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!

Pete

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

When we're alone, remind me to tell you something.

And stop being such a serious blogger! :oP

Kate said...

I may be completely wrong, but I think the reason that student media in SA is MOSTLY poor to middle of the road is that people arent fighting anything.

There is a definite feeling of complacency at the moment, whereas before 1994 there was something concrete to fight against.

Not that poverty, crime and corruption aren't real issues, but I think, to a large extent, people are sitting back and taking it easy.

I havent expressed that terribly well, but, know what I mean?

Peter Barlow said...

Kate: I know what you mean. I remember having a conversation about student apathy with Carol Christie last year and she pointed out that the youth today (omg I sound like an old man-"the youth today") don't have a common enemy to unite against.

Thats not to say we don't have issues we could unite against...such as HIV/Aids, rape and crime in general and of course political apathy- heres where the student media can come in and start to get people thinking about these issues and hopefully get the ball rolling and keep it rolling!

Complacency is the order of the day post-1994...but I think journalists can do something about that!!

Uno said...

There are lots of issues to fight about! Only because there isn't a central rallying point we don't really get to see what it is.

I agree with you that the Journalist Department needs to take the student newspaper within its fold.

Peter Barlow said...

The Journalism department can lend its support yes, but to a point as I feel that the independence of the paper to still be paramount!