Making Brisbane more Cyclist Friendly

Looking at ways to encourage Brisbane citizens to hop on their bikes (Liana Walker)

Brisbane citizens are often encouraged to opt for riding bicycles over other modes of transport. They’re better for the environment and are a great way for people to stay fit. But how do you encourage more people to swap their car keys for a bicycle helmet?

Councillor Adrian Schrinner has proposed the answer may be making the helmets optional.

Currently in Queensland failing to wear a helmet will set you back $126 and for some this hefty fine discourages use of bicycles for smaller routes. However since the introduction of the mandatory helmet laws in the early 1990’s cyclist have accounted for between two to five per cent of all road fatalities annually, significantly lower than countries without mandatory helmet laws.

Why do we have mandatory helmet laws?

Will relaxing helmet laws result in more riders? (Liana Walker)

Wearing a helmet reduces serious injury by nearly 70% as found in an  international report into helmet safety presented at the Safety 2016 world safety conference in Finland.

RACQ Spokesperson Lauren Ritchie says helmet laws were initially brought into Australia because of their proven record of protecting riders from serious had injury or trauma.

“Helmets have been proven time and time again to save people from death and from serious ongoing trauma or brain injuries,” she says.

“So to relax (the laws) even on some routes is not a good idea in our minds.”

However CEO of Bicycle Queensland Ben Wilson says most bike users already choose to wear a helmet so relaxation could encourage more riders.

“In Australia in the medical world we’re getting very few head injuries because people are wearing helmets,” he says. 

“In most cases helmet wearing rates vary between 60-80 per cent.

“So we could actually take off the law that has gained more and more acceptance as time goes by and replace it with more of an international standard and get slightly more people riding bikes.”

He says the laws need to reflect the bicycle infrastructure available.

“The helmet law has to address the fact that helmets generally are not compulsory with the basis being in countries where there are far better bike facilities than what we have,” he said. 

“Or they’re in countries with even less bike facilities than what Australia has and in those cases its very high injury rates, such as third world or developing countries where the injuries are quite catastrophic.” 

How do you make cycling safer?

Safer riding facilities overseas (Paul Krueger – CC)

When the question was put out to Brisbane Residents on Facebook on if Brisbane City Council should be doing more to encourage safe cycling, overwhelmingly users were in support of using building separated bicycle lane infrastructure.

Notorious cyclist black spot Stanley St, Woolloongabba, is one of the first spots in Brisbane to undergo separated bike lane infrastructure. Other projects include the Kingsford Smith Drive, Hamilton and Sylvan Road, Toowong.

Mr Wilson agrees separated bike lanes is the best way to get people on their bikes.

There’s no better solution than separated bike facilities, that’s a proven fact that’s out there,” he says. 

Has the smart phone replaced the SLR?

The short answer is no, and it won’t be anytime soon. However in digital journalism the smart phone definitely has a place.

I hear you asking, why Liana? Why are you so persistent that a smart phone can’t do the same job an SLR does? Do they not both take photos?

Well random reader, you’re right. They do both take photos. Here let me show you some I took on my phone.

Isn’t he such a good boy?

But look how good he looks when I took the same photos on my SLR.

What’s that? These second photos look infinitely better than the first?

How is that so?

Well, in the first image on my iPhone I had the choice of shoving my phone in the sleeping dogs face or using digital zoom. I opted for the second option because what sort of cruel human wakes a sleeping dog? And realistically you’re much more likely going to need to use zoom at events such as press conferencing where you might end up sitting closer to the back.

This is as opposed to the SLR where I was able to use optical zoom and get just as close a picture from much further away with far more detail than the first.

Looking at the second one, there’s probably less difference other than the lighting. Given the natural lighting was good in this scenario it wasn’t hard to get a decent picture on my phone. But with my camera I was able to manipulate the amount of light let in to really bring out the vibrant colours of this Good Boy’s™ fur.

Here’s where it get’s interesting…

Night time.

Look I really tried to find a good example of a night time photo. This is really the best I could find because smart phones are yet to be able to manipulate aperture and shutter speed and until that day comes this is what night photos are going to look like. Paired with digital zoom they’re basically trash.

Okay yeah at this point I might be showing off a little, but look at what the right aperture, shutter speed and ISO can do even in the dark.

Okay we get it, SLR’s are the best smart phones suck. But you said smart phones do have a place, where is it?

Social media.  As explained in basically every QUTOJ1 lecture, social media posts with photos have much higher engagement than those without. It’s no surprise really.  But think about it, these photos taken on SLR’s are HUGE files. I’ve had to actually seriously decrease their sizes to even be able to upload them to this post.

There’s also the process of taking them from the camera, moving them to a computer and then taking the photo to whatever the destination is (whether it is online or to print).

In a world where speed is just as important as accuracy, there’s actually no time to waste with this whole process. If you want to get a tweet out with a picture, use a smart phone! Want to utilise Instagram stories? Smart phones are great for that too!

What they haven’t replaced is high quality imaging in both print and websites.

Online Journalism Live Blog: John Oliver

For those of you like me who haven’t heard of John Oliver until around 50 seconds ago, my 2 minute search on google informs me he is a comedian most well known for his show Last Week Tonight. The 40-year-old English man was also in the Smurfs so that’s kind of cool. But if his face is familiar it’s probably because you saw him in Community.
Today, we shall dive into Oliver’s critique on Trump (comedian talks about Trump – how original) with a live blog on an episode of the show.
(PS fun fact old mate John is a taurus so I sort of already don’t like him)



To summarise:

Trump is easy to make fun of because he just continues to say stupid things without actually fact checking.

Thanks John Oliver for letting me know something that hasn’t already been told to us in hundreds of other political commentaries.

10 Minutes of me surviving Survivor

Ahh yes a survivor challenge where survivors survive and but the real survivor is me suffering through this 10 minute immunity challenge, as seen below.


After watching this 10 minute immunity challenge, I still don’t want to watch this show.

Bachelor in 2 Minutes

That’s right, 2 minutes of the bachelor and I’m here to watch it.

Below peer into my thoughts as I watch this short segment of a show I’ve never given the time of day


Okay…. yeah now I know why I don’t watch this show

Look What You Made Me Post

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours you would have either heard this song or at least heard of it.

It appears – and to quote the lyrics – the old Taylor is dead. Which kind of sounds like something I would have said at the ripe age of 14, but never mind.

What’s interesting is the different types of news organisations who have decided to jump on board the Taylor train.

We have the usual crew sharing their opinions including:

And of course,

However, the release of Taylor’s new single has done this weird thing where what would be usually be considered pop culture news, has managed to slip it’s way into more serious news sites including:


Taylor Swift drops new single Look What You Made Me Do

And more surprisingly:

Taylor Swift’s new single Look What You Made Me Do lists Right Said Fred as cowriters

It’s not the first time pop culture and hard hitting news have collided, most commonly seen in celebrity deaths. However it’s paramount to the fact that news is becoming more and more click driven. I mean, why else would the ABC be running this story?

Generally speaking if I’m interested in finding out about music news I would be heading straight to the music websites (or more likely letting them appear on my facebook feed).  Brisbane Times isn’t exactly where I’d expect to hear about an artist dropping a new single, and it’s certainly not something I’d be looking for on their website.

But there it is, both Fairfax and the ABC jumping on board the Taylor train in hope of getting even just a small slice of the revenue pie. And considering I clicked on and read both of these articles, I guess it’s working.

Life’s a pitch

It’s 6:55 at night and I’m sitting at a bus stop madly typing away on my phone as I’ve finished a long day at work as a capitalist slave, when I realised two things:

  1. I have a pitch to do.
  2. I need to write a blog post for #QUTOJ1

Fortunately for me that pitch happens to be for everyone’s favourite Buzzfeed alternative Junkee which, in case you never changed from dial-up internet, you’ve probably heard of.

And so if you’ve heard of Junkee you’ll know that it is in fact a website on the internet.

How fitting that I have to write a blog post about online journalism as I am preparing myself to pitch for some online journalism! Which I also left until the last minute?

Pitching is this weird thing that I guess you sort of touch on at uni but it’s not until you’re out and working you really realise how important it is. And it kind of feels like pitching for online has a whole different art to it.

For example, I spent two weeks working for ABC Wide Bay where every morning started with me chatting to the producer about what I was going to chase for the day. Although it was important to keep the audience in the back of my head it never really crossed my mind as to whether I’d care or not if they liked my stories?

However for Junkee, it’s like there’s this need to not only impress the editorial team but also the readers?

Will anyone actually click on this?

Does my style really suit?

Is this even a good story?

What will the internet trolls say?

What if the editor hates my idea?

I guess you never really think about these things in broadcast journalism because at the end of the day, most of the people who are tuning in just have to accept whatever you present to them.  But with online, they’re actively choosing to read your story.

And that my friends, is why life is a pitch.

Top 5 worst things people have actually said to me on a date

1. “You know you’re meant to try impress people on dates”

And here I was thinking I could just really on my good looks.

2. “I don’t really approve of tattoos”

Yeah right after he asked me about the tattoo on the back of my leg….

3. “I’m not anti-shark, I just don’t like them”

Side note, sharks are my favourite animal so…..

4 “…”

As in I don’t think this guy actually said a single thing beside “yes” “no” and “mmm”

5. “You need to drink more”

From a guy who turned up 2 hours late and totally wasted…. goodbye.