Outback blogging – online journalism not just an inner city craze!

After hearing during the week from blogger Nikki Parkinson, one of the key messages I took away from Nikki’s discussion was that blogs could be literally about anything.  While her work focused on blogging for travel, style, beauty and life, there are plenty of blogs out there which have nothing to do with any of those things.

So when considering my post for this online journalism world for my post this week, I didn’t have to look any further than my Facebook newsfeed.

Right at the top, as one of my most viewed pages, the Central Station blog is an online forum created by a group of women and families living on properties in Northern Australia, most of whom live or work on properties.

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The Central Station blog home page

Hosting of the blog is shared around a week at a time, and has been hosted by families, properties, contract mustering teams and helicopter companies.  There is an endless array of content, on anything from drought, flooding rains, how musters work, how to get a job, what it’s like to work as the station cook, and the types of horse you might be expected to ride on a cattle station in the heart of Australia’s northern cattle country.

The blog is an important window into the very real world of Australian agriculture.  Some people might think the old days of camping out on a muster are dead, but they certainly aren’t, with dozens of tales recounting tiring days of work as stockmen and women spend weeks in stock camps processing sheep and cattle to be sold.

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A typical post on the Central Station blog, giving advice for wannabe helicopter mustering pilots on how to get into the industry

Other difficult topics are covered too, such as dealing with depression, death and when catastrophe strikes a long way from the nearest help.  Some of these stories are not sometimes ones which are openly discussed by people in rural Australia, and the blog provides a way to voice what is going on to rural and city folk alike.

Cover Photo: Central Station

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