Working at Radio Station and what it taught me.

It has been months since I updated my blog and it feels really good to get back into the swing of things. Consequently, a few months ago I applied for my first ever real Journalistic job in media. I’d never ever thought any sort of job would change me as much as a person as working in the media industry.

Just finished my 1st year final assignments and rushed over to catch a ride to head over to an interview I never thought I would have gotten. With no prior experience to what an actual interview entails I sat sweating on the seat taking a look at the surroundings and tried not to look like this was my first time.

Think of any police, bad cop, good cop type of scenario where they interrogate the suspect. It felt and looked like that with the interviewer asking questions and the room with the glass windows. I was very unsure on how to behave and the teenager in me at the time could not stop fidgeting. It was a process that I felt took an eternity.

I got the golden phone call, and soon was in training alongside my newly wed colleagues. Thrown straight into editing as much sound as we possibly could. It was a painstaking process of editing sound that I assure you no intern liked, however, it would benefit us immensely later when it came to collecting sound.

From editing we were taken outside, which we appreciated. What we did outside was collect sound from people on the streets. A basic question on current affairs asked to as much as people as you can get on record, called a Vox Pops. This is where we learnt how to approach people properly to get there opinions on anything such as sex, sport, politics to circumcision.

I thoroughly enjoyed asking people out on the streets on there opinions about things. It showed me a different perspective on things and made me more knowledgeable about how people think, enforcing the fact that not everyone thinks the same. There are instances where I would not agree with what the person is saying, however, I would reiterate in my mind that it is not my job to disagree, my job is to get a balanced story.

A balanced story is not something I was well equipped for when I started. I had to learn what a balanced story entails. There was so much learning that had to be done, not that my first year of Journalism did not prepare me enough, it is that there is certain things you have to learn in the field when your are thrown into the deep end.

University in essence is a safety net, you can make mistakes, whereas in the media industry or more specifically radio, your name as well as the company is on the line and that is where the pressure comes from. You repeat a year or a module if you fail at University and that is really no ‘biggie’, but in the media industry if you do mess up you may not have a job the next day and no media company would want to hire you after that. Protect your name.

Radio, specifically, sounds pretty easy when you listen to it, however, think of radio as a piano keyboard, anyone can sit down and press down onto the keypads but how terrible will that sound to the ears. You need to know what you doing and it does takes loads of practice. This is called engineering.

Watching presenters engineer for themselves, playing jingles, playing sound and multitasking was an honor to watch. I laugh as I write this sentence because I soon had to engineer for myself and that was, personally, for me, the most difficult but the most rewarding when I knew how. I felt like a puppet controlling the air waves and controlling what you heard, it was and will probably always be the best.

In the couple of months that I was there, news was pouring out of every corner and it would be overwhelming at first. But, overtime you would get familiar with the influx and amount of work put in to bring out your best story. You would learn how to work alongside people. I learnt that you wont be an expert at first everything takes time, some more than others, have patience.

Other than hardship, stress and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you also get to meet fellow presidents, ministers and politicians. Particularly in radio, because of the type of radio station I worked at you get to meet loads of different types of people from chefs to singers and dj’s, you really get a nice blend.

The other thing and final thing is that you meet fellow journalists. You learn from them and see how they are hungry for there story, you pick up on there drive and hope that you can be as hungry and determine as they are when you graduate. Its truly an amazing and tiresome career, but I am so here for it!

A huge thank you goes out to Mr Mathurine for forwarding the Application, a simply click on your side made a huge impact to mine.

Did any job or career pathway ever change you as person? Or make you a better/worse? Leave a comment or like, it is always appreciated.

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Where does the Democratic Alliance stand and where will they be going?

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News report after news report has been published on multiple social media and news outlets on the political party known as the Democratic Alliance. More on it’s individuals in power and just recently it’s out pour of former Councillors resigning. The Democratic Alliance has been experiencing a bit of a dent in there party by having battle in Court with the officially former Cape Town Mayor and D.A member Patricia De Lille.

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Image Supplied by Twitter user @gerbjan (Jan Gerber)

These last 18 months has left the people of the Western Cape concern over the leadership of Cape Town and what will happen in the upcoming elections that is just around the corner. According to a survey done by Business Tech, they concluded that if South Africans were to vote tomorrow that the DA and EFF would tie at just 11% and 48% would go to the ANC.

“All other parties would combine for 4% of votes, while more than a quarter (27%) of South Africans say they don’t know who they would vote for, they would not vote, or they refused to answer the question.”

More so, on The Karima Brown Show on 702, Deputy Chairperson of Federal Council of the Democratic Alliance, Natasha Mazzone states that “the DA has never been stronger, it has never been more united.” In response to the state of the DA. Full interview here: Natasha Mazzone on 702

However, according to a Law Student and previous DA member from 2014/15, Luke Waltman, writes that:

Lindiwe Mazibuko and Patricia de Lille are two prominent leaders who ended up leaving the party because of its problematic antics. If the DA does not reflect on its positions and procedures, it’s going to find itself losing more leaders who truly drive its campaigning successes“.

Published by News24: Why I left the DA and have empathy with De Lille

Moreover, an article published by News24 and written by the Federal Leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, writes that:

History will prove the DA did the right thing even when it was hard. The governance breakdown in Cape Town under De Lille has cost the City dearly, resulting in fatally flawed and compromised tenders, the cancellation of which has exposed the City to serious legal and financial risk. So, I am relieved that she no longer holds the reins in Cape Town. I do, however, wish her well in her future endeavors. We now enter a new era under Mayor Dan Plato, who will refocus council on the fight against crime, on building an inclusive city, and on speeding up service delivery for all.”

Article published by News24: The DA was right to hold De Lille account

 

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Image Supplied By Sowetan Live and taken by Esa Alexander. ‘Dan Plato’

 

There’s a lot going on to be fair in the media about the Democratic Alliance but where does there values actually stem towards and how have they grown since the year 2000? Furthermore, how did the Democratic Alliance become the most popular opposition party since 2004 against the African National Congress? They had to be doing something right if they were known as an opposition party going up against the ANC that was once led by Nelson Mandela.

The party formally known as the Democratic Alliance came a long way to be named that. Merging with different political parties over many years and all starting with Helen Suzman who left the United Front to form the Progressive Party in the 1959. A party dedicated to opposing apartheid and the origin of the Democratic Alliance.

According to there constitution, the Democratic Alliance values freedom, fairness, opportunity and diversity. Furthermore, pertaining to Apartheid, it states that:

we cannot undo the past, but as a nation we have a duty to redress any disadvantages caused by our past, so that all South Africans may make equal use of their opportunities

The Democratic Alliance sees itself as being “Centre” on there political position with an ideology of Social Liberalism and Economical Liberalism. However, before this the DA was known as the Democratic Party that came from the Progressive Federal Party.

The Progressive Federal Party (PFP) founded in 1977 placed itself at the “centre” of the political spectrum with ideologies of Liberalism. More so, the Democratic Party  shifted more on the “centre-right” on there political ideology and there ideologies changed to Liberalism and Conservative Liberalism when it was founded in 1989 and led by Tony Leon until it’s end in 2000.

The Democratic Party that was founded in 1989 and was merged together by different Political parties, known as Progressive Federal Party , New Republic Party and Independent Party. Each of these parties merged together to form the Democratic party and later in 2000, forming the Democratic Alliance.

Yes, ideologies, political position and leadership changed but one thing remained is that whatever the name of the party, they still remained an opposition party. The DA has been an opposition since it was formed in 2000. The Democratic Party formed in 1989 became an opposition party to the National Party. Lastly, the Progressive Federal Party in 1977 also become an opposition party towards the National Party.

According to thesis done on Party Ideology the Democratic Alliance has be consistently to the right of of its overall ideology. The DA tends to emphasize the political domain more than the other domains, while the socio-economic domain is given more attention than the social and cultural domain.

The DA seems to take a consistent right position, emphasizing right elements to a slight or to a large extent. Furthermore, the DA, on political matters, favours the protection of liberal democracy and does not favour traditional governance, making the party a centre or liberal party. On socio-economic issues, the DA can be seen as a centre-left party because of its support for social welfare and affirmative action. The DA is a centre-left or liberal party on social cultural issues, favoring individual liberty instead of traditional morality

Therefore, where will this put the Democratic Alliance in the future? Will there be a Democratic Alliance Party in the next 5-10 years? In the current political climate that Democratic Alliance is in, it will always be known as an opposition party. It has never gain global recognition like the ANC and perhaps never will because of it’s past ‘merging parties’ and the reputation it has today with affiliation to being called a ‘white party’.

In conclusion, the Democratic Alliance just like any political party that stems off what the ANC or any Political Party is doing wrong and promises better. The Karima Brown interview with Natasha Mazzone is enough to deduce that there are problems within the party. Whether those issues are sorted or not the Democratic Alliance has a lot to make right within there own party and to reassure the people of the Western Cape and South Africa that they will not implode and diverge.

 

 

Twitter VS Journalism

Twitter is used for many things from sharing opinions to communicating and even a window to another persons life. However, in my stance with Twitter, I had to use it for the sole purpose of gathering and distributing news, whilst informing myself on better ways to Tweet and getting myself equipped with Twitter as a method of “distributing my own work”. Since, I am studying to become a Journalist, Twitter becomes vital as source of information since it has become and News and Information hub.

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Supplied by Google Images

The “Twitter World” is flooded with information and can be described as an endless tunnel of information. It is a mechanism that keeps you hooked and allows you to view different opinions on issues that affects millions of people. It is an amazing source of information expanding your Echo Chamber as well broadening your Filter Bubble for better understanding of the world around.

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Supplied by Google Images

As a student Journalist it become apparent to me that I will be doing a great debt to myself by not setting up my own account. That is what I did. It was simple, no fuss, if you don’t have an email account. Your #FirstTweet is a monumental moment, and it is, unfortunately quickly forgotten once you start following people on Twitter, especially fashion or motivational accounts. Those, personally, by far best as there aesthetic is just soothing and motivational and…

Anyways, back to it. Yes, Twitter can be ”lit” but to use it for educational purposes can be a tad boring when there’s a ridiculous amount of comedy being circulated and aesthetically pleasing accounts, however, to filter that I had to follow accounts accordingly to what I needed. I needed to follow News Accounts as well as Journalists, Bloggers and Reporters. It was easy to find reporters and bloggers once you followed the News Accounts. It all worked in chain, and I just had to follow it.

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From the movie Spotlight, Supplied by Google Images

Furthermore, these News Outlets and reporters brought to light how to share News in the most concise way, since theirs only 140 characters allowed per Tweet. Other than the use of Hashtags (#) and tagging important people for distribution when telling news, it also showed me how to structure the manner in which I type my news for my followers so that they can get what is important first. In a nutshell, Twitter taught me how to filter news.

However, Twitter can be ideal for gathering information for journalistic purposes but it is easy to get lost in it. Like everything, it does have it’s limitations. As a journalist, one can not simply rely on Twitter as a source of information entirely. Everything needs to be verified and checked. I once shared a video that was falsified and hold onto it as a lesson to never just share for sensationalism or being first. It easy to fall prey and nothing beats face to face communication to really grasp a story.

 

Youth Issues? It’s not what you think.

 

Where does anyone start with the issue of just fitting into society as an adolescent. Society has so many opinions and you can never really win. This is of paramount because this deals with identity and this can imply that adolescents find it difficult to adapt to the immediate world.

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Photographed by Maryam Adhikarie.

The parameters of my survey extended to crime, money and abusive substances, all stemming down to one issue of identity when it came to Youth Issues. One proclaimed that adults no longer understand them and can no longer use the same mechanisms as was once used for them, “We are different and in a different time”.

Another exclaimed that there is judgement because you are being yourself and when you are told to express yourself,  you are judged for it. The person further states that we are expected to go in a certain direction however, sometimes our direction or pathway is not set in stone.

However, fitting in and finding your identity can be attributed to two groups. the first group would be teenagers in High-schools. In an article published by the Irish Times, John Sharry, takes a parental approach to teenagers finding themselves. He brings to light that teenagers are trying to find there niche while coping with academics and the two together added can add immense stress towards the teenager.

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Photographed by Maryam Adhikarie.

Moreover, from the educator perspective, who has been teaching for more than 20 years claims that teenagers have it worse now than ever. “Social media can be the new bully and the judgement that our learners face”, says Mr Adhikarie.  ”There’s more, the Apartheid regime left a whole in our history and can also be the reason why our learners and many others cannot find there identity because we as adults don’t know ours”.

However, Patricia, who would only like to be affiliated with being categorized as an ”important social worker at a youth institute”, proclaims that the reason why youth in general have a mid life crises way to early in there age is because they do not know how to communicate. “What you and I are doing, they don’t know how to do that, face to face communication”, she says. “Communication is key and those skills are taken away when your eyes are face down onto a phone or television”.

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Photographed by Maryam Adikarie

Furthermore, this identity crises carries into to the work force or college experience. Nuhaa Davis, a Media, Film and Literature student at the University of Cape Town explains her first day at University where she was asked about her Hijab, a headscarf, and if there were consequences for not wearing it.

She further states that, “As someone who lives in Mitchell’s Plain where people are sheltered by the Cape Flats mentality of racism and homophobia, there is 100% room for people to branch out and learn more about the world and educate themselves.”

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Google Images.

Erik Erikson, a developmental psychologist and responsible for this concept determined that forming your identity is an important part of your life and does not only occur in adolescents. He further claimed that this is an essential conflict that people face in development. He further states that this “identity crisis” can be defined as intensive analysis at looking at different ways at oneself.

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Photographed by Maryam Adhikare

Therefore, in a South African  post-Apartheid context, I then ask, why wouldn’t we have an identity crisis or ”fitting in” debacles if the identity of the past was taken away  and new identities and labels were given?

When labels are still prominent with stereotypes and the baggage carried along with it called ”History”. Youths have spoken and it is up to you to listen.

Here is one: “You are who you attract”

 

A Story of Woodlands

I give to you a guided map of the not so spoken about Woodlands. A neighborhood slowly transgressing with the entirety of Mitchell’s Plain into the stereotype it has always been linked to.

Clink on the link and enjoy: Don’t worry and Enjoy the Adventure. Don’t forget to come back and read more.

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Spatial planning is undeniably evident in the segregation that is displayed. In many ways, my community is affected. This community, with a population of nearly 37 000 sharing a space of 5.1 square kilometers and bordering with Phillipi is one of the communities of many communities that struggle day by day due to the scars of the past. However, the community makes due. Even though, drainage, especially with heavy rainfall has been an issue with roads being filled with water and the epidemic of drugs and crime in the area.

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Supplied by News24

Also, in the beginning of the year protests for housing occurred in the Woodlands area for backyarders putting their houses up on open fields. Gangs has always been a Mitchell’s Plain issue and never really a one area type of issue because it affects us all. Lastly, the most evident display of segregation is taking a bus through Phillipi onto Eisleben into Woodlands. Woodlands and Phillipi are right next to each other with Highlands Drive separating it.

Driving in Phillipi is complete nightmare with drivers not abiding by rules of the road, however, how can you blame them when the robots are not working and the roads are narrow with shacks nearly hitting the road. However, when coming into Woodlands and driving pass the bridge the road widens and houses can be seen and less clutterness. A road separates poverty and even mentality.

What makes my community unique from other communities is that it has an arising issue of an unfinished building attracting bad attention. It is not government property and is still being made into building.

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Supplied by alarmy stock photo

Woodlands neighbors Phillipi, in comparison Phillipi is much bigger, however, houses the same amount of people Woodlands does in 5.1 square kilometres. Schooling becomes an issue because kids have to walk far from Phillipi to attend school in Woodlands, for e.g Aloe High and Highlands primary.

“When we moved here it was completely different”, says one resident. “I still believe that we can eradicate crime and gang violence, and oh, ofcourse, drugs. We can still do it. We started with nothing and I had to sell pegs on the stations to make money and look how far we have come. I still believe we can, I still believe in this country and community”

”I cannot wait to leave if I had the opportunity to. I guess that is why I’m working so hard. So that I can leave this community and country”

Both residing in the same area, however, have different goals in mine and different views of the community they both live in.

Which one will prevail?

 

 

 

Study Journalism… They Said, It Will Be Fun… They Said *sips tea*

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Supplied by Google Images

 

Firstly, this is not a hate speech to the field of Journalism nor to the Journalistic practitioners. It’s merely just a student complaints and a student journalist experience in this ever evolving industry. Now, for the actual introduction.

Media is quite ironic in a sense that I wanted to become a Journalist because of the passion and orchestrated drama in the film, Zodiac. Released in 2007 with a stellar cast, showcased a cartoonist chasing after a serial killer called the Zodiac. In the movie, traditional journalism is what is shown. Lots of paper, less computers and more qualitative research methods. Much different to how journalism is practiced today.

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Supplied by Google Images

My interpretation of a journalist and the practice of journalism could not be more vastly different. Yes, it would be great for the ego to decipher symbols, solve crimes and occasionally have a cigarette like they portray in the movies. Or, another movie, The Devil Wears Prada, where a women works for a fashion magazine and meets top designers and gets the most glamorous clothing.

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Supplied by Google Images

However, just like movies, it is all just dramatized. Applying for journalism, this was my thought process, ”Cannot wait to meet famous people and be an acclaimed journalist that solves cases”. Well, all of this can be accomplished, but not as easy as the movies portrayal.

I was hit with brick in my face in the first week of university. ”Journalism is dying, Public Relations will slaughter you, Newsrooms are becoming smaller, Newspapers are dying out.” All of these things are happening according to State of the News Room 2017. However, hearing these things in the first week of your footing in your career is alarming.

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Supplied by Google

So, the above gif is me worried about my future. 7 Months later I’m still worried but just more educated about it. Yes, newsrooms are getting smaller and traditional journalism and digital journalism are combating each other because of the rise of technology and social media. However, because of this it is more easier to practice journalism and a bigger platform is given to professionals as well as citizens.

Therefore, because of the abundance of information and quick access, we can say that the Journalistic Ecosystem is much bigger to how it was than before. Contributors to this ecosystem are social media, inherently, called Social Journalism and citizens, named Citizen Journalism. As a professional Journalist they do give opportunities for a different angle to a story because the ”citizens” might have been there on the scene and posted it on the internet or the social media ”clan” could have gotten the info first on the story and shared it online.

This can help the Journalist write a better story because it has multiple resources, however, these two types of journalism can pose a threat to Professional Journalism. According to Mediactive it has and News Companies should be getting along with it and this could be one of the reason why newsrooms are becoming smaller. In my previous blog post I elaborate more on threats to professional journalism.

What type of Journalism do I then become when the practice of Journalism comes in different forms. Well, as time passes, only technology will tell.

 

Automated Journalism and Us.

Let’s just say all journalistic tasks are performed by robots. Would everything be fair and complacent? Would we be able to make important decisions, for e.g voting, if Automated Journalism were the only Journalism to exist?

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Google images

To be completely honest, Journalism students and practitioners are at thread with this career. Aside from deadline driven, it is also a developing career , whereby , the manner in which Journalistic task is performed changes or more tasks is needed.  It does, ironically, make you feel like a robot.

Aside from Fake News, Public Relations and asking the right questions, journalists as well as the public have to worry about Automated Journalism. For context sake, it is articles generated by algorithms or computer programs. In one sentence it does not sound too bad. All the boring and statistical writing can be done by the computer programs and the important and investigative stories can be done by the journalist with ample time on there hands.

It does sound like a good plan, to be fair. Automated Journalism is “automated” and therefore faster than a human. Plus, they never take off or get sick. It’s every boss’s dream. What makes it even better is that they don’t have to be paid  the monthly salary. So, they cost effective and fast.  That’s reaching the Jackpot in the corporate world. According to Associated Press, who has used automated journalism as of 2016, that their use of automation has increased the volume of earnings reports from customers by more than ten times. Furthermore, Francesco Marconi of the Associated Press stated that, through automation, the news agency freed up 20 percent of reporters’ time to focus on higher-impact projects. See, not so bad..

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Google images

However, they do poke a headache for the Journalism folk. If they are to be established in media houses, the matter is actually not if but when, then what will happen to the journalists who works there already? Sacked, ofcourse, we got faster and cheaper labour. The employment rate for Journalist will take a dive because who will hire a person when a robot can do better.

Furthermore, will we, as the audience, notice the difference? Will we be able to differentiate between an article written by a Bot and an article written by human? More so, will the quality be the same if a Bot was to write the same article as a human. Will there be any emotion in the story? I’ve watched too much Robot movies to know that humans are capable of emotions while robots have to learn.

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Google images

It is scary to think about working alongside these amazing machines and not think about them taking over. There’s literally so many movies about how this will not work in our favour and there will be one robot that has feelings that will stop them all. ( I, Robot) And that is how I will future proof myself in this profession. With emotion, being able to transfer that emotion in my writing because I do not see 1s and 0s. Emotions is something humans can identify with and at the end of the day we, or I, won’t be writing to a robotic audience, but to a human audience.