⊆ 11:23 AM by Nicole Naicker | ˜ 0 comments »

On first arriving at Rhodes I was completely nervous. Hearing just how difficult Journalism was didn’t help. I was terrified it would all be too much for me, that I would succumb to the pressures of university life. I faced many difficulties, but I ‘survived first year’ and hope to be back next year…

Being away from home for the first time was difficult. The first day after my parents left found me staring at the ceiling of my little res room, tears in my eyes. I called my parents and was encouraged to be strong. I then made friends and found university sweeter than I had expected. That was until lectures began and work started piling on. At times things were so intense I thought I wouldn’t make it and found myself breaking down and feeling depressed a lot of the time. But, by God’s grace I somehow managed to move on. I survived Rhodes, made it to fourth term and was lucky enough to encounter the world of blogging.

This term’s work was quite different to what we had done previously in JMS1 – it was the most practical course we had done. The first term’s course was quite practical, but it had not involved so much interaction with different technologies and new media. On first hearing about the blogging course I was excited, I couldn’t wait to get started. Once we began however, I was scared. Technology and I have never been friends, and now I was expected to work with all this ‘new advanced’ technology – it was just a bit too much for me. It was even worse when I realised that it was to be group work. I would be able to get help from a group member with my lack of ‘techno-savvyness’, but I generally dislike working in groups. I had to get over that though as I had no choice in the matter. And as the term progressed, I wasn’t always very happy with the group, but we learnt to work together – and even when we didn’t – we did have fun, especially with the photo comic. I still don’t particularly like group work, but I am able to work in a group.

The character of our blog was focussed mainly on relationships, this was a little stifling as to what I could write about, but I managed to incorporate what I wanted to blog about into our blog character. For example, I wanted to write about the ABSA Currie Cup semi-finals as I’m a big rugby fan and thought it interesting. So I viewed how boys and girls relate to sport and how boys generally feel about going out (to a bar) and watching a match with their girlfriends’, and then mentioned the semi-finals in passing. However, this couldn’t be done with all topics. Most of my story ideas were based on my individual thoughts and feelings, and also from my friends. And also things I had heard from others which I thought was interesting and relevant.

At group meetings we all didn’t agree on everything. One such being the character of our blog, relationships, which I found limiting, but we worked on a majority voting system and I was outnumbered. However, I managed to work with our blog even though it wasn’t what I had had in mind. There were other times when I was happy with decisions made but others weren’t. Meetings with our tutor were good, she always assisted and helped us better understand the tasks.

I would evaluate this course as an eight. Before doing this course I knew only the mere basics of dealing with technology, but am now able to do much more, such as create slideshows on a blog and save pictures as jpegs. I have learnt how to write for new media productions, especially media viewed by the public. It has helped me get a feel of what it would be like to produce journalism which is not only read by the public, but criticised too.

Working with genres was a little confining, but I appreciate it for the structure it forces us to follow – when working in publications in the ‘real’ world one is confined to specific genres and characteristics, so it was good to become aware of this and learn how to deal with it now. Blogging is journalism - you are producing work which is viewed, and criticised by others. Blogging allows a platform for a sort of personal journalism where one is not confined to any specific category, but one may explore various fields which one finds interesting and wishes to share their views on. Blogging is also recognised worldwide and allows ordinary citizens to voice their opinions.

Being confined to the theme of ‘surviving first year’ was at times stifling as our main posts had to centre around first years, thus generating story ideas were not always easy. But, at the same time it was easier to work with because as first years we understand the theme better. It eased us into the course instead of just launching it upon us, and thus made the blogging process easier.

Producing work which could potentially be read by numerous people worldwide did make me careful about most of my research. My posts were mainly personal opinion, but I did ensure that it was based on fact as I did not wish to look like a fool. I searched the internet to verify certain facts and I also conducted interviews (which weren’t always pleasant) to make the stories as relevant as possible. Dealing with different sources was at times difficult but it allowed for various ideas, viewpoints and different angles on topics.

Working on this blog I didn’t face any ethical issues. I did learn how to better organise and express myself within a genre and feel that I can better produce work now. Being confined to genre isn’t always fun, but it does teach you the disciplines of structure and organisation.


marketing my blog

⊆ 11:01 AM by SNOW | ˜ 0 comments »

.pOINT_bLANK: Cartoons, India: Never Say Live

Hi Vikram.
My name is Snow. I am a first year Journalism and Media student at Rhodes University in South Africa.
I have recently come over this blog and must say that I have become a fan already.
One of our cartoonists Jonathon Shapiro who works under the pen name Zapiro is currently being sued for defamation of character by the President of the ruling political party Jacob Zuma. I just wanted to know how you would react if this were to happen to you. Taking into consideration that your cartoons are also of a political nature and the persons portrayed may not take too kindly to them.
I have published a post about this on my blog and hope that you will take time off to read and comment on it.
Have fun on your future cartoons.


Risky Business: Are Rhodes Students Snobs or They Are Influenced By The Gtown Environment??

⊆ 10:57 AM by SNOW | ˜ 0 comments »

Risky Business: Are Rhodes Students Snobs or They Are Influenced By The Gtown Environment??

MISS snob or MISS NOT?

Family often try and discourage you from exploring and trying new things when they believe that you are going against what is viewed as “normal” to them. So what if you have a white boyfriend, yes it’s your choice, but perhaps you don’t see the change in yourself that others may see in you.
Rhodes definitely changes a person. Maybe it doesn’t turn them into snobs, but due to the environment we are exposed to our attitude defiantly changes to the extent that we stop doing the things we use to do.
Look even the English does not even speak proper English you can confirm this with Prof Dan Wylie from the English Department! The mere fact that you concede that you select alternate words when speaking you your family as compared to using the words that they may identify to shows a clear identification of change.
Because we around peers in a similar environment all the time it is not impossible to forget who you are (in terms of heritage!)
There is a time, place and circumstance for everything and yes sometimes it is best to breathe an air of familiarity rather than making those around you uncomfortable.


Citizen Alert ZA: Bok emblem is rugby property

⊆ 7:13 AM by Nicole Naicker | ˜ 3 comments »

Citizen Alert ZA: Bok emblem is rugby property
South African pride

In 1995 when the Springboks won the rugby world cup our country was united in glory. It was seen as a good way for our country to grow together and move away from our wicked past. Then President Nelson Mandela wore the springbok jersey with pride. Last year the Boks yet again obtained glory and became the number one ranked rugby team in the world when they won the rugby world cup yet again. And this time President Thabo Mbeki took to the playing field adorned in a Springbok kit.

All this time the government remained quiet, now they decide that the emblem belongs to them and has been used by SARU illegally. I’d like to know, if by some remote chance this is true, why has government remained still about it until now? The Springboks have brought pride and glory to our country. The Springbok is linked with national pride. Yet now the powers that be decide that they want to strip us of this pride.

It is absurd when people say that the Springbok emblem stunts the growth of transformation. If this was such a strong opinion why was the Springbok emblem not done away with back in 1994/5 when we had become a new democracy and it would have been more acceptable as a way to leave behind the apartheid reign? But, the emblem was retained and it has formed part of who we are as South Africans. To strip us of the emblem now would be to create uproar.

I agree with those that say the decision to scrap the Springbok emblem or not should be left up to the people. I for one vote in favour of keeping the Springbok – its something I feel proud about as a South African.

In love of the Springbok


Pointing Purple: Theme of first year

⊆ 12:37 AM by Nicole Naicker | ˜ 0 comments »

Pointing Purple: Theme of first yeI sympathise with what you as most of what you say makes sense. You show a great desire for something which requires more effort from you. But, as you stated this is not your first experience as a first year. I agree that our research could have been broader, but our course does allow for us to work beyond first years, it’s just not demanded of us. I think this is better because the bulk of us are just first years, and for the first time. We are still getting used to university life and settling in to the changes we’ve had to experience. Focussing on first years helps introduce us to the world of journalism at a sort of gradual pace rather than just dumping us in the deep end. Seen as this is actually your third year at a university, you are much more used to university life and the tasks of it than the rest of ‘us first years’. Whereas this might be too simple and non-intellectually challenging to you, it isn’t the same for ‘us’. So, maybe you should keep in mind that you have an advantage on the rest of ‘us’ JMS1 students and try to be more understanding.



⊆ 12:00 AM by Nicole Naicker | ˜ 0 comments »

I heard something quite interesting yesterday. We were having a discussion about the weirdest things about people or weirdest things that people have ever done And this one girl says that she goes all Ally McBeal – while talking to people she doesn't particularly like she pictures herself chopping off their heads or doing something brutal to them in her mind.

Now that is kinda freaky, but its not THAT freaky – we all tend to have those moments now and then, don't we? What I found weird was this other girl who said she does that too, only thing is she pictures that with her boyfriend when he's talking to her. While he's talking, in her mind she just sees herself slicing off his head (and here she does a demonstration by swaying her hands across each other and making a 'chink-chink' sound), oh and by the way, she does all of this in an extremely calm tone with a smile on her face as if it's the most normal thing in the world.

According to this girl (who for numerous reasons shall remain nameless) this is how to get through a relationship. I'm a little sceptical about this, but I don't know hey, maybe she's onto something... Well I for one do not have any bright sparky ideas to a successful relationship, except to have trust and all that other typical stuff (which most people tend to forget about). If I come across any other 'great' ideas I'll be sure to keep you posted. But for now we shall just ponder the wisdom of Ms Nameless's secret to a successful relationship...

To successful relationships...



⊆ 6:47 AM by Nicole Naicker | ˜ 0 comments »

Urgh, it’s the Monday syndrome again, here I find myself tired and swamped and already over the week before it’s begun. Ah, well as per usual I should be over this feeling soon. And then I’ll be stressing about all the work that needs to be done and I haven’t even started! But one thing less to stress about – yes JMS 1 students our portfolios have been handed in and now we need not stress about having to get it completed and handed in on time (well if you haven’t done this yet then you’ve got waarheids – start praying, maybe God can help you). Now you can breathe a bit better and the only time you have to seriously start stressing again is as the date of outcome for your application nears… Then we shall all be praying. The thing is you are continuously told how important it is to work hard and consistently and you always hear of your portfolio and how important it is. But, you never truly realise how important it is until this moment when you’re getting everything together and trying to make everything look good so that you get into the JMS2 class, and when you realise just how thin your portfolio is. Ah, but it’s too late to do anything about it now. All you can do is pray that your marks are good enough and that your motivation is motivating enough to the board and start working so that your next year’s portfolio is kick ass.
Well basically, I guess what I heard about the life of a journalist could be true – there’s no time for anything, including relationships…