Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Radio Studies Essay

As a student journalist, I began the year by writing up my personal journalistic philosophy. This was informed by Theodore Glasser’s argument about objectivity being a value that leaves him asking the question, does objectivity make ones reporting responsible? (Glasser, 1992). His response as well as my own is simply that objectivity allows journalist to live under the guise of reporting the facts which they themselves had no hand in creating and are removed from the work which they publish to the public (Glasser, 1992). I stated explicitly in my philosophy that I believe the “very construction of the story, from the people the journalist chooses to interview, the questions they ask and what lead they go with makes the story bias.” Objectivity is a very mainstream media ideal and makes the journalist focus far too much on the official sources and usually leave the marginalised voices, or those being reported on, disempowered. My philosophy was also informed by the context in which I find myself working as a journalist, that being Grahamstown. This town is burdened with inequalities that resulted from colonialism and apartheid and change seems to tarry. Against this backdrop, I set out to I set out to, in my reporting, value the word of the expert as much as that of the ordinary citizen. I also made it my objective to allow people to “be the masters of their own stories”. I think that after a year of actually gathering news stories, features and being afforded the opportunity to do a course on journalism, democracy and development, I now have a greater vocabulary with which to articulate what I set out to do as a journalist as well as an understanding of what I can do with journalism. This now means there are standards I will now add to my personal philosophy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sound of Sanctuary

I tutored another group of Journalism 2 students at Rhodes University. This second semesters radio magazine show looked at whether residences at the university are a space where students feel safe or if these structres simply foster an environment of violence.

Home of Joy

Margaret Ngcangca has a big heart for children and for helping her community in Joza Township in Grahamstown. She runs Home of Joy, an oprhanage where all the children she has taken in call her "Makhulu", a Xhosa word that means "Granny". She believes that mothers in the community should be concerned about what's happening with children in the neighbourhood and that they should all play their part in helping orphaned children. Ngcangca spoke to me about Home of Joy.

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A picture of Home of Joy from the main road in Grahamstown's Ward 7

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Waterless Toilets

It is estimated that an individual uses about 20 000 litres of water for flushing each year. Whenever you flush the toilet, the waste is sent to the municipal water works where the water is treated. Cleaning the water is not always an easy task and sewage leakages in many parts of the country become a problem. I found out about the alternative.

Starting a Vegetable Garden

Climate change, global warming and sustainability are the latest buzz words in this green age. Many things can be done to combat carbon footprint and gardening is one of them. The idea of starting your own vegetable garden in your back yard may seem daunting for those who do not have “green fingers.” I decided to find out how to start a garden.

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Wall to Wall Magazine Show

This is a show put together by a group of second year journalism students at that I was tutoring. Over two terms this group of five students embarked on the process of pitching stories, conducting interviews and writing scripts. As the executive producer I was there guiding them through the process and helping them put together this prerecorded show aired on Rhodes Music Radio.

No Camping Allowed

For many years of the Arts Festival, traders have camped outside their stalls on High Street. This has never officially been allowed. This year, festival organisers along with the Grahamstown police and the traffic department have begun to enforce this regulation. I spoke to those involved.

Judith Sephuma Interview

Judith Spehuma performed in Grahamstown over the national Arts Festival to a full house on two nights. She graduted from the University of Cape Town with an honours degree in Jazz performance and has two albums to date. This Jazz singer has received a number of awards, many for best female artist. She has performed  internationally in countries such as the Netherlands and Mexico. She is currently working on a new album and performing at other Jazz festivals in the country. I had a chat with her.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Karen Zoid Interview

Karen Zoid has performed twice at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. She’s an Afrikaans rock chic who’s fame stretches as far as England and Dubai. She has four albums to date and is currently working on new songs . I had the opportunity to chat with her at a local restaurant during the festival.

Interview with Sharleen Surtie-Richards

This is an in-studio live interview with Shaleen Surtie- Richards on Radio Grahamstown during the Arts Festival. I was co-presenting a Fest Focus show that was focused on content during the National Arts festval. Surtie-Richards was in performing in a one woman stage production Shirley Valentyn. Sharleen has been on stage for a number of years but she’s also well known for her role as Aunty Mattie on Generations.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

As It Is News Podcast 2

Another edition of As It is. This is a podcast of news updates put together by a group in the third year radio journalism class. As usual we look at news happening in and around Grahamstown. The National Arts Festival is nearly upon us, so this week we tackle some issues that may have consequences for the festival.

Tackling Substance Abuse

Drug and Substance abuse is not only a concern in South Africa, but has been a growing concern in Grahamstown. Grahamstowns in the past had a structure in place to tackle this issue, but it has not existed for a while now. Various commuity stakeholders have now come together to tackle this problem in the town. I found out about this initiative.

As It Is News Podcast 1

As It is News podacst is a news bulletin put together by a group of third year radio journalism students. It provides a quick look at ises making news in Grahamstown. In the first edition we look at the effects of the SAMWU strike as well as what is happening with social development.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The New Toy Library

Education is an important aspect of our society. In Grahamstown many parents live under the bread line and cannot aford to send their children to preschools. They now have the opportunity to play with their children using educational toys. The Toy library in extension six is now the place where parents can borrow these resources. Refilwe Mpshe reports.

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Picture taken by Katherine Steward
Reflecting on the Toy Library

Pitching the story on the Toy Library in Extension 6 was very important for me. This story I felt touched a social aspect of the community which is what I believe journalism should endeavour to do. The fact that this Toy Library was opening to allow parents in the community to take part in their children's education was what I felt to be an empowering step. My aim was to go to the library in its first week of running and find out more about it.

Myra Bailey Profiled

Grahamstown is a small town laidend with poverty. Dorcus support group is an initiative started by Myra Bailey that aims to provide underprivilaged mothers with the a basic kit for their new born babies. Bailey works from  a room at the back of her farm which she calls Dorcus Chapel. This is her story.

Friday, March 5, 2010

My Journalistic Philosophy

Grahamstown is a town in which the communities are divided by language and socio economic standards. Many people are aware that the roots of this division go as far back as the days of the colonisers and have continued long after the apartheid days. The larger part of this town and the university seem to be separate entities and it is to the detriment of any journalist to allow themselves to remain in the bubble that is Rhodes University. The fear of the unknown may be a deterrent from going to find the stories in the “real” Grahamstown, but this fear is easily an indication of an underlying bias against the town.Journalists are supposed to inform, teach, educate and at times, entertain the audiences for which they report. Without objectivity, the credibility of every news agency would always be questioned. Yet, the question one is faced with is, does objectivity make ones reporting responsible?