I have spent the last week or two running around like a headless chicken, trying to do way more than I actually could and almost managing. This post won't be long, because I'm still not done, but I thought you would like to know what I'm up to.
As the new C&A editor for Activate, I attend numerous meetings - on Mondays, I have management meetings, during which I pitch content for my page (online and on-paper), get it accepted and get some more information about the next edition. On Tuesdays, I have a meeting in which I am the boss and during which I give my writers the stories I pitched on Mondays, and tell them the way I would like them to write the stories and how long I'd like them.
Every second Thursday, we have 'dummies' - here, I tell the designers how I would like my page to be laid out and we merge my vision with their design skills to start the process of creating the page you'll finally see the next Thursday. It's been a disgustingly busy two weeks...
Otherwise, life is racing ahead at its usual pace, not giving me a moment to come up for air. I would love to post some more, but right now I'm struggling!
I miss everyone so much...
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The Universe Is Shaped Exactly Like The Earth - If You Go Straight Long Enough, You'll End Up Where You Were...
I am so glad it's finally the weekend - and a long one at that! I have had an incredible week, full of stress and excitement and anxiety and pride and an overarching sense of accomplishment, and I am very ready to sit back, relax, and contemplate things.
It turns out that quite a large number of individuals, companies, groups and even some politicians are concerned about the ANC's proposed media tribunal and laws to curb the freedom of the media... Which I am quite pleased about. It is, however, very important to remain open-minded about the issue. Groups on both sides of the argument need to be objective and consider what is best for our country - not for one side or the other. There have been many questions as to the fairness and objectivity as well as the truth behind some reporting over the past years, and this needs to be taken into account.
Point is - don't take everything you read at face value.
Friday, August 6, 2010
When you don't believe in how much you could actually achieve, you never will achieve much. Last night, I suddenly realised this. It has kind of changed my life (which is not so special, I try to encounter something, think something, read something, feel something, see-hear-touch-taste-smell something that changes my life at least once a day)and it has opened up not only many doors for my future, but has also made me able to look back with some clarity on my life.
Achieving what I have in the past six or seven months at Rhodes has seriously changed my outlook on life and my confidence in my abilities. I do think that I was cut out for this profession. Nothing, in my whole life, has ever been this easy or this rewarding to me. I have never approached anything in my life with such ferocity, such passion, and such determination. Sniffing out news, writing, and reporting on it has made me so happy and has made me feel as though my life really was quite special.
In high school I adopted a puerile, plastic nonchalance about any and all achievements, shrugging them off as 'uncool', but this was simply because I was absolutely terrified of failing. I put up a vainglorious mask, pretending to think I was someone worth looking up to, but when I look back at me, I wasn't much at all.
I university, free from having to uphold the image I had created for myself, I was stripped of my ego and I was unafraid of failing. I signed up for as much as possible, as soon as possible, and worked as honestly and as hard as I could. I guess... it's paid off.
By the way, there is no chance of me being rejected for second year Journalism and Media Studies. Just saying.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Last night I went to the Activate offices (ridiculously early) and worked myself up into quite an impressive state of panic in preparation for my interview for becoming the next Opinions or Politics section editor. The anxiety, it turned out, was completely unnecessary. I flew through the interview on pure adrenaline and, apparently, nailed it!
I am officially the Opinions (or as it will be known from now on, the 'Comments and Analysis') Section Editor, and I am beyond pleased! I will be working on the section in the paper as well as produce and edit online content for Activate's (hopefully) kick-ass new website.
Becoming the Politics editor was a slightly bigger wish for me, but I do embrace this role fully and I am sure I will enjoy it immensely! Following a career in political journalism at this point in history will still be a scary and exciting challenge for me, and an incredibly necessary one at that.
A more interesting, more theme-oriented post will follow this one shortly.
Monday, August 2, 2010
It took a long, hard walk to freedom to end Apartheid in South Africa in 1994. During Apartheid, people of non-white origin were humiliated and oppressed by a delusional minority party that managed to cling to power for about 46 years too long.
After years of struggle and movements for liberation, Apartheid was finally overthrown, and South Africa could not, for the most part, be happier. Our future looked bright, and our leadership party was young, vibrant, energetic and revolutionary. I assume (being barely older than sixteen myself) that many South Africans felt that they could once again, or maybe even for the first time, feel hopeful, and dream, for their future and the futures of their children.
The ANC, the party instrumental to the attainment of freedom for all races, has now been in power for 16 years. It has been a short while, many say. We cannot expect change too quickly. My complaint is not, however, with poor service delivery or government corruption. It is not with police brutality. I have many more words for that.
Today, I need to ask a very important question of the ANC. Please, look into your past, look at your faded ideals and vision. Look at the role the press has played during your birth, your infancy, your learning to walk, and talk, and fight. Yes, the print media have been abused by all systems of government. In many instances it was used to justify Apartheid and the cruel treatment of the masses at the hands of the NP. But didn't the press play an incredible role in guiding you to the fulfillment of your goals as revolutionary party? International sanctions and pressure were placed on the NP because of one thing - the media. News, news, news.
Maybe you are so used to being a revolutionary party that you haven't realised that the struggle is over. Why do you bare your teeth so viciously, why do your hackles raise so menacingly, why does the hair on your back stand up as if you are being attacked when you are being fairly questioned and criticised? Criticism and interrogation, uncovering the truth, the lack of political affiliation... this has always been something I have been proud of South Africa for. Our press has never backed down from justifiably evaluating your leadership skills as a governing party. This, this, this, this, this... This is the sign of a healthy press, a healthy democracy, and healthy governance of a country.
Every piece of criticism and every question is not a sign of an attack on our 'brittle' democracy. Our democracy is - or was, if your new laws are passed - not frail or weak. A free press is a sign of a healthy, breathing, lively democracy. Don't kill that.
It seems it happens too easily that a once revolutionary party never gives up fighting, and fights and fights and fights and fights , until it has killed itself in the process. Do not become everything you have been born to overcome. You have a massive utility truck of weapons at your disposal, but you don't seem to have found peace a very useful one as yet. Anger, deception, corruption, violence, allegations, misinformation and childish shouting matches have their time and place. It is not here, and it is not now.
There is a time to break down, and a time to build up.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
I'm so incredibly sorry that my blog posts have been as scarce as blog posts in a tightly packed schedule, but my schedule has been unbelievably tight.
After a beautiful, but chilly, day at the beach at Port Alfred, I am quite exhausted and very excited for the next week. Coming up, I am working on some stories for Women Inc. and I am completing my Allan Gray Orbis Foundation fellowship application, and I also have my interviews lined up for the Activate section editorial positions I am interested in.
In the past week, I have become involved in documenting some spoken word poetry by Bruce Haynes, an incredibly talented fellow Journalism student. The poetry is beautiful, and I have had quite an interesting time filming some of his poetry for Activate.
I don't have any profound thoughts or revelations for today... Just tired. So tired. Need holiday.