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All the latest journalism from the Rhodes TV3 class

Going forward with Citizen Journalism

Posted by Push On May - 20 - 2010


By: Zikhona Masala and Pumelela Nqelenga

The collaboration of JMS3 students along with Citizen Journalist trainees from local newspaper Grocott’s Mail was comprised of 6 weeks of basic journalism training. As JMS3 students our mandate was to work in a team with citizen journalist trainees throughout the duration of 2nd term. However this was not without any challenges, we had to school ourselves in using a new programme Windows Movie Maker instead of the usual Adobe Premier when compiling stories, on the other hand teaching the citizen journalist as well as having to send out search parties in order to make sure that our citizen journalist was on track with assignments. Our citizen journalist was Zoli Pamela Sakata a communications major who because of this already had a general idea about interviewing techniques, camera shots which were all done using her Samsung B3310 cellphone.

Another challenge was the use of cellphone’s as citizen journalism requires instead of using television cameras. Often the camera quality was not as good as it would have been on an actual TV camera but we did manage to find ways in minimizing such encounters. The upside of using a cellphone was that we didn’t have to carry heavy and huge camera’s, this made it easy for our citizen journalist to move around easily when capturing footage.  Our duty was to help and guide our citizen journalist’s through using a cellphone and making video clips that would be used by a news organisation, in this case it was for the Grocott’s Mail website.

Zoli learnt the skill of taking shots using the 6 seconds rule, getting B-roll and cutaways, sequencing, capturing, working with audio and doing narrations. As part of our duty we also had to help and work with her in the process of finding viable story angles that would be suitable for the television medium in particular. Looking back at the very beginning of the course, the first video clip that our citizen journalist took, it is visible that there has been tremendous improvement in terms of ideas and the footage that our citizen journalist is now able to do. During this process as JMS 3 students we were not just teaching the citizen journalists, we were also learning by showing them the ropes, we are confident that Zoli is now well equipped to provide her community with good quality news of public interest and will hopefully continue using her cellphone as a tool to do so.



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