5 — Different media, same life
In this sequence, the students will examine and compare the differences between print and multimedia life stories based on a single subject: Kylie Kwong.
Activity 1: Meet Kylie Kwong
Before the students read the article ‘Kylie Kwong is a Chef’, introduce them to the context and language in the text that might be challenging, such as passionate, exuberant, holistic, pre-conception, unwaveringly, organic, sustainable, spirituality, Buddhism, providore and third generation Australian.
Read just the opening paragraph of Kylie’s life story: It was hard deciding on a single noun to describe Kylie Kwong, because she has so many feathers in her cap.
The author uses a metaphor ‘feathers in her cap’ to introduce Kylie Kwong’s many accomplishments in the print life story. As well as being as a celebrity chef, what are the eight other feathers in her cap the author lists?
We know that the author has only ever known of Kylie Kwong as a celebrity before the interview because she tells us I met with her in person for this interview. Despite that, we get an impression that they are now very relaxed and familiar with each other. This sense of fun and familiarity provides strong cohesion (a unity provided by words and grammar holding the text together) in the opening paragraph. Ask the students to select five words or phrases that create this sense of cohesion.
Activity 2: Kylie Kwong in print
The students will now return to the print Kylie Kwong story. The task now is to support the students to consider the similarities/differences and the strengths/limitations of the two versions. This activity should also enable the students to give some more thought to their choice of media for Assessment task 2.
Ask the students to consider the use of colour, images, indented text, and the various fonts styles and sizes. Ask them what is the purpose and effect of the following features:
- the title
- the use of images
- the column of text on the top left (beginning with Subject, ending with The carrots)
- the blue heading beginning, ‘The first day I said ...’
Then ask them:
- How can we tell who is speaking after the heading ‘The first day I said ...’
- What is the advantage of having the voices in different colours and laid out like this?
- What is the advantage of having lots of white space (sections of a page deliberately left blank) on a page?
Magazines are most often dipped into, so the students are free to read this article in totality from beginning to end, or to dip in and out of it. As they do, ask them to find details of each of the following that were not included in the video and add a brief note about each of these details:
- Kylie’s parents’ dinner parties
- how Kylie felt about being a graphic artist
- how she got her job with Neil Perry
- where Kylie goes and what she does there does each weekday morning.
The students should study the pictures used in the article (and footage shot). Ask if they notice that these are either shots of Kylie or market and food shots, and to think back to issues discussed in Sequence 4 regarding privacy and respect, then to answer the following questions:
- Why are there are no images of her partner or recent family photos?
- Why not include shots of her at home, or in the temple?
- What do you consider the most private or personal revelation in this article?
- Find an example of how the author has challenged the reader to drop any stereotype the reader may have had about Kylie Kwong as a celebrity chef, or as someone on a high income, or as a woman in a same-sex relationship, or as a person of Chinese heritage.
Activity 3: Kylie in print, or Kylie in media?
Ask the students to find a section of the print article that connects in some way to part of the video, and think about differences and similarities. They are to write one sentence that captures the angle that both writers wanted to communicate about Kylie Kwong, not simply that Kylie Kwong is a chef but rather what is unique about Kylie Kwong.
Provide copies and support for students to compare the print and multimedia versions using the Kylie Kwong: Print or multimedia worksheet.