The Newsroom 2.3

Oi vay, another week another neglected post. This space is staring to resemble the empty pages of my diary that I somehow imagine my memory won’t fail me when the time to write everything down comes.

I’ve had a fairly chilled two weeks, doing this and that for the paper. This week the new lot got a bit more hands on with their writing and with helping to produce the paper. It took me back to exactly a year ago when we were going through the same thing. Having the same doubts, the unbridled enthusiasm and excitement to be doing what we love everyday. It’s nice to watch the process from this side of the fence.

I’ve written quite a bit over the past two weeks, put up the one’s I was particularly proud of up on this site already. Our time in the Vuvuzela newsroom is speedily drawing to a close. It’s both exciting and scary at the same time. But it is time, for the new lot to start taking charge of our baby and for us to let go – hand over the reigns and start being the journalists we’ve been trained to be.

Advertisements

#Teamvuvu #Neknominated

#NekNomination, a social media challenge, has flooded profile pages and time lines of young people around the world. Formerly a drinking game, #NekNominations are now used to encourage people to do good.

A person or organisation challenged does an activity that helps someone else out, then passes along the challenge. It’s sort of like a electronic chain letter for charity.

The Wits Vuvuzela team (#teamvuvu), was challenged in a #NekNomination from Wapad, the student publication of the North West University. We had 24 hours to take on the challenge of making a difference and recording it.

Wits Vuvuzela reporters hit the streets of Braamfontein to hand out cupcakes to the homeless. But we also wanted to  ask the homeless what they needed because sometimes a simple gesture is not enough.


The Newsroom 2.0: I’m back!

Happy New Year and all that jazz, I do realise that I’m like a month too late, but better late than never goes the adage. Started working as an intern at Wits Journalism last week. Going to be here for a few weeks, “mentoring” the new bunch of Journalism Honours students.

Last week was mad hectic because there were only four of us in the newsroom but somehow we managed to produce an entire paper. Here are links to all the things I did last week:

I’m the editor this week, so there will be lot’s more coming,in my round up of the week over the weekend.

ps – unlike last year I won’t be uploading all my work on this blog, but will put up my favourite pieces for that week on here 🙂

GALLERY: #teamuvuvu End of Year Party

This past Monday was officially the last #teamvuvu event of the year. Everyone was dressed to the nines for our delicious three course dinner at Giles restaurant in Parkhurst. The wine and tears flowed in equal measure. It was a lovely send off 🙂

#teamvuvu: Thuletho Zwane

The Pig's mayor in the house.
The Pig’s mayor in the house.

Thule [with an “e”, not to be confused with Thuli with an “i”] was one of the older women in the class, reppin’ the senior citizen’s wing [other members being Funi and Emelia]. She was the mayor of the Pig and [unsurprisingly] did this interview while at her fave watering hole.

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Thule: I’m wearing white wedges, a white dress and shades. I’m dressed for this hot, summer weather.

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Thule: Laid back, relaxed and no fuss. When I have to fuss, red lips do the trick.

Me: Now that we’ve broken the ice, are you sure about this journalism thing?

Thule: Very [Probably even more so, now that she’s an award winning journalist ;)]

Me: That said, if you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Thule: By this do you mean answering these questions or studying Journalism? If I wasn’t answering these questions right now, I would be drinking my wine without any interruptions. But if ‘by this’ you mean studying Journalism, I would be an economist.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Thule: Fun. I’ve explored ideas and places I would have never explored like Kitcheners Comedy Nights on Tuesdays, Melville, Orlando East and West. [This answer :”D]

Me: What’s been the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing for you this year?

Thule: Waking up on Fridays, being scolded by the VC,  reporting on Wits issues and the media – these were the most challenging things this year.

 

The most rewarding things were waking up on Fridays to attend Anton Harber’s classes and being scolded by the VC for reporting on Wits issues and the media [hahahahaha, oh the irony].

Me: Where will you be next year and what will you be doing?

Thule: I’ll be at City Press next year, doing journalism kinds of stuff like being a journalist and doing what journalists do. Hopefully wearing shoes is part of that [I fear the wine drinking may have begun shortly after question 3]

Me: How would you describe #teamvuvu in three words?

Thule: Loud, loud and great.

Me: A word of advice for the incoming team for 2014?

Thule: Be loud, loud and great.

 

Quickfire Q & A

 

[Unfortunately I’m experiencing some technical difficulties, my sound refuses to convert and some of it is MIA. So we’ll give multimedia a skip this time around.]

 

Me: Who is your favourite author/writer?

Thule: James Ngugi [aka Ngugi wa Thiong’o]

Me: Who is your favourite musician/band?

Thule: Esperanza Spalding [winning]

Me: Your favourite place to eat and thing to eat at that place?

Thule: Since starting this course, the Pig. I love their chicken schnitzel and salad for R26 [bargain].

Me: What do you like to do when no one is watching?

Thule: I think…

#teamvuvu: Nokuthula Manyathi

iThuli or Thuli with an ‘i’ is another native from the Ridge. She is however a nomad, who travelled to Diepsloot every evening and on weekends. This Oprah stan is the personification of the phrase dynamite comes in small packages.

Looking summer fresh.
Looking summer fresh.

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Thuli: Summery (is there such a word?)

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Thuli: Clean and casual

Me: Are you sure about this journalism thing?

Thuli: Yes, I am. In my  16+ years of being in the school system I have never felt more at home then I do now.

Me: That said, if you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Thuli: I’ve never seen myself doing anything that doesn’t involve people. I’d be doing something that involves interacting with people on a daily basis, like teaching.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Thuli: This year has been amazing. Everyday even on my worst day I was excited to come to class. I don’t remember bunking or skipping a day of school. This year a fire was ignited or a passion within me that I hadn’t thought I had. I’m generally excited about the future but this year took my excitement level about the future to another level. I’m in love.

Me: What’s been the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing for you this year?

Thuli: I’m not a writer. I express myself best verbally. So I was challenged in that I had to explain/express my thoughts and concepts on paper. When I arrived I was very insecure about my writing I would spend days on one story to try make it perfect but now(because of practice) I file stories faster and people understand what I’ve written which is a big win for me. This was both a challenge and reward. (Oh and live tweeting used to kick my ass).

Me: Where will you be next year and what will you be doing?

Thuli: Next year I’ll be at City Press here in jozi. I’m really excited to be challenged and to be pushed to the edge. I can’t wait to be pushed into the deep end and see myself swim cause that’s the only option I’ve given myself.

Me: How would you describe #teamvuvu in three words?

Thuli: Passionate, visionaries, extended family

Me: A word of advice for the incoming team for 2014?

Thuli: Enjoy boot camp that’s the most time free time you will have in afternoons to have a social life. What you put in is what you will get out. Your growth is dependent on what YOU are willing to give. Don’t stress, even the “experienced writers” in class are insecure about their work. Take every opportunity.

Quickfire Q & A: 

#teamvuvu: Liesl Frankson

Liesl [pronounced lee-sil] has been of the most feisty and sassy people in our class this year. I will miss our early morning banter and conversations through looks.

Holiday mode: ON. Just shopping, chilling.
Holiday mode: ON. Just shopping, chilling.

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Liesl: It’s inspired by the sunny weather. The heat especially, that’s why I’m wearing shorts and a very thin, loose, flowy top.

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Liesl: I wear whatever feels comfortable. I’m very driven by the weather. I would hate to be inappropriately dressed for the weather.

Me: On to the less frivolous, are you sure about this journalism thing?

Liesl: I’m sure about it to a certain extent. I think you can’t lose when you study Journalism. Print maybe not so much, radio is definitely more of my thing.

Me: If you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Liesl: Um, I would be doing this, there’s no other way. When I applied for this course it was Wits Journalism or bust. I didn’t apply for anything else because this is all I wanted to do.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Liesl: Challenging but fun.

Me: What’s been the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing for you this year?

Liesl: Being in a class with a whole lot of other females with their personalities has by far been the most challenging thing for me. I had to hold my tongue a lot of the time.

 

The most rewarding thing has been getting to know these people and getting to see your work in the newspaper. Also getting to see the newspaper being acknowledged, getting awards and stuff [#winning]

Me: Where will you be next year and what will you be doing?

Liesl: I still don’t know, it’s bad.

Me: How would you describe #teamvuvu in three words?

Liesl: Very loud, almost like a family – that’s not three words but ya, like a family because everybody had their roles, so there were mother hens, there were big sister types ya.

Me: A word of advice for the incoming team for 2014?

Liesl:  Take everything very seriously, everything you do is going to count. So when they say rock up there with however many stories to pitch, you need to have those stories cause that shit counts

Quickfire Q&A: 

#teamvuvu: Leigh-Ann Carey

Leigh-Ann (aka LA, yes as in Reid) is another migrant from the Ridge, who later got her life together and moved to Diepsloot, dankie ANC.

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

LA:  Today I’m wearing shorts, a crop top and flops. I think I look pretty cool. I’m also rocking my afro and chunky earrings. 

Holiday's treating home girl best. Photo: Provided
Holiday’s treating home girl best. Photo: Provided

 

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

LA: I wear comfortable clothing, um a mixture of vintage and retro. Anything that’s cheap and looks good on me, that’s on the vintage side is what I’d describe as my style.

Me: On to the less frivolous, are you sure about this journalism thing?

LA: I know for a fact that I don’t wanna do politics and print journalism, I’m more of a radio person. Radio is a passion, it comes easy to me and I feel at home when doing it. I mean, I’m pretty sure that I can write but I just don’t want to be writing for like City Press, unless I’m doing writing that isn’t political or hard news.

Me: If you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

LA: I would be doing my honours in advertising at UJ. I got accepted for that, so I would have been doing that.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

LA: It’s been extremely hectic, a whole lot of reading, writing for Vuvu, trying to read in between – um – trying to socialise as well. So many things have suffered because of the hectic schedule.

Me: What’s been the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing for you this year?

LA: Finding my style of writing has been challenging. I think with journ everywhere you go people or organisations have an idea as to how you should write, I guess that’s one of things that make me think I don’t ever want to be a writer. Not that I wouldn’t ever wanna be a writer, but I feel like you constantly change your style to adapt to a publications style. Like this year I had to write according to Vuvu style and if I went to another publication next year, I would have to write in their style, so it’s like I don’t even know what my style is because I’m forced to adapt to so many writing styles.

 

I’ve learnt so many things this year. I’ve learnt how to make sense of a story, what to include, what to write. I think my writing skills have definitely improved, without a doubt. That’s been the most rewarding thing. I think the assurance that this is either what I want to do or not, made me learn a lot about myself as well.

Me: Where will you be next year and what will you be doing?

LA: I’ll be working at CNBC Africa, I don’t know what I’m gonna be doing. They asked me what I wanted to do and I said anything apart from writing, so I could do events, PR, maybe try my hand at graphics, ya.

Me: How would you describe #teamvuvu class of 2013?

LA: We had a lot of big personalities, just a different bunch of people. Some people had some sort of “deeper passion” for journ, whereas some people were just trying to learn how to become journalists, whereas other people were actually serious I guess.

Me: A word of advice for the incoming team for 2014?

LA: Don’t lose yourself.  I think people assume you’re a better writer if you’re spying and reporting on the fact that Jacob Zuma has a side chick [hahaha], that’s not who you are. If that’s not what you want to write about don’t force yourself to write about it and don’t feel stupid for wanting to write entertainment stories or stories about make-up. Ya, don’t lose yourself for a career, it should come naturally. We are all different kinds of writers. 

#teamvuvu: Mfuneko Toyana

The only dude in our class, Funi – the prodigal son, humoured me by answering my questions via correspondence this afternoon as he sat in a park somewhere and he didn’t get kidnapped while he did it, kudos.

Another selfie, this one with some foreground/background action - dlala Shakes Jnr. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
Another selfie, this one with some foreground/background action – dlala Shakes Jnr. Photo: Mfuneko Toyana

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Funi: I’d describe it as very comfortable and simple. It’s grey and black, a bit bland but it works.

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Funi: Um, apparently I start all my sentences with “um,” so um. When you asked the question I thought you meant my writing style not my dress style, so I’m going to answer both. My writing style is an inside joke and you could say that my dress sense is the same. It’s very chilled, relaxed, loose with an emphasis on comfort.

Me: Now on to the more serious, are you sure about this journalism thing?

Funi: I’m absolutely, 100% sure about journalism and I guess more widely about writing. But ya, very serious about journalism – it’s a calling and it takes time for you to understand what that means, I don’t fully understand what it will entail, but I’m all in.

Me: That said, if you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Funi: I suspect I would be doing one of two things, I’d either be studying History or English Literature, probably a bit of both. Or I’d be in advertising, particularly as a copywriter or pushing a desk job as a marketer, which would be terrible, just doom.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Funi: I’ve found it interesting I guess and useful. More than anything else it’s helped me develop a lot of discipline and be clear about what I want for the future. It’s also been very demanding, extremely demanding.

Me: What’s been the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing for you this year?

Funi: The most challenging has been the discipline aspect I think. It’s taking what I want to do and what I have to do, and trying to combine those and have and end product. I think I’ve done okay with that though.

 

Hmmm, the most rewarding thing has been being able to write more and consequently being able to go out into the world more. I got to see different things and watch a whole lot of other situations and other people, and just be around journalists – journalists to be and working journalists. And the free food, the free food has been very rewarding for my belly and my tastebuds.

Me: Where will you be next year and what will you be doing?

Funi: Next year if the world doesn’t end, I’ll be at Wits for the first few months of the year, skivvy for the department – earning my stripes. For three months after that I’ll be at Reuters, watching the markets. Somebody told me it’s like bird watching except there’s no birds. Ya, I’ll be doing financial journalism at Reuters paying them back for school fees this year and I’m not sure what happens after that, hopefully I’ll be in a newsroom, that’s the main goal.

Me: How would you describe #teamvuvu in three words?

Funi: Fuck, that’s tough [these aren’t the words, I hope]. Uh, a whole lot of girls? *chuckles*. I’d day loud, ferocious – no, scratch ferocious, more tenacious than ferocious and very with it, hip , hipsters – yes, that’s how I would describe them.

A fourth word, I can’t believe I left this out very, very, very talented, above anything else. I guess it comes from the other three words.

Me: How did I feel being one of only two members of the opposite sex in the class?

Funi: It felt great, for the first couple of weeks even months. I guess I was excited to tell people that I’m in a class with 15 or 16 girls, depending on how you look at these things. But it was very interesting, I wouldn’t say challenging, who would be challenged by being in a class with 15 women? It brought a lot of insight, I got to be with these 15 very different women, with very different personalities, different opinions and very different ways of carrying themselves – of carrying their beauty, their inner light and their outer light [awwwwwwww]. It was fascinating to see how that all came across in the context of a newsroom, where we’re trying to produce something meaningful for the world outside. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing that and I thoroughly enjoyed the kind of relationships I was able to have and to attempt, because life is just one big attempt isn’t it?

 

There are a few negative side effects – I now scratch my non-existent breasts, because of monkey see monkey do situation. When you see me in public scratching non-existent C or D cups, don’t look down on me,  it’s not my fault.

Me: A word of advice for the incoming team for 2014?

Funi: Take this shit very seriously, take every day seriously, take close to every moment seriously. I’m not talking about a flippant sort of serious, I’m talking about taking this as a calling. More than anything honour your craft which means  understand what journalism is, read every day, be interested, be fucking curious, watch as much news as you can, keep dissecting things, write as much as you can. Be a geek about this shit because it is a calling and it’s a tremendous calling, ya don’t be an asshole about it – be a geek about it. That’s what it takes to be a championship journalist, like we were in 2013, thank you. No autographs *laughs*

[Thanks Will McAvoy].

#teamvuvu: Nomatter Ndebele

Meet my neighbour in class, Nom Nom. We have been neighbours since the begininigg of this year and as such shared much mgozi over coffee in the mornings.

Selfie vibes. Photo: Nomatter Ndebele
Selfie vibes. Photo: Nomatter Ndebele

 Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Nomatter: Function over form. I had things to do, I had to get them done so I didn’t focus on looking good – ya I didn’t focus on the form, I just focused on the function.

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Nomatter: Hobo chic and then every now and again, you know, I throw some niceness in the mix.

Me: Now that we’ve broken the ice, are you sure about this journalism thing?

Nomatter: I’m sure about journalism, I am surer than I have ever been about anything in my life. I think, well I know for a fact that I’m not going to be a print journalist but anything else definitely goes.

Me: That said, if you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Nomatter: I think I would be pursuing drama, acting kinda vibes.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Nomatter: Very challenging and very real – also very realistic. It has forced me to look at things in a different way than I see them in my head.

Me: What’s been the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing for you this year?

Nomatter: Having to be the journalist that I want to be, in a newsroom of 16 other personalities. Often people pooled onto the one side and I was often on the other, so it was a challenge for me to still be myself and still be a part of the team.

The most rewarding thing I suppose has been achieving that. I was able to remain myself in the course and nurture the journalist I want to be in the future, without having to be the typical serious kind of journalist.

Me: Where will you be next year and what will you be doing?

Nomatter: Reuters news agency, interning there and interning at the Wits Journalism department for a while as well. I hope to learn as much as I can so I can fly to greater heights.

Me: How would you describe #teamvuvu in three words?

Nomatter: Loud, consistent and dynamic.

Me: A word of advice for the incoming team for 2014?

Nomatter: Always be prepared to put up a fight, write from your heart and filter the white noise. A lot of people are going to have a lot of things to say but you can’t let them get to you.