The Newsroom 8.6

(My random numbering now coincides with the month we are in so hey, so why not stay with the 8 point something’s?)

I woke up five minutes before my alarm was due to ring last week Monday. I couldn’t keep in the excitement any longer I guess. I swung my wee legs out of the warm cocoon that was my bed and braved the cold all smiles to get ready for my week ahead as editor.

I welcomed everyone on the 19th voyage upon the Vuvuzela express at news conference later that morning and just like that the week was in full swing.

We had our first feature workshop on that same day, an hour or two dedicated to criting our feature writing work. I loved this process because gaps I might have never even seen where pointed out and will make for a better feature when I re-write it.

In an odd turn of events we had to distribute the newspaper on Monday because of the public holiday the Friday before. 1pm came, 3pm strolled in and by 5pm we still had no Vuvuzela’s to hand out. Distribution then turned into a two day mission but it got done in the end.

We had two other guest speakers on Tuesday morning, meaning our Vuvu day only started at about lunch time. There we were typing and chatting away in the newsroom, when someone ran in telling us that there was a fire on the 15th floor.

 SMOKEY: Elevator technician trying to extinguish the flames in Lift B on 14 floor, University Corner. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
SMOKEY: Elevator technician trying to extinguish the flames in Lift B on 14 floor, University Corner. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Being the people we are, two of us grabbed our cameras, the other a notebook and off we ran to try and get the story. By the 14th floor we were inhaling the smoke fumes but still trying to get closer for that perfect shot. We were chased away but came back about 5 minutes later. Found out that there had been a fire in one of the lifts. You know, the one we take every day. The evacuation made for an unproductive afternoon.

Wednesday morning saw 7 team vuvu members  heading to Orange Farm to help out with something the Wits Justice Project was doing in the area. That plus two people off sick, made for a very empty newsroom. Copy came in very slowly, causing a few tempers to flare.

As usual I dibsed the photo spread page, the lack of fast copy got us the Oppi page we wanted *boogies*

Oppikoppi photo spread
Oppikoppi photo spread

Production did not run smoothly at all but as usual it all came together in the end. The following morning we had a bit of a design workshop with Irwin Manoim, I found it quite helpful.

Later that night I went off to the “We are going to kill each other today: The Marikana Story” – a collection of photographs and stories by a group of journalists and photographers. The event was held at the Old Fort at Constitutional Hill, on the exact date that marked a year since the massacre happened. It was quite overwhelming seeing the photographs taken at Marikana while standing in what used to be an apartheid jail. Death was all around us.

On Saturday a bunch of us headed off to Soccer City for the Nelson Mandela sports day. We got complimentary tickets to watch Bafana Bafana take on Burkina Faso and later the Springboks take on the Argentinians. Both of our teams won leading to much merriment in the stands.

I wanted to leave early to see my parents off but decided to stay on to watch some of the concert. I did for a while but the cold got to me and managed to catch a ride back to campus. I was really excited to go home to a hot meal and my warm bed.

Those thoughts all came to an abrupt halt when a black figure decided to break my car window and steal my backpack. The backpack with my DSLR camera and wallet in it. In the moment I froze and couldn’t accelerate like my mind was telling me to.

Long story short, I picked up new bank cards and got a new window fitted today. What a way to end what was an amazing week.

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