Being a home explorer! Have you?

Completing a 7-hour nonstop bushwalking in roughly every type of surface on Earth, from the steep windy forests to the middle of the highways, from the sandy beach to the natural pools formed by dangerous rocky platforms, from the lookouts on top of the mountains to the

I found all of them in the area just over 40 kilometers away from the city where I lived, I can’t deny that it’s more amazing than most of the popular thousand-mile-away tourist attractions I’ve been to. I live in Wollongong, the metropolitan of the South Coast and the most hustle and bustle city in the Illawarra. South Coast Line is the train route connecting the Illawarra region far back from Kiama to Central of Sydney, and Wollongong lies in-between those two marks. Along the way from is almost forests and uninhibited factories and farms, especially around Thirroul-ish. And guess what? You can’t catch any mobile signals here unless when reached Thirroul station. I’ve been to the most remote region of Fiji islands, a developing country in the Pacific where the majority of the national economy depends on agriculture and been living in a wooden house on the most quite point of Sigatoka Valley.

Even then the mobile signals are perfect and data was running so smoothly. I questioned myself the reason why there is no signal all along my way even though this is a residential area. I was in the Royal National Park of Australia and that my mobile signals will interrupt the peaceful life of wild animals in the park.

The first destination was Burning Palms beach. Highlight was the emptiness of the beach, making it . However we went on an extremely sunny day in the middle of summer in Australia, I mean, too hot to swim, so people preferred to enjoy the rocks rather than burning themselves on the beaches.

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A love to remember!

Three days ago when I was rolling in my blanket struggling with ideas for this article, a roommate of mine with the Third Prize of National contest in Literature looked at me and wondered: “Which kind of topic are you working on?”.”Everything is just vague. You know the feeling when you really want to make a masterpiece but after two lines you feel the whole idea is just bullshit.” ”Stop thinking about the enormous stuff and start from the tiniest bit of your life. Now everyone is on headlines with their trips around the world, their love lasting for centuries. If you couldn’t have done the similar in higher level, why don’t you talk about something that makes your life more special than them?”

Trust me, when I heard “special”, the first thing popped up in my mind was my ex-boyfriend. Even though our relationship has ended in questions and regret from both sides, we used to have unique memories that I couldn’t find in any other relationships with a “normal boyfriend”.

What do you think when yesterday you were still a conservative person towards same-sex love and LGBT and the next morning you fell in love with a transguy at first sight? To be conservative with me doesn’t mean that I’m opposed to their rights to be love and get married, I’m totally an advocate for them to be passed in the law. It means…seeing them as “others”, not a kind of person that I will have the potential to become. Every LGBT has two different sides of their personality: the gender showed the society and their birth, “real”, “hidden” one, which is the key point in the relationship. Believe me, if you are attracted by that kind of person, 99% the reason of your heart’s stronger beats is the intimate part of them. With my boyfriend, it was the girly and feminine pattern in his appearance and personalities that made me surprised and ask his friend “Is that a boy or a girl?”.

When I met him for the first time in the lecture, something from him made me super-curious. And yes, he made me more curious and surprised little by little every single day after that.

In reality, girls are thoughtful by nature, no matter how their preferred gender has been transformed. They understand what the other girls need, suffer, enjoy and avoid. The most benefit is that you don’t have to worry about stuff when you otherwise have to with a ‘real’ boyfriend. Stinky odour, for example, would never be a driving force of your sleeplessness because one of the things transguys pay the most attention to is their appearance. Another sweet gift of those who has trans-boyfriend is the natural feminist odour from their bodies, probably because they are quite self-conscious and less captivated towards stimulant.

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Source: pinterest.

Some find it normal when their boyfriends don’t understand when they are suddenly in bad mood. Usually, boys are tired after 5 minutes talking to an angry-without-any-reason girlfriend and if they apologise, most of them are not because they realise the problems but only to reluctantly avoid a deadlier conflict. After all, nothing is solved and in the next time, the same process is repeated. A trans guy, however, will comfort you to death with his willingness to understand the root of your discomfort. And obviously, it’s easier for them to find out because they used to be a girl and once the other guys used to treat them like how they are treating you now. However, it is like a double-edged sword when coming to a more usual context. Don’t misunderstand that a transguy has a feeling with you if he shows you off his specially gentle and kind treatment. 90% of the reason is that he knows most what you need. I used to misunderstand my boyfriend got a special feeling and treatment for me when he was the only one among 5 guys noticing my glasses not taken off while I was sleeping. Those small patterns of care are super-embarrassing if mistaken as love.

Finally, a small tip in order not to repeat my lifetime regrettable mistake for those who are already lucky in a relationship with a transguy: don’t do such things like forcing them to disguise in females’ outfit or anything that reminds them of their real gender. However wrong with a girl in masculine behaviours that make you think of any ridiculous joke or exploration into their “hidden” side, PLEASE keep that for yourself only. As a female by birth, they are no less emotional and sensitive than you. As a man, their high self-respect doesn’t accept. And after all, as a person whom you love, don’t let them feel sheepish of their choice but love and be more proud of themselves when they are with you.

Final production!!!

Acknowledgment of materials:

Video:

Hà Tĩnh tiếp tục biểu tình chống Formosa.

[Formosa] Ai yếu tim xin đừng xem: Bằng chứng bạo lực do Công An gây ra với dân đi biểu tình.

Suspense Music – Seeking The Truth.

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/business/162137/formosa-gets-vnd13-trillion-tax-refund–gdt-to-stop-preferential-support.html

Audio:

https://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent-actions/urgent-action-crackdown-formosa-spill-activists-continues-vietnam-ua-126-17/

 

 

 

Reliability of data?

Since the fish death scandal was provoked last year, I have been following some particular news sources which gave me different views towards the situation. They are Voice of America – a news agency providing coverage about Asia-Pacific, the U.S., and Africa from the perspective of people outside the country and enjoying FOI (freedom of information), Radio Free Asia – a nonprofit international broadcasting corporation, BBC Vietnamese’s articles written by Vietnamese journalists.

This documentary was made by VOA, which is a data-rich piece of journalism. Published on 3rd of April, 2017, only 2 months ago and one year after the disaster, it provides a loot of updated data about life in the most affected area in Ha Tin province

“Vung Ang sea is still the s death sea last year, no fish, no seafood. If the government didn’t stop working with Formosa, there would be nothing left”, it said.

What I did with data collected from the documentary was comparing it with public announcement from the government. The result was a significance contradiction.

At 0:18, the fisherman in Ky Loi village, Ky Anh, Ha Tinh did not receive any money from the government. More than half of the fishermen in his village also hadn’t received compensation. Meanwhile, on many state newspaper, it was said that money had been used “effectively” and distributed to every fisherman.

 

 

Money might have been used for other purposes not repairing or supporting fishermen who could not go fishing.

Reference:

Images:

http://english.vov.vn/society/thua-thienhue-effective-use-of-formosa-compensation-347637.vov

http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/35659/vietnam-pm-requests-effective-use-of-formosa-compensation-for-fish-deaths

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LpbbGhKbGc

Evidence from a local resident

My interview with the local source was scheduled on Friday 9th June 2017. He provided information on these issues:

  • Protests urging government to investigate the cause(s) of death fish
  • Contaminated seafood was sold and consumed in the middle coast of the country as people did not receive any ban or announcement from government
  • Protests urging for compensation after Formosa was accused of killing the fish
  • Protests at local government headquarters as people did not receive compensation from government.

Interview transcription in Vietnamese:

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 00.19.47.png“Government was slow in collecting information for investigation and does not let the people know about this. The result was poisonous seafood was still sold in the region. Scientists said red tide was the reason but people didn’t believe,” he said.

“There were protests in many parts of the country. After the compensation, because it was unfair in distributing compensation to victims, about 1000 people in one district at Ha Tinh province joined a peaceful protest at government headquarter,” he said.

This data indicated a possible corruption within the Communist Party of Vietnam, who received the compensation from Formosa and was responsible for distributing money to fishermen.

By contrast, on VOV – the Voice of Vietnam, national radio broadcaster, and Tuoitrenews – a state newspaper, government has been requesting and announcing effective use of the US$500 million from July 2016 until February 2017.

 

“In some other areas, people were protesting to ask government to stop contract with Formosa forever. Since most of them are small protests, it was easy for government bodies to stop them, saying they caused negative effects on local security and safety,” he said.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 00.20.05.png

“After paying the compensation and … Government issued a test-run license for Formosa. Also, local authorities said if Form. Several protests were happening because people didn’t believe seawater was cleaned and whether Formosa had installed wastewater treatment system. In the near future people in the central part of Vietnam will still suffer from consequences of the industrial activities,” he said.

Video and podcast are now available here! Check it out!

Sources protection – an important of nowadays investigative journalists

Working on my country’s issues when I am currently overseas was not easy at all, especially when Vietnam is an authoritarian state with restricted basic rights, including freedom of speech, press and opinion (Human Rights Watch).

How can I verify the information from both government announcement on state media and my own news sources? I would talk to my fellow who is living in Ha Tinh province, the first and most affected province and record the video interview via Skype – a video chat application. He has lived in Ha Tinh province for more than 20 years and now working in Water Resources industry.

Even though he did not want to be identified, his information expressed a strong contradiction with information on state newspapers.

The challenge with documenting this interview as evidence, however, was that my interviewee is still residing in Vietnam. According to Amnesty International, Vietnamese authorities are continuing to crackdown on those who raised critical concern about government and considering them as challenges to its leadership. It will put him at risk if he was detected as raising disagreement towards the government.

“Internationally, ethical commitments to, and legal protections for, journalistic sources are being undercut by surveillance … and mandatory data retention policies; … the attention of investigative journalists and their editors is necessarily turning to risk assessment, self-protection and source education.”

Trends in newsroom 2015

In order to protect my source, I would hide his identity in the video by using face blurring tool in the video editing software I am using.

Reference:

Posetti J, 2015, ‘The rising threat to investigative journalism’, World Editors Forum, pp. 25-36.

Project update!

According to the Data Journalism Handbook, what makes data journalism different from any other kinds of journalism is the “new possibilities that open up when you combine the traditional “nose for news” and ability to tell a compelling story with the sheer scale and range of digital information now available” (Gray, 2012).

In my project for the final assignment of subject JRNL301, I would produce a podcast and a video presenting documented evidence and central component of my news story, which is the human rights and freedom of speech violation in Vietnam during the country’s most serious environmental crisis.

For the audio part, I plan to use the recording function of my smartphone to record my voice. Also, as I’ve found some video clips on Youtube capturing protests of people on the issue of death fish, I would also record the screams and noises to support my argument.

For the video, it is the combination of both the audio and visual quality. Making a documentary to deliver on-site facts and updates would be ideal for this project, however, is time-consuming and not applicable for a subject-based assignment. As such, I decided to collect footage from my reliable news sources and do my own interviews with local resident via distance.

Video and audio are now available here! Check it out!

References:

Gray, J, Gray, J, Bounegru, L, & Chambers, L 2012, The Data Journalism Handbook / Edited By Jonathan Gray, Liliana Bounegru, And Lucy Chambers, n.p.: Sebastopol, Calif. : O’Reilly Media, 2012., UOW Catalogue, EBSCOhost, viewed 14 June 2017.