Warning FAT!

•May 12, 2009 • 2 Comments

Yesterday results published in the Sydney Morning Herald, about the statistics on Obese or Overweight Australians. These fresh results came from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, they clearly demonstrate the need for Australians to lose some weight. In relation to the fast food stories lately this shows that the industry is having a big impact on society and the massive increase of these statistics reveals this.

Australia is losing the battle of the bulge.

Fresh data shows 62 per cent of people are now overweight or obese, a marked increase from past surveys.

Men and older people are the fattest of all and about a quarter of children are overweight or obese.

But Australians are in denial about their growing waistlines – the statisticians found people consistently claimed to be slimmer than they actually were.

The damning data was collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which measured the height, weight, hips and waists of 22,000 people for the 2007-08 National Health Survey.

This article mixes different facts together, smoking and obesity statistics. The journalist also tries to make the article interesting through the headings, “Fat Alert” and lines within the piece that make the story more then just facts. I think it was important to have this mix as it gives the audience the information that is wanted without overwhelming them so they dont understand what is being said.

People may be packing on the kilos but there’s good news on cigarettes – we’re smoking less.

One in five adults smoke less than in previous surveys.

The number of people who drink alcohol to a risky level has plateaued, albeit at a higher level than a decade ago.

Young men and middle-aged women are the groups most likely to booze.

The survey outed men as the worst culprits on health no-nos.

Men are more likely than women to smoke and be overweight, and less likely to eat fruit and vegetables.

Overall these statistics support my theories, and the article was written well so its understood and viewed by the audience.


Medicare rebate plan?

•May 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

An article in The Australian called ‘Rudd government faces Senate blockade over Health Rebate Plan’ discusses the possible increase of medicare costs because of the $1.9 Billion dollar cut in the health industry. The discussion is mainly one sided and slow in making a strong point, gives more statistics than necessary.

THE Rudd Government faces another Senate blockade if it pushes ahead with budget plans to claw back $1.9 billion in private health insurance cuts, with both the Coalition and key crossbencher Nick Xenophon accusing the Government for breaking an election promise.

I did not like the way that the journals structured the article it was overdone and slightly boring. The article began after the abstract, by referring to itself in third person. I didn’t like the way they did this only because it created a atmosphere that assumed the audience was not sure what was going on.

As revealed by The Australian today, Treasurer Wayne Swan is preparing to scale back the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate for singles earning from $74,000 and couples earning from $150,000 and scrap it altogether when incomes hit $120,000 and $240,000 respectively.

At the same time, middle to high income earners face heftier penalties if they drop their cover because of the premium hikes, with the Medicare levy surcharge for the non-insured set to jump by up to 50 per cent.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon from South Australia, who shares the upper house balance of power with the Greens and Family First Senator Steve Fielding, slammed the proposal as “a significant breach of trust” by the Government, which had long promised to retain the rebate.

He also questioned the logic of pursuing more cuts before the Government’s promised Productivity Commission inquiry into the public/private health mix reported, and so soon after last year’s controversial decision to raise the Medicare levy surcharge.

The whole article appears to be written for a different audience, although the subject requires some background knowledge the public will not be totally without this common knowledge. The journalist who has written this article has structured the article in a different manner than the usual, but they also use a vernacular that does not fit into the context of the piece.

The article is left open so that a follow up story can be made in the future to fully show the public where the health systems and care facilities are headed, especially in relation to the Medicare groups and customers. To make this article better the language and structure could have been better, but they could have also included a picture and some quotes from customers of the health groups like Medicare to demonstrate how the increase in cost might effect them.

Telstra reshuffle

•May 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment
New era ... incoming Telstra CEO David Thodey. Photo: Luis Enrique..SMH

New era ... incoming Telstra CEO David Thodey. Photo: Luis Enrique..SMH

There are two articles published in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that address the same issue of Telstra and their newly appointed Chief Executive and Chairman David Thodey. Both take different perspectives on the matter because they are shown through different peoples ideas about the future.

The Age article ‘James Hardie claims Telstra director’s scalp’ directly focuses on James Hardie and Peter Willcox’s wish to resign from his position within the company as director.

Tucked away below the announcement of a new CEO and chairman at Telstra is the scalp of another James Hardie director – Peter Willcox offered his resignation to the Telstra board due to his concern that the James Hardie judgement may cause embarrassment to the company.

Note that that was not because of what the James Hardie judgement actually found, just that it might embarrass Telstra. Gee, after four years of Sol, you’d think the Telstra was beyond embarrassment.

And so it seems. The resignation was rejected because of his valuable contribution to a number of vital current issues.

Instead of being embarrassed by Willcox’s role at James Hardie, the board asked him to stay on as a director for another six months until the annual meeting he just won’t stand for re-election then.

Whereas the article in the SMH focucs on the idea that ‘Telstra reshuffle singals culture change.

Telstra is looking to a more positive relationship with the Federal Government after appointing a new chief executive and chairman to steer the telco giant through tough markets and threats to some of its revenue lines.

Telstra group managing director of enterprise and government David Thodey was today named Telstra’s new boss, replacing Sol Trujillo when he returns to the US on June 30.

The company also announced the immediate resignation of chairman Donald McGauchie, who together with Mr Trujillo oversaw a deterioration Telstra’s relations with the government.

The article in the SMH is alot longer and has both pictures and videos to make the article more appealing. The article also looks at the Telstra shares and their stability at the moment.

Telstra shares gained up to four cents in early trade, but by midday were flat at $3.24.

It was worth adding this information and links into the article as it allows the audience to do their own research and make a judgment on the company as well being given the evidence from the article. The article has dedicated an area for comments and quotes about the Telstra shares at the moment under the sub-heading ‘Positive for Shares.’ There are quite a few quotes from people who support David Thodey, saying he was the right person for the position and that he will give Telstar possible power with the Federal Government.

Mr Thodey was the right person to lead Telstra, Ms Livingstone said.

“David will bring a fresh approach and renewed energy to Telstra as we continue to transform our business,” she said. “David is the right person to lead Telstra on the next phase of the company’s growth.

“His grasp of the fundamentals of technology combined with a deep appreciation of customer needs give him a unique understanding of the opportunity and challenges facing Telstra.”

The article has some sub-heading to help keep the information organised and focused on a specific detail instead of simply overloading the reader with useless details. The article gives an insight of what to expect in the future from Telstra and the competition companies.

It was interesting to have a look at both articles as they were discussing the same ideas but in a different matter. Both were informative and had quotes but the Sydney Morning Herald article was better constructed and involved more aspects of the company like the share rather than just the information on the newly elected David Thodey.

PM Temper flare?

•May 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Reports from an article in the Age called “PM ‘threw a tantrum’ with troops” retells an out burst from Prime Minster Rudd. In the article the journalist mocks and teasers the idea of this tantrum and the way it came about. The article is short and playful making it an entertaining read for the audience.

WE ALL have bad-hair days, but Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is facing suggestions he did his block when his hairdryer failed to work during a quick visit to Australian troops in Afghanistan.

Nationals backbencher John Cobb, who was recently in Afghanistan on a defence visit, told The Age the troops were full of stories of a Prime Ministerial temper tantrum.

“Basically, he couldn’t hook his hairdryer up and he chucked a temper tantrum or something,” Mr Cobb said yesterday.

“If it’s true, it’s amazing that you’d have a tantrum over your make-up when people are doing serious things over there.”

Although these aligations have been denied, the fact that they were published into the Age paper surprises me. I mean are we scrapping the bottom of the barrel of what? But anyway i guess somepeople may wish to gossip and make silly assumptions over something so trival.

But the Prime Minister’s spokesman fired a rocket back in response, accusing Mr Cobb of peddling fictions created by a Liberal Party “dirt unit”.

The aritlce was accompanied by a photo and had quotes, but i think the overall theme of the article was a bit trival and pointless.

Mr Rudd in Afghanistan. Photo: Gary Ramage: The Age

Mr Rudd in Afghanistan. Photo: Gary Ramage: The Age

Cash Splash

•May 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald Business section titled ‘Cash Splash Lifts Retail Sales’ describes the recent increase of sales in retail stores. Within the article they discuss the possible reason as to the massive rise, some suggested it was because of the recent stimulus packages the government has handed out within the last few months.

The Government’s cash splash is paying off with consumers driving retail sales higher than expected in March. Department stores were the big winners.

Sales climbed 2.2 per cent, seasonally adjusted, in March as consumers spent $19.3 billion for the month, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show, reversing a 2 per cent slump in February. Economists had expected a 0.5 per cent increase.

”It’s a big shock in retail sales,” said JP Morgan economist Helen Kevans. ”It was a lot stronger than expected.”

”In anticipation of the cash handouts that were to be received in April and May, consumers went out and spent a lot on discretionary items,” she said.

From this article the audience can draw conclusion as to what the stimulus money has helped. The article is well written in that it gives factual information and statistics with quotes from retail salespeople, the article is also broken into sections with sub-headings. By having these sub-headings it breaks the boring information and gives the article a focus and summary of that section. The first sub-heading ‘Department Store Surge’ describes the amount of increase for department stores.

Department store surge

Department store sales jumped 13.2 per cent in March, while clothing and soft goods sales climbed 6.4 per cent.

David Jones missed out on some of that sales leap, though, reporting today a 9.2 per cent fall in year-on-year third quarter sales. The upmarket retailer said, however, that it was on track to post flat to 5 per cent after-tax profit growth in the year to June.

”We’ve still got the impact of tax cheques to fully come through and so can anticipate a decent result in April as well,” said ICAP economist Adam Carr.

“These were fantastic results,” he said.”Looking through the volatile monthly retail sales, they are holding up quite nicely,” he said.

In the three months to the end of March, seasonally adjusted retail sales rose 1 per cent, the ABS said.

In the last section ‘Most Regions Rise’ the few paragraphs depict the percentage of rise in the different states of Australia. This is useful information for people who are in the retail business world or for those who are interested in business statistics.

Over all the article was a quick easy read, partly because of the balance between sub-headings, quotes and statistics. The article could have included a photo and some quotes from shoppers who spent a bit of money at department stores like David Jones, this would have created more involvement with the audience because they could have related to the article a bit better, in a sort of Human interest way, not purely business.

A million jobless by election??

•April 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

According to reports made in the Sydney Morning Herald in an article that states this as fact. The title, Warning of million jobless by election.

THERE will be close to 1 million unemployed by the time the next election is due, according to Access Economics in a report published today.

While Australia’s recession is unlikely to be as deep as those in comparable countries, the unemployment rate is set to hit 8.5 per cent late next year as the economy reels from the steep collapse in commodity prices.

The forecasts will be cold comfort for the Government, whose budget in a fortnight could include the largest deficit in the country’s history.

I really liked how this article brought the issues straight out to be the heading, it didnt start off as another topic the government talks about, it made the news focused and easier to read and understand. The article also gave evidence to support its theories from actual historical events.

“The downswing in fiscal finances looks set to be deeper and sharper than experienced in the recessions of the early 1980s and early 1990s,” Access says.

The mining boom helped increase profits in Australia to a larger share of national income than in many other countries, and the collapse in minerals prices – expected to strip $40 billion a year from national income – means profits could halve in the coming years.

By doing this the audience can understand the issue more.

Responding to the Access report, the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, said: “While this report confirms the brutal impact of the global recession on jobs, growth and revenues in Australia, it also applauds the quality of the Government’s stimulus measures and notes Australia is better placed than basically any other advanced economy.”

An articles in the Australian tended to focus on the problem areas like Western Australia rather than the city. The title of one article they published, ‘Job cuts hit boom states the hardest‘ already lets the audience know what will be covered in the article in more depth. I think the heading in highly important in these kinda of business reviews as they give a summary that is quick and understandable rather than having just a heap of statistics.

THE boom states are starting to bear the brunt of job-shedding, with Western Australia tipping nearly 11,000 workers on to the dole queue last month.

Western Australia’s unemployment rate leapt from 3.3 per cent to 4.2 per cent in the space of four weeks, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force figures for last month.

The mining state’s unemployment rate was just 2.8 per cent a year earlier.

And in Queensland, where job security will be a deciding issue in the cliffhanger election on March 21, the number of jobless has surged 31 per cent in a year as a mining downturn slams the brakes on the booming economy.

Queensland now has 105,900 unemployed — up 3700 in a month, or 25,000 over a year.

Premier Anna Bligh yesterday boasted that Queensland had created more jobs than any other state during the month, with 11,300 more people in full-time work. But the unemployment rate crept up 0.1 per cent to 4.5 per cent during last month, as interstate residents flocked to Queensland.

“The scourge of unemployment is hitting Queensland and that means we need to redouble our effort,” Ms Bligh said.

In WA, the number of jobless reached 51,200 — a 57.5 per cent jump in a year, and 27 per cent more than a month earlier.

West Australian Treasurer Troy Buswell warned that the jobless figures were part of a trend and he expected they would worsen. He said the state’s highest unemployment rate in three years made the WA Government’s capital works program vital, despite a $1.2 billion budget blowout this financial year.

Although these articles look at the same issue of jobless people, they cover different areas and take differnet perspectives. By having this diversity the responder can compare and contrast between the them to determine their own personal outcomes. As these articles often come without a pitcure the heading is essential to attract an audience in. I believe that this has been effectivly executed as i clicked on the link to the articles. You know the article has a direction that it will follow to best keep the audience entertained and interested at the same time as inform them.

Krispy Kream Vs Arnotts

•April 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I came across this article in the Sydney Morning Herald Business section. The article depicts the events in a playful manner even the title demonstrates good humor.

Oh no, not the VoVo! Holy row breaks out over biscuit ambush

I liked this story because it wasn’t all about hard facts, it was a pleasant easy read that caught my interest. This demonstrates the skill of the journalist who has taken a relatively boring subject and made it like able and interesting.

THE battle to tap into customers’ fond, sugary childhood memories is set to go to court after Krispy Kreme ignored a warning by Arnott’s to stop selling a line of doughnuts it claims is a rip-off its 100-year-old Iced VoVo brand.

I think it is amazing that these little things set off such a big scandle in the community. Although this article does raise some interest it i think the reason behind the events are a bit extreme.

Lawyers for Arnott’s, a wholly-owned American company since 1997, argue the doughnuts, which are topped with pink icing and sprinkled with coconut, are “clearly deceptively similar” to Iced VoVos, and set Krispy Kreme a deadline of 5pm last night to end its promotion.

In the article i like how it was linked back to the recession, though wanting to bring goodness back into the community. Had is really left? Or If it has…would we get it back through doughnuts?

Yesterday Krispy Kreme’s chief executive, John McGuigan, said the promotion was meant as a “lighthearted way of bringing back a bit of nostalgia” during the recession.

He denied it was trading on the VoVo name. “The only commonality between the two is the word Vo and I don’t know what that means,” he said. “I think our customers will be able to tell the difference between a doughnut and a biscuit.” Arnott’s was not prepared to comment on its intentions if Krispy Kreme did not stop its promotion.

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister’s office said that the Iced VoVo was “still a prime ministerial favourite” but was unsure if he would go for the Iced Dough-Vo. “I have never seen him eat one [a doughnut].” She said Mr Rudd had only received one box of VoVos from Arnott’s. A Woolworths spokesman said sales of VoVos has been steadily climbing since Mr Rudd’s comments.

So on one hand we have a cleverly structured article that not only invokes humor but relates back to the recession in a different manner than what is usually seen, but then we have this under side of the article that pulls the Prime Minister into the plot making that matter more about him than the actual doughnuts and biscuits. From the article i drew these conclusions about what was being said and i would have liked to have known the final outcome of the events, or what was planned to happen. But there can always be a follow up story can’t there?