channel 10

What a year I've had, two media 'scandals' in six months. In May I was accused of writing offensive tweets that supposedly meant I couldn't do my job and just last week I apparently cheated my way into winning a new car. Between the two 'scandals' (and I use the word lightly) I've managed to be the most read article on The Age website, the lead story on Channel 10 news and even had a joke made about me by Dave Hughes on The Project. Here are the five things I've learned about handling what is quite a daunting experience for a 22-year-old. 1) Anything can be a story What I didn't realise until recently was that anything could be a story. It doesn't matter if it's pointless or what I would deem 'a non story'. It particularly doesn't matter if it's a scandal for the sake of being a scandal. You might think the content of the story isn't newsworthy, but you have to ask yourself, "What is the headline?". Because if the situation can be condensed into a scandalous headline, the rest of the article doesn't matter. And that's why something as innocent as a tweet or a mention of the word 'BFF' three years ago can apparently be news. 2) Don't feed the trolls It's quite incredible how crazy some people can be. Despite being ill informed and unwilling to be informed, social media has allowed these people a voice. It's tempting to respond to their blatant stupidity or cruelty, but don't. Trolls don't argue with logic so you're just wasting your time, and more importantly any response can be used as fodder by journos to make things worse. Trolls are best left in silence. 3) Don't feed the journos (some of whom are also trolls) Again it's hard not to, but by doing so you're throwing fuel on the fire and potentially getting yourself into another news cycle. The quality of journalism and research in both of my 'scandals' were incredibly poor, yet the best option was to remain quiet and let the story die as quickly as it came. No one ever got in trouble for not making a comment. 4) Do the ground work to win the SEO game Articles and 'scandals' like these hurt people, especially when it comes to their Google results. One news piece could cost you and your reputation years down the track when a potential employer (or potential date) runs your name in a Google search. To avoid this as much as possible, you've got to be proactive. Thankfully I've got this blog that I've been writing for four years and a number of other platforms that help my search results. They will (hopefully) always trump a rogue journalist who decides to use my name. It's unreasonable to assume you'll never be a front page story (just ask 21-year-old Zac!). The best defence you can have to protect your page rank on Google against shoddy journalism is a quality blog or website. If you don't have one, best you get started. 5) Ride it out Once the story breaks, you can't do anything about it. If you've followed the advice above then the story should be dead within a news cycle and the damage won't be too extensive. You can't control how you're portrayed or what people say about you, so you're best to ride it out and remember that in a few days no one will remember or give a shit. It's been a crazy few experiences, certainly not something I want to repeat. Hopefully I don't have to follow these tips myself ever again. Two scandals is enough for one lifetime....

There is no doubt in my mind that ABC is leading the way in new media of all the television networks. Not only have they developed excellent websites which allow the viewers to become involved on another medium but they were the first to adopt the concept of podcasting. Whilst it's far easier for them to do so given their non commercial status, this was the first step in what will soon change the way we view television in Australia. The other commercial networks are tied down a little more with advertising issues. And that is why I would like to commend Network Ten. They dipped their foot in the water by podcasting one sketch of the successful Thank God You're Here online each week last year. For the entire season it didn't leave the Top 5 Australian Podcasts in iTunes. Interestingly, these five minute segments were book marked with ten second spots. They've now plunged head first and podcasted the entire show of Good News Week, with similar rankings as Thank God You're Here. Even more interestingly without any spots at all. Either way this is a positive step forward, albeit a slow one, for new media. Now how long until Nine Network and Channel Seven get on board?...

In case you missed it, the title is a late night attempt at an acronym for the Australian Record Industry Association Awards (or ARIAS as they are known). The question of "Are Retailers Intentionally Advertising Subliminally?" should be raised after the airing of the 2007 Awards on the 28th of October. Take a look at this footage as seen on Network Ten...