroom”

Roslyn Wallace, secretary of the Property Owners Association of Queensland (POAQ), agrees that allowing pets on a rental property should be strictly a matter for the owner to decide.


“Changing tenancy laws to allow renting with pets to be more viable would pose extra burdens and costs on owners of rental properties coming so soon after changes to the smoke alarm legislation.



“If dogs are allowed on the property, we feel that the Act should be changed to allow professional carpet cleaning, timber floors to be repolished and professional pest control at the end of the tenancy at the tenant’s cost.”

Brisbane renter Cassandra Edwards has one bird, three cats, and two dogs. She says the best advice for renters with furry family members is to be honest, and upfront when making inquiries.

“A lot of real estate listings don’t advertise whether or not a property is pet-friendly, but historically we’ve found most owners are usually open-minded to pets.

“I always include a letter in my tenancy application that talks about my pets.”

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Excerpt from Cassandra Edward’s Tenancy Application Letter. (Supplied)

For more information about Public Housing Tenants’ rights and responsibilities, go to

The Pets in Public Housing Fact Sheet.


Small & Intimate Weddings: The Rising Demand for a Downsized ‘I do’


Photo: (supplied) Urban Memories

Getting married is recognised by many as one of the most important (and expensive) events of your life. According to the 2016 Easy Weddings Annual Australian Survey which interviewed over 2300 newlyweds across Australia; the average number of wedding guests at a reception is 98. But don’t panic! For those couples wishing for a smaller, more intimate celebration without the costly price-tag, there are alternatives.

Planning is Important:

Stef Potter, wedding planner and owner of Pop-Up Weddings Bayside, located in Brisbane, Queensland; knows all too well about keeping costs down for your big day, and she says it all starts with planning.

“The first thing that brides and grooms need to consider when organising their big day is what style of wedding they are after,” she said.

When Stef and her husband  Chris married five years ago; her guests thought she had spent up to $30,000 on her big day.  However, thanks to careful planning, compromising and thrifty thinking, the couple were able to keep costs down to just $11,000.

Stef’s wedding venue included the garden ceremony, canapes for guests during bridal party photographs and a two-course meal and five-hour drinks package with her sister’s home-made cupcakes served as dessert.

“The venue organised all of the extras such as styling and ceremony accessories on the lawn.”

It was this all-inclusive price pointed philosophy which led the way for Pop-Up Weddings Bayside to offer hassle-free organisation to other brides and grooms-to-be.


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Photo: (supplied) Urban Memories

Cassie and Jim Edwards, a Brisbane couple who married in Toowoomba in August 2014 also saved a lot of money by opting to keep things sweet and simple with a lot of preparation organised themselves.

“We were planning on having the ceremony at the Japanese Gardens in Toowoomba, but Mother Nature had other plans for us, so we had the ceremony and reception with just 35 guests in the community hall in Laurel Bank Park,” Cassie said.

Cassie and Jim started planning their wedding a few weeks after they got engaged on August 16; organising everything themselves except for the hiring of a celebrant and hair stylist.

“Our engagement was less than a year, but when you know you’ve met the right person, there’s no need to wait.”


Cassandra and Jim Edwards on their Wedding Day in Toowoomba (Photo: Supplied)

Cassie’s advice to newly engaged couples starting the exciting but sometimes stressful planning process is to try not to focus too much on the small details, but direct your attention on making your big day about you instead.

“I see brides worrying about place settings not being the right shade or shape.

“Your guests won’t notice or care if you have designer porcelain or if you went to a discount outlet.”

Cassie and Jim also opted not to go on a honeymoon, instead deciding to adopt a German Shepard named Elsa, a month after tying the knot.

“I often say, as long as you get married, the rest is just detail.”

Saying Yes to your Dress

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Photo: (supplied) Urban Memories

One of the most expensive dresses a man or woman will ever buy in their life is without a doubt the attire they will walk down the aisle with. But according to Bridal Specialist Debbie Langdon from A Formal Affair Bridal in Chermside, finding the perfect dress doesn’t have to break the budget.

“Some Brides-to-be think that to have the most ‘beautiful dress’ it is going to cost a considerable amount of money, so they are quite surprised to find the dress they fall in love with ends up costing less than half of what they were expecting to pay,” she said.

Cassie also agrees that choosing a wedding dress can be stressful, but suggests to not procrastinate, after almost missing out on getting her own dream gown.

“The hardest part of planning the wedding for me was trawling through image after image of wedding dresses trying to find ‘the one’,” she recalled.

“I’d found some images of a dress in my style online, as I didn’t want a traditional white or ivory dress, and had found where to buy it, but I just kept hesitating for some reason.

“But then one day, I was scrolling through Facebook and suddenly there it was, the last one; less than $1000 and in blue!”

Fitting Specialist, Shamiran Dinka of Pearl Bridal at Mermaid Beach, warns Brides-to-be to not wait too long if they have found the dress they love.

“We have new styles coming in regularly, so unfortunately when a popular style has been on our shelves for more than six months or so, they often get discontinued to make way for new arrivals, sometimes only with a few days’ notice,” she said.

Choosing a vendor:

When it comes to choosing any type of wedding industry professional; Brisbane’s in-demand wedding celebrant Josh Withers says that the first question couples need to ask themselves is “what is this for?”

“There’s a common thread through wedding planning circles that you “must” have this, or your wedding isn’t perfect enough or good enough if it’s missing certain elements, traditions, or products,” he said.


Source: (Giphy)

“The truth is, your wedding is perfect if it celebrates who you are as a couple.”

“It doesn’t hurt to make life easier for a day, or prettier for a day or even more fun for a day, but not if those enhancements are weird, out of character, or lacking meaning for you.

“So simply ask, “What is a celebrant for?” and “What is this photographer for?” so you’re not just spending thousands of dollars without reason, but you are actually spending that valuable cash with meaning, direction, and purpose.”

Sunshine Coast wedding photographer Mike Urban from Urban Memories, who has been in the business for over 30 years; suggests that for couples who wish to hire a professional, to make an appointment to meet them in person and let them know exactly what you are after.

“It is so important that you feel comfortable with the person who is going to capture the memories of one the most important days in your life, so don’t be afraid to ask questions; and make sure you are both clear on what coverage you want and how much it will cost,” he said.

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Photo: (supplied) Urban Memories

John Virgona, multi-award winning MC and DJ from Mooveit DJs on the Sunshine Coast also says that couples must talk directly to the operator of the service providers that will be there on the night at their wedding.

“You must feel comfortable and reassured about the team you are working with, for your wedding, and be reassured that you will be getting the night you always dreamed of having,” he said.

“Reviews are a great indication to see what other couples thought of a DJ or MC at their wedding and selecting an ABIA (Australian Bridal Industry Academy) award-winning supplier, reassures you of their professionalism, quality of service, experience/professionalism and value for money as it is all part of the ABIA criteria to be nominated.”

Best advice for thrifty brides and grooms-to-be?


Source: Tenor

Josh says that couples on a budget should feel liberated to cut out what they want to, but splurge on what makes them feel valued, beautiful and special.

“I’m answering these questions from Bali where we’ll happily spend big money on a nice villa then order cheap Nasi Goreng for lunch because we value rest and relaxation over fancy food.”

Josh says the one experience he would share with everyone from his own wedding to his wife of four years Britt is to take the opportunity to be present in your wedding.

“Let it happen to you.

“Let your friends and family love you, and celebrate you, and make time to be with your spouse.”

Logan Bride Bindi Vanarey, who wed her husband Duane in an intimate Gold Coast ceremony in a Miami Park last May; saved money on her bridal gown, by purchasing it on eBay so they could indulge on other aspects of their wedding day.

“Duane’s suit cost more than my dress,” laughed Bindi.


Bindi and Duane Vanarey on their wedding day on May 14, 2017. Photo: (Facebook/supplied)

“We only spent $90 in council fees to book the park for our ceremony for two hours, but our biggest splurge was our reception at $175 per person, plus DJ, decorations etc, so all up $7000 for that.”

Stef says to try and save on everything but to focus on the things that are the most important.

“We have four pictures on our wall which are our treasured memories and favourite images from the day,” she said

“It’s the time together with close family and friends that is so important because in the end, they won’t remember the upgraded table styling.”



Comment Piece:

By Leanne Nebe

I want a no-frills church wedding with ALL the frills





Church Weddings on a budget? Piece of cake! (or not) As a newly engaged Bride-to-be, I have started, slowly but surely, to embark on the daunting task of trawling the Internet for traditional wedding venues. Yes, I want a church ceremony, and I know, big deal Leanne, you’re not even getting married for another two years, you have plenty of time. But seriously people, shit is getting real! Our freedoms of expression are being toyed with y’all. And what freedoms would they be you may ask? Well, did you know that at some churches, you are not even permitted to throw rice, confetti or red rose petals inside or outside the church after the ceremony? Yes, yes, it will make a mess, and will require cleaning up afterwards, but seriously; if you are going to be forking out over two thousand buckaroos wouldn’t you think that there would be some discretions that would allow some sort of trivial rice-throwing fun? I guess not.

Now don’t you worry, I won’t name and shame, but according to some wedding information packs available online, (Google Brisbane Anglican Church Weddings for example and you will find some interesting stuff trust me, I kid you not) guests that are found to ‘contravene these requests’ will incur a surcharge! LORD ALMIGHTY!

But blowing bubbles, throwing WHITE rose petals and the releasing of butterflies is okay? Right-e-o then. Hold my bouquet… And as beautiful as the older Cathedrals are to hold your big day, (and they are gorgeous) it doesn’t come cheap either. Back in the day, my Grandmother Jean would have happily thrown a few $50 notes to the Minister, but holding your nuptials at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral on Ann Street in the heart of the Brisbane CBD in 2018 can set you back a cool $2200 or more, depending on the time and date of your ceremony, with added costs if you wish to have the bells rung, and a choir sing at the ceremony. Also, some churches forbid guests from taking photos from within the church itself! You have permission to use two photographers only and they must hold A.P.R.A licences. LET PEOPLE THROW THINGS.

I also looked up the Catholic Church wedding ceremony prices purely out of interest and assuming they would be cheaper, but nope, I was wrong. They hold ceremonies in the bigger cathedrals for $2000 too!

Is it any wonder that most people opt for an outdoor wedding, or choose to elope in some exotic location for half the price? I guess I’m just a stickler for tradition. I want all the fairy-tale elements, but without the hefty price-tag. Of course, you can still find a beautiful cosy church for a fraction of the price, out in the suburbs, but if you really want something, and your heart is set on it, you will do what you have to, to make that dream a reality, am I right? Every little girl dreams of having a wedding like they do in children’s fairy tales, and everyone dreams of a happily ever after, even if it does cost you a couple of grand.

For some this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and if you truly crave a huge Gothic-Revival-inspired Cathedral to say your “I do’s”, (even at a ridiculous price like I am) then so be it. In the meantime, I’ll start researching white rose petal stockists…







Too Connected




Photo: L.Nebe


I never thought in 2018 that I, as a Millennial, (eeek!) would reminisce on the good ol’ times of “yesteryear”; aka growing up in the 90s in a time when the Internet Age was only just emerging, and the slow pulsating beeps of the dial-up would offer a faint but active signal to peruse the interwebs of bliss, but here we are.

As Joseph Turrow suggests in his book Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication; ‘Convergence and globalisation are contemporary trends having a significant impact on all facets of media.’ (Yes, I wrote an essay about this back in the day). But these days; with the digital convergence and continual evolvement of media, most people don’t even have a home phone or computer. Why? Because the smartphone does the job of five and saves consumers a small fortune. But what is the cost of our mental well-being? Are we so fixated on our devices that we can’t switch off to enjoy the simple things in life? Like each other? Apparently not.

The shift to digitalisation of the work-place has put added pressures on staff to constantly be able to diversify their skills and be available to send and receive data or answer calls at any given time. Some jobs require staff being ‘on-call’ which gives many people no option but to be within an eye’s reach of their mobile phones or tablets.

Really? Is that the excuse we will use today? Well who cares. Tell them to get stuffed (politely of course). Switch your phone off and pretend your battery died or that you ‘lost your phone’. Everyone else does it (apparently). What is the world coming to, when you can’t even have a conversation with your significant other because he or she is engrossed in an online heated Twitter debate about the rising cost of pastrami; or that your kids are too ‘busy’ spending their holidays locked in their rooms, feeding their minds with trivial online entertainment?

Is work really an excuse to be married to your devices? The rise of social media and the advancements of technology have seemingly bred a new generation of tech-savvy hipster kids or ‘social isolationists’ that appear to withdraw themselves from everything but their digital connections.

It seems like a far cry from the tree-climbing, bicycle-riding, active explorer kids that I grew up with, in favor of a screen that offers them almost instantaneous self-gratifying measures of supposed self-worth at the click of a button.

Parents, (myself included) have no one to blame but ourselves for providing our children with these devices, and for allowing ourselves to be more interested in our Facebook status updates than little Molly’s sunflower drawing, that she’s been itching all day to show you. Stay connected, of course, this is 2018, we must ‘get with the times’; but for the love of fine wine, let’s just bring it back a notch shall we, and learn to sometimes SWITCH OFF!


Love Leanne xx



‘Just because I’m in a chair, doesn’t mean I’m a dumb-ass’: Richie Goodacre – all jokes aside.

Feature by: Leanne Nebe

Rising Brisbane Comic Richie Goodacre was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of one, but that hasn’t stopped him from chasing his dreams.


Richie Goodacre performing at Based Comedy in Robina, Gold Coast. (Photo: supplied Facebook)

Sitting in his sleek, black Quantum power wheel-chair, Richie opens his can of Red Bull and takes a long sip; his big brown eyes twinkling under the warm Brisbane sunlight.

Twenty-eight-year-old Richie is a Brisbane-based stand-up comedian, who’s preparing to headline his first hour-long set at this year’s Bris Funny Fest, running from August 119.

Richie moved to the inner-city Brisbane suburb of Bowen Hills four years ago from Narangba to be closer to the stand-up circuit, and public transport.

Before entering the comedy circuit, he completed a Diploma of Community Welfare, and Certificate III in Broadcasting at TAFE Queensland, working at Youth Arts Queensland, assisting with creative arts events and activities for over a year.

“I’ve done paid gigs here and there, at Brisbane Powerhouse, The ‘Paddo’ Tavern, that sort of thing. I’m trying to complete my Bachelor of Creative Industries too, but it can be hard.”

“I’m lucky enough that I’m still able to do a lot of things that other people with Cerebral Palsy can’t, like feed myself, live independently and pursue work and study. I sometimes have a bit of trouble processing information as fast as other people can.

“In comparison to others, it makes you feel like a dumbass, even though I’m not.”

He then turns to a long-haired middle-aged man, Lauritz Huth also in a wheel-chair.

“Laurie used to live next door, but someone changed the locks on him,” says Richie with a serious look on his face.

“I told him to just stay with me, so he wasn’t homeless, and he’s been here for about five months now.” Richie looks at the wall when he talks; a hint of shyness in his voice.

“Richie is a good man. He has a heart of gold that bloke” utters Laurie.

And with that, he wheels himself outside to have a cigarette.

Richie laughs again shyly and shakes his head, crushing his drink can as he recalls an awkward moment.

“I keep forgetting I live next to a theatre. I was wheeling myself outside to pick up my Uber eats and there were all these people outside because I forgot there was a show on. It was at that moment I was thinking oh shit, I should have put pants on.”

And it was moments like that, which got Richie into stand-up comedy.

“I started posting on Facebook the awkward, embarrassing or funny things that happen to me or just my opinion about society in general, and my friends just started commenting with ‘Richie you should do comedy! You’re hilarious!’

“I was in my early 20s when I started getting serious about comedy. I always appreciated the art form, so I looked up courses on Google and started learning the ropes with Robert Grayson.”

Richie describes his style of comedy as quite self-deprecating and observational.

“I lean towards that style of humour as I can tell jokes from a unique perspective; joking about things others take for granted and the general ignorance of society.

“My parents are supportive of me wanting to pursue entertainment which is great,” says Richie.

Richie’s mother, high-school teacher Donna Goodacre was not surprised at her son’s proposed career choice but admits she was initially worried at how the audience would react to his disability.

“Richie always wanted to be on the stage” recalls Donna.

“He always had a quirky sense of humour, but I was worried that people might laugh at him instead of with him.”

Richie’s best friend and former radio colleague Robert Cameron describes the comic as “very smart and fiercely loyal”.

“It doesn’t surprise me that Richie gave his housemate a place to stay. That’s just the person he is. He would do that for anybody.”

Born Richie John Goodacre in Canberra in 1989, he attended Turner Primary School, before he and his family relocated to his mother Donna’s birthplace of New Zealand in 1995 until 2002, when they moved back to Queensland.

Despite Richie initially walking with the assistance of a frame and leg braces, early in life, he was in a manual wheelchair by the time he was in high-school, and recently acquired a power-chair for ease of mobility.


8-year-old Richie Goodacre with Jona Iomu in New Zealand at a Mini-Olympic event for children with physical disabilities. (Photo: Courtesy of Donna Goodacre/Facebook)

“People can be brutal,” he says.

“People just assume I can’t answer my own questions. I’m university educated, but it still feels belittling.”

Richie has been single for a few years, but he sees the funny-side in his pursuit of love and a long-term relationship.

“One girl thought Cerebral Palsy was a terminal illness, and I couldn’t figure out why she felt sad for me. She thought my ‘two-and-a-half years left’ was how long I had to live. I was talking about how long I had left until I graduate from uni.”

But life for Richie wasn’t so fun and smooth-sailing.

In 2009, just before his 20th birthday, Richie was diagnosed with depression, after overdosing on epilepsy medication; a decision he later regretted.

“I do get down sometimes, it happens” he reflects.

“I would never do something drastic like that again. I was young, and I felt left out by my group of friends. I went home and as soon as I had overdosed, I panicked so I immediately called an ambulance. The pills just made me drowsy, so I was really lucky.”

Richie says, a lot of his material comes from life experiences, which resulted in one of his sets being titled “Fear and Self-loathing in Bris Vegas”

“It was a cumulation of everything, from me leaving my friends and family behind in New Zealand, to falling in love too quickly, to me being my own worst enemy. I am my biggest critic, and I am trying to not be so hard on myself.”

Nowadays, Richie is busily preparing to head-line at Bris Funny Fest, a fringe comedy festival, hoping that this will lead to bigger things.

“I hope to relocate to Melbourne eventually,” says Richie optimistically.

He rubs his right wrist, a small red and black tribal tattoo, adorns it, in honour of his Maori heritage. He has no idea what the symbols mean.

“I just Googled ‘tribal tattoo,’ and found a design I liked,” he giggles.

Richie is diverse and random in hobbies as he is by unexpected meet-ups with celebrities.  He fondly remembers someone calling out his name while at his local IGA. It was Dave Hughes.

“I couldn’t believe he remembered me from all those years ago when I was just starting out,” says Richie with a huge grin.

“It feels good to have that kind of recognition from an industry great. I love Hughesy.”

Richie tilts his head back gently as he reflects on what’s changed in the world of living in a wheel-chair.

“We as a society are slowly becoming more inclusive, but it would be nice if we weren’t always put on the backburner when it comes to accessing venues,” said Richie.

“One time I was at a gig that had a disabled toilet but no access to it; you literally had to go down a car lift.”

His eyes widen in an almost child-like amusement. He shakes his head but smiles nonetheless.

“Can you imagine it? Going down a car-lift. But many venues don’t even have a disabled toilet.”

Nevertheless, Richie remains optimistic that things will soon change for the better, and that people will see that there’s more to people like Richie than just jokes and stereotypes.

If you or someone you know needs help, support is available from Lifeline on 13 11 14.



According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance of Australia, the condition, also known as ‘CP’ affects about 34,000 Australians and 17 million people globally. However, there are a lot of common embarrassing misconceptions about the condition, that you might not know about. Here we provide you a list of:

9 Common Myths or Misconceptions about Cerebral Palsy debunked.



1.)  “It’s fatal” – (WRONG) –


Richie Goodacre once had a girl on Tinder ask him “how long he had left” to which he replied “two and a half years” thinking she was talking about his degree.

According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, a lot of people commonly mistake Cerebral Palsy as a degenerative condition, resulting in a short life expectancy but it is not.  The Cerebral Palsy Alliance also says that people living with the condition do not usually get worse, however, there are variations on how severe the ailments are. It is an acquired brain injury that usually occurs either in the womb or shortly after birth. So rest assured, CP may be a life-long condition, but is definitely not life-limiting.


2.)  “You will never be able to live independently” (WRONG!)


As found on the Cerebral Palsy Alliance website, people will suffer from Cerebral Palsy (CP) with varying degrees of the condition, but with advancements of technology, most people living with CP have gone on to live fulfilling lives in their own house just like their able-bodied peers. Having Cerebral Palsy does not mean that you can’t live a fulfilling life. The Cerebral Palsy Guide reports that just like a non-CP sufferer, they too can work, marry, have children, and drive.


3.) Cerebral Palsy is Genetic/hereditary (UNCONFIRMED)

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According to an American website, My Child at’  and the Australian Cerebral Palsy Alliance; CP is uncommon in families who have a member with CP, and there is no substantial research to indicate a link between CP and family history.

It is even less common in families of multiple births with twins or triplets in the family.


4.) Everyone with Cerebral Palsy is intellectually impaired.

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According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, 1 in 2 people with the condition will have an intellectual disability. However, this varies on an individual basis. Due to varying difficulties in communication, a CP sufferer’s normal intelligence is often mistaken for intellectual impairment. Many living with the condition go on to lead normal lives and pursue tertiary education.


5.)  People with CP are just lazy, and they will ‘grow out of it.’ (WRONG!)

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As ridiculous as it sounds, many parents who are given the diagnosis that their precious little bundle of joy has Cerebral Palsy have initially dismissed the claims, thinking their child is simply ‘not using their muscles properly.’ According to Singapore website Asia One, it is initially difficult for parents to take in the initial diagnosis that their child has the condition. I am sorry to break it to you, but you can’t ‘fake’ CP. Unfortunately, there is no known cure to this condition, but with the advancements of technology, and early-intervention, means that CP sufferers have better access to treatment than ever before.

6.) If you have CP, you will never get a job. (WRONG!)


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Cerebral Palsy is an acquired brain injury which varies in severity. Like other disabilities, it really depends on how severe the CP is. According to the My child without limits website, early intervention has given many people with Cerebral Palsy, a clear pathway to go on to lead normal lives and hold mainstream employment.

7.) If you had CP as a child, you can outgrow it as an adult (WRONG)

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Um, in a perfect world that would be great, but don’t hold your breath. Singapore’s Asia One site reports that Cerebral Palsy is a poorly understood condition, with many parents believing that you can ‘grow out’ of it. Ms Sarah Wong, the chief Paediatric physiotherapist at  Kids Focus Physiotherapy in Singapore, reports on the Asia One site, hoping to debunk common misconceptions that parents and other people still have about the condition. Whilst the brain injury will not progressively worsen, it certainly isn’t going to get better with age. Thankfully we live in an age with the latest in medical treatments so the overall live prognosis for a person living with CP is great.

8.) Cerebral Palsy is contagious (WRONG)

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Regardless of what grandma Flo said, according to the Cerebral Palsy Guidance website, it is a common misconception that Cerebral Palsy is contagious.  It is not like the Chicken Pox. You can’t ‘catch it’ by being near a person with the condition. It is an ACQUIRED brain injury.

9.) If you have Cerebral Palsy you will be confined to a wheelchair. (Not exactly)

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CP affects people in varying ways, and yes, some people will be confined to a wheelchair, especially in the more severe end of the CP spectrum. The Cerebral Palsy Australia Website offers a huge number of online resources to educate and help people better understand the condition. According to the Therapy and Equipment needs of Cerebral Palsy PDF, this document outlines the benefits that can be obtained from a number of non-wheelchair therapy options from leg braces to intensive physiotherapy. Some CP sufferers are still able to some degree walk and run without the physical symptoms being so obvious. Like with any condition, CP affects people differently and a medical professional will be able to offer the best treatment options available to help engage the most normal, healthy life possible.

For more information about Cerebral Palsy, contact Cerebral Palsy Australia at

Connected through discourse: Individualised media-habits and an oblivious sense of belonging.

I absorb media every day, in a variety of forms, but mainly on my phone. Ten years ago, I did not have a ‘smart-phone’ and the ways in which I accessed my various media texts were vastly different. This report will explore the ways in which my media habits engage me with the rest of the world and how my media behaviours relate to broader publics, flows and contra-flows.

I use a mobile phone for most of my media-usage. I prefer this device because it is lightweight, easy to use and can be transported to most places, if I have access to a wireless internet connection. I can send and receive email, watch news and videos online, listen to music and access my various social media accounts. I am extremely fortunate to live in Australia, which gives me access to the latest advancements in technology to meet the needs of my new love of media, and the ways in which I interact with it. Whether it is listening to music or watching the news online, which is what I do every day, it is common-place for companies to constantly evolve with the times to effectively interact with people like me: their target audience (Turrow, 2011).

Digital convergence has also allowed me to simplify the way in which I consume media, and the ways that media companies can produce content for people like me, in a way that is easily understood and accessible.  The state-run media sector, as well as international media organisations and global media giants such as Bertelsmann and News Corporation can reach multi-national audiences by evolving with technological innovations, and the constantly changing ways that consumers interact with content. All flows, whether dominant, geo-cultural or state run, use media convergence in a similar way across numerous media platforms to support this common goal. (Thussu, 2010)

The information that I receive both online on websites, or even on television, provides a dominant flow, linking me to the rest of the world from my own home. Transnational companies, especially those from the dominant Western influences of the United States have a strong regional existence, but can reach a much broader international audience through multi-media platforms such as you-tube, and cable networks.  (Thussu, 2010)

Media flows are intricate due to the changing ways that media can be distributed. This involves a need for media deregulation and a more flexible body to enable transnational enterprise within countries with limited technological capabilities, to provide their constituents with greater access the content they want. (Thussu, 2010)

A good example of my experience with geo-cultural flows involved spending one month in the Czech Republic earlier this year. I had to change the way in which I could access media. I used international roaming to access the Internet from my mobile device, and was shocked to find that most parts of the country still operated under a 2G or 3G network. For this reason, it made it hard to access media online from outside my residence, nor was I able to easily make telephone calls due to such poor reception.  This made me realise that for locals, they would not feel as inconvenienced as I would have been, because they have probably never experienced fast download speeds on a mobile phone like other westernised nations. 90% of people in the Czech Republic use the Internet, and if the government were to approve the commercial investor interests of neighbouring countries, they will be able to access faster internet connections like other parts of Europe. (JobSpin.Cz, 2017)

Although the Czech Republic is ranked in the top 10 European nations for Internet speeds, it is the previously government owned Czech Telecom that was slowing the dispersion of broadband Internet to their customers. (Taylor, 2012) Until this extension to faster Internet occurs, it will continue to cause difficulties with the flows of state-run media, whose primary aim is to target local populations by producing content available in a variety of platforms. (Thussu, 2010) My own experiences overseas can be interpreted as a “public amongst strangers” as collectively, the way in which I could or could not access media was like many other people within the same geographical location, even though we were oblivious to each other’s existence. (Warner, 2002)

My use of a university email service provider instantly provides me with both an indirect and unconscious sense of belonging with potentially thousands of other people; solely on the fact that we use the same product. It also provides the notion of ‘totality’ as our group’s sole relatable purpose at any one time. It is the group association to a student body, which has ultimately brought us together (Warner, 2002). I am obviously not going to meet every student that attends my university, but for the sole purpose of gaining our various tertiary degrees, we come together for a common purpose.

Back on the topic of media consumption; the way in which market research is used by media platforms to predict what the consumer wants, is one way of how media distribution causes an implied ‘self-organisation’ of the public ideal (Warner, 2002). However, unbeknown to each other, millions of people share the same interests, and ‘targeted advertising’ based on individual common interests is also based on how certain media texts trend online.


Algorithms put in place on social media platforms help to provide me with entertaining content that social media platforms such as Facebook ‘thinks’ I will like, based on what other people from my location also enjoy. It also attempts to predict my language based on my current geographical location, which was evident during my time in Europe when my global positioning system (GPS) was turned on. An example of targeted marketing is Facebook advertisements, or Google pages that are presented in the language of the country I was in. It had no appeal to me, but was an assumed ‘belonging’ via association. Regardless of the language barrier; my sole existence of being in that same country, gave me that common public in practice to ‘appear as the public’ (Warner, 2002).

I also form part of a ‘public’ when I watch television programs on the ‘ABC Kids I-View’ application with my daughter on her tablet. As a parent, I unconsciously share the common engagement with the mass-media text as many others do. I can also unknowingly absorb this information with a Mandarin-speaking diaspora, now that ABC I-view offers some of my daughter’s favourite program’s in other languages. (Byrnes, 2017) Although our native language is different, I still share the common public of absorbing the same media texts, just dispersed in a different language, and sharing the common link of being a parent of a young child. ABC provides this geo-cultural and state flow by presenting content marketed at all Australians, making it accessible, easily understood and attempting to reach multi-national audiences from a non-English-speaking background (Thussu, 2010).

In conclusion, the countless ways I consume media daily, can form many presumed relationships to millions of other people in the world through our common interests, and media habits. It is important to acknowledge that the media landscape is changing and will continue to do so, as will the capacity of media platforms that are in other countries to have global resonance, engagement and affiliation with more comprehensive publics (Flew, 2007).



Byrnes, H. (2017, January 27). ABC will air Peppa Pig and other kids TV programs in Mandarin. Retrieved from The Herald Sun:

Flew, T. (2007). Understanding Global Media. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

JobSpin.Cz. (2017, May 9th). Czech Republic Lags behind, Fast Internet Is Blocked by the Governmental Officials. Retrieved from

Taylor, L. (2012, May 2). ‘State of the Internet’ report reveals the fastest web speeds around the world. Retrieved from

Thussu, D. (2010). Mapping global media flow and contra-flow. International Communication; a reader, 221-238.

Turrow, J. (2011). Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication. 4th Edition. New York: Taylor and Francis.

Warner, M. (2002). Publics and Counterpublics. Public Culture, 14(1), 49-57.

Time-management, innovation and digital convergence: remaining relevant to a user-savvy audience.


Journalism has changed so much in the last twenty years with the rise of the Internet and the continuous ways that people consume news and media. Jobs that may not have been heard of yet are being developed as we speak, and by the time I graduate from university, countless more will have evolved with constantly growing technological advancements. Three important issues that I have found particularly interesting and relevant to my own experiences and future career objectives as a radio broadcaster or TV news reporter are time-management, innovations in media and digital convergence. This essay will discuss in detail why these professional and personal issues are important and how I as a media professional will need to respond to these issues to ensure success in this rapidly developing industry.

Relevance is a word that is widely used today especially in media circles, and as defined by the Oxford dictionary simply means “the quality or state of being closely connected or appropriate.” In the fiercely competitive world of international media where relevance to a content-hungry audience is crucial for survival; the Internet is now an integrated worldwide communications system that better “animates the capacity of events in distant places to have global resonance.” (Flew, 2007, p. 66)

Twenty years ago, there was no such thing as a ‘smart-phone’. People had separate pieces of technology that all had a specific use. Cameras were used to take photos, land-line telephones were used to make phone calls locally and internationally, the radio was used to listen to the news or music, the television was used for visually stimulating entertainment and the invention of the personal computer made it easier to explore the Internet and write emails. Through media convergence, we can blur the boundaries between different media systems and the ways people interact with content through the invention of the ‘smartphone’ which does all five jobs together in one. Not only does this make it easier to navigate, but people can now consume media wherever they go; easily, quickly and cheaply. With the development of these technologies, we can make sense of international events and promote a better understanding and have a continuing platform in which to produce, dispense and exhibit media content. (Turow, 2011)

Convergence and globalisation are contemporary trends having significant impact on all facets of media. (Turow, 2011) Being a child of the 80s, I grew up with computers but not smart-phones. I didn’t even have a mobile phone until I was fifteen years old, and this was at a time when Nokia was one of the most popular brands on the market. I must admit, I did not purchase my first ‘smart-phone’ until I was in my mid-twenties because I thought it was ‘stupid’ and believed you didn’t need a phone to go on the internet, when that is what a computer is for. I laugh at this now, but I sincerely couldn’t see why pressing on a screen was such a great invention.  I also was one of the last people at my work to get a Facebook account, because I was very traditionalistic in mind-set and thought it was just a phase people would get over like MSN messenger or myspace which was from my generation. I also did not want to become a statistic to the adage of ‘don’t succumb to peer-pressure’ and be like everyone else.

I realise now that growing up in a conservative household had a downside, but once I jumped on the bandwagon of social media and smart-phones, (moving from a blackberry to an Android and NOT an I-Phone) I realised having a closed-minded, stubborn outlook on how people connected with each other would be career-limiting, and I, like my peers and society in general, would have to move with the times or miss out on what is going on in the world and how we as media professionals have to now engage with the public to remain relevant in a sea of arguably passive or distracted consumers. (Calcutt & Hammond, 2011)

Journalism has changed so much in the last few decades as is the way the degree is structured at tertiary level. Platforms and tools that weren’t even heard of 10 years ago are now crucial for our success in this industry such as snapchat or Instagram. The skills needed to thrive are not just limited to having work experience or academic brilliance. Now, we must have the capacity to become multi-skilled, emotionally intelligent and being able to have a consistently but cautiously ambitious mindset in being able to take risks that would take us out of our comfort zones. (Oakes, 2014)

In the last three months, I have learnt to record audio and produce and edit my own video content for my own academic endeavours. Having the ability to think outside the box and not doubt my own abilities have seen me have continual success in areas that I thought I would struggle in. In the real world, the only way we can succeed in a jungle of competition, is to continuously strive to better ourselves and try to not only replicate but stay ahead of our competitors by understanding what our audience wants, and adapting to our environment with quick and efficient delivery of news by being innovative. Plain and simply, we won’t have an audience anymore and will become irrelevant if we fail to give the audience what they want in the way that they want. (Moncreif, 2014)

I never imagined that one day, we would be recording interviews with just a phone, or uploading video-content from the local eatery. As our jobs become increasingly mobile, so too is the need for portable technology that allows us to connect with the world quickly and easily.

“The belief that quality journalism requires excellence of expression grounded in extensive analysis might lead journalists to miss the possible contribution of social media in the field of news.” (Storsul & Krumsvik, 2013)

Whether we like to admit it or not, we live in the age of distraction. Take for example the latest fad to drive teachers and parents crazy:  the fidget spinner. This latest children’s trend is symbolic to our own identity as university students or future media professionals. Why? Because it promotes something different and innovative. One of the most significant aspects of childhood is the gradual change from separating yourself from your family and establishing your own identity. (Best, 2017)


We become more satisfied and confident as adults once we realise who we are and what we want to do with our lives and why.

Adults are quick to label the younger generation as arrogant and self-absorbed who lack the respect of their elders and who are focused more on their time online rather than real world issues and face-to-face conversations. However, it is the younger cohort that know more about technology than we do as they were born into the technological age. They were also born into a generation where even at schools; students are using I-pads instead of notebooks, and the future younger versions of ourselves will likely tell us to “get with the times”. Technological innovation in regards to journalism and mass communication is an important tool in generating content to the masses, but the focus needs to be on nurturing new and relevant skills to ensure our media teams can effectively manage and dispense creative content. (Storsul & Krumsvik, 2013)

It is also younger people that also have concerns with their ability to keep up with the continual advancements of technology. (Perkins, 2015) We are now living in an era where people, especially the younger demographics are obsessed with online approval and validation on social media. Journalists clearly want a strong online presence too, but need to ensure they remain transparent. Journalists need to represent the facts and ensure credibility by being honest about the limits of their own knowledge and the impact of their own insight. (American Press Institute, 2017)

“The structures, routines, systems and processes that ensure survival and growth in stable environments, coupled with the self-identity and self-confidence that successful firms develop, can stifle the ability to change when the environment changes.” (Storsul & Krumsvik, 2013)

One good example of this was discussed by the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in their 2010 social media case study. As a government organisation, the QPS trialled a range of social media sites aiming to produce a strong social media presence that would develop into an online community of followers before a disaster occurred and engage with the public. It was seen that in the past, social media had “dominated mainstream media coverage” but were not able to effectively “contribute or manage it with their own social media presence”. (Charlton, 2011) Like the QPS, we as media professionals need to organically turn to social media as the vehicle to reach the public and the media in the shortest timeframe. (Charlton, 2011)

As a radio broadcaster myself, I know first-hand how universally enduring radio in traditional media is. But even this media platform has suffered at the hand of technological innovation. Just like television; online steaming or subscription services change the way that the public can access music and how. Radio stations interact with their listeners in different ways with most stations interacting online via social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as live-streaming on their websites. Video-cameras are now the norm in most stations, with radio announcers regularly filmed live for their shows, with many opportunities for listeners to interact with the programmes they listen to.

Time-management to me is also an extremely important personal skill to have as a media professional. We have learnt the saying from long ago: ‘nobody plans to fail, they fail to plan’ but procrastination and everyday distractions limit our abilities to follow through on our daily goals which can lead to stress and failure to meet deadlines.

“Journalism is stressful and changes in the field do not make it easier.” (Kangur, 2017)

(Kevin Torres: Tips for back-timing your day)


The newsroom is a deadline-driven fast-paced environment. As a student, we must also adhere to deadlines regarding assessments and examinations throughout the course of our studies. Time-management is an extremely beneficial skill to have, as it will teach us to organise our day better to realistically achieve our goals and to use “constraints as opportunities.” (Lebowitz, 2017)

In conclusion, it is clear to see that the rise of the Internet has laid a strong foundation for traditional news media to create visually stimulating, interesting content across several platforms. The Internet has changed how information is circulated and through technological innovation, and digital convergence, it gives journalists the power to connect better with our target audience. As a media professional, we need to learn how to effectively use our time to be more productive. In the fast-paced newsroom, we need to ensure we are ahead of the game, not only for the sake of our company but in consideration of our own personal development. By setting the foundations now to establish good organisational routines, making lists, asking for help when required and a willingness to embrace change, we too can positively influence the future in our roles as media professionals.



American Press Institute, 2017. Journalism as a discipline of verification. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 5 June 2017].

Best, J., 2017. The fidget spinner fad: Adults don’t get it, and that’s the point. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 10 June 2017].

Calcutt, A. & Hammond, P., 2011. Journalism Studies: A Critical Evaluation. London: Routledge.

Charlton, K., 2011. Queensland Police Service: Disaster Management and Social Media – a case study. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 9 June 2017].

Flew, T., 2007. Understanding global media. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kangur, M., 2017. Time Management affects Young Journalists’ Stress Level. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 9 June 2017].

Lebowitz, S., 2017. 26 time-management tricks I wished I’d known at 20. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 10 June 2017].

Moncreif, M., 2014. Innovation in Modern Journalism. Melbourne: Fairfax Media.

Nebe, L., 2017. Michelle with her fidget spinner. [Photo].

Oakes, S., 2014. Innovation in Modern Journalism. Melbourne: Fairfax Media.

Perkins, M., 2015. Older people concerned about keeping up with technology, one in five young people the same. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 8 June 2017].

Storsul, T. & Krumsvik, A. H., 2013. Media Innovations: A multidisciplinary study of change. Sweden: Nordicom.

Turow, J., 2011. Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication. 4 ed. s.l.:Routledge.



Credibility and the crisis of influence: The future of reliability in journalism in the evolving Internet age of distraction.


With the continuous advancements of technology and the influx of Internet publications, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine the validity of many news sources that are found online. This background report will discuss how credibility has been and will continue to be an important issue in the future of journalism, and how quantity over quality and the pressures of profitable enterprise has and will continue to undermine the importance of credible and investigative reporting.

As Australian Senator Nick Xenophon said in the Sydney Morning Herald: The Australian Journalism industry is in crisis and that whatever issues that have arisen from what happened at Fairfax Media need to be addressed now.

“If we want the fourth estate to be vibrant and diverse, we need to deal with the issues that this inquiry raises, including fake news.” (Donelly, 2017)

But what issues? New South Wales Senator Sam Dastyari, said the strike at Fairfax Media recently showed just how serious the problems facing journalism today are, and that the government and policy makers needed to create a “vibrant free, independent press that allows Australian consumers to get the information they need.”

It seems that as the population gets bigger, so does the hunger for profitability and marketable content that will not only interest media consumers, but make them more likely to spend money.

There seems to be more pressure not only to produce more content sooner, and with that comes the challenge of maintaining credibility.

Gabbi Johnston, digital marketing executive of Gabbi J Digital, spoke about how the majority of people in general still look to professional journalists over public heresy for credibility.

“There is a need for solid journalism, whilst generating revenue to at least pay the bills of the journalists writing them.” (Al-Oraibi, 2015)

“Clickbait” also threatens good investigative reporting, and the addition of financial and timing constraints also threatening the ability to scrutinise credible sourcing of information.

data source

Emily Bell, director of the Tow centre for Digital Journalism at Columbia University; spoke recently at a Journalism lecture in Melbourne, Australia and likened the main issues effecting journalism today to the “mass de-funding by technological companies, loss of control by one set of gate keepers in favour of another, who do not have journalism as their core purpose.” (hear full pod-cast here)

Malcolm Turnbull, the 29th and current Prime-Minister of Australia; and former journalist, wrote back in 2011 that although technology has changed, most of what was relevant 40 years ago is still applicable today.

“Good design, clear expression, accurate and engaging reporting. The objectives are the same, only the context has changed” (Turnbull, 2011)


He also went on to say that regardless of the medium, and even with the evolving digital era, people rely on “honest and ethical fearless and independent, responsible and accurate journalism” or that we as a democracy would struggle to remain a free society.

As said by Bell: “As a profession and a field, we (journalists) have to acknowledge the role as well that we may have played over the years in creating a commercial media environment which places higher priority on readership ratings and reach than the absolute integrity of information.” (Bell, 2017)

Basically, the new generation of content consumers love visually stimulating, engaging content. Unfortunately, the need for speed in continuous publications result in even more errors in mainstream news reporting. People no longer seem to care about complex news, instead opting for cat videos or funny memes found on the Internet. And with each click on social media sites, and the highly monetised platforms available today, more money is being generated from trivial stories as opposed to thorough extensive reporting, because the public in general, don’t want to know about it.

Bell went on to say that the truth essentially doesn’t matter so much to the public these days, because even US President Donald Trump’s twitter posts provide ‘enriching and distracting narrative’ which feeds the media frenzy to give the public what they like. It’s what sells content.

“If the advertising model rewards popularity and share ability regardless of originality, value and quality; it’s little wonder that it provides a living for a Macedonian teenager but not enough to support the core reporting functions in local news rooms.”

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook wrote on President’s day that there is also a lot more to be done to support the news industry and to make sure that it is sustainable.

“From growing news to developing formats best suited to mobile devices to improving the range of business models that news organisations rely on”.

Bell went on to say that the journalism industry needs to wake up and realise that the journalism crisis of now and the future is not just about financial constraints but that it is a crisis of influence. “A single news outlet in a sea of content doesn’t have the same impact that is used to have.” (Bell, 2017)

Journalists need to work together instead of fighting for ratings, rather to give recognition where it is due, and support each other when good journalism is reported.

“Even when you don’t agree with the political stance of a paper, you recognise good reporting when it happens” (Bell, 2017)

Credibility in journalism is not just affecting mainstream media in Australia or the US. More and more articles on ‘alternate fact’ websites are causing concern around the world, with websites like; a conservative news and opinion website, which made a false story about a terror attack in Germany that never happened.

The local newspaper, Ruhr Nachrichten, said parts of online reporting on New Year’s Eve 2016 had been modified by Breitbart to produce “fake news, hate and propaganda”. (France-Presse, 2017)

It is interesting to note that Breitbart, although it is known for accusing its mainstream competitors of their reporting of fake news, has been difficult to verify and determine the facts in their own produced stories.

Breitbart, which is said to have 45 million readers per month,  has several media platforms including Facebook and Twitter verified ticks and thousands of interactive followers. It is still very popular world-wide with a large social media following, well-liked by U.S. President Donald Trump and has regular profiling by the larger more established news organisations.

German politicians and media outlets have warned that like the US, there will be a considerable rise in false news reports in the lead up to the German federal elections.

It was also reported by newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung, that websites such as Breitbart would aim this type of false content to spread “misinformation and distortion in order to diminish trust in established institutions”.

Buzz Feed editor Craig Silverman wrote an article in 2005 called “Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content” which discussed situations like these, in which rumours circulate through social media quickly by websites such as Breitbart and other websites that engage millions of people. He also talked about how mainstream media amplify such rumours at a ‘much higher rate than they are corrected either because of political or financial motives or opportunistic or propagandistic reasons. (Silverman, 2005)

“The platform companies are too relaxed with the type of material that’s circulating, whether for political or economic advantage.” (Bell, 2017)

In conclusion, credibility in journalism will continue to be an important issue in society today. The media landscape is rapidly changing, with the obvious rise of digital over print, declining profits and the importance of social media as a primary source of information. (Pulitzer Prizes, 2016)

Alternative news stories offer many online pitfalls that can be career limiting to new journalists. Accuracy is vital, and fact-checking is important to ensure credibility is maintained. The disinformation by biased media sources such as Breitbart is not new, as is the fervent attacks on journalism and the mainstream media. Credibility will always be an important part of journalism: to separate fact from fiction. It is the necessary provision of a constant flow of stable news platforms that are comprehensive, fair, accurate and accountable which will see quality journalism continue to thrive in a sea of viral deception. 





al-Oraibi, M., 2015. Why credibility is the future of journalism. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed May 23 2017].

Bell, E., 2017. The future of journalism. [Sound Recording] (ABC Radio National).

Donnely, B., 2017. Senate inquiry to investigate the ‘future of journalism’ in Australia. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 25th May 2017].

Edelman, 2015. 2015 Edelman trust barometer. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 1 June 2017].


France-Presse, A., 2017. German police quash Breitbart story of mob setting fire to Dortmund church. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 3 June 2017].

Pulitzer Prizes, 2016. Technology, Community, and the Future of Journalism. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 19 May 2017].

Silverman, C., 2005. Lies, damn lies, and viral content: How news websites spread (and debunk) online rumours, unverified claims, and misinformation., New York: Colombia Journalism School.

Turnbull, M., 2011. The future of newspapers, the end of journalism. [Online] 
Available at:
[Accessed 23 May 2017].

Steve Capus: Continual Success in a Digital Era

The media industry is and will continue to be a highly competitive and divided industry. (Turrow, 2011, p. 171) It is now common for organisations such as news media to effectively get their target audiences to interact with their content, by using many different platforms. When it comes to globalisation, companies need to work with a “new mindset” and evolve with the times. (Turrow, 2011, p. 171)

This media biography will discuss the four concepts of Globalisation, Convergence, The Public Sphere and the Fourth Estate and how it relates not only to the media career of Steve Capus, but of the future of news and mass-media production in General.

Steve Capus is a prominent American Journalist who currently works for CBS as the Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News. Capus was born on October 4th, 1963 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and graduated from Temple University in 1986 with a bachelor of Journalism. (CBS News, 2017)

Capus has worked in news media for over twenty-five years with vast experience with multi-platform media. He has worked extensively as a producer, news gatherer and former president of NBC News. Currently, Capus has helped CBS News win the best ratings of the decade for the 2015-2016 television season. (CBS News, 2017)

Capus is an important role-model in the contemporary media world, even though he comes from an era where a lot of present-day technology had not yet been created. For that reason, I, like other people who grew up at a time when the Internet was either non-existent or still developing, can relate to him as a leader who embraces change.

The internet age has come at a time where a new generation has been born into it, but older generations have had to adapt to these new and innovative technologies. Capus has been successful in all roles he has led within the TV news environment because he was able to change with the times, and helped his team broaden their audience by embracing the new developments of communication to make his networks hugely successful. (CBS News, 2017)

Capus, during his career with NBC News, helped this organisation break into new and revolutionary media platforms such as mobile and digital developments and websites. He also helped to target specific cultural and racial demographics such as the American Hispanic and African-American communities through web-based content directed at engaging these audiences. (CBS News, 2017)

These are some of many examples throughout Capus’s career which demonstrate how the concept of globalisation and media convergence applied to his career, especially since he started back in the early 1990s when the whole notion of the “Internet Age” was not yet fully established.

On reflecting on his career as the head of NBC News, Capus wrote that in the twenty plus years spent with the network, he saw many historical events and initiatives that he had collaborated on including the launch of MSNBC on cable, and the “birth of online news coverage.” (Byers, 2013) Many of these media platforms did not exist back in the 1980s and with the continuance of technological advancements, media outlets such as Newspapers and television have seen a steady decline, as online media and internet-based content becomes more affordable, readily accessible and distributed to a wider, more targeted audience. (Turrow, 2011, pp. 159-160)

The world’s population is getting larger and with that becomes the potential for millions of new global consumers. Over the past thirty years, the world has seen a burst of new mass media outlets and platforms such as online forums, blogs, social media sites, you-tube, computers, tablets and smart phones. (Turrow, 2011, pp. 16-17)

Due to the innovations of such industries and the mass productions of media content, it has become much easier for large corporations such as those directed by Capus to get their message across to millions of people globally.


As quoted by Capus, “The hardest part of the job is the quest for relevance recognising that news consumption has evolved and will evolve tomorrow and the next day.” (Byers, 2013)

Part of the reason that Capus’s career has been so successful, is his ability to adapt with the times. He has led his team to use the Internet as a means of ensuring the company he works for can use digital convergence to encourage and blur media boundaries by producing and distributing media to engage the audience and keep them interested and interactive.

“We have re-imagined and re-invested in this news division, expanded our portfolio of platforms and extended our reach.” (Byers, 2013)

NBC, according to Capus has not only grown as a reputable news organisation with high ratings and consistent profits, but it has become a powerful online force. (Byers, 2013)

However, like all media, commercialisation has its downside. The fourth estate is generally defined as the belief that the press acts like a ‘watch dog’ in legitimising the relationship between the media and the public and the role required by journalists to report and monitor potential abuses of power by the government and businesses, and holding those at fault accountable. (Turrow, 2011)

The continuing significance in an ever-changing social landscape is uncertain especially when money and bias come into play. (Conboy, 2004)

In 2010, NBC News had generated three-quarters of a billion dollars of combined profits, with a third coming from MSNBC, and almost 100 million cable-television subscriptions, under the helm of Capus. (Weprin, 2010)

“Because of mass media industries and their abilities to mass produce media content, millions of people within the United States and around the world can receive the same messages within a fairly short time.” (Turrow, 2011)

Capus has said himself in a memo made public and obtained by Politico in an article written on his career with NBC, that “It’s not easy leading a legacy TV News brand through the digital revolution” (Byers, 2013)

“A press whose finances are based in circulation and advertising revenues has, in practice, experienced several distinct threats to the independence and serious purpose required of a “Fourth Estate” role.” (Hampton, 2009, pp. 6-7) Capus’s job as a television news media producer in the fourth estate, like many media organisations is questionable. Corporate media focus on ratings and profits primarily to keep them relevant in an ever-changing society. When these pressures focus on advertising and political targets, bias has and will always come into focus, as political favour, and the presentation of news to fit a certain business agenda can make the purpose of the fourth estate challenging and misleading.  (Calcutt, 2011)

Capus has also experienced many controversies in his career, but was still considered a ‘highly regarded leader’ by his former boss Patricia Fili-Kushel and other industry peers. (Burrough, 2015)

With focus set on profitability, Capus came under scrutiny and embarrassment for the NBC’s Today Show failing to observe a minute’s silence in remembrance of the September 11 Terrorist attacks, instead choosing to broadcast a celebrity interview. (Burrough, 2015)

Critics might argue that celebrity or human interest stories may have been more useful in framing genuine public issues or interest regarding the public sphere ideal. (Habermas, 1989) However, this is a weak example if at all to suggest that this was the reason for The Today show broadcasting the story. It is also important to note that this was the only program out of all the NBC shows run by Capus at the time to have done this, and he did apologise later for this mistake. (Burrough, 2015)

Capus primarily worked behind the scenes but there were many conflicts from within the team that caused division, one being that his relationship with his boss was not very good. He wrote in his resignation memo to his staff that “working in network news is not a solitary pursuit.  It is the ultimate ‘team sport’ in which the success is derived from the collective performances of remarkable people united in purpose and dedication” (Kaplan, 2013)

In conclusion, Capus as a role-model for industry professionals is highly regarded as he worked hard to embrace the technological evolution of digital media to bring success and continued relevance for his company. As an individual, Capus might not have sparked a lot of public discussion, but a greater number of people are now able to comment on issues relating to news stories and content produced by his company via the multi-media platforms that have now been established to enable increased user-friendly interactive audience participation such as Twitter, Facebook and website forums.


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Title Steve Capus Source: Variety. Image by: unknown.

Secondary Steve Capus: Source: CBS News. Image by: CBS News