Please consider your role as the reader of all sorts of written communication, and share with our group your experiences of:
- forms of communication that attract your attention;
- forms of communication that persuade you to act or to form an opinion;
- forms of communication that exclude or deter you as a reader.
Forms of communication that attract my attention
I spend a lot of time reading, whether it be of books, articles, or web pages. Most of my time is spent in front of a computer screen, tablet or mobile device. So, in those contexts, headings and images tend to attract my attention – these have to be interesting enough to make me want to read more. As such, I refer to a lot of blog posts and online journalism via my RSS Reader, or social media outlets such as Twitter, Google+, ScoopIt!, LinkedIn and Facebook (which are my most referred to).
A heading that gives me a good idea of what the article is about, is bound to grab my attention. This is even better when the heading is enhanced by an image that intrigues me, or simply looks bright and full of colour, which can make it stand out from the crowd, so to speak.
I suppose the same is true for books I peruse online, or in bookstores. However, since I read a lot of reviews, and the act of reading is a huge part of my daily activity, I do take the time to read blurbs and even Tables of Contents in order to glean a firm grasp of what the book is about. Then, I feel I can make an informed decision about purchasing it, or borrowing it from a library.
Forms of communication that persuade me to act or form an opinion
I’m a political media junkie. I am always interested in what is going on in politics, whether it is national or international. I try my best to stay on top of a balanced readership – trying to see both sides of many political arguments. Alas, time is an issue for me in this regard. I subscribe to emails from media outlets such the ABC, The Monthly magazine, The Age newspaper, and online news sites such as NewMatilda, The Guardian and Independent Media. As I tend to be more left-wing about such matters, I follow a lot of causes. I receive emails and updates from GetUp! and Change.org persuading me to form opinions about issues in Australian society, as well as International affairs. If I am convinced that something is unjust or detrimental to society, I will act by signing an online petition, writing an email to a minister or parliamentary representative, or sending emails to other like-minded individuals when seeking to gain momentum for a movement or a cause.
Forms of communication that exclude or deter me as a reader
Journalism that is fear-mongering, has ulterior motives, is sensationalised or simply incorrect. I tend to be put off by such ill-informed writing – and if I find myself in doubt about the veracity of what has been written, I will research it further for my own piece of mind. These pieces may also exclude me as a reader, as I will not feel any affinity for the writer’s objectives. Unfortunately, I find that a lot of this type of writing seems to originate in mainstream publications, largely considered to be right-wing, with a capitalistic focus, and/or owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Tony Blair selfie