During the first semester I compiled two news stories relating to the water crisis taking place in and around Grahamstown. The first focuses on the Makana Municipality calling on various departments to ensure that all residents receive safe drinking water during the crisis. The second dealt with the potential threat facing the business of local restaurant owners owing to potential water cuts until the local dam levels rose again.
I believe that I was somewhat successful in putting my journalistic philosophy approach into practice with these news stories. I brought awareness and knowledge to people about the water crisis at that time. I stuck to the facts, interviewed the key people involved and did my research with regard to the topic. I had an objective approach as I do not believe that the story required me to take a stance. Thus I fulfilled my journalistic approach.
However my journalistic approach didn’t impacted on my professional standards; as during the first news story I investigated, I received two conflicting descriptions, but I couldn’t broadcast the one as it was given to me ‘off the record’. Thus I maintained my professional standards and did not broadcast the ‘off the record’ description. However, looking back, if I had had more time I would have tried to find a way around this in order to convey both sides of the story. Especially as this is what I strive to do in my journalistic approach. Thus, the investigation into these two conflicting ideas would have been a great follow up story which I would have proposed to my editor.
The development package I compiled focused on Youth 4 Youth (Y4Y), a weekly radio show broadcast on Radio Grahamstown (102.1fm). The programme gives High School learners the chance to produce and take part in a live show while learning new skills in the radio broadcasting industry. Y4Y allows the youth to look at common issues, discusses them, discover each other and share experiences on a radio platform. In covering this story I put my journalistic approach into practice by starting at the grassroots. I interviewed the youth who take part in the show and who are immediately affected by the programme. And in so doing fulfilling the concept of development journalism, which promotes the bottom-up approaches to information gathering and storytelling as well as focusing on ordinary people, as opposed to officials and experts. As my journalistic approach contains these concepts of development journalism, I believe I was successful in putting my approach into practice. The story also has great potential for a follow up story. I would be able to create a series of stories relating to the progress of the youth and the different topics covered on the show. It would be interesting to see how the show is impacting the everyday lives of the youth within each school. Thus I would go to the different schools to interview the youth on their response to the shows and investigate to what extent the Y4Y shows are impacting the youth. Therefore I would also be fulfilling my journalistic philosophy as an active observer and a catalyst for conversation instead of just providing information, and thus the youth would become active participants in the news making process. And ultimately promote public problem solving.