Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The South African National Student Editor's Forum

I have recently been appointed as the organiser and convener of the 2007 Captivate Student Media Conference. One of the ways I want to begin to craft a vision for the conference is by hearing from those who were there this year and what improvements can be made over and above my own thoughts for how the conference should be run.

To this end Gregor, Carly and I have launched an online forum powered by Jo's Toolkit as a starting point for discussions, not only about the conference and its future, but also about the state of student media in South Africa today.

I am hoping that in the next few weeks we will see most of the editors from the campus media around the country sign up and start giving us their input.

No Water....some electricity

Now, I know I know we live in Africa and I know that there are millions of people on the continent without water but dammit I miss having running water in my place. This is the kind of infrastructure that we have in Grahamstown: There is a big storm that lasts all of 10 minutes...a pipe feeding the reservoir bursts and the water turns to mud as it is literally from the bottom. Here at Worcester Mews we don't have ANY water as we are too far away from said reservoir to get any with the pumps turned off..dang nambit all!

Then a thought struck me....

The guys in the hole fixing the pipe probably don't have running water in their houses, just like the pump attendants at the petrol station don't own cars and most of the people forced to wait tables for a living cant even afford to go and eat at the restaurants they work at!

Makes me think how lucky I am that even though they said it would take another two days to fix the problem...I would get water back at the end of it!

The official word is that it is not a burst pipe at all! The water shortage is in fact due to the main pumping station not having power...they still dont know why and they tell us that it will take them 2 days to fix- 2 DAYS!!!! I mean, I am certain I am missing somthing but surely its a case of find loose wires and then connect them?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ok ok so I took the pirate test

Everyone else seemed to be doing it (I deny the washing thing though- I wash plenty of times a day!) :-P

My pirate name is:

Dirty Roger Flint

You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Monday, October 23, 2006

A quick newsflash! *Wank Alert*

I have been provisionally accepted into 4th year design!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! Now all I need to do is get over 60% in the exam at the end of the year and I am in for real! 4th year here I come! :-)


Sunday, October 15, 2006

My opinion on the state of student media

I feel that student media has not yet come into its own in the New South Africa. The current student media landscape is fragmented at all levels and is still not being taken seriously at most campuses around the country, nor is it being seen as an excellent tool of learning for aspiring journalists, because, lets face it, thats what nearly all student journalists want to become- journalists in the "real world."

However, to be take seriously student media need to give the powers that reasons to begin taking notice of whats going on in the campus newsrooms and radio studios nationally. We, as student journalists should strive to improve the quality of our media output, we should strive to become a staple on our campuses for news, information and entertainment and we should stand together as a media fraternity which stands with one foot in the dynamic world of "doing real media" with the other foot firmly in a learning space.

But how do we do this? A good starting point would be to see our experiences at campus media as part of our journalism studies- not something outside of it. We should approach working on campus as a means to apply what you learnt in your journalism lectures immediatly and to explore it in the media sandbox that are campus newspapers and radio stations. From there, more dialogue between media academics and students can be facilitated, possibly with training workshops being run and one-on-one converstations with these academics. I firmly believe that we should squeeze these people for as much knowledge as possible because they ceratinly aren't teaching journalsim and media studies for nothing.

Also, inter-campus co-operation could facilitate the solidaity and unity of the student media fraternity with websites like jostoolkit and studentwire.net being at the forefront of this.

I salute you my fellow student journalists, but I have sadly run out of time at the moment. See y'all later!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Its been nearly a year+ a little rant

Well, very nearly a year...not exactly since I last blogged. A lot has happened since then: I got into my third year elective- Communication design, I worked at Cue newspaper for a second year in a row and finished up my (rather eventuful) year as Editor-in-Chief of Activate, the student newspaper at Rhodes.

But I know I have been a bad blogger *slaps self on wrists* I solemnly promise to post at least one post a day here!

In other news *rant alert* a new student newspaper will be starting next year...with an "Oppie flavour" to it...

Now, normally I would welcome a new newspaper on campus- the view I always took was that the more voices there were the better in terms of newspapers and there were two others during my my time as editor (the Edge which died and currently a mag called Excess) Both of these publications made no official statement to the effect that they were actually in opposition to Activate. Instead they chose to appeal to other markets on campus and we all co-existed together.

Enter Lionel Faull and Innes Schumacher

Now before you judge me too much on what I am going to say about these two and their ideas I want to give you some background on my experience interacting with them...just for a bit of context and I think its time to come clean about this whole thing.

I met Lionel on the first day of my editorship- he was appointed as the Features editor and was a newcomer to the team. In his interview with Bianca, my deputy editor, and I he offered us help if we needed it in running the newspaper...excuse me? Without sounding too arrogant, I want to make it clear that I feel I was appointed becausei could do the job and the way Lionel went about "offering his help" was very strange indeed. I continued to have problems with Lionel throughout the year as his section members complained about his leadership style a lot.

In my opinion, he does not have much in the way of people skills.

Lionel then applied for the position of editor and was turned down for numerous reasons, reasons I am not going to go into here. We then offered him the position of editorial consultant which he accepted but later resigned on some quite confusing grounds...I am really not sure of the whole story there.

Innes, I met when she demanded to meet us and questioned the authority of the executive committee at Activate. I was highly irritated by this and her personality continues to. Lionel and Innes are romantically involved and she was a member of the features team under him (excuse the pun). This might not have been a problem if it hadnt affected the way Lionel ran his team...

Innes then applied for Features editor and was turned down after much heated debate among the selection committee- it was a tough decision and I stand by that, even if she thought we were only trying to make her feel better by saying that.

So neithe Innes and Lionel got the jobs they wanted...so what do they do? They make plans to start a new student newspaper on campus.

Like i said before, I really wouldnt have had a problem with this if they had gone about it in the right way- if you really look at it they arent really in opposition to Activate as they want to cater for Oppies and "others" and they want to look "outside of campus" rather than reporting exclusively on the Rhodes community.

I also question their motives for doing this...there seems to be an immense amount of sour grapes about the whole thing and the fact that they are keeping quiet about how they are actually going to do this makes me wonder if they even know themselves.

Running a newspaper isnt easy...and it seems they are going to find that out the hard way.