As part of this week’s inquiry activity, we were to look at the relationship between Trendsmap, Twitter and the News. As per the activity requirements we were to look at our own area to see what the top stories were. Trendsmap seemed pretty quiet for Bundaberg, but there was a single hashtag that appeared yesterday – #mickfanning.
On July 20th, Australian surfer Mick Fanning survived a shark attack while competing in the J-Bay Open World Surf League even in South Africa (ABC News 2015). He survived unharmed, after he reportedly punched and kicked out at the shark as it broke his leg rope.
Bundaberg, mostly known for its locally brewed rum, is also home to a passionate beach loving community. Just a few kilometres from Bargara beach the sea, sun and surf is a key element of the Bundabergian lifestyle. While I wasn’t expecting to find much in the way of Twitter usage in the Wide-Bay area, the single hashtag I spotted yesterday was one that made complete sense given the community; and also demonstrates the relationship between the tweets and news stories in local media.
As you might expect, the stories of Mick Fanning’s dramatic attack and escape swept across Australian media – including the Newsmail, a local news source in the Wide-Bay. The story, much like those which appeared in larger publications, outlines the shocking moments and the aftermath (Newsmail 2015). Embedded into the story is even a Tweet, from the World Surf League (@wsl) showing a captured moment of Mick Fanning and fellow surfer, Julian Wilson, taking a moment after the attack.
In reflecting on the activity, it reminds me that just because I am not into Twitter (at least not yet) doesn’t mean that the world isn’t. As a new medium to express thoughts, information – and even just to tell stories – Twitter is not something that is going to disappear over night. Instead, it is creeping up more and more, especially in the media, as a way to facilitate the communication between people across the world.
Sharing news has never been more easier or more accessible and it makes me wonder about the shape of news in the years to come.
Ames, K 2015, Blog Activity – Week 2, COMM11007: Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/
‘Mick Fanning escapes shark attack in J-Bay Open surf event in South Africal’, ABC NEWS, 20 July 2015, viewed 21 July 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-19/mick-fanning-clashes-with-shark-in-south-africa-surfing-event/6632214
Mick Fanning’s shark scare: ‘I saw the thing thrashing’, NewsMail, 20 July 2015, viewed 21 July 2015,http://www.news-mail.com.au/news/mick-fannings-shark-scare-i-saw-thing-thrashing/2711328/