Journalism is an art in which I want to maximise my talents, while most importantly telling a story of an individual or event that has taken place, to create awareness and interest within the society. I want to maintain strict discipline in my reporting, to maximise the professionalism of my reporting which would hopefully gain the consumer’s respect.
Reporting in Grahamstown, one has to be aware of the many differences and contrasts that exist in the city. There are social differences, which have been fixed for over a century. The different majority racial groups which are present in Grahamstown have predominant areas in which they reside. There are economic differences, which is perhaps the most astonishing divide in Grahamstown, considering how vivid it is to the eye. There is a hype of activity in Grahamstown, with various initiatives being conducted by some of those residing in the city. There is also people who are not aware of such initiatives. There is also much room for improvement in Grahamstown. Being a town in the Eastern Cape should not be an excuse for the present state of Grahamstown.
Indeed, there are many pressing issues in Grahamstown, and my journalism philosophy whilst working in the Grahamstown environment is to not only report on bad news, which may depress the city population even more, but to look for good news, to engage with the diverse citizens which reside in Grahamstown. I follow the belief that society has heard so much bad news, which has not always done the community much good. I want to address good news in the society, incorporate average citizens into my news stories, where the good work done by Grahamstown citizens is heard on a larger scale. I want the community to recognise the feats or points of views of its citizens, to take news towards the normal citizen, and not exclusively to the elite, which is represented by government officials and heavily influential businessmen or women in the city.
Objectivity is a term which I do not necessarily aspire to follow in my journalism, and it is a term which I do not think aptly applies to conducting journalism in Grahamstown. I believe that since a journalist determines the angle in which he or she wishes to tackle a story, and which sources he or she wishes to interview for a package or news story, the equation of objectivity is thrown out the window. I do though believe in balancing a hard news story by adding an authorative voice, which would be a person of an elite person, together with an average citizen, or multiple voices in such a news package, so both the points of views of the elite and the average citizen are brought out. The nature of being objective in one’s journalism in a city such as Grahamstown could make a journalist not to report fully on the full extent of the unequalities and social issues facing the city. Being cynical towards the elite has been a tactic used in journalism as a means of camouflaging the notion of objectivity to the general public, but in reality, this is not being objective. The need to press for answers for the extremely slow rate of development in Grahamstown, of trying to uncover the reasons for the continued inequalities in the city, can be achieved to the fullest by not being objective, by identifying a story which can create talk amongst the citizens of the city.
While Grahamstown desperately needs good news stories as a means I believe may galvanise the community, and promote pride within the city, there is the need to surface the issues which are delaying the progression of Grahamstown. Despite hosting the world’s largest arts festivals, and having one of the best universities in the country, Grahamstown still looks like an extremely poor town from an observer’s standing. This could fit as an investigative focus of Grahamstown, to find reasons which are inhibiting the development of the city. The city’s talented could also be enhanced through news stories. Whereas the arts truly thrive during the National Arts Festival, what happens to these artists through the year, where do they perform and receive exposure. For good news stories, local citizens who have done exemplary things could be elevated by having stories covered about them.