The past seven days have been jam packed and felt more like two weeks than one.
Our lives got much busier when we were told that we had to put another 12 page paper together. Personally I was excited, a 12 pager gives us more room to ‘play’ and deliver more copy. Were it not for the 12 pager we would not have been able to do this photo spread:
Doing a spread this time was a little more difficult because most people just didn’t want to be photographed. But eventually the rejections started bouncing off of us and we managed to get the above shots, and tie in little stories on the side.
Somewhere in between chasing down people for these photo’s and preparing myself for Oppikoppi, I wrote my first football story. Well to call it a story would be a stretch, it was more of a score update than anything else, but alas a football piece nonetheless. Read it here: Scoring boots lift Wits
We also handed in our first submissions for feature writing. We were tasked with writing news features, I would put it up but it was terrible so maybe I’ll put up the next one.
I am enjoying feature writing a whole lot, especially because it really gives one the opportunity to ‘play’ wit their words a bit. Our guest speaker for the week was Toby Shapshak, editor of Stuff magazine, He was a riot.
Every guest lecture we have makes me want to delve deeper into the deep, murky waters of features. Just this morning we had Mia Malan from the Mail & Guardian come in to talk about health features – her stories alone left us all in awe of the power of feature writing.
If you give my blog half a glance you’ll know that I went to my first Oppikoppi festival as well this past week, the posts are all over my blogs and there is still more to come. I have loads of pictures to edit and notes to go through, but this is definitely one of my faves that I have managed to edit so far and as such is winner of “Snap of the week”
In much more exciting news I get to be the editor this week, yays! Hope to deliver an absolutely awesome newspaper this week, wish me (us) luck 🙂
This week was a lot less exciting than last week (content wise).
My pitch at Monday’s news conference was boring to say the least (the very least). I might have been too tired to care at the time. Luckily a semi-interesting story fell right into my lap the very next day.
I was tasked with doing the follow up article to one of the sexual harassment stories we covered last week. There was an ethical issue that we had to deal with, which led to me taking over the story (full details here). I don’t want to comment on the reasons for and the reasoning behind the decision made but I will say I was grateful to get the opportunity to dip my toes in this particular issue.
I was not an integral part of the sexual harassment exposé’s last week, which I mentioned made me feel a little left out. But then again I didn’t go out of my way to be on that train. All I did in that vein was sit in on one of the interviews with an alleged harasser. I went along with a colleague to “hold the recorder” as she conducted the interview. Despite my brief I ended up butting in to ask a few questions. That’s all I did last week to add to the teams efforts.
Anyway I digress. I went off and interviewed the head of school to ask a few questions about what the school was doing to deal with the allegations. I was impressed to find that over the weekend they had come together to figure out ways that the school could begin to mediate the situation. There is nothing the school can do to deal with the allegations, for example they don’t have the authority to launch a formal investigation.
I then went on to speak to the alleged victims to get their comments on how things were progressing and to find out what their next move would be. It was a fairly standard piece to write – or so I thought. There was a bit of an issue with the way I phrased things and small words I overlooked when paraphrasing. Things so tiny to me that they bordered on nonsensical, but in the grand scheme of things, actually made a huge difference when I corrected them. This taught me to think beyond my own understanding of things. I assumed that people would read it in the way I intended them to and that is rarely ever the case. Lesson learned.
A much cooler thing I learned this week was how to design a page. I had never considered this component of production. I suppose I imagined – let me not lie I have never ever thought about how and why a newspaper page looks the way it does. It has never occurred to me that ad’s need to be placed and locked in a boarderd box, that bylines and headlines need their own custom styles and that it is not a simple process of copy and paste.
We had a design workshop on Tuesday. A workshop I couldn’t afford to be productive in because I had an assignment to finish and an article to pen. Luckily I catch on quite quick, which saw me designing a whole page by myself the next day. I did need help here and there but I did do a lot by myself. That was my proud moment of the week 🙂