The past week in the Wits Vuvuzela newsroom – was epic as usual. Monday started with an interesting news conference.
My diary for the week looked bleak. The stories were indefinite, much effort had to put into deciding which ones were more important than other thus, I was left feeling unsure of what to expect in the coming days. One story I knew I had to give my full attention to was investigating who the forth lecturer was that had been put on special leave. This was something I knew was important to do and something which the Wits community and outside media environment were hunting for themselves.
I put everything else aside for the week and decided I would dedicate my time to doing this story to the best of my ability. My two partners and I, Nokuthula Manyathi and Sibusisiwe Nyanda, worked together on finding out who this lecturer was. I had never worked on a story before with a team and this was the perfect time to start as this story demanded as many minds as possible. It proved worth it and our story was front page.
Putting three minds to the page and writing the story was rewarding and doing it with my team vuvu partners felt that much more reputable for our readers. The most unforgettable moment was deciding on the headline for our article. At first, due to lack of ideas, I typed the first thing that popped into my head Oh my Lord. As we typed the article further the headline seemed to apply perfectly.
Considering all the pressure we under to contact the legal office for comment our article was submitted for the paper at the last minute and so was the headline. My news editor saw the headline and burst out into laughter. “It is amazing” he said. After serious consideration I agreed that it was a fantastic headline. Seconds later the class saw the headline and decided to add on “wenzeni” which in vernacular means what have you done?
PERFECT!!! Oh my Lord! Wenzeni? I should add that Anton Harber loved it too. Friday during distribution of the paper we got some hilarious reactions when readers set their eyes on the headline. Along with the good comes the bad – which were expected. Some negative reactions to the article were expressed (Although, this will be a whole new blog discussion on its own).
Thursday and Friday I sat through a finance/economic journalism class with Kevin Davies. Bear in mind I never took economics in high school, I did take accounting which tortured me so; conclusively my knowledge on such topics is very limited. However, I agree with Kevin that you have to tell yourself first that you can do it and then go forth with it.
Knowing the economics of your country and the happening abroad is important but when it gets to the finance part I lose myself a bit and keeping a central train of thought proves extremely difficult on my end simply because numbers, especially when it reaches the millions, billions and trillions, confuse me immensely. I did take down very good notes, or I tried to and when the time calls for reference I will have them at my disposal. Never the less it was a part of journalism I thought I would never have to encounter because if I ever needed a reference I would research it and familiarizes myself with the issue.
Lastly, journalists of the Sunday World paid teamvuvu a visit on Friday and interviewed all of us who were involved in breaking the sexual harassment stories in the university. The article appeared in today’s paper. It is quite amazing that the mainstream media recognizes our work and finds it worthy to talk about our student journalist class.
This journalism course is something I think I will remember throughout my career as a journalist simply because it has taught me so much about the world of journalism that I will always refer back to and take with me where ever I go. That feeling when you get home at night and your eyes are burning you could fry an egg in them, your heels ache every time you step forward, your lower back is as stiff as a pole and your body is ready to crash and burn, yes that feeling is the feeling of a JOURNALIST!
The feeling of doing a superb hard day of work, that’s the feeling I will remember and the feeling which I know is preparing me for the years to come and as hard as it is sometimes, when I feel like I just want to sit down for two seconds and cry, I know this is what will make me great one day, and for that I feel completely luck to be in this course.