What’s Hidden? The Importance of Online Promotion

SBS describes their network as a “national broadcaster of multicultural and multilingual programming…” and the entire network was initially built, and still for the most part operates, around providing news in the native languages of many minority communities.

When I think about the SBS I think about their radio channels and TV station, or even SBS on demand but I, at least personally, hardly consider SBS to be a major online media producer. The major problem with online content is that there is so much of it since anybody can post anything they want at anytime so most online content producers advertise and promote in such a way that their content finds the reader, not the other way around. In a submission to the Senate Select Committee on the future of of public interest journalism (link to PDF download) made by SBS in July on page 7 there is a solid page allocated to online publishing of content and the use of social media in order to help promote their content to a wider audience but also states that since their major audiences are from a number of different cultures and are highly dispersed it becomes hard to utilise the targeted advertising that social media offers since it is at times difficult to identify who they should be advertising to.

Even with the SBS’s online presence using things like social media to promote their content I still feel as if they struggle when it comes to promoting some of the exciting and interesting projects that they produce on the internet. Of course you would expect to see most of the organisations resources being used to promote and generate interest around the major stories or news articles on their websites since it is what the majority of people are there to read and it also gives them the opportunity to bring in more advertisement revenue which, of the $379 million made in the 2016-2017 financial year accounted for $97.4 million (Corporate Plan 2016-17).

SBS, in my opinion, is responsible for some of the best made, and most interesting, multimedia and digital media projects that can be found on the internet. Things like dressing up a documentary on the Cronulla Riots, a special story on “The Other 9/11” or even adapting a previously made story like The Boat.

After 6/4 is one of these projects that shows a timeline of news headlines from both Western and Chinese news sources that were released after the events following Hu Yaobang’s death in 1989. SBS has a segment in their 2014 Code of Practice (Revised in March 2016) that states the writers of any story should stay, for the most part, impartial, to the events being discussed and to take all viewpoints into account regardless of if they are the main focus of the article. This article stays true to this concept by providing readers (consumers) with both sides of the coin of how the events that unfolded after June 4th, 1989 (Refer picture below).

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The interactive article provides a full timeline of events with both a major Western and Chinese news source covering the same events and includes any relevant photos or video released with or in relation to the reports.

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In my opinion SBS makes great content, albeit the majority of is not relevant or interesting to me, and I can see the amount of time and effort that goes into putting together different projects, especially the multimedia ones online based on the fact that I am doing similar things at university. Before starting research into this I believed that the SBS put little value on online advertising, which I have since learnt is not the case. Even with that being said though I still feel as if many of these smaller projects, which aren’t part of some bigger picture are ignored completely and lost within the archives of SBS which is really sad considering how interesting and well made this content is. At the end of the day though this is just my opinion on the subject based on the small amount of information I learnt but one thing I can say for certain is that at the end of this I have more questions about how the SBS’s advertising and promotion systems work then when I started.

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The Man Behind The Lens – Tunnel Tracks

Nathan Rathsam is a 19-year-old university student who has lived in Sydney all his life. But there is one major difference between your average student and Nathan and that is what he does for work. Almost everybody who has completed or is currently completing some form of tertiary education will know the struggle of checking your account balance after believing you have been saving for the past two pay checks only to find less than $50 there. Because of this everybody seems to get the same uninteresting jobs like a receptionist, a salesperson or a waiter but not Nathan. Nathan has already been working as a photographer for a couple of years but late last year also became very interested in cinematography and has been using his skills not only behind the camera, but also his editing abilities to provide for himself so far at university.

“I first started taking pictures almost 4 years ago now. I picked up my dad’s old DSLR just to play around with all the buttons and to see what it was like but within a few months I already knew the camera inside and out, I knew what every button did and what every number meant.”

Even with this fast developing passion for photography it wasn’t until early 2015 when he and his family visited Japan that he got his first proper camera, a Sony a7II. His career in photography, like most, started off very slowly taking pictures of anything and everything and then trying to sell prints of them and was hardly making any progress within the industry. It wasn’t until Nathan began to take an interest in videography that everything began to move forward for him.

Inspired by Mahogany Sessions and La Blogotheque Nathan decided to create Tunnel Tracks which gave him the platform to create and release music videos for a few different bands he had met while creating a video for a big music and arts festival at his church. Tunnel Tracks is already growing quickly but more importantly it is providing Nathan with opportunities for more paid work within the industry as people hear about an upcoming videographer who does relatively high quality work without the price tag of a professional that makes you feel light headed and forces you to take a seat.

Daniel Tomalaris, one of Nathan’s clients for Tunnel Tracks, says that “Although I haven’t worked with anybody on this kind of project before I can’t even begin to explain to you just how good he is to work with. I mean I literally don’t have any words for it. Not only is he super efficient and good at what he does but he is also just an absolute legend, you know like, just a great guy to be around.”

Shameless Self Promotion:

The Definition of Happiness – Interview

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“Hi, my name is Jo and… Wait, are you recording yet?” … “Ok perfect, so… What was I saying again?” … “Oh of course, the story, so where was I again?” … “So as I was saying my name is Jo, I’m 63 and… Yeah, not much else to say actually.”

Being completely honest about it, I thought this assessment was going to be a lot easier than it ended up being. It wasn’t hard in the sense that any of the work itself was overly time consuming or difficult after you knew what you wanted to do, but I found a major issue to be actually interviewing somebody without trying to cross certain lines, without letting yourself get to uncomfortable or to avoid talking or acknowledging what the other person is saying while you are recording (Note: To anyone doing this in the future do not try taping your mouth, you are still able to make audible acknowledgements with your mouth sealed shut without actually forming any words… and it really hurts to take off if you haven’t shaved). I ended up recording a lot more material than is actually presented and by the end of my recording process I had 1hr 23min of content from two different people covering topics of sadness, joy, anger, fear and embarrassment. I decided to go with joy because I figured everybody has some kind of experience growing up that they have very fond memories of so people listening could relate to the story. I also did it because I was finding it difficult to extract information on some of the more personal stories that brought out emotions like sadness and anger. I didn’t really use any reference points when putting together this assignment, of course I had been watching the online version of the relevant lecture in which I heard some interesting things which, although I took into account, I didn’t consciously make use of during recording and editing. The only point of reference I really used was an assignment I had previously done about Where I’m From but since this was more of an arts base subject I only took from it how to edit and splice different parts of sounds together to make it sound as if it flows together as one long recording and how to set a mood using a bunch of different sounds layered on top of each other. Another important link that I listened to and found quite interesting, even though I barely implemented anything it spoke about was the Ira Glass on Journalism (Item no. 49 as at Wednesday 30th August 2017) audio podcast that was recorded at the Opera House which speaks about the process of an interview and looks at some students work, evaluates them and gives feedback on what they did well and could do better.

If I had the chance to redo the assessment I would of tried for a different kind of emotion like sadness or anger. To do this I would have needed to change my approach with more preparation beforehand, making sure I was talking to the person I planned to interview and answering any questions they might have while at the same time making sure I am completely prepared for the interview by creating the right environment and having my questions, or at least a framework for my questions, prepared so that the process would move as smoothly as possible.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the music used in this video and it is being used purely for educational purposes.