« July 2006 | Main

August 30, 2006

An example of 'communication for development' from Ethiopia

How Ethiopian Youth and Community Dialogues Fight HIV/AIDS
by Ailish Byrne


Young drive 'radical media shift'

Does this article decribe you?
Does it describe the young people you are working with on your project?


Journalism without journalists

Find below a link to a New Yorker article by Nic Lemann, dean of the School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York, about citizen journalism...

This is great journalism about journalism.


August 28, 2006

Notes on development journalism

See Powerpoint notes on "development journalism". The first half of the presentation is based on the reading entitled "Development Journalism in Black Africa" by Domatob and Hall (in your reader). The second half is based on a reading by Johan Galtung, which takes into account some of the criticisms of development journalism in trying to imagine a "new paradigm" for the practice of this form of journalism.

Download file

News Goo

News Goo

Communication Breakdown! Pause for this message. Wake up!
Every station is identification
Global syndication is shaping the nation. ABC-Disney, NBC-GE.
Murdock is Foxy and we’re the hen,
He owns the pen, the camera, the sword.
Buy a Coke, buy a Ford. Getting broke? Getting bored?
Selling attitude like food for the masses. Junk consumption. We’re lumpen
A bumpkin to the corporate state.
You cannot satiate what you can’t negotiate
Your will’s been snatched, The bill’s attached
Flim-flam diagram, data-jam, handicam Caught it, Yo, ya bought it
A mind is a profitable thing to waste.
Ya want another taste, baby? We got

News Goo – What we need to know
News Goo – What we want to know
News Goo – What we think we know
Got remote control to choose the show.
But the more we watch, the less we know
Ignorance grows on the spirit like a tumour… till freedom is a rumour.

"News Goo" by Polar Levine-sine language music/BMI

To download the song, go to:


August 25, 2006

The writing is on the wall

A short article I wrote a few years ago about some of the ideas and techniques we are currently experimenting with in the JDD course... Hopefully, this will give you some sense of where I am coming from.

The writing is on the wall
By Rod Amner
(1900 words)

When I proposed to 25 third year journalism students that our writing class take inspiration from an idea pioneered in places as unfashionable and inhospitable as the former-Soviet Union and Nepal, I should have expected the icy stares. But happily, within five weeks, this winter of classroom discontent, had begun to thaw into a tentative spring.
In retrospect there were many sound reasons for insisting on a “wall newspaper” (and I will elaborate on these later). But, in truth, the main impetus for the project was the simple fact that my department didn’t have the money to produce a “proper” newspaper. Newspapers are expensive – the basic costs of printing a modest 1000 copies of a 16-page tabloid were prohibitive.

A “new” medium
The act of reading a newspaper has been compared with immersing oneself in a soothing tub of hot water – an enveloping, private pleasure. But, just as a deep bath is wasteful in semi-arid South Africa, privately owned copies of our newspapers reach precious few readers. Worse, the newspaper enterprise demands the cultivation and processing of millions of alien, water-guzzling trees and the endless use of energy-inefficient processes of production and distribution. In places like Grahamstown, the writing has always been on the wall for newspapers – they are a luxury most cannot afford. A cover price – any cover price – puts the newspaper out of the reach of the 70-80% of citizens who are unemployed.
In contrast to a conventional newspaper, 25 copies of our 18-page wall newspaper – potentially reaching thousands of eyeballs in strategically placed schools, libraries, clinics, taxi ranks, spaza shops and other public spaces all over the city – cost just R200 to print and distribute.
Our wallpaper, which carried the trilingual title of Mamelani/ Listen Up/ Luister Hier, was simply the latest incarnation of a concept that has a long pedigree. In post-1917 Russia newspapers were seen as an important part of promoting literacy, but were too expensive to produce. So the practice grew of "publishing" the newspaper on an exterior wall where anyone could go to read the news. Since the 1990s, in the remote Himalayan country of Nepal, wall newspapers have been posted in areas where local villagers gather. The objective is to provide locally relevant news to areas with poor media penetration and literacy.
For us, the willful placing of a wall newspaper in parts of Grahamstown where other newspapers fear to tread was a political act because it uprooted economic logic and disrupted cultural assumptions about who constitutes an appropriate media audience. This willfulness stemmed from the belief that journalists are people with a mission to stimulate public discourse and serve the public interest. All literate citizens are necessarily a part of the target audience of such an enterprise.

A “new” journalism
But, having conquered the economic problem, we were still uneasy about our public role. “I only want to write about things I am interested in,” opined one of my students. As temporary sojourners in Grahamstown and cloistered in the relative privilege of a green lawn university, many Rhodes students feel a cultural, social and economic alienation from potential news sources and news audiences in the city.
How could we claim to stimulate discourse for a public we barely know, understand or even empathise with? One of the wallpaper project’s answers to this problem was to plug into the department’s seven-year-old media training project, called Grab. Every year fledgling youth-based media clubs approach us for training. And in 2003 the 26 third year writing students broke themselves into five sub-groups, with four working with media clubs at local high schools, and the fifth serving the Eluxolweni Children’s Shelter.
I asked my students to write journalistic profiles on these high school learners in an attempt to get to know them better. In addition, guided by co-lecturer Robert Berold, they wrote “creative non-fiction” about their attempts to provide ongoing support and training to the media clubs. This exercise, written in the first person, gave students the opportunity to express anxieties and problems, but mostly served to affirm their commitment to a more developmental journalism. This work, which we labelled “communication for development”, aimed to empower these young people to speak for themselves. And indeed, all of the media clubs went on to either publish local stories in their own newsletters, explore youth-related issues by using airtime on community radio stations or set up public meetings in their schools using a hybrid public address-outside broadcasting technology called a “streetcaster”.
According to Stuart and Bery (in Servaes et al, 1997) in participatory communication “community members” should control the tools of communication, not outsiders (like journalists) who do a “poor job” of mediating information and representing public discourse. “Participatory communication focuses on who is communicating, because who creates the message shapes its content, perspective and impact.” They argue that the main goal of this project may not be the finished media product, but instead the process of possibly mobilising an audience or building awareness or confidence amongst the producers. Participatory communication thus echoes Paulo Freire’s notions of “dialogical communication” and “problem solving education” (Freire, 1996).
This approach had a number of benefits for the wallpaper project. First, it literally shook my students out of their comfort zones by translocating them into unknown territory, thereby expanding their ability to imagine a more inclusive, diverse audience for their journalism. Second, their immersion in media clubs allowed the wallpaper journalists to build close, mutually beneficial relationships with potential sources of news – they used these media club members as a fount of story ideas and sourcing possibilities. Third, they went beyond mainstream journalism by simultaneously empowering these “sources” with the ability to define their own news agenda and write their own stories. Fourth, some of the stories produced by the media clubs found their way onto the pages of Mamelani, virtually unedited, which gave the wallpaper a source of authentic grassroots journalism.
Our concern with the democratic potential of journalism led us to another relatively new idea, pioneered in the United States by theorists like Jay Rosen (1999), which advocates that journalists should promote and improve the quality of public life and not merely report on or complain about it – a notion described as “public journalism”.
“[Media] should create the capacity for a community to discover itself, including its problems and the ways to solve them. I don’t believe journalists should be solving problems. I think they should be creating the capacity within a community for solving problems.” (1999; 41)
To this end the Rhodes students helped the media clubs set up a number of school-based participatory discussions, called “streetcasts”. For example, over 500 learners, parents and teachers at Nombulelo and Mahlasela high schools had often heated discussions about key issues affecting young people at the school (followed by wildly popular dance and singing competitions). As Nancy Fraser (cited in Glasser 2000) points out, effective participation happens through the “development of distinct groups organised around affinity and interest”. School-based groups at the streetcasts had the opportunity to express themselves on topics and in ways that might not have been welcomed elsewhere – they became in effect training grounds for agitational activities which could later be directed toward powerful wider publics (for example, toward other better resourced schools in Grahamstown or toward the Eastern Cape Department of Education in Bisho).
Meanwhile, the Rhodes students used the grassroots material gathered at the streetcasts as the basis for some of the public journalism that appeared in Mamelani, which aimed to further the process of communication and exchange of meanings on these topics.
In summary, the Mamelani project did not prepare students to slot comfortably into pre-existing jobs in “the industry”. Instead, it was predicated on the belief that journalistic education should involve attempts to pioneer new journalistic approaches – like communication for development, literary journalism and public journalism – which could be more appropriate to the needs of South African audiences and hence more likely to contribute to social transformation.

A “new” pedagogy
I have come to the view that the best way to teach newspaper journalism is to insist that students take full responsibility for producing their own newspapers. But, in order for students to take “ownership” over the wall newspaper I, as the lecturer “responsible”, had to give up some of my power to define:
- what the publication would be called;
- what stories would be covered;
- what pictures and graphics would illustrate stories;
- how stories would be framed, researched and structured;
- how stories, headlines, captions, fact boxes and other design elements would be written, sub-edited and proof-read;
- how the publication would be designed and laid out on the page;
- where the finished product would be distributed.
Now, this is certainly not how “the industry” operates. There are complex hierarchies and divisions of labour in “real newspapers” – editors either tell reporters what to write or, in more progressive newsrooms, they “coach” them on what to write. What they don’t do is leave it up to writers to have final control over the whole newspaper.
This anomaly might not have mattered if Mamelani had simply been a training exercise for my eyes only. The problem for me is that we were planning to stick the wall newspaper up all over Grahamstown (under the proud banner of my department) for all to see – and criticise. A risky business, particularly since my students had chosen to specialise in writing. Most had limited conceptual knowledge of newspaper design, almost no experience in the computer programme they were relying on to do the layout work (QuarkXpress), and little concept of the skills and principles of photojournalism. Were my third year students up to it? Would we be a laughing stock?
Feeling rather insecure, I explained to my colleagues that my unorthodox approach to a writing class nonetheless re-enforced the department’s commitment to a holistic approach to teaching writing-editing-photography-design (WEPD) production skills, and spouted to the idea that the main goal of the project was not the finished media product, but the process.
I needn’t have been so defensive – the wall newspaper was well received on campus. More importantly, it went some way in challenging conventional boundaries of democracy and journalistic practice in the classroom/newsroom. Above all, I believe my students built a genuinely developmental relationship with members of their target audiences. They appeared to care about the ability of their newspaper to meet at least some of the complex information and knowledge needs of the Grahamstown community. In the end, I sensed that for most the journalistic enterprise, not the marks, was the driving force behind the project.
For each edition of Mamelani three tabloid pages were reserved for audience feedback. We were surprised by the number of readers who took the trouble to scribble down story ideas, opinions and feedback on these blank sheets. Appropriately, for what was designed as a transformative media project, it was our readers who have had the final word.

Freire, P. Pedagogy of the Oppressed London: Penguin, 1996.
Glasser, T (ed). The Idea of Public Journalism. New York: The Guilford Press, 1999.
Rosen, J. What Are Journalists For? New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.
Servaes, J., Jacobson, T., White, S (eds). Participatory Communication for Social Change. New Dehli: Sage, 1997.
Shor, I. When Students Have Power. Negotiation Authority in a Critical Pedagogy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1996

Lecture notes on development, 'Communication for Development', 'radical/ alternative journalism'

Please read through these lecture notes before next Tuesday's lecture... this will allow us to have qualitative discussion in class rather than ploughing through Powerpoint presentations.

Download file

Download file

Download file

August 24, 2006

Instructions for next week's writing assignment

If you were not at the Tuesday lecture, you may not know that the 600-word writing assignment on ‘Communication for Development’ has been postponed for one week and is now due on Friday 1 September.

Here is some guidance on how to tackle the third (and last) writing assignment for next week:

You should write a 600-word story for the Grocott’s Mail youth page about your group’s journalism training project (so far). Your article should answer these questions:

1. What is the aim of your youth journalism training project?
In our view, your project should be informed in some way by the “participatory/ empowerment” communication paradigm described by Melcote and Steeves (in their chapter “Communication Strategies for Empowerment”, which is in your course reader). In other words, the primary aim is not to ‘deliver’ lots of information and technology to your participants, but instead to work from the grassroots so young people and organisations there may develop a more confident voice. Melcote and Steeves have this to say about ‘empowerment’:
- "It provides skills, confidence and countervailing power to deal effectively with social change in a world that distributes needs, resources and power unequally;
- It privileges multiple voices and perspectives and facilitates equal sharing of knowledge and solution alternatives among participants in process."
So that may be what you want the participants to reach towards (even if it is only partially achieved at this point). But, there may be a lot more besides (like simply having fun).
Also, what do you want the ‘public’ to get out of it – for example, will it contribute in any way to the general public sphere in Grahamstown or to alternative public spheres? And lastly, what do you personally want to get out of it?

2. Who are you working with?
Describe the context of your youth journalism training project. Who are the young people participating in this project? What would they like to do or know or say (and to whom would they like to say it)? Provide thick description of your observation of them so far (significant details, dialogue, anecdotes, etc.).

3. Given your aims and your knowledge of the context and the people you are working with, HOW do you plan to do this project? In particular, we are interested in the resources and approaches you choose to draw on to achieve your aims. For example, you could draw on one or more of the following resources in relation to approaches to journalistic/ communication practice:
a. The ‘Communication for Development’ approach outlined by Melcote and Steeves (pp 130-150 in the reader);
b. The concept of ‘alternative media’ outlined by Tanni Haas (in his article “Alternative Media, Public Journalism and the Pursuit of Democratisation”), or the closely related concept of ‘radical journalism’ outlined by Chris Atton (in his article “News Cultures and New Social Movements: Radical Journalism and the Mainstream Media”) – both readings can be found on http://joblog.ru.ac.za
c. The concept of ‘citizen-participatory journalism’ outlined by Steve Outing (in his article “The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism”) – http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=83126

Note that you will be required to submit a second 600-word piece of writing about the youth journalism training project at the end of Week 2 in Term 4. This should be a (constructively) critical analysis of your personal and group ‘teaching’ performance. This should be based on:

* Your participation in and observation of the project;
* Your reading and reflection on the political, ethical, and journalistic issues it throws up;
* Some formal evaluation of your training and facilitation skills (using, for instance, questionnaires, informal discussion with trainees, or peer assessment).

We media: a book on citizen-participatory journalism available online

For those who would like more on 'citizen-participatory' media, make use of the following resource online...


REPOST: What works in youth media

I have reposted the following link to a PDF file that shows a number of exceptional case studies from around the world. Will your youth journalism training project bear any resemblance to any of these projects?


Also, you may want to have a look at this Unicef website called "Voices of Youth" which has some excellent training resources.


Alternative Media, Public Journalism and the Pursuit of Democratisation

Tanni Haas provides a rich and concise definition of alternative media in this short article and goes on to argue that the democratic goals of public journalism could be furthered by emulating alternative media practices.

How does the concept of 'alternative media' relate (if at all) to the journalism training projects you are planning for local youth?

Download file

11 layers of citizen journalism

A short article on the phenomenon of 'citizen/ participatory journalism' by Steve Outing.

How does the concept of 'citizen-participatory journalism' relate (if at all) to the journalism training project you are planning for local youth?


Radical journalism

News Cultures and New Social Movements: radical journalism and the mainstream media

An article on radical journalism by Chris Atton. How does the concept of 'radical journalism' relate (if at all) to the journalism training projects we are planning to run for local youth?

Download file

ABSTRACT Radical media can be viewed as an extremely democratic form of communication, where people
normally denied access to the mainstream media are able to speak on issues that concern them. Radical
media are especially important for new social movements, where “activist-journalists” seek to establish a
counter-discourse to those typically found in mainstream media. One striking technique employed in radical
media is “native reporting”, where first-person, activist accounts of events are preferred over more detached
commentaries. Most accounts of radical media have treated such practices as unique and defning
characteristics of radical media. Little attention has been paid to how these practices might be employed by
mainstream media, or indeed to how radical media might borrow practices from the mainstream. This paper
moves away from previous binary approaches to explore the relations between radical and mainstream
media through a comparative analysis of the coverage of the protests at the G8 summit, held in Genoa in
July 2001. The paper argues that borrowings and interdependency are most likely to come from papers that
share a similar ideology; hence it compares a member of the UK radical press (SchNEWS) with a member
of the liberal press (The Guardian). The analysis is hegemonic, and is particularly interested in how transfers
of journalistic techniques, values and ideologies are transformed under differing conditions. Is a counterhegemonic
discourse inevitably diluted by the adoption of its primary features in the mainstream press? Is
it possible to radicalise mainstream journalistic practices? The analysis focuses on the presence and nature
of “witnessing” by activists, the stylistic construction of such witnessing and how such techniques are
transformed in the liberal press. It also examines relationships and attitudes between radical and mainstream
journalists. The paper Žnds that whilst there are distinctive journalistic techniques used in each paper, both
radical and mainstream adopt elements from each other, whether in writing style or in news values and
framing. The counter-discourse of radical media appears to gain strength from its borrowings. It is argued
that the liberal press’s use of native reporting represents an accommodation with a radical technique. Finally,
a hegemonic approach suggests a complexity of relations between radical and mainstream that previous
binary models have not been able to identify.

August 16, 2006

No more notes...

Attendance at the Tuesday lectures has gone from poor to dismal. That's OK... you have a democratic right to boycott!
But, please know that I won't be posting any more course notes to the blog. You will have to do your own note-taking, reading and summaries from now on!

A reminder that you should read Haas & Steiner's article "Public Journalism as a Journalism of Publics", which can be found at an earlier entry on joblog.ru.ac.za. The seminar topic is "What implications does Fraser’s four-part critique of Habermas’s theory of the public sphere have for the theory and practise of public journalism?" We will also discuss how to we can apply Haas and Steiner's insights to the journalisms we propose doing in fourth term.

Money and phones

Note that departmental telephones can be signed out by any JMS3 student from Dees Naidoo at the store and plugged into active sockets in the W&E newsroom. TV and radio students have been granted access to the W&E lab so they can use the phones for JDD business.
I have distributed R700 for focus groups so far. Unfortunately, I won't be around on Thursday - if you need money before Friday (when I return) you will have to beg from Marietjie Meyer or your group members. Sorry!

Focus group interview schedules - some examples from JDD in 2005

Here are some examples of focus group interview schedules developed by JDD students in 2005. The focus in that year was high school education, so these questions may be of particular use to those of you working with high school learners this year (but, should also be of some interest to the rest of you).
Please note that you should try to limit the number of questions on your formal interview schedule (4-8 may be optimal).

JDD interview guide
Stakeholders: learners and teachers

What is your existing knowledge about HIV/AIDS? Where this knowledge came from?
What do you think about the issue of HIV/AIDS? (Concerns, and questions, attitudes towards HIV/AIDS, attitudes towards safe sex, myths and social stigmas, suggestions for dealing with the problem?)
What impact is HIV/AIDS having on learners (e.g. physically, psychologically, socially, economically, politically? For instance, are learners forced to remain at home to care for HIV-positive family members?)
How does HIV/AIDS education happen at school, (if at all)? Which teachers discuss HIV/AIDS with learners? Do they do this as part of the mainstream curriculum (e.g. biology class, history, guidance classes)? How is it discussed/ dealt with? Is this effective? Are teachers equipped to educate learners? In addition to the curriculum is the school actively involved in HIV/AIDS prevention (e.g. does the school distribute condoms)?
Do parents take part in the education of learners on this topic? If not, why not?

JDD interview guide
Topic: FET curriculum
Stakeholder group: Teachers

What do you know about the new Further Education and Training system, which will be introduced to Grade 10 in 2006? (It will replace Matric in 2008.) How is it different to the current system?
Have you been retrained in how to teach the new FET curriculum? If so, who did this training? What was it like?
In your view, how is the FET system different to the current system? Does it represent an improvement on the on the current system? Explain?
What needs to happen to make the new FET work?

JDD interview guide
Topic: Extra-curricular activities
Stakeholder groups: learners, parents and teachers
What extra-curricular activities are offered at your school? (Note how the term ‘extra-curricular activity’ is being defined. Sport is an obvious candidate, but what about clubs and societies for arts and special interests, Love Life games, Siyadlala, which is a Department of Sports and Recreation run programme?)
Are extra-curricular activities important? Why? Which extra-curricular activities are you personally involved in and what do you get out of them?
Who is responsible for funding and organising these activities? (Teachers, learners, parents, government, NGOs, Rhodes University, Grahamstown Foundation.)
What needs to be done at your school to improve extra-curricular work?

JDD interview guide
Topic: Desegregation and diversity
Stakeholder groups: learners, parents and teachers

Tell us about the people in your school. For example, what languages are spoken by learners in your school (first language, second and other languages)? Are there any other notable social differences between the learners in your school? If so what is the nature of these differences? (Some prompts: Class, ethnicity, gender, ‘race’, culture, religion, ‘worldview’. Probe these concepts – what do you think is meant by them?)
What is the significance of these differences, if any? In other words, how do these differences play themselves out in the classroom, in the playgrounds, the hostels and on the sports fields?
Are any of these concepts dealt with explicitly in the classroom (or on the sports fields): multiculturalism, diversity training, racism (history of apartheid, oppression and segregation), sexism? Do you think it is important that the school should deal with issues of diversity and encourage sensitivity to them? How are they being dealt with now, by whom and with what result? Who should be responsible for dealing with these issues? What is the best way of dealing with them?

JDD interview guide
Topic: School governance
Stakeholder groups: parents and teachers

What is an SGB? Who is represented on it? (Learners, parents, teachers, principals, communities.) What powers do the various individual members on the SGB have and what powers do the various constituencies represented on the SGB have – in absolute terms and in relation to each other?
What should be the purpose of the SGB? Increase democratic participation and involvement, encourage empowerment of stakeholders, or is it mostly about technocratic efficiency?
What does the SGB actually do? What decisions are made?
Should it be given more or less power than it currently has to make decisions about the school? (And more or less power in relation to what or whom – local, provincial or national departments of education, or to the principal?) The government intends to boost the power of principals – they will have power to override SGBs. Is this anti-democratic? What if the principal is not a good decision-maker?
How is the SGB working at your school?
What could be done to make the SGB work better? (For example, in what ways could parents become more involved in the school?)

JDD interview guide
Topic: Opportunities for Matriculants and early school leavers
Stakeholder groups: learners, Matriculants and early school leavers

Do you plan to matriculate? What does matriculation mean to you?
What will you do after school? Further education? Jobs? Other?
Have you been given sufficient guidance (aptitude testing, advice, information and other resources) to help you take action regarding your future?

When did you Matriculate? Did you get a Matric exemption?
What are you doing now?
Did Matric prepare you for life after matric? (The formal curriculum, as well as life skills and guidance.)
Were you given sufficient guidance (aptitude testing, advice, information and other resources) to help you take action regarding your future?

Early school leavers
When did you leave school? Why did you leave school?
What are you doing now?
Did school prepare you for life after school? Explain.

JDD interview guide
Topic: Support to local schools
Stakeholder groups: Rhodes Education Department, Department of Education, NGOs

NOTE: The in-depths interviews with the stakeholders mentioned above will no doubt differ, depending on who you are speaking to. The questions below are a general guide only:

What kind of support do you provide to local schools?
Which local schools benefit?
Why is there a need to provide support to schools? What problems/ deficiencies do local schools face (generally and in terms of the specific services that you offer)?
How is the support offered/ rendered?
Are you able to meet demand for your services?
What would make your job easier?
What support services could/ should be offered to schools that are not already being offered?

JDD interview guide
Topic: Language policy
Stakeholder groups: learners, parents and teachers

What are your first and second languages (and any others)?
Which languages do you study at school (as languages)? E.g. English, Xhosa, Afrikaans.
Is your English teacher a mother tongue English speaker?
Questions for learners at Xhosa-dominant schools only:
What is the medium of instruction for the rest of your subjects (e.g. maths, science, history, geography, biology etc.)? When did English become the medium of instruction for these subjects (e.g. at which grade did you convert from mother tongue instruction to English instruction)?
How many of your teachers are proficient in English?
How much of any given lesson is given in English and how much is given in Xhosa?
Do you find English language instruction difficult? Explain. Would you prefer mother tongue instruction?
Questions for any learners/ teachers/ parents:
Are you aware of the Ministry of Education’s proposed new language policy? (If they are not, explain it - English and Afrikaans optional, and offering learners the choice of studying any two of the country's 11 official languages)
What do think of the proposed changes? Which 2 languages would you ideally like to study?

JDD interview guide
Topic: Quality teaching
Stakeholder groups: learners, teachers, principals

Questions for learners only:
What do you think of your teachers? Strengths and weaknesses? (MARKERS: Are they knowledgeable? Are they approachable? Are they reliable? Do they have strong teaching ability? Are they committed?)
What improvement would you like to see from your teachers?
Is there enough dialogue between teachers and parents in your school? Explain.
Is there enough dialogue, mutual respect and empathy between teachers and learners in this school?
Questions for teachers/ school heads:
What is the teacher qualification profile in this school?
In your view, is there a link between a teacher’s qualification and the quality of their teaching? Explain.
What is your view of the quality of teaching in this school? Strengths and weaknesses? (Are teachers reliable/ committed/ able/ knowledgeable?)
Is there any dialogue between teachers and parents? Is this important? If so, how can it be improved?
Is there enough dialogue, mutual respect and empathy between teachers and learners in this school?
How would you describe teacher morale in this school?
How important is leadership (either from department heads, principals or from SGBs) in improving the quality of teaching and learning in this school?

JDD interview guide
Topic: Generation gap
Stakeholder groups: learners, parents and teachers

Teachers and learners:
Describe the relationship between teachers and learners in your school. (Some key words: Power dynamics, co-operation, respect, dialogue, mutual respect and empathy).
How important are these relationships to the success of the school? Explain.
What are the obstacles to better relationships between teachers and learners? What could be done to improve the relationship between teachers and learners?
What do you think of corporal punishment? Does corporal punishment happen in this school (despite the fact that it is against the law)? Should it be reintroduced?
Are there any problematic/ inappropriate aspects to the relationship between teachers and learners at this school? (For example, learner and teachers drinking/ smoking together; sexual relationships; sexual harassment; sexism; racism; other forms of physical or emotional abuse, etc.)

Learners and parents
Do parents play and active role in the education of their children? If so, how? If not, why not?
Do parents take part in the education of their children on issues of sexual health, HIV/AIDS, life skills and so on? If so, how? If not, why not?
Describe the relationship between parents and their children. Key words: Control, co-operation, guidance, dialogue, alienation, embarrassment, mutual respect and empathy.
How important are these relationships to the success of the child’s education? Explain.
What are the obstacles to better relationships between parents and children? What could be done to improve the relationships?
What do you think of corporal punishment? Does corporal punishment happen at home?
Are there any problematic/ inappropriate aspects to the relationship between parents and children? (For example, physical or emotional abuse/ violence, etc.)

Background: General themes and issues

These should be useful in giving us direction when we start concretising the overall aims of the project. (In other words, what issues is the project as a whole trying to address, etc.?

a. Apartheid heritage still defines much of what is currently taking place in schools in Grahamstown. Assessment of current situation must take cognisance of the past. Related issues:
- Existing disparities between rich and poor schools – are these being challenged or entrenched? Urban\rural divide (e.g. farm schools)?
- Cultural diversity, and the extent to which it is recognised/ encouraged
- Transport to schools, geographical location of scholars in relation to the 'better' schools

b. Education and democracy:
 The way decisions are made, and how people are involved in this;
 The way decisions are executed:
 The spending (and underspending) of budgets
 The disconnection between local, provincial and national structures
 Technocratic culture, bureaucracy etc
 Rhetoric versus reality
 Communication

c. Education as a gateway for young people:
 access to jobs;
 access to tertiary education, etc

d. Alienation of learners: The "generation gap" - disconnect between scholars and teachers, scholars and parents.

e. Teachers: quality of teachers/ teaching, teacher qualification profile, teacher training, teacher morale.

f. Syllabus change: language, OBE, ICTs, transformation

August 14, 2006

Public journalism - a reply to critics

This article analyzes and responds to the most significant criticisms of public journalism made by scholars. After discussing public journalism advocates’ alleged failure to define public journalism clearly, we examine more specific criticisms. Among other issues, few advocates have taken seriously the likely impact of commercial imperatives on public journalism’s modes of operation. We argue, however, that public journalism projects show that reform-oriented news organizations can challenge long-standing journalistic conventions, despite managements’ interests in maximizing profit. Ultimately, we argue, public journalism’s long-term viability depends on continuing, explicit commitment by journalists, its institutionalization within newsrooms and journalism classrooms, and continued theory-development, research, and assessment.
Download file

Conversation - a metaphor and a method for better journalism?

A public journalism experiment from Finland...
“Conversation” has become a fashionable metaphor for thinking about journalism and its role in social life, particularly with the rise of the public journalism movement. This article reports the findings from an experiment in which the metaphor was taken as a practical model for producing more citizen-oriented content for reporting. Experiences from citizen focus groups acting as the source of reporting are analysed and their challenges for journalistic practice are highlighted. The article concludes by comparing the lessons of using the “conversational method” with some recent scholarly reflections about the role of conversation in journalism.
Download file

August 11, 2006

Letter of introduction to school heads

See letter in MSWord format attached....
Download file

August 09, 2006

White Fright: the politics of white youth identity in South Africa

By Nadine Dolby
In the 1990s, ‘whiteness’ in South Africa was open to multiple rearticulations. As white is politically (although not necessarily economically) unhinged from a position of privilege, it finds new paths and trajectories to follow. In this article, I examine how white students at a predominantly black high school in Durban remake and resuscitate whiteness. Using the strategy of resentment, white students negate and dismiss both the historical and contemporary position of their black classmates, instead recentring themselves as victims. As they survey their lives and futures, white students also plot routes of escape out of South Africa, taking refuge in a global whiteness that has many different facets. As white students elude and evade the boundaries of the nation-state in their quest for a secure, privileged whiteness, they lead whiteness to a global stage.

Download file

How to reach young readers

A series of reports on young readers by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Are we reaching da youth:
Download file

How a newspaper becomes H.I.P:
Download file

Lessons worth learning about young readers:
Download file

Writing stories to reach young people:
Download file

August 08, 2006

Overview of group work in Term 3

See Powerpoint presentation...
Download file

Democratic theory and the practise of public journalism

See Powerpoint presentation... note that this document contains a number of links to websites about public journalism, which should help you research your 600-word story for The Media magazine.
Download file

R900 000 boost for Makana youth centre

The Makana Special Programmes Unit (SPU) will receive R900 000 from the Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) to establish a Youth Advisory Centre in Joza Location.

Makana SPU manager, Mncedisi Boma, told ECN that the idea emanated from the Makana Youth Indaba in 2003.
"An advisory centre is a long overdue service for the youth in this municipality," he said.
Two people will be hired to run it - a career advisor and an outreach officer.
"A career advisor will help young people to develop business plans and provide career counselling to to the youth after matriculation and the outreach officer will be responsible for taking the centre to rural areas, marketing the programmes offered by the centre," he said.
Makana Youth Council chairman, Oscar Dondashe, said he thought the toughest challenge the centre faced was the political situation in Makana, where those involved with the centre would be victimised by others, who did not want good things to happen in the community.
"The centre must not be politically managed and it would be appreciated if the Makana SPU could employ qualified people to run the centre rather than taking their 'friends' on," he said.

Reflections on Journalism and Democracy in SA - Anton Harber

An interesting article by Wits professor and former Weekly Mail editor Anton Harber on the sort of journalism we need in a democratic South Africa...
Download file

Public Journalism as a Journalism of Publics - Haas and Steiner

This is the reading for the seminar in Week 4. It may also be of some use to you in researching your 600-word piece on public journalism, which is due on Friday 11 August.
Download file

August 04, 2006

Some notes on focus groups to refresh your memories

See Powerpoint presentation here...
Download file

August 03, 2006

MAGIC: Media Activities and Good Ideas by, with and for Children

Click here for Unesco's MAGIC website:

The Media and Children's Rights: A Handbook for Journalists

This handbook is downloadable at the following address:

Positive images: improving the media portayal of young people

Have a look at the following website:

August 02, 2006

Joblog workshops: Friday 4 August, 4pm

Each of the nine JDD groups is required to set up and run a blog to aid internal communication and debate. To this end, all writing students (who have already had some blogging experience) should come to a blogging refresher course at 4pm on Friday 4 August in the W&E lab in the AMM. They, in turn, will be responsible for training the photojournalists and designers in their groups in blogging skills. In addition, two volunteers from each of the three JDD broadcast groups should attend the same workshop at 4pm on Friday and make arrangements with Colin Daniels and Rod Amner for follow-up workshops, should these be deemed necessary.

August 01, 2006

Critiques of libertarian and social responsibility theories

See Powerpoint presentation here...
Download file

Some guidance on the focus group research

See Powerpoint presentation here...
Download file

JDD groups

The JMS3 class has been divided into nine groups for the JDD course. Please check your group number, seminar venue and facilitator in the following list...

Group 1 (WEPD)
Venue: 201
Facilitator: Simon Pamphilon
Writers: Siobhan Louw, Michael Kaeflein, Gouqin Wang, Daniella Djan
Designers: Fran Thring, Frances Dicks, Zethu Mtshemla, Amy Benjamin
Photojournalists: Matthew Middleton, Ntokozo Yingwana, Mana Meadows

Group 2 (WEPD)
Venue: 203
Facilitator: Shalen Gajadhar
Writers: Arther Chatora, Grant Ball, Dustin Emslie, Julie Coetzee
Designers: Che Kershaw, Jenna Viljoen, Chinaka Iwunze, Matt Rycroft
Photojournalists: Anwen Evans, Alex Westcott, Stacy Nel

Group 3 (WEPD)
Venue: 101
Facilitator: Harold Gess
Writers: Matthew Cartwright, Bekezela Phakathi, Gisela Wolff, Taryn Zeiseniss
Designers: Megan Geldenhuys, Patience Hlongwane, Mpumu Dube, Nomalanga Masinai
Photojournalists: Karolina Komendera, Victoria John, Lindsay Gardiner

Group 4 (WEPD)
Venue: 102
Facilitator: Andrew K
Writers: Dani Norton, Kerry-Leigh Snel, Harry Haddon
Designers: Michelle Brink, Lauren Clifford-Holmes, Leboheng Thulo, Vanessa Berger
Photojournalists: Jesse Burton, Savani Naidoo, Nokwazi Tsawe

Group 5 (WEPD)
Venue: 103
Facilitator: Rod Amner
Writers: Alex Anderson, Melissa Gardiner, Stephanie Gouws
Designers: Candice Wiggett, Peter Barlow, Sarah Wilson, Lauren Wentzel
Photojournalists: Erin Veldsman, Siphokazi Magadla, Karabo Sekhoto

Group 6 (WEPD)
Venue: 104
Facilitator: Lynette Steenveld
Writers: Lionel Faull, Claire Carr, Margot Knight
Designers: Lauren Cook, Olivia Waterkeyn, Graham vd Westhuizen, Candice Hellriegel
Photojournalists: Simon Capstick-Dale, Gaynor Barnard, Cindy Stocken, Leon Schnell

Group 7 (Radio)
Venue: Radio section
Facilitator: Eitan Prince
All radio students

Group 8 (TV)
Venue: TV studio
Facilitator: Jeanne du Toit
Daniel Bekker, Heather Black, Dave Edmeades, Zama Hlophe, Moagisi Letlhaku, Pete Nielsen, Thabasile Ntombela, Aretha Phiri, Tarryn Pitchers, Sarah Sherry, Amanda Sibanda, Robin Vember

Group 9 (TV)
Venue: TV venue 2?
Facilitator: Alette Schoon
Graham Comrie, Jans de Jager, Theresa Hayward, Jessica Hewson, Thami Mbekwa, Bryce McNamara, Pelesa Mopeli, Lindile Mpanza, Zanele Nyingwa, Jenny Pettenger, Elzita Siebritz, Richard Stapp