Student gains media industry insight

My name is Vincent van Eyk, I am a Year 10 student at Tension Woods College in Mount Gambier and I am an involved member of the community. As a part of the Tension Personal Learning Plan I am currently engaging in work experience for the local newspaper The SE Voice.

As a part of my work experience I am writing an article about my experience and thoughts on social media as a teenager. Social media is a vital part of a massive number of people’s lives throughout the world. Apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are used as a means of communication and connection by a large percentage of the population.

The thing about social media is it can be adapted to your liking – most of these apps have an inbuilt algorithm that identifies the videos and photos you spend the most time looking at or watching. The app then brings you more of this same content.

Although it might seem useful, it can also be restrictive as you are then locked in a corner with one topic or subject dominating your. news feeds. In Mount Gambier approximately 8% of the population is 13-19 years old. Within this age group, it is estimated 90% use some form of social media, with the biggest being Tik Tok and Snapchat, closely followed by Instagram and Facebook.

As a student I know from experience how distracting these apps can be when you are trying to study or complete an assignment. The way the app becomes personalised to your specific likings makes it almost addictive and quite difficult to focus on work. It can also be hard to find correct or trustworthy information on social media given that anyone can post anything they want on a range of platforms, whether it is accurate or not, which can cause confusion for users in the online world.

There is also a lot of pressure on content creators to quickly get the information out to followers ‘to be first’ in breaking a story, which in turn can lead to inaccurate reporting or information circulating. But to only state the bad things about these apps would be wrong.

Apart from the obvious communication of friends and families on these apps, the content can be educational and useful. On Instagram, individuals can comment on friend’s posts, supporting them and making them feel like a valued member in the community. Businesses and companies also use social media as a marketing tool in conjunction with print media advertising to help draw in new customers as well as remind old customers of the business/company.

There is no doubt we are moving towards an ever-increasing digital world, however physical print media remains a strong reliable source of information across national, state and regional communities and it has been a great insight to explore the time and effort that goes on behind the scenes in producing a newspaper.

TimberLink visit opens eyes to whole new worldStory by Vincent van Eyk

My grandma visited Mount Gambier for the first time a while ago and as we were driving around the town, she pointed out a logging truck.

She is from Adelaide and it was obvious it was not normal to see these massive trucks all too often. In Mount Gambier we have grown familiar with the sight of these trucks chugging down our highways.

But when you think about it have you ever actually seen where the wood comes from or is going? Last week I got the chance to visit the Tarpeena TimberLink mill and see the inner workings of the massive industry here in the South East.

Along with this I took some photos of the massive trucks that brought in the wood for the community and recreation hub that is in the process of being built. I was amazed at the lengths of these individual planks, one stretching over 40 metres long.

The two trucks took over an hour just to turn two corners, a testament to how tricky it can be manoeuvring pieces of timber this big. Overall I really enjoyed learning about these massive industries that have helped our town grow.

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