Immunisation: Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

A topic that has been flooding the media and public debate recently is that of the controversy surrounding the immunisation of children, and the so called ‘anti-vaxxers’ claiming that the risks of are far too high to immunise their children. However this has been fought back with many individuals claiming that they themselves have been vaccinated, and no health problems had come to fruition.

For my research project as a part of BCM210, I wish to delve into answering the question ‘how has the Media’s representation of the controversy on the choice to immunise children influenced or changed individual’s opinions on whether or not the benefits of vaccinations outweigh the risks?’
I intend on completing this project by objectively weighing up the benefits and risks of immunisations, in conjunction with evidence from academic articles on both sides of the topic. Also, utilizing  ‘survey monkey’ to gauge students opinions and thoughts on the topic
in conjunction with researching if the media’s saturation of the topic has swayed anyone’s opinion on the topic to the other side.

To create a basis for my argument I have already found three articles that could aid me in my researching, helping me lay the groundwork for the project. (Rothberg, M) and (Turville, C, & Golden, I) outline separately, but thoroughly detail the implications of the varicella immunisation, and additionally the risks related to autism in children. Whereas, (Cowie, R) article simply outlines the general pros and cons of immunisations.

Also, I will conduct student surveys on the topic asking questions such as:
– have you heard about the controversy surrounding ‘anti- vaxxers’ in the media, if yes, have you heard about this often?
– What is your opinion, do the benefits of immunisations outweigh the risks ? yes/no, why/why not
– If you wish to disclose, were you yourself immunised as a child? Yes/no why/why not
– Would you immunise your own children? why/why not
–  Has how the media portrayed the issue changed your thinking or your opinion on the topic?
– If you have been immunised have you had any health repercussions because of it?
From this I will have extracted amounts of qualitative data that I can use to demonstrate if the media, their own experience or otherwise has influenced their stance on the topic, as well as being able to start making links to immunised children and potential health issues they are facing now.

The reason I have chosen to research this topic is because it seems to have become an overnight social panic of sorts,  with high and saturated media attention, in all mediums, in conjunction with new laws bought in by the Turnbull Government such as the “No jab- no pay” scheme, targeting parents, disallowing them welfare payments if their children are not immunised (Nine News, 2016). I believe that this topic is valuable to research as it is a current concern in the media as well as society, and it will be interesting to research as there are so many differing and strong opinions out there.



No jab, no pay: The Federal Government’s ‘no jab, no pay’ policy appears to be working, with an extra 260 children being immunised every week, 2016, Nine News Item Citation: Nine News (NINE NETWORK); Time: 18:00; Broadcast Date: Sunday, 14th February 2016; Duration: 23 sec.

Rothberg, M, Michael L., B, Jack S., K, & Wong, J 2002, ‘Do the Benefits of Varicella Vaccination Outweigh the Long-Term Risks? A Decision-Analytic Model for Policymakers and Pediatricians’, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 7, p. 885, JSTOR Journals, EBSCOhost, viewed 20 March 2016.

Turville, C, & Golden, I 2015, ‘Autism and vaccination: The value of the evidence base of a recent meta-analysis’, Vaccine, 33, 42, pp. 5494-5496, Environment Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 20  March 2016.

Cowie, R,’The Pros and Cons of Infant and Child Immunisation’ 2010, Australian Pharmacist, 29, 9, Australian Public Affairs – Full Text, EBSCOhost, viewed 24 March 2016.





Podcasting changing the face of Journalism

Video may have killed the radio star, but Podcasting is sure bringing it back. In this piece, Cassie Norris highlights how Podcasting has become a large part of how society consumes news and popular content and why it has become so popular.

Click here to view the full story.

Created for assignment 3 of JRNL102 – University of Wollongong


Chris Bath

Evidence of the journalist using twitter to collect information and find sources:
Chris did not use twitter to collect information, however she used it to share posts, photos and links from companies and charities she was a part of

To what extent is social media a part of this journalist’s professional practice?
social media for Chris, is just that, social. She occasionally shares information about what show she is on, or what work she has been up to. However she does not use it solely to promote her job.

How has this journalist promoted their work and the work of their colleagues on twitter?

What is hidden: behind the secrets of Freemasonry | JRNL102 Multimedia

About 10 years ago, Michael Norris became a member of the Freemasons, attending Lodge Ingleburn. He has since become a Master Mason, joining orders such as the Rose Choir, became a marked man and moreover a member of the order of the secret monitors.
The following multimedia package is a small clip, containing audio and pictures depicting what people may not know about the Masons, the truth behind the secrets, their ideals, and what it looks like in the walls of a lodge.

As a Mason, Michael is freely allowed to tell people that he is a member, which leads to many questions about his craft. The Masons have been plastered with rumors and conspiracies since they began, being labelled as a secret society.
However, in this piece Michael explains how the rituals and secrets are still in place not for reasons of ambiguity but to differentiate Masons from non members, and likens this to any large company meeting, for example Apple, understandably not wanting their new iPhone designs to be released to the public.
Supported by a quote from Michael’s daughter, she expresses how people view her Father as a member of a secret society, however she knows that they are simply myths, as he is able to tell her most things about his society, with the exception of a few things.
These few things are what keeps the Lodge sacred and she understands that he had to work hard and go through multiple tests and trials before being educated on such secrets.

Michael explains his definition of what it means to be a mason as “a general concern for your community and respect for human values, morals and standards and the laws of society and the rights of an individual” furthermore explaining how his Lodge bases their work around raising money for the local community and charities such as the Rural Fire Service, “we like to do things behind the scenes for the good of society”.

I was given an exclusive tour of Lodge Picton while conducting this interview, a luxury that not many non-masons, and especially females are given the chance to do. The pictures included depict the inside of a sacred Lodge room, including decorations, props, uniforms and costumes.

Storified tweets 

The Internet of things | DIGC202 WEEK12

The term the ‘internet of things’ was coined in 1999 and given the abbreviation IOT.
The IOT refers to physical objects connecting to the internet.
– objects can gain a sensory capability allowing them to dynamically register changes to their environment
– object stores and processes information (like a cloud) but also independently initiates action.

This can be understood through an example of a robotic vacuum cleaner.
The vacuum registers the floor plan of your living space and knows where to clean, and where obstacles are. It also knows which areas are dirtier and it spends more time cleaning this space.
The vacuum also initiates its own action to clean, and return to its charging station.

New additions are made to this product regularly, and it is said that
‘later this year, Angle says iRobot will release a product that uses small, inexpensive cameras and a cloud-based algorithm to map the home and recognize objects like appliances and furniture. By understanding where these objects live in relation to one another, Angle intends to create a new kind of home automation platform—one that watches how you move about your home and makes context-based decisions to control the rest of your smart gadgets. It’s the difference between using an app to dim the lights and turn on the TV, or having those things happen the moment you plop down on the couch.’ to read more click here

Hacker subculture | DIGC202 WEEK 10

“And then it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addicts veins, an electric pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought… a board is found. ‘ this is it… this is where  I belong'”
The Mentor [from LoD], conscience of a hacker [1986]

“This is our world now… the world  of the electron and the switch… We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it is for our own good, yet we are the criminals.
Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity… My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you cant stop us all…after all we are all alike.”
– – The Mentor [from LoD], conscience of a hacker [1986]

Hackers believe that information should be free, and their ethics are as follows:
– information freedom
– no authority
– no secrets

One of the main hacking cases that have consumed this decade is that of WikiLeaks, created by a group of political activists, journalists and entrepreneurs, lead by Julian Assange in 2006.
It exists to allow people to anonymously submit otherwise-unavailable documents, which are then checked for legitimacy, edited and published on the web.
Over the years, WikiLeaks has been behind revealing:
– a decision to assassinate somalian government officials
-operating procedures of Guantanamo Bay
– “secret bibles” of scientology
– 9/11 pager messages
– in 2010, 92,000 Afghan war documents and 400,000 iraq war logos were given to a number of media organisations.

Julian Assange, creator of Wikileaks, is described by those who have worked with him as intense, driven and highly intelligent – with an exceptional ability to crack computer codes. However, Assange has been in hot water since the creation of WikiLeaks, as it puplishes confidential documents and images.
-making headlines around the world in April 2010 when it released footage showing US soldiers shooting dead 18 civilians from a helicopter in Iraq.
– later in the year he was detained in the UK over sexual assault allegations and was issued with an international arrest warrant from Sweden.

Below is a trailer to the channel 10 tele-movie ‘Underground: the Julian Assange Story’ and depicts his early life of hacking to set information free.

Twitter: Breaking News and Citizen Journalism | DIGC202 week 8


140 characters is all you need to #breaktheinternet on Twitter,and it has not turned away from viral hashtags like the recent #oniongate involving Tony Abbott, yet it has also become a vehicle to break world news in an instant.

Twitter has become the medium to convey the message in an a matter of seconds. Events happen everyday, where bystanders and witnesses will pull out a smart phone to capture, film and tweet to the world, allowing for a constant flow of up to date information. You only have to read 9 Breaking News Tweets that changed twitter forever to see the impact Twitter has on world news, as it lists events such as: The Royal Engagement announcement, The Osama Bin Laden raid, Boston Bombings, the Hudson River plane crash, and the death of Whitney Houston to name a few.
(also see 10 news stories that broke on twitter first)


Twitter shifted from being the story to becoming a tool with which to tell the story, and this shift began with the Hudson river plane crash :

said Jim Hanrahan on Twitter moments after the crash, and this tweet sent the world into a buzz. This was then followed by the Osama Bin Laden raid, as Twitter was a buzz with reports that he had been captured, but some were sceptical and played the “don’t trust everything you see on the internet” card, including the media who claimed “(the story) didn’t actually become ‘news’ until they were confirmed by mainstream sources”. However, Twitter “pulled through with the goods” when reputable New York Times journalist Brian Stelter, retweeted that the news on Bin Laden was true

For some EXTRA reading on citizen journalism, please check out this prezi I made.